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Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Black Powder War (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Naomi Novik

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2,9121061,981 (3.84)158
Title:Black Powder War
Authors:Naomi Novik
Info:Del Rey (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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Black Powder War by Naomi Novik (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
The third book in the series is as exciting and compelling as the last two. The adventures of Laurence and Temeraire continue as they receive orders to head to Istanbul to bring home three eggs that the British government have purchased. I have already started reading the next book [Empire of Ivory]! I love these books. ( )
  nebula21 | Jul 31, 2015 |
Here we pick up with Laurence and Temeraire who are still in China. They have been granted permission to stay together as captain and dragon. Shortly though they receive word that they must go immediately to get 3 dragon eggs. This book follows their progress through the wilderness with a guide that seems to be coming and going and likely betraying them. They meet up with some feral dragons who Temeraire talks into coming with them. They lose some gain the eggs and leave quickly since they had to steal them because the others were going back on their word. Then they meet up with Prussians and are forced to aid them in their war with the French.

I like this series and the development of the story as well as Temeraire's character. He is a good thoughtful and funny dragon. The ease of his sense of things makes for some comical conversations and I can completely see Laurence's reactions with how well the descriptions are written. My only complaint is the pace of this book. They were going and then stopping and going and stopping. There was so much time spent waiting and after all the waiting in Empire of Jade I got a little bored with it. Still I stuck through it and was rewarded with great writing and a good story. This is the third in the series. The other titles are:

His Majesty's Dragon
Throne of Jade
Black Powder War
Empire of Ivory
Victory of Eagles
Tongues of Serpents

So i can't wait to move onto Empire of Ivory and see where this story takes me to next!
( )
  jessica_reads | Mar 24, 2015 |
Description: Naomi Novik's stunning series of novels follow the adventures of Cpt Laurence and his dragon Temeraire as they travel from the shores of Britain to China and Africa. Before Captain Will Laurence can prepare his crew for the slow voyage home from China, new orders arrive for him and his dragon, Temeraire: they must fly home immediately, stopping only in Istanbul to collect three priceless dragon eggs, purchased by the British government from the Ottoman Empire. But the cross-continental journey is fraught with danger; not only will they have to scale mountains and traverse vast hostile deserts, but a Machiavellian herald precedes them, spreading political menace in her wake and attempting to destroy everything and everyone Temeraire loves.

Thoughts: Yay, not boring! I much prefer to read overland long journeys than sea voyages because so much more can happen!

This installment may be my favorite so far. There is lots of lovely and interesting country to cover. Many fascinating characters and cultures to interact with. And, most compelling for me, so many different views on dragons!

Let me tell you this without being spoilery: Iskierka. When you get to Iskierka you will understand. Iskierka is flipping wonderful.

The last section in Prussia was a bit overlong for my tastes but it was still interesting and fit very well given we are talking about the Napoleonic Wars here.

Rating: 4.1

Liked: 4
Plot: 4
Characterization: 4.5
Writing: 4

https://www.librarything.com/topic/172068#4755697 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 20, 2015 |
I do enjoy this alternate history series in which the Napoleonic Wars are fought using dragons. This is the third book in the series and takes us from China to Istanbul to Austria and finally to Danzig on the North Sea. I listened to this book and the previous one because they are narrated by Simon Vance who does a superb job.

Temeraire and his captain, William Laurence, were ordered to proceed to Istanbul from China to pick up 3 dragon eggs from the Turkish sultan. Since their transport ship needed extensive repairs before it could go to sea, Temeraire and his crew decide to fly overland to istanbul. The courier who brought the orders, Tharkey, agrees to guide them across the deserts they must cross as he has made the crossing a number of times. Various dangers ensue but they do eventually make it to Istanbul in company with a group of feral dragons they met in the mountains of Turkestan. More problems with getting the dragon eggs, not the least of which is the white dragon Lien who has vowed to destroy everything Temeraire holds dear. Lien has aligned herself with Napoleon specifically to do so.

A rousing finish to the book ensures that I will soon be returning to this series. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jan 11, 2015 |
I am seriously becoming progressively more disenchanted with this series the longer I continue reading. The faults seem to magnify and the good points seem to dwindle the more I read.

These books seem more like a historical recounting rather than story. Before, in the other two books, the focus was more on the characters and the world. But now, the main importance seems more about political ideologies and the war between France and the world. Perhaps it is because I don't habitually enjoy historical fiction, but I find most of the book dry and plot-less. The end does pick up though.

