four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
25-Nov-Dec-2006
By: 
Naomi Novik
user_rating: 
0

Temeraire, Book 2

A-Throne of JadeIn the first book of the Temeraire trilogy, His Majesty’s Dragon ( 3.5 of 5 Stars Mar/Apr 2006), Captain Will Laurence of the British Navy captures a French ship that holds an egg. Though the novels are set in the era of the Napoleonic Wars, the skies are astir with sentient, warring dragons, and Laurence’s discovery hatches an exceedingly rare Chinese Celestial dragon named Temeraire. In Throne of Jade, the Chinese discover the invaluable dragon is in English hands and demand its return. Laurence and Temeraire make the long voyage to China together to deal with the intrigues of the Imperial Court, and, in the process, they learn a thing or two about the proper treatment of a dragon.
Del Rey. 432 pages. $7.50. ISBN: 0345481291

SF Reviews.net 4 of 5 Stars
"This sharp change of setting from that of the first novel to a more exotic locale throws open the scope of the series, and shows Naomi Novik’s willingness to explore the full stage of history, not merely one corner of it." T. M. Wagner

Strange Horizons 4 of 5 Stars
"Readers who are tired of chewing their nails waiting for future installments to resolve cliffhangers, or those who simply don’t ‘do’ series fiction, will find the self-contained excitement of each volume a welcome change." Rose Fox

SFFWorld.com 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Throne of Jade is a worthy successor to a fine and entertaining debut novel. Novik is telling some a very enjoyable story in these two books, and with Black Powder War, the third Temeraire novel already on the shelves, readers are in for a satisfying fantastical treat." Bob H. Bedford

Entertainment Weekly 3.5 of 5 Stars
"The second book in Novik’s trilogy is less revelatory but still beats with meticulously crafted wonder." Marc Bernardin

Critical Summary

It’s tough to top the novelty of a new series, especially one that intermingles historical fiction and high fantasy. If reviewers aren’t as agog over this new installment, write it off to familiarity, not boredom. Like any good middle of a trilogy, relationships are deepened, new characters are introduced, and novel plot twists set up a run toward the finale, Black Powder War—which, thanks to an aggressive publishing schedule, has already come out in hardcover. Throne of Jade is a solid second entry in what is shaping up to be an intriguing series.