Throne of Jade - Naomi Novik 3.5 stars. Despite having more action and scenes of battle within its pages, I didn't think Throne of Jade was as engaging as the first book. In this second installment, Temeraire and Laurence are mired in political troubles with China after discovering that Temeraire is a Celestial dragon, a prized breed reserved only for the Imperial family.

I loved how the friendship between Laurence and Temeraire was forged in the first book, and here the relationship continues to develop. I enjoyed how the main conflict put that relationship to the test and the resulting new dynamics, but it just didn't captivate me the same way.

The bulk of the novel also focuses on our main characters and their crew's journey to China. Despite being plagued by a multitude of obstacles, I just didn't find their long voyage by ship all that interesting. Things picked up once they arrived at the Chinese capital, but in my opinion the excitement towards the end didn't really make up for the long slog through the first three quarters of the book.