Sunday, January 15, 2017

Naomi Novik’s Throne of Jade: A Book Review

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Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik’s follow up to Her Majesty’s Dragon, follows the Celestial dragon Temeraire not long after his great victory over Napoleon. In this tale, the scene shifts from England to a transport ship destined for China and then the ancient country itself. While the journey is long, perhaps too long at times, Novik blends her penchant for battle, pushing Temeraire through one prior to departure, one at sea, and climatic struggles within China itself, with the international intrigue of Temeraire himself. While the dragon has bonded to Laurence, there are only a handful of his breed in the world, all of which are bonded to members of the Chinese royal family. Thus, despite his royal lineage, a past that Laurence often overlooks himself, the captain is seen as below station and not suitable of such a large, elegant animal.

With these debates in hand, the duo journeys to China in hopes of staying together. Yet the encounter espionage, murder, and a culture that not only reveres dragons, but treats them like men. With Throne of Jade, Novik has a gem. She now knows her destination, and she dazzles down this course of action with intent. At the focal point of her tale rests the bond between Temeraire and Laurence, but beyond this fact is the ambition and intellect of the dragon himself. Novik spreads her and her dragon’s wings, pulling the reader through a tale that enthralls and is a must read.

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