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Black Powder War (Temeraire, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – May 30, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews
Book 3 of 8 in the Temeraire Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Captain Laurence had commanded a ship in the Royal Navy (see His Majesty's Dragon, 2006) but was relegated to the aviator corps after bonding with the hatchling from the dragon egg his ship found aboard a French prize his ship had seized. He and Temeraire, the hatchling, are a team now. In Throne of Jade (2006), the admiralty want sent Temeraire to China with Laurence. Temeraire is a Celestial, hence among the very finest of dragons. Indeed, Temeraire, or Lung Tien Xiang, is an imperial prince. At the end of Throne of Jade, the British party, including Temeraire, is free to return to England. In Black Powder War, urgent orders lead them overland to Turkey, where they encounter a vengeful Lung they had worsted in Peking. Laurence and Temeraire reach German lands in time for the battle of Jena, where they face Napoleon's corps, a ferocious French dragon, and the disgruntled Lung. Novik's magical eighteenth century, peopled with sympathetic characters, induces avid reading. Long may she write! Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

''Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of history, sympathetic characters, and an engaging style makes this series great, intelligent fun.'The Times `Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible invention. In short a treat.'The Telegraph `These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart.'Peter Jackson `Novik has stirred the passions with a genre-busting historical fantasy of the first order.'Sunday Sport 'In the best tradition of fantasy, historical fiction and nautical novels.'Guardian
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Edition Unstated edition (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345481305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345481306
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author, coder, fangirl, geek. Come talk to me @naominovik on twitter or ask me questions at goodreads or at naominovik.com!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Easily the best of the bunch, "Black Powder War" is the third in the historical fantasy Temeraire series. We start as Laurence and crew are leaving China, Laurence having just become the adopted son of the Chinese emperor so that he is worthy of a dragon of Temeraire's class. All our friends are on a slow ship heading back to Britain when a fire breaks out on board, nearly gutting the ship and causing a possible three month delay while its repaired, The dragon crew considers going overland, but are forced to when an urgent message comes from England-three dragon eggs have been purchased from the Ottoman empire by England and they need Temeraire to pick them up and deliver them.

Of course the journey overland is hard, and involves a meeting with a large group of feral dragons-who turn out to be not so feral after all. While they tell Temeraire a soap opera story about dragons he continues on his quest to get better treatment, including city residences and pay, for the British dragons. Laurence is worried about such thoughts, because he knows that nothing like that will ever come to pass and he doesn't want Temeraire to desert for China and a better life.

Once in the Ottoman Empire there are problems, and the shadow of the mad and evil white Celestial dragon hangs over Laurence's head as she follows them west. Soon problems from Napoleon and the eggs overthrow any of Laurence's concerns about Temeraire, and everyone's lives are thrown into peril.

Temeraire really gets a personality in this book, and even Laurence's worrying and duty bound personality begins to improve. The feral dragons are a riot, and the action in this book is breathtaking.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hesitant in buying this last one because the reviews I was reading seemed to dwell on the military campaigns of Napoleon (yes, he makes a cameo appearance). I supposed the title of the book didn't help. But really the Napoleonic War doesn't start until Page 200 of a 365 Page Book. And I was surprised to see how skillfully and plausibly the author wove the dragons into the war. It was a WORTHY and Most Exciting finale to the Temeraire Trilogy.

Do not miss any of it. You will see how expertly the dragons are used in battle. How Lien, the outcast albino dragon, who lost her captain, the perfidious prince Yongxing (read THRONE OF JADE), defected to the side of the French, in order to effect a most ingenious revenge on Temeraire and Laurence.

Most noteworthy is the development of the dragon psyche. We are introduced to the feral dragons of the Turkish mountains . . dragons in their natural state who have never known the harness but consequently aren't that well-fed either. (Comic relief after a particularly intense journey through the desert). And Temeraire beg us to consider the emancipation of all dragons though his fascinating discussions with Laurence concerning the issues of choice and freedom. THere's also the dragon eggs themselves-- whose value-- figures a greal deal in all the books. How do the dragons feel about separation from their eggs?

5 Stars! (Some heartbreak in the fate of some members of Temeraire's crew.) I do so hate these moments when I have to whip out a hanky for characters in a Fantasy! But I guess that tells you how well-written this book truly is!

I look forward to more, Ms. Novik! Consider me a life-long fan!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is quite similar to the previous two in the series, which I count as a point in its favor. I might have liked more dragon-master relationship building, but I was not displeased overall on that count.

This book was however severely wanting in any kind of satisfactory ending. Maybe it is because I rarely read fantasy, and tend to stay away from "endless" epic adventure stories...but I would have imagined that three books would have contained enough pages to have fully told a complete story. With this book's ending, I really get the feeling that I am being strung along. I know this is probably wise marketing, and that some fantasy readers love a series that promises never to end. I however, and I am sure some others of you out there, want an engaging tale told over one, or at most a few, books.

As it is Novik seems to have taken at most two books worth of material, stretched it out to three, and STILL not managed to tie anything of consequence up in the process.

So, while the book was still on the whole enjoyable, this is a warning to others like me who were hoping for a nice trilogy and not a never-ending story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While the third volume in the ongoing series (not a trilogy as it initially appeared) sticks fairly closely to the mold of the first two, there is enough novelty and interesting development here to keep the reader eagerly reading. The end is only disappointing insofar as at the finish of this volume there appears to be no real end in sight. On the one hand, that is cause for minor celebration, since it means that the characters who have been introduced in the first three volumes will be around for some time -- I wouldn't be surprised if this draws out to nine or ten volumes. On the other hand, some kind of real closure would be nice -- even if it were to begin again with another trilogy. What distinguishes this fantasy series from many other popular fantasy pieces is that it is tied to historical events (that are reimagined and tweaked, to accommodate within an alternate reality like our own the existence of intelligent dragons). That means it can't have some kind of artificial ending (Harry Potter finishes at Hogwarts, and/or he or Voldemort die; the Ring gets destroyed; etc.), but only the relative kind of ending that is possible in real history (a battle ends and there is a time before a new one begins; a king is crowned; a revolution takes place, etc.). This one ends, it seems, with no more certainty than the series began with. Temeraire has greater ambitions for dragonkind, but it is gradually becoming clear that these ambitions will have to take second place to the war with Napoleon.Read more ›
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