The sequel to Novik's first book, Temeraire.
We learned in the first book that the Celestial dragon Temeraire was sent by the Chinese as a gift to the emperor Napoleon. In the second book, Captain Laurence is forced to go to China as every effort is made to separate him from this rare and important dragon that he loves (and who loves him).
Novik's first book was a surprise, and a very enjoyable read. This sequel has a bad case of sequelitis, with a somewhat tedious plot and an author eager to prove she's now more familiar with the time period she's portraying by mentioning all kinds of fine detail about clothing, sailing terms, and the food being eaten. It wasn't too too much, but was visibly in contrast to her previous writing style. Much of the book was taken up in the over-long and rather tedious voyage from Britain to China: they're attacked by a French force, dock at a slave port, and we find out that the sea serpents of our Earth's legend are fact on her Earth. They like to encircle ships and then squeeze them to pieces ...
A significant disappointment after the previous book.