A review by tjwallace04
Throne of Jade, by Naomi Novik

adventurous tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I still absolutely love the premise of the Temeraire series (alternate history, Napoleonic war with dragons, Jane Austen meets Robin Hobb, etc.), but this second book had some uneven pacing that made it a bit of a chore. It starts with a bang and ends with a bang, but there is a long, dragging part in the middle with a sea journey that felt endless. The whole plot of this book also kind of hurt my heart. I hated my best dragon boi and his best captain friend being "in trouble" pretty much the whole time.

However! "Throne of Jade" increased my interest in the overall plot arc of the series. I thought I caught hints in the first book of a campaign for dragon rights, and it looks like that *is* the direction the series is headed, and I am excited for that.

And also I continue to be impressed with how the historical elements of the book are presented. I am guessing Novik did a lot of research about the era, the Napoleonic wars, ship life, etc. It all feels very believable (other than the dragons obvs) and grounded in fact. I was actually concurrently reading a book called "Jane Austen at Home" that looks closely at life in the Georgian and Regency periods in Britain, and these two books melded so nicely. (I love when that happens!) While I feel like I have a little bit of knowledge about British culture of that era, I know nothing about Chinese history/culture, so I wondered how accurate those parts were. I assume equally well-researched!