UPDATE: I finished the whole series, adored it, and went into a state of withdrawal afterwards. It is traditionally published and very popular…and therefore available at libraries, though the first two ebooks are reasonably priced.
Fresh off reading His Majesty’s Dragon, I picked up this book from my local library. (Hooray for ebook lending! So helpful in this age of “Come on Eileen”–errr…think of what that title rhymes with. I will not speak the name of the pestilence aloud! Or type it and make you hear it in your mind.)
I loved the first book: it was just such a lovely imagining of what Britain would be like during the Napoleonic Wars if dragons existed. The characterizations were also spot on–something that is really important to me. I typically drop a book immediately if characters don’t ring true.
As much as I loved His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade was better. It was funnier. (Do you have a problem? Your dragon will eat it.) But it was also deeper. Some of the things that niggled at me in the first book, the British populace not knowing that dragons are completely sentient and self-aware, for instance, were addressed. As was the issue of the dragons being perhaps manipulated into service of the crown, almost, in fact, slaves.
It was also nice to see a China that was strong instead of weak when the West came knocking–mostly because they treat their dragons very differently than the British treat theirs. I wondered if this fictional China will start to decline in later books as it did in the real world. I am going to keep reading to find out. I love Chinese history, and there were many reasons beyond the British that caused it to slide. I suppose, Dragons or no, it could happen.
Again, characterizations were spot on–but I laughed more. Oh, and there were some phenomenal battle scenes! They were even better than the ones in the first book–and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like battle scenes. (Battle scenes are like sex scenes, when they don’t further the growth of the character, or aren’t intrinsic to the plot, to me, they’re just …meh. These aren’t like that.)
Black Powder War is available at all vendors, but in some regions only in dead-tree & audio format. Ebook: Amazon US, Amazon AU, Amazon DE, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, GooglePlay
Dead-tree: Amazon UK, Amazon CA
Also, check your local library!