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on 12 April 2016
2nd in the series, and not as good as the first in my opinion. I know this author has written a series currently stretching to ten books I believe. The truth is the idea was pretty much shot after book One. Here in book two, the dragon has become deeply philosophical and a metaphor for the situation of slavery which existed at the time of the Napoleonic wars due to exploitation of plundered resources by the developed nationals all over the globe.
Again, just a personal opinion, but I read fantasy to escape my trying life, the Fantasy compartment of which is there for escapism from such debate as Naomi Novak seems determined to weave into the threads of these novels. I have to say I have read beyond this book in the series and these conjectures are not limited to this volume alone. While the author is determined to develop a social conscience in retrospect for her reader, Captain Lawrence, our hero, strangely becomes inactive and given the weapon he controls in the form of his magnificent dragon, allows himself to be controlled both geographically and physically by a most unlikely and I found annoying plot line, which having read on seems to be solely a mechanism to allow the Dragon to develop in a way that allows the author to discuss with herself between the two main characters her own social and political conundrums.
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on 2 December 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, “Temeraire”, so eagerly bought this second book and was looking forward to reading it. Dragons being used as flying battleships to thwart Napoleon, what is there not to like. Alas this second book is not as good. I just could not get into the characters at all, the evil prince was a very cardboard cut out villain, a lot of the supporting cast were barely sketched out as people I should care about. The major part of the book covers a 7+ month sea voyage and it did feel reading it took me 7 months. This part really needed to be cut down to make the story faster paced. It is very slow going.

There are quite a few set piece action bits, which were well written, but they often felt an aside to main story as there was little after effects from the events described. (One character tries to kill another, gets pushed over board from the ship, dies. The characters left say “We will not say anything of this.” and indeed they don’t and nothing more is said. It ended so abruptly.)

The actions bits were separated by a lot of the main character endlessly musing about life, the universe and everything. Far too much as far as I was concerned. I must confess I skipped some of these passages as I wanted the story not the endless thoughts of the main character going over over what seemed the same thing again and again.

Not sure if I will buy the next book in the series. I am going to have to check the reviews a lot more closely.
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on 15 October 2010
It is 1805 and the Napoleonic Wars are raging. Trafalgar has been fought and won, but Austerlitz is soon to come. Fleets and armies, and overhead flights of dragons claw, spit and hurl fire in defence of their nations. Novik has created a real twist by combining fantasy with alternate history.

Throne of Jade continues the story of Captain Laurence and his dragon Temeraire, as they travel to China to face the threat of being separated. It is Novik's credit that she faces the situation she created in the first book head on, rather than waving it off between books. Temeraire is a chinese dragon, captured in the egg from the French, who obtained it in mysterious circumstances, and now the Chinese are demanding it back. Novik clearly knows her history, telling us that the danger to trade from the Far East means this has to be taken seriously, and soon Laurence and Temeraire are being shipped off to China to an uncertain fate.

Comparisions with Patrick O'Brien's style of plotting start to become irresistable, as the long voyage is used to bring out characters and the machinations of the Chinese. However, Novik lacks the skill to skip the travelogue where necessary, so the middle third of the book drags a little, livened up by a combat that seems a little contrived.

Once in China, we see Temeraire at his best, as a real rounded character pondering the place of dragons in a human world, but maintaining a real and believable relationship with his human pilot, Laurence. There have been many attempts in fantasy to portray relationships between man and monster, and Novik makes one of the best.

The Chinese section of the book produces the climax of the plot, and the plotting that is revealed to have been going on. The villain and his motivation is a little too easy to spot in the end, and combined with the flabby midsection of the book drags it down from five-star status, but is still well worth reading.
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on 13 January 2012
In the second of the Temeraire series, Novik widens the scenario from the first book. The Chinese want Temeraire back and eventually, if reluctantly, agree that Laurence can accompany him to China. En route, there are assassination attempts on board the transport ship, and storms to contend with - both physical and emotional.

I love Temeraire and really like what Novik does in this book. Admittedly, we miss the other dragons and their captains, but to compensate there are interesting developments in the relationship between Temeraire and Laurence when they arrive in China.

If you're looking for something action-packed and fast-paced then this may disappoint. Much of the interest comes from the interaction of the characters, not least the political machinations and the confrontation between English and Chinese.

Temeraire's education into what it means to be a dragon in China is done very well, and his maturation leads to some nice interplay with Laurence.

So this is a slower book, in lots of ways, than the first but I still found it completely engrossing.
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on 7 September 2014
Love love love love love. Well written, real edge-of-the-seat stuff with the period detail and manner of speech absolutely spot on. A pleasure to read in every sense. The dragons fit in as totally logical, the Napoleonic era is as real as it gets. This series should be made into a film.

I've bought the entire series, read them one after the other, and am now chafing for the next one.
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on 19 October 2013
I read the first book of Naomi Novik's dragon series as I was given a copy of it. It took me ages to actually start reading though as it just sounded an odd premise behind it. Once I started reading it though I couldn't stop! The book was brilliant and I just loved the central characters.

I would highly recommend starting to read this series. I have read some reviews that towards the end of the series the books aren't as good. I would still recommend starting the series though as each book is a good enough story in its own right.
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on 21 May 2015
Perhaps the resolution was a little simple after the massive fuss of the story, but I was gripped the whole way there. If you liked the first book in the series, this is definitely worth a read. We learn a little more about where Temeraire cane from, meet some of his kin and find a new purpose for both him and Laurence.
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on 19 February 2018
Just gets better with each book, okay it's fantasy interwoven with history, but that is what we fantasy readers love
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on 12 September 2015
This is s wonderful opener to an excellent series - a weirdly true-to-life reconstruction of Britain's military from that period, reimagined with Dragons forcing some incremental social change. It's also a rip roaring page turner that grabs you and drags you in. Bought on a whim, but I'm so glad I did!
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on 20 September 2016
As enjoyable as the first book but an entirely different tale, more measured in pace but punctuated by explosive action with some nice twists along the way.
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