It's tough to top the novelty of a new series, especially one that intermingles historical fiction and high fantasy. If reviewers aren't as agog over this new installment, write it off to familiarity, not boredom. Like any good middle of a trilogy, relationships are deepened, new characters are introduced, and novel plot twists set up a run toward the finale, Black Powder War
which, thanks to an aggressive publishing schedule, has already come out in hardcover. Throne of Jade
is a solid second entry in what is shaping up to be an intriguing series.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
*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, and at the opening of Throne of Jade,
he won't accept that the admiralty wants to send Temeraire back to China and him, Laurence, to trick the dragon into going. But Temeraire, it turns out, is a Celestial, hence among the very finest of dragons, and the Chinese ambassador insists he be returned. Temeraire agrees to go only if Laurence does, too, and after an adventurous transit--transporting dragons by sea from England to China with eighteenth-century sailing technology is no picnic--the English party arrives to face the intrigues of the Chinese court. The court is an eye-opener for the aviators. Dragons aren't treated as servants or beasts of burden, as they are in Europe, but as lords and princes. Temeraire, or Lung Tien Xiang, is an imperial prince, with kin in Peking. But Cain and Abel also exist among dragons, and a trail of intrigue begun in London excitingly climaxes at the imperial court. At the end of Throne of Jade
, the British party, including Temeraire, is free to return to England. Frieda MurrayCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved