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4.0 out of 5 stars Temeraire continues, 15 Mar 2007
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2) (Hardcover)
The continuation of the fabulous Temeraire series which was one that I cited at the beginning of the year as a dark horse to watch. The characters continue to grow, the double teaming of man and dragon against the world is something that I really haven't got tired of and as such the tensions and strains is something that continues to keep the reader enthralled.

The novel as the previous instalment was extrememly well written, and the novel approach that has been taken is sure to spawn many counterfeit replicas that will poorly imitate the writing style, in fact the popularity of such a novel will more than likely lead to a AAA mickey take from rival publishers Gollancz.

For many people the thing that has to be said is that you can pick up this tale without having read the previous instalment, however the reader that does that is selling the series short even though as a one off its still unique and entertaining. If your looking for an entertaining child friendly stocking filler this Christmas then this is ideal, after all it's a long wait for the next harry potter and the two Temeraires will mean so much, especially with the third part out in January.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Continuation to the Saga, 15 Jan 2007
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2) (Hardcover)
Throne of Jade, the second installment of the adventures of Celestial Dragon Temeraire and his British 'Captain'; Laurence, is a satisfying continuation to the story introduced in Naomi Novik's debut 'Temeraire'.

Picking up a few months after the conclusion of the previous novel, Throne of Jade finds Laurence and Temeraire threatened with being separated when a delegation from China, from where Temeraire's egg orginally came, arriving in Britain demanding the now fully grown dragon's return. With political, trade & diplomatic considerations taking precedence, Laurence and Temeraire are despatched by the British Government to China in an effort to appease the Chinese and prevent France from securing an alliance with that great country. Bound by duty and honour Laurence and Temeraire have no choice but to go, even though doing so might result in their being separated permanently.

What follows is a very different book to the first Temeraire novel. With the first two thirds of the book being set at sea aboard the Dragon Transport that Laurence and his steed are obliged to take to China (a sort of Napoleonic era aircraft carrier that is yet another imaginative invention on the part of the author), much of the story is given over to further developing both Temeraire as a character and his relationship with Laurence. This is well handled by Novik, and she adds added depth by the introduction of Chinese characters whose attitude to Temeraire and Dragons as a species is very different to that of Europeans and give new perspective that was missing in the first book. By the time the story reaches China in the final third of the book readers have a far better understanding of Dragons place in this alternative reality (which is once again very well conceived) and Temeraire has become a far more rounded and complex character in his own right. Novik also succeeds in avoiding the obvious trap of making Dragons too mythical a species by giving them very natural characteristics and falibilities. The concept that they can catch colds is particularly clever since it shows them to be as vulnerable and mortal as any other real creature.

Despite events being confined to ship for much of the book's length Novik doesn't forget to include requisite amount of exciting action. With political intrigue and conspiracy abounding, and the Napoleonic wars continuing there are plenty of opportunuties for both seaborne and airborne action during the voyage. An episode involving an attack by a giant sea serpant (yet another imaginative addition that fits perfectly into the novel's world) is particularly well handled.

The improves further when events reach China. As with the first Temeraire novel, Novik has obviously given careful thought to how Dragons would fit into Chinese society and her concept of a country where they and humans live and interact on an equal footing is wonderfully realised. Again, despite the fantastic nature of the concept, the China we are introduced to through the eyes of Laurence has an entirely natural air to it and it is never difficult for the reader to suspend your disbelief. Its also fascinating and make a great juxtaposition to the alternative Europe introduced in the previous book.

Despite all the myriad of details however, the plot is not forgotten, and the intrigues that were hinted at during the long sea voyage come to the fore as Tremeraire and Laurence find themselves at the centre of internal Chinese imperial politics. Once again Novik inserts some blistering action set-pieces whilst avoiding too many 'oriental' cliches such as fantastical kung-fu fighting that can often afflict books with a similar setting. She also successfully brings together the various plot strands that have been running through the book until events come to a final, satisfying conclusion.

So are there any faults to found in Throne of Jade? Well, yes, but they're more niggles and flaws than anything more serious. Whilst transporting events from 18th Century England to China gives a fresh perspective to events, it is a little disappointing that many of the supporting characters from the first book, both human and Draconian, are left behind and cannot be developed further. There is also a repeat of some of the pacing issues that afflicted the first book, with the final resolution to the story occurring so quickly that whilst not feeling rushed per se it doesn't necessarily have the impact that it could have.

Overall however, Throne of Jade continues the promise of Temeraire. If Black Powder Wars, the next novel in the series, and any subsequent episodes, are as good as this book and its predecessor the adventures of Temeraire and Laurence and the world they inhabited are destined to become classic creations. Hugely recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrifically entertaining and vibrant, this swashbuckling fantasy adventure takes you on a magical ride!, 16 April 2013
This review is from: Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2) (Hardcover)
Never before have I encountered a marvelous fantasy tale that blends together both exquisite historical details with an exciting pirate `feel', akin to Pirates of the Caribbean versus Bernard Cornwell. Naomi Novik writes like Robin Hobb or Stephen King; with such extensive knowledge of her creation and spectacular world-building. Assured and accomplished this impressive novel is highly believable, compelling and a thoroughly engaging read that takes your breath away - literally! This is also the kind of story which similarly to "The chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis", it appeals to all ages from the younger reader to the adult reader.

`Temeraire: Throne of Jade" is an exceptional debut novel, full of inspired creativity and fresh ideas within a popular and highly competitive genre. From the lush cover of this beautiful book, with the map, to the thrilling fast-paced action and intense drama this is something truly special and noteworthy. I have been on many great quests that span from the vastness of Middle-Earth to the brilliance of the Northern Lights, and yet never have I encountered so much danger and remarkable happenings as when I plunged into this book. History takes flight in this deliciously addictive story, which skillfully layers the history of the Napoleonic war with breathtaking imagination.

The battle for Europe rages upon land and sea...and in the skies. Squadrons of aviators rain fiery death upon their enemies, but the destruction is not caused by gunpowder alone - it comes from the very guts of the beasts they are flying Dragons. Temeraire is a Chinese Celestial Dragon, the most highly-prized of all the draconic breeds; famed for their intelligence, agility and most of all for the Divine Wind - their terrible roar capable of shattering the heavy timbers of war ships and devastating vast swathes of infantry.

Appealing to readers who enjoy historical novels and are interested in Napoleon, this singular novel is quite distinctive and truly wonderful. Reminiscent of Chris Evans `Iron Elves' trilogy, I just loved how the author brought together fighting military with a fire-breathing twist that was so unexpected and astonishingly original.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Temeraire series, 24 Sep 2012
By 
J. D. Wilson "fussy reader" (Norfolk England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2) (Hardcover)
wonderful books , i really enjoyed reading the series , and now obtaining them for a friend , they come quickly in the post , happy customer
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throne of Jade, 2 April 2008
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This review is from: Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2) (Hardcover)
Thoroughly absorbed by the first in the series, I bought the sequel as soon as it was released. Novik's proficiency with both story structure and the English language is brilliant and has already earned her due acclaim. She has created wonderful characters in Temeraire and Captain Lawrence that are thoroughly endearing, and has now placed them in an unfamiliar environment surrounded quietly hostile acquaintances ...

Don't miss this, it's brilliant.
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Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2)
Throne of Jade (The Temeraire Series, Book 2) (Temeraire 2) by Naomi Novik (Hardcover - 7 Aug 2006)
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