Throne of Jade

Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade Cover

Throne of Jade


As I discovered in reading the previous book in the Temeraire series, His Majesty's Dragon, this is not necessarily an action/adventure fantasy. Yes, there are skirmishes that Temeraire and the other dragons participate in and there are several other moments of action, but at the heart of this story is a beautiful friendship between man and beast - only, this beast is a massive, highly intelligent dragon.

Throne of Jade picks up right where the previous left off, with the Chinese demanding the return of their Celestial Dragon. Laurence risks the stockade with his adamant refusal to simply relinquish the dragon he has come to adore, much less lie to Temeraire as his superiors and the Chinese emissaries suggest. And Temeraire feels much the same way. But circumstances eventually force the pair into a seven month voyage from England to China in hopes of pleading their case before the Emperor himself.

The beauty of this series is in watching Temeraire grow and learn and watching Laurence grow and learn with him. If there was any doubt before, Laurence's friendship with the dragon has clearly moved well beyond that of master and pet to a very deep bond that is thoroughly tested as Temeraire learns more and more about his homeland of China. Not the least of which is the vast difference in the treatment of dragons. The way Novik winds dragons into history is already fascinating, but now we get to see them within an entirely new environment and culture.

The ending was a bit of a disappointment, but I am curious to see what Temeraire and Laurence will do with what they learn in China.