I know it's important for the series that Temeraire pushes for dragon rights and equality and all that good stuff, but good grief, I'm getting sick of it. It's like I'm reading the Social Contract or something. Not to mention his naivety is getting a little grating. It's expected and completely in character, but argh it's getting frustrating to the point where I personally think it becomes more of a flaw in the character design.

Also, the bond between Temeraire and Laurence is also becoming less believable as the series progresses. They are basically inseparable, but there has been so many events that seems to make them disagree and split apart. And yet, there are no real compromising scenes of philosophical agreement or discussion of such personal differences, there is no resolution to their disagreement. Instead, they rely on the initial bond to keep them together and in harmony. Which is more of an easy excuse to mend any problems.

I'm starting to get annoyed at Laurence and his stiff-necked formality. I just love reading about his one-sided understanding of how the world works and how duty and authority is the meaning to life, basically. Ah, excuse my dripping sarcasm. Sigh, I don't hate him. But it's just that sometimes Laurence is a hard main character to love.

And then the plot. Where is the plot???? (I know it's not good writing, but I use so many question marks because I am that desperate!) I'm getting bored of how slow the book is progressing. It seems we stop in every single city and wind up having problems that are so easily solved in the end, but somehow it takes a couple hundred pages. It's getting to the point where I contemplate skipping every fifty pages to see if I would even miss anything important.

Oh yes, yes. I'm just ranting about my problems with the book. Sure, there are some good points too. It's all the same stuff as the first two books. Novik writes well, she has a strong understanding of how to write characters and hidden emotions, and etc.

At first I had also written off the battles because the fighting in the first two books were hardly interesting, being more about forced action and historical references. But surprisingly, I enjoyed most of the war scenes towards the end simply because they seemed to be contain more about strategy and decision making more than a mere battle. Unfortunately, dragon battle is just as ridiculous as it was in the first book. Similarly, the ending always seems to be a dragon-ex-machina and they mysteriously get out of an impossibly battle situation, no problem. Bah.

Ultimately, I just can't get over the problems that seem to be growing in size. Or maybe I just have a magnifying glass glued to my eyes as I read the book, who knows.
Or maybe it's because I'm reading this series one right after the other without much pause - and maybe Novik's slow paced books need a year in between so you can build up the patience to read through it without wanting to slam your head on the wall because the story moves so slowly.
Who knows.

Regardless, two and a half stars, because it is strong writing. Rounded down because I am so frustrated. Might round up later if I'm feeling less annoyed later, but I doubt it.
I don't think I will pick up the next book. Maybe not for another year and I build up the curiosity of what happens next. Maybe.
( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for my mother
in small return for many bajki cudowne
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Even looking into the gardens at night, Laurence could not imagine himself home; too many bright lanterns looking out from the trees, red and gold under the upturned roof-corners; the sound of laughter behind him like a foreign country.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345481305, Mass Market Paperback)

“A splendid series.”
–Anne McCaffrey

“Naomi Novik has done for the Napoleonic Wars what Anne McCaffrey did for science fiction: constructed an alternate reality in which dragons are real in a saga that is impressively original, fully developed, and peopled with characters you care about.”
–David Weber, author of the Honor Harrington series

After their fateful adventure in China, Capt. Will Laurence of His Majesty’s Aerial Corps and his extraordinary dragon, Temeraire, are waylaid by a mysterious envoy bearing urgent new orders from Britain. Three valuable dragon eggs have been purchased from the Ottoman Empire, and Laurence and Temeraire must detour to Istanbul to escort the precious cargo back to England. Time is of the essence if the eggs are to be borne home before hatching.

Yet disaster threatens the mission at every turn–thanks to the diabolical machinations of the Chinese dragon Lien, who blames Temeraire for her master’s death and vows to ally herself with Napoleon and take vengeance. Then, faced with shattering betrayal in an unexpected place, Laurence, Temeraire, and their squad must launch a daring offensive. But what chance do they have against the massed forces of Bonaparte’s implacable army?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:10 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the wake of their adventure in China, Captain Will Laurence of His Majesty's Aerial Corps and his dragon, Temeraire, are sent on a mission to protect three valuable dragon eggs on a trip back to England from the Ottoman Empire, but the vengeful Chinese dragon Lien allies herself with Napoleon to stop them.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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