In the first book of this series Novik introduced the slightly alternate Napoleonic world she had created; one with dragons used as instruments of war. In this book the action moves to China. Temeraire is a Chinese dragon, not only that, but a Celestial, the breed of dragon reserved for the Imperial family, and the Chinese are not too happy that William Laurence is his captain. And from a diplomatic point of view the English government want to keep China happy, even that means sending Temeraire off to China. And because a dragon won’t easily be parted from his captain, that means that Laurence must go too.
I didn’t really enjoy this book as much as the first one, they spent far too long at sea on the transport, and although some of it was entertaining, I felt that it wasn’t as engaging as the first book. Nevertheless it is still very enjoyable and well worth the read.
Novik does a good job in expanding her ‘verse, the Chinese have a very different outlook on dragons, and this begins to impact on the relationship between Laurence and Temeraire, with Laurence wondering if perhaps the dragon would be better off staying in China.
I may not have liked it as much as the first, but I’d still recommend it....Continua