“Black Powder War” by Naomi Novik
Quick Review: In China, Laurence and Temeraire 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 away, but, they hoped to hold on long enough for him to return…….
The time has come for Temeraire and Laurence to leave China.
They have prevailed over the assassination attempts and killed the prince responsible. Unknown to Laurence and Temeraire, the prince’s dragon, the pure white Celestial, Lien, vows revenge on Temeraire and Laurence.
Ready to set sail on the ship Allegiance, a fire breaks out delaying it’s departure for several months. In that time, a letter arrives from England requesting Laurence and Temeraire make haste to Istanbul to pick up two dragon eggs before they hatch.
Not sure what to do, Laurence finally decides to take a dicey overland route to Istanbul to pick up the eggs then return to England from there.
The adventures they encounter along the way are more dangerous than they could have imagined.
“Black Powder War” is the third book in the Temeraire series. Other than dragging quite a bit while they are in Istanbul, the action is fast and furious, and their arrival in England is not at all assured as, after leaving Istanbul, they get caught up on the losing side of a war against the French and Lien. Mini-Spoiler: One of the eggs hatch, and the dragon that emerges is a feisty fire-breather.
In a secondary plot line, Temeraire wants to work to make life better for dragons in England, assuming they make it home.
To find out what happens, you will have to read the book. 🙂