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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2012
Black Powder War is number 3 in the Temeraire series. My daughter (age thirteen) is devouring the series. I have just got her the last one - number 6. They combine reality and fantasy - dragons in the Napoleonic wars - and wouldn't the Napoloenic wars have been so much better with dragons?
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on 3 January 2007
Unlike the above poster, I don't think that the series was intended to be read as an alternative to our current history, but simply as a fantasy story of an alternative world, which happens to share our own history and have dragons.

Given that, I have found the series very enjoyable, and would reccomend to other fantasy/sci-fi fans. Despite being set in 'our' world, it still brings the same feeling of a different world to be immersed in, unlike some stories set in our world.
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on 17 August 2010
A mishap aboard the dragon transporter leads to an overland foray across the desert (i.e. oases, camels) into the Ottoman Empire to collect some valuable dragon eggs. Novik again resorts to stereotypes (to the point of caricature): the gold-hungry untrustworthy Turkish Sultanate and pedantic German Prussians with inflexible formation flying. A summary of the book would be: Trek across desert, attacked by baddies on horseback, Temeraire saves the day. Captured and imprisioned by greedy Sultan, plucky British raid on harem, Temeraire saves the day. Join beleaguered Prussian troops, attacked by French, Will & Temeraire correct Prussian aerial tactics. Meanwhile, Temeraire is proselytising draconic rights to various European dragons in a thinly disguised anti-slavery lecture.

In a formulaic 350 pages, a region of the world is reduced to a set of stereotypes while draconic rights becomes a slavery metaphor. After a promising first book, the subsequent volumes read like a standard quest story that reads like a dungeons/dragons game. Had this been written in the 1980s it would probably have been picked up by someone like TSR and aimed at young adult role play gamers.

Lightweight books for an undemanding audience. Stereotyped and superficial.
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on 24 April 2013
This uniquely distinctive series blends together history and sympathetic characters in such an engaging way, as to make the books highly readable and fun. I love how Naomi Novik includes within her novels characters with such heart and spirit, which ultimately add depth and substance to the exciting storyline. As Peter Jackson (director of the Lord of the Rings films) stated "...these are beautifully written novels" and I couldn't agree more.

`Black Powder War' is the third installment within Temeraire series, which comprises of Temeraire, Throne of Jade and Empire of Ivory. Action-packed and intense, this thrilling adventure will have you soaring through the highest cloud and crossing vast Oceans where great ships prepare for battle. As Captain Will Laurence is returning home from China with his crew he and his Dragon are given new orders ~ to fly home immediately. Temeraire and Will are also instructed to collect three precious Dragon eggs that were purchased by the British. Their epic journey across Sea's and vast continents is fraught with danger and political interference.

Utterly spellbinding, 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.

5 Stars!
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on 8 March 2012
I have only recently started on this series and am thoroughly enjoying them. Playing wargames with miniature figures as I do, the description of the battle of Jena was fascinating. Bonaparte standing with Lien surveying the battlefield was a wonderful adaptation of the historical events leading up to the battle. The introduction of the young kazilik certainly made me smile. I am very much looking forward to the next volume.
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on 23 October 2010
I did enjoy the previous Temeraire books but felt this one was disappointing. There was very little action throughout and I found the battles quite dull - ie Temeraire helps them out with formations but you are not informed what he actually tells them to do.
I'm unsure if I will read any others in this series - maybe if I can find them in a library but doubt I will buy any more and will probably sell the ones I have as I don't think I would every read them again.
I am sure people will think this a well written classical style novel but there really isn't anything different or exciting going on. Anne McCaffrey may not be an esteemed writer but she is much more entertaining - read her dragon novels instead.
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on 7 November 2009
I love these books, they're amazing fun to read and Naomi Novik has a wonderful eye for characters and relationships. The plot pacing of this book is better than the previous two which tried to condense too much plot in the last two chapters, this one spreads it out a little bit more although it still accelerates up to a bit of a dash. This book is criminally badly edited though, with dozens of jarring errors that force you to reread and try to decode sentences. There are a few dodgy plot and character moments that don't quite ring true, but for the most part this is a wonderful series to read and I can't wait for the next one.
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on 12 July 2010
The 3rd in the fantastic Temeraire series, the story chugs along ata good pace and the characters of Lawrence & Temeraire are fleshed out a lot more.
If you've read the others then you are definately going to read this one too!
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on 28 January 2015
what can you say about Naomi Novik and her dragon saga that hasn't already been said? Witty and engaging- i could read her books anytime, anyplace.
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on 12 September 2015
Weaker than previous novels, as the narrative intensity isn't as strong, but still good - just compares to a very high bar from previous books!
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