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Black Powder War (2006)

by Naomi Novik

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Temeraire (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2611322,746 (3.81)243
Fantasy. Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:In the third novel of the New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, Captain Will Laurence and his dragon transport precious cargo while fending off enemies on all sides.
“A splendid series.”—Anne McCaffrey

After their fateful adventure in China, Captain 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?
Don’t miss the magic of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series:

HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON • THRONE OF JADE • BLACK POWDER WAR • EMPIRE OF IVORY • VICTORY OF EAGLES • TONGUES OF SERPENTS • CRUCIBLE OF GOLD • BLOOD OF TYRANTS • LEAGUE OF DRAGONS.
… (more)
  1. 10
    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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» See also 243 mentions

English (130)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Once again I have to applaud Naomi Novik for her suburb writing. The book, involving a perilous expedition from China to the Ottoman Empire, is perhaps the best in the series.

One of the best things about Mrs. Novik’s books is the seamlessness which the historic aspects are tied into the story. Many historical reads end up clogged with details that are interesting, but unnecessary to the storyline. Descriptions are sometimes length, but worth the beauty of the words. I did find that Mrs. Novik may have spent too much time on the scenes of military action, but on the whole it was a minor inconvenience.

The characters were also equally enjoyable this tale around. Capt. Will Laurence (and Temeraire!) remained the highlight of the plot. (Especially Laurence: there’s something pleasurable about reading about someone so sure of his authority and cause who goes around doing everything with such determined loyalty.) At the same time, we witness the evolutions of his character as he deals with conflicting allegiances. Temeraire, as always, was a joy, and the arrival of a ragtag band of ferals helps throw his unique personality into light. The supporting cast was equally colorful and diverse, with the appearance of some intriguing newcomers and old faces. (I hope to see more of Lien in the next book. She is a twice-sinister antagonist: brilliant, vengeful, and an equal to anything Laurence and Temeraire can manage. Never mind that she’s a dragon.)

The plot was the weakest point. Despite a steady forward momentum, the troubles that besieged the characters seemed to be grinding everything slower and I felt there were periods where Mrs. Novik could have explored side stories deeper instead of confining herself so strictly to the obvious storyline. (I, for one, could have done with a great deal less of European battlefields and more of the Sultan’s opulent city.) There were some instances of breathtaking aerial combat and several intriguing commentaries on dragon rights, but not quite as gripping as the first book of the series.

Final Word: Well worth the read for the sake of its original characters and historical brilliance, but not quite up to its processors.
( )
  TashaBookStuff | Jan 13, 2024 |
Digital audiobook narrated by Simon Vance

Book number three in the marvelous series featuring Captain Will Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire. Following their exploits in China (book two), they’ve received special orders to escort three precious dragon eggs purchased from the Ottoman Empire from Istanbul back to England. It is important that the eggs arrive in England before they hatch. But they are waylaid several times, due in part to the schemes employed by the Chinese dragon Lien. Capt. Laurence and Temeraire have little choice but to launch an offensive against Bonaparte’s forces.

I love this series and this episode has more of the aerial “dog fights” that first entranced me in book one. I love that Novik used the Napoleonic War as the background to this story, while building on the legends of dragons and their varied traits. Temeraire is a marvel; intelligent, fluent in multiple languages, an astute observer and a skilled warrior. He is also devoted to Will and their relationship is an important part of the series.

I listened to the audio, masterfully performed by Simon Vance. I love the voice he gives Temeraire. And especially enjoyed the way he interpreted the latest dragon to join their adventures, the hatchling Iskierka. ( )
  BookConcierge | Nov 29, 2023 |
I loved the first half., but the second half lost some steam.... ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 22, 2023 |
Black Powder War - Novak
Audio performance by Simon Vance
3 stars

This is the third book in this series. I’d decided after the 2nd book that I wouldn’t continue reading the series. I was probably right about that. This book dragged me down. I felt oppressed by a constant sense of futility and disaster. I kept hoping for a bit of humor between Temeraire and the feral dragons, but there was very little to put a spark into the grueling silk road journey back to the European battleground. Sadly, I really think I am done with this series. I did enjoy the first book and I should have stopped there. ( )
  msjudy | Nov 14, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)

» 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
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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Fantasy. Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:In the third novel of the New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, Captain Will Laurence and his dragon transport precious cargo while fending off enemies on all sides.
“A splendid series.”—Anne McCaffrey

After their fateful adventure in China, Captain 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?
Don’t miss the magic of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series:

HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON • THRONE OF JADE • BLACK POWDER WAR • EMPIRE OF IVORY • VICTORY OF EAGLES • TONGUES OF SERPENTS • CRUCIBLE OF GOLD • BLOOD OF TYRANTS • LEAGUE OF DRAGONS.

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