Paperback Perils: Throne of Jade

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Title: Throne of Jade
Author: Naomi Novik
Publication Date: 2006
Publishing House: Ballantine Books

This is the second book in the Temeraire series and it has been sitting on my shelves for years. I’m glad to have finally read it. Read the review for the first book in the series here.

Synopsis from Goodreads

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces.

Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await.

This book is odd because it is a lot of travel with a little bit of China. Despite all that is learned in China I still feel that there should have been more. I’m jumping ahead here. In England dragons are feared by most of the population. Only the members of the Aerial Corps truly know and understand them. This fear keeps the dragons’ lives very limited: they either fly for the Aerial Corps or they live as ferals on the breeding grounds, far removed from the human population.

In China, dragons are a species of citizen. They walk among the human population, working and living as respected citizens but it is not a perfect system. There is class separation based on dragon species. The Imperials and Celestial dragons are only fit to be paired with emperors. They are scholars and think fighting beneath them.

Generally I really enjoyed this book, it has a little bit of middle book syndrome mainly with the resolution being too neat and tidy. Overall the story is a fun read. I suggest this book for those that enjoyed the first in the series, for fans of dragons, and for those that like to see things change. Happy reading.

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