Book Review: Black Powder War


Title: Black Powder War
Author: Naomi Novik
Publication Date: 2006
Publishing House: Del Rey Books

This is book three in the Temeraire series. When I first started reading this series I thought there were five books, but no, there are nine. That is just a general heads up for those that are interested in the story of Temeraire and Captain Laurence.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Picking up where book two left off (in China, Macau) Captain Will Laurence and his extraordinary dragon, Temeraire, are ordered to retrieve and escort a precious cargo of valuable dragon eggs from Istanbul to England. They take the Old Silk Road from China to Istanbul, crossing deserts and mountains. En route to England, they help the beleaguered Prussians battle Napoleon.

Book three starts right where book two ended in China. This book is almost episodic, Temeraire and his crew move from adventure to adventure. What I enjoyed most about this book was Temeraire development. He has always been an intelligent dragon, smarter than most humans but he wants something better for all the dragons. In China he saw how dragons were revered and the cities designed with their size in mind whereas in the west, dragons are essentially seen as property. One of the subplots is Laurence working with Temeraire and discussing the better ways to go about changing things for dragons in England along with how war time changes what might be possible.

This book introduces new friends and we get a better understanding of old enemies. Napoleon makes the advance he does because he is willing to do what his foes, Laurence and Temeraire’s superiors, are not willing to do: listen to a dragon as an equal and understand that they are a subject matter expert in aerial combat as well as understanding other dragons. As a reader I appreciate that the author writes a intelligent villain, even if I don’t like him.

I would suggest starting with the first book in this series. This is a great series for fans of historical fantasy, fans of history, and those that just love dragons. These dragons do love a good fight. If you have read this series before I’d love to know what you think. Let me know in the comments. Happy reading!

Other Reviews for the Temeraire Series:

Other Book Reviews for Naomi Novik:

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