I'm going to try to be more professional this time, and start with the plot, instead of tacking it on the end of my rant. Ahem.
So, in the last book Lawrence impressed harnessed Temeraire, and they joined the RAC. Not that they used that acronym in the book, I just like Acronyms. :D Ahem. But now, for spoiler-related reasons that took place in the first book, it's become pretty obvious that the French don't have the dragon the Chinese Empire sent them. The French don't like this. The Chinese are even less pleased, and they want the dragon back.
However, Temeraire doesn't want to be parted from Lawrence, which he doesn't really fancy the thought of either, so to keep the Chinese placated the British Government* decides to sent Lawrence and crew along with the dragon in question, back to China. Hilarious events ensue. Oh wait, that's not right...
As previously mentioned, I loved the first book in this series. Unfortunately, for me, it felt like they took all the parts of the first one that I didn't delight in, and gave them their own book. The whole issue of injustice to dragons-as-sentient-beings, which I suppose had to be addressed sometime, but did it have to take the form of indulging the teenage dragon while his crew dies
? And remember, most of the dragons back in England AREN"T as smart as Temeraire! He's practically a genius! Even if he is a spoiled revolutionary brat. *sulks*
Possibly because Lawrence was so frustrated the whole time, but I just found this vexing to read. I still loved the world, mind you. I was gleeful over the passing dragon transports they mentioned, and I even liked the East India Company bits. I was just FRUSTRATED by all the politics, and Temeraire acting like a spoiled child who has just discovered the nasty stranger next door will give him more candy than he can get at home, and the SEA SERPENT. GAH LET US NEVER SPEAK OF SEA SERPENTS AGAIN OKAY? Plus all the jolly other dragons weren't there, and the chinese blokes were untrustworthy and not cricket, and there were politics everywhere, and our friends are dying back home while we're waiting to be invited to concerts which we don't understand, and the food tastes strange...
Okay, maybe I was just identifying too much with Lawrence and co. I gave it three stars out of five. I want the next book, which is BRITSH, okay? Please? Or we can go to Newfoundland and give Temeraire the change to have fun with some proper
lady dragons, if you INSIST. Ahem. Yeah, I still love the world, but this isn't my favourite book to-date. On to book three now plz?
*It wasn't the British Empire until Victoria declared herself Empress of India, which isn't for awhile yet. I just put that together. I feel clever.