Naomi Novik’s third Temeraire novel follows directly from the events of Throne of Jade, as Laurence and Temeraire make their leave from
Along the way, they come across some feral dragons as they traverse the landscape. I thought this was a nice way for Novik to further showcase the breadth of dragon life in her imagined world. Their way of life and attitudes contrasted with Temeraire’s in a very stark fashion, and proved further thought for Temeraire to examine his own young life in relation to both the feral dragons and Chinese Dragons.
In His Majesty’s Dragon Laurence was forced into the Aerial Corps, in Throne of Jade Laurence was made to travel to
After two books, Temeraire has grown and is a much more inquisitive character, and hopes to bring some of the Chinese’s sensibilities about dragons back to
One problem I had; however, was Temeraire’s incessant questions to Laurence. While I understand the curiosity of youth and Temeraire’s hopes of bettering life for him and his kind, the questions did become a bit of a drag on the plot. I suppose one could consider this as Temeraire as finding himself, growing through the ever-frustrating, and often trying teen years. Perhaps Novik’s intention here was to begin building something a rift between Laurence and his “dear” dragon, but it did more to grate on the nerves of this reader.
While Novik adequately continues the adventures of Temeraire, readers may be better served to read the installments with some time between books. Three books into this continually evolving series, it is clear Novik is having a lot of fun, and this might be her greatest strength. The fun comes through on the page and makes for an entertaining story. Through the three books, she does maintain a strong voice with both Temeraire and Laurence and sustains a solid narrative, while adding new flavors with each book. As it is, Novik is building an interesting alternate-world that are entertaining reads, with these books. While this does bring the trilogy to a close, Novik has planted enough seeds to germinate in future books.
© 2006 Rob H. Bedford
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