Book Review: Throne Of Jade (Temeraire #2), by Naomi Novik
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Date Published: April 2006
Publisher: Del Rey
# Of Pages/Listening Time: 398 pages/11 hours 45 minutes
Goodreads | Audible
Synopsis: 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.
.....For being better on the re-read
Bwahaha! I finished a book right on time! Fear my freakishly organized reading schedule!
.....Anywhoo, on to the review!
I think I can safely say that I enjoyed this story more the second time around.
I only vaguely remembered what happened in this story. I knew there were certain key plot points that were going to happen, but I couldn't remember the details, so it made the re-read a little more intriguing and entertaining.
What really makes this book excellent is the cultural differences that Naomi Novik brings up over and over again throughout the novel. She took two existing historical cultures, inserted dragons, and created brilliant contrasts between them. I am very much impressed by the amount of detail that went into this, especially with the politics. Because I was able to focus more on how the two cultures interacted with each other, I felt that the parts that felt tedious before were not as slow this time around. I really found it a fascinating read from an anthropological perspective.
I also really love Temeraire. He has such a frank view of the world, and his exposure to different places is making him a very idealistic dragon. It's difficult to argue with his point of view, and I loved watching Laurence struggle with the many debates they've had. Laurence has had a rather narrow-minded upbringing, so watching him slowly open up to new ideas and concepts is making me feel pretty victorious.
Anyone who studied the social sciences in high school or college would find this series a pretty fun read. It may not be the most action-packed fantasy out there, but there's enough detail in the back ground to make it worth a look.