Finally I got around to reading the second book in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, Throne of Jade.
Whereas the first book introduces you to Temeraire and his Captain, Laurence, this second book sails away from the shores of Britain (and their conflicts with Napoleon) to distant China. The Chinese are intent on re-claiming Temeraire, a rare Celestial who (in egg) had been intended for Napoleon but the French transport was captured en route by Laurence and his crew. The Chinese certainly did not reckon on Temeraire’s fierce loyalty to Laurence – or vice versa. After a long and at times dangerous journey, will the lures of a different way of life for Dragons in the Far East prove seductive to Temeraire? Or will China prove more perilous than the way there?
This was a very enjoyable sequel to the first, though I must admit it did not capture my imagination quite as thoroughly as His Majesty’s Dragon. It WAS an interesting view of life at sea (albeit within an alternate history) during the 1800s. The first part of the book is the lead-up to them leaving, the second the ocean journey, and the third their arrival and reception in China. I really like Temeraire, and respect that he is intelligent, interested, and willing to challenge and question the status quo. Laurence, who is a bit of a stuffed shirt at times, acquits himself well in the end, though is no scholar or intellectual himself. Temeraire is also a feisty and at times impulsive character, which balances out Laurence’s gentlemanly sensibilities.
There are very few females in this book (Roland being one of the few), which is guess is typical of the era, but I’m looking forward to potentially seeing more women in the next books (if only ones you meet previously).
4 / 5 – I’m excited for the next book !