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Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Black Powder War (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Naomi Novik

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3,1641131,769 (3.84)181
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)

  1. 00
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Alternate histories of great military events tie these together.
  2. 02
    Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (adavmn)

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Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
The third book featuring Novik's unique mashup of Napoleanic War tales and dragons, Black Powder War sees Will Laurence and his dragon Temeraire leaving China and making their way overland to Istanbul to take charge of 3 dragons eggs purchased by the British government. The journey is rough, their guide is questionable, and Laurence struggles daily with an incredibly intelligent dragon who has little respect for any authority that isn't his and who has begun to wonder at the way dragons are treated by humans.

I'm really loving this series. I should have picked it up years ago, but somehow I didn't. Clearly, I'm an idiot. Novik goes out of her way to ground these books in gritty, historical reality and to integrate dragons into her world as realistically as possible.

But as fascinating as the realism is, Novik's real gift is for characters, from Laurence, very much a man of his times who is being forced to confront the validity of many of his beliefs about the way things ought to be, to Temeraire, an extremely powerful adolescent with a curious mind and a loyal heart. The other characters, human and dragon alike, are memorable and well-drawn.

If adventure stories are your thing, you'll love the battle scenes and various shenanigans the characters get up to and you'll forget that the dragons aren't supposed to be there. If historical fiction is what you look for, you'll love the rich detail of London, China, the Ottoman Empire and daily life for a soldier in wartime. And if dragons make your heart go pitty-pat, you've simply got to meet Temeraire and Volly and Lien and the rest. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
It always thrills me to return to Temeraire and his captain Lawrence. Of course if you haven’t read this series you should start from the first book, when Lawrence first meets the dragon Temeraire. This book is the third in the series and continues their tale which is set during the Napoleonic wars and features a air corps of dragons!
  RealLifeReading | Nov 5, 2016 |
As historical fiction, this serieshas moments of drama and historical authenticity but the characters and dialogoue are is not up to comparison with better work.

As SF, the dragons are silly - intelligent and able to speak? They think like teenage boys and Jane Austen heroines. And the domestication of dragons has not changed the course of history anywhere in the world before 1805?

More like a fanfic bodice-ripper. Enough time wasted ( )
  BraveKelso | Sep 12, 2016 |
The Napoleonic Wars with dragons series continues with this third entry and sees the dynamic duo of Temeraire and Laurence leaving China with the rest of the crew when they receive orders to collect three dragon eggs from their Turkish allies. Seemingly a strange request as there would surely be others closer and time is a pressing concern in the matter as at least one of the eggs is near hatching. Having to take the overland route a guide is hired to see them through troublesome region though not without misgivings to his trustworthiness. It also seems that Lien, the dragon left bereft of her captain in the previous book, is travelling in the same direction and may plan to make trouble for them along the way. After various travails they end up being slap bang in the middle of the Prussian campaign. Can Temeraire’s influence turn the tide against the French or will Lien’s interference only hasten the ongoing march of Napoleon’s armies?

This is a decent continuation of the series but it’s not a great one. There is a sense of stop-start that pervades this book which seems a consequence of the events in which the characters find themselves embroiled. The world building continues to be good and there are some interesting additions to the cast that will hopefully continue to be utilised in future novels. There’s a lot of loose ends left at the conclusion to this book and I’m pleased that there is still enough interest for me to be continuing with the series at some point. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Apr 5, 2016 |
My review of this Black Powder War is very much the same as Throne of Jade. I adored His Majesty's Dragon, but though I still enjoyed the writing, characters and world building of these latter books, the continued shift toward the war and politics as the primary focus of the story bored me. Plus, the fact that the books all seem to end without conclusion is annoying. I'm just not willing to dedicate myself to 5 more books in the hope of an ending. And that's if the 8th book, published just this year, is an actual conclusion, as opposed to just the most recent book with more to come. So having reached the last page of my third 300 book in the series I am calling it quits.

Again, the voice of these characters is wonderful. Novik has really created very detailed draconic strata based largely on dragon size and ability. There is a lot of subtle humour and history is deftly merged with fantasy. So for the right reader this is probably a full-on five star book, as book one was for me. I, however, can't drag my rating up that high for something I wasn't less disappointed in. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Feb 24, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for my mother
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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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