Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Might contain spoilers.
Beautifully expands the world of the series. It’s unfortunate that this instalment deals primarily with life and intrigue aboard a ship, but the writing remains good enough that one can’t put it down. Some of the mentions of Chinese food and spices make my mouth water.
Hammond’s character really changes completely in the end, when he proves himself by fighting alongside Laurence and the others. And how conveniently heroic of Laurence’s father to be fighting against slavery. I’m saddened to see Laurence himself unwillingly at loggerheads with Riley after how we’re introduced to him in the first book. (To be fair, however, it’s mostly though not only because of the length of the journey.)
The attack on the British contingent while Temeraire is… occupied with Mei goes on too long.
As it happens, I was missing the last three books in the series before I began, so I ordered them online, and the last one arrived halfway through my reading Throne of Jade. It’s clear from its title (League of Dragons) that Temeraire is quite serious about changing the world. His drive is eminently believable, too. Even I, as the reader, was fooled into thinking the life of a British dragon was natural and proper, whereas there is in fact nothing admirable or right about their treatment of dragons.
Next in series: Black Powder War by Naomi Novik(#3 in Thoughts & Spoilers: Books: Temeraire (2006))