So, I admit that back in January I was so taken with the idea of His Majesty’s Dragon, that I didn’t bother telling y’all about the book at all. The reason being: there really isn’t that much to tell. Man (Laurence) gets dragon (Temeraire) and learns to love said dragon, fighting in conflicts with him. It was a world- and idea-driven book.
Which tends not to be enough to warrant another book. I found with Throne of Jade, that the world had lost it’s novelty and that the story left behind wasn’t quite enough for me. Not that I abandoned the book. Novack kept me turning pages for one reason: I wanted to know how on earth Laurence and Temeraire managed to stay together. For the basic premise of this book is that the Chinese government is highly offended that Temeraire (who is a Chinese Celestial, and is only supposed to be reserved for royalty) is being used as a pack animal, and in a war to boot. So, they are demanding that Temeraire be returned to China.
And what ensues is pretty typical. There’s a Bad Guy, whom you are supposed to suspect. And the Good Guy (Laurence) is supposed to over come all (assassination attempts, jealousy of Temeraire, uncertainty, boredom), and he does. There’s an Annoying Diplomat, who manages to get his way in the end, even though he’s not interesting at all, but rather a great big prick. There’s the Good Bad Guy, a Chinese noble who ends up being on Laurence’s side, but I, at least, saw it coming.
Enough complaints. You do have to read this one, though, because it focuses on Novak’s higher arc: revolution for the English dragons. Temeraire has to go to China, if only to see how dragons in China are treated.
And Hubby assures me that Black Powder War is much better.