Bart Breen's Reviews > Throne of Jade

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
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May 18, 12

Read in October, 2009

A Strong Second Novel

It's hard to write a second novel in a series to meet all the expectations present. When a first novel rises out of nowhere, part of its allure is how it takes people by surprise and pulls them into that type of fantasy world that only rarely happens. The second novel then comes with those expectations and the unasked question is whether that first book was a fluke.

This book sealed for me that the first one was not a fluke. It also, was a very brave decision to avoid the temptation to attempt to rewrite the first book and turn it into a just a series of battles or an extension of the first book. By taking the book to a whole new continent and culture, Novik shows what it was that made the first book such a sweet discovery. The plot pales in comparison to what Novik does in researching the world of the Napoleonic era and draws in culture, morals, ethics and so much that brings the story to life. This is more than just a good story. Alert readers (and even the un-alert ones) are going to pick up some things illustrated in the conversations and scenes that show how different cultures interact and how bias and prejudice work in practice.

This is an all-around excellent book and confirmation of an excellent series.

5 stars

Bart Breen
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