“Throne of Jade” by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade” is book #2 in the Temeraire series.
Quick review: After a victorious battle against a French ship in book #1 (“His Majesty’s Dragon“), the British ship took on an unhatched dragons egg. That egg hatched at sea and Temeraire, a Chinese Celestial Dragon, was born. He bonded with Laurence (a loving bond that lasts a lifetime). His future with Temeraire ensured, Laurence left the Navy to become an aviator. Together they formed an efficient, powerful, fighting unit against the French.
In “Throne of Jade” the Chinese want Temeraire back. They travel to England to talk to the Admiralty to make this happen. The Admiralty is not against the idea, but, Laurence and Temeraire definitely are, since they will have to be separated. Arrangements are made to keep the two together and they board a large ship on a 16 month journey to China.
The long journey found Laurence the target of assassination attempts but avoids major harm thanks to his crew and Temeraire. Because of these attacks, Temeraire is very angry at the person they think is responsible,but, since they cannot be 100% positive, Laurence advises Temeraire to stand down.
Reaching China, they find that dragons are treated very differently than they are in England. Here they have the run of the city, they go to school, and can purchase items with a signature. They are not expected to fight. While in China, Temeraire meets his mother and is learning how to read and write.
But, Laurence cannot escape the attempts on his life. A gang of ruffians attacks Laurence and his crew….luckily they received a few minutes advanced warning of the attack which gave them time to set up defenses. Temeraire was gone, but, they hoped to hold on long enough for him to return. He did not come back when expected, but, they defeated the ragtag invading gang nonetheless.
“Throne of Jade” is a fun read, but, it is not as sparkling as “His Majesty’s Dragon”. The relationship between Temeraire and Laurence deepens as they face danger together. They truly love each other and want nothing but the best for each other.