THRONE OF JADE: Naomi Novik: Del Rey: 2006: Fantasy: 398 pages
In book one of the Temeraire series, His Majesty’s Dragon, Will Laurence, a British Naval Captain and his crew took over a French frigate returning from China with a rare Celestial dragon egg meant as a gift for Napoleon. The little dragon that hatched and bonded with Laurence is now fully grown and completely ensconced in the war effort against Napoleon. In book two, Throne of Jade, the Chinese empire has discovered their dragon egg did not make it to Napoleon and have sent an emissary to take Temeraire back to China. The only problem is that Temeraire refuses to go without Laurence.
Laurence, not wanting to part with Temeraire either, agrees to travel with him by transport ship to China. After an adventurous voyage, they arrive at the Chinese court where Laurence and his men see how the Chinese revere their dragons rather than treating them as beasts of burden as in England. Celestial dragons, the rarest of all, are companions to only the royal family and treated as princes themselves.
While trying to figure out how Laurence can remain a companion to Termeraire while lacking the proper royal bloodline, they get embroiled in a conspiracy that could harm the war efforts at home.
I would highly recommend reading this book. The characters are perfect. I find myself smiling every time Temeraire speaks. I also really enjoy the historical setting with just a touch of fantasy.