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Empire of Ivory: A Novel of Temeraire [Kindle Edition]

Naomi Novik
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”
–The New York Times

“Enthralling reading–it’s like Jane Austen playing Dungeons & Dragons with Eragon’s Christopher Paolini.”
–Time, on His Majesty’s Dragon


Tragedy has struck His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England’s shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons’ ranks– forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected–and stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France’s ever bolder sorties.
Bonaparte’s dragons are already harrowing Britain’s ships at sea. Only one recourse remains: Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, must take wing to Africa, whose shores may hold the cure to the mysterious and deadly contagion. On this mission there is no time to waste, and no telling what lies in store beyond the horizon or for those left behind to wait, hope, and hold the line.


“A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”
–Entertainment Weekly, on His Majesty’s Dragon

“A thrilling fantasy . . . All hail Naomi Novik.”
–The Washington Post Book World, on His Majesty’s Dragon

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Naomi Novik's Victory of Eagles.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Novik's earlier fantasies (His Majesty's Dragon, etc.), readers soared to Europe and Asia on the wings of an intriguing premise: How would the Napoleonic Wars have played out if dragons not only existed, but participated in the war effort? The fourth part of Novik's engrossing answer sweeps readers off to Africa, where the cure to the disease that has decimated England's dragon forces may be found. The African adventures of British captain Will Laurence, his dragon Temeraire and their bedraggled band of aerial corps make up the book's latter half, which showcases Novik's knack for weaving dragons and dragon lore into a vivid, well-researched historical tapestry. In Africa's wild interior, dragons shepherd and feed from elephant caravans while protecting the native villagers. This protection includes waging war against England's slave-seeking colonists, a clash that Laurence and his band may not escape unscathed. Novik fills the conflict's lead-up with lengthy meditations on dragon civil rights and England's abolition movement, making for a fitful, pedantic first half. But most will find the richness of Novik's developing world—and characters—to be worthy compensation for the slow start. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

‘These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart’Peter Jackson'Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of history, sympathetic characters, and an engaging style makes this series great, intelligent fun.’The Times‘Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible invention. In short a treat’The Telegraph‘Novik has stirred the passions with a genre-busting historical fantasy of the first order’Sunday SportPraise for the Temeraire series:‘A splendid novel. Not only is it a new way to utilize dragons, it's a very clever one and fits neatly into the historical niche this author has used. The plot was excellent, extraordinary in that the reader has no idea where it's leading–which is always fun.’ Anne McCaffrey‘Wonderful “Temeraire” is a dragon for the ages and a fitting companion for the brave, steadfast Will Laurence.’Terry Brooks

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must admit, I haven't been this thrilled over a fantasy series since, oh, it must be the early 1990's. But ever since the first book in Naomi Novik's series about an alternate Earth where the Napoleonic Wars have taken to the skies, I've been hooked. Enough to where I dived right into the latest release as soon as it landed on my doorstep (after, of course, finishing what I had in hand first).

I simply had to know what happened next!

Picking right up where Black Powder War left off, this novel opens with a literal bang, as Temeraire with the pack of feral dragons are fighting off a French raiding party off the coast of Scotland. After a year abroad dealing with wandering in deserts, thrust into the middle of a battle with Napoleon, and discovering a foe that is more than a match for Temeraire, all that the dragon and his gallant companion, Captain Will Laurence are looking for is a well-earned rest.

But dire news is awaiting them on the ground. A mysterious illness has swept through the coverts of England and Scotland, striking down dragons and their crews alike. Only a few have managed to survive, and worst still, if the French were to discover that England is virtually undefended, all could be lost. Temeraire is fortunate enough to be unaffected by the disease, but even a Celestial dragon can't protect all of Britain...

Now with several old friends, Temeraire and Laurence are off to Africa to find an elusive cure in a desperate bid against time. Arriving in Capetown, in southern Africa, isn't without a few twists either -- Laurence discovers that his friendship with the new Captain of the Allegiance is shattered beyond repair when an African freedman and his family join them, with an intent to be missionaries.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great continuation of the series October 15, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed this series, and I liked this book a great deal. It ends with one heck of a cliffhanger. It has been taking a lot of hits in reviews because of that, and I have to admit my reaction when I got to the end was "How long am I going to have to wait to find out what happens?" But - don't let the cliffhanger keep you from snapping up this book.

One of the things I have liked best about the series is Temeraire's personality. He's altruistic and childish, brilliant and naive, in equal measures and very straightforward, never hesitating to speak his mind when he thinks some wrong needs to be righted. He thinks people should pay attention to his arguments because they are Right, not because he's a dragon the size of a battleship who could do them considerable harm if they cross him. A major sub-plot running through all the books is the maturing of his understanding of how the world works, and how to make changes in a world that's not perfect. It's both a loss of innocence and a coming of age thing and Novik does a nice job of handling it.

Will Laurence, on the other hand, is a mature Naval Officer when we meet him. He's not jaded, but he's seen the way the world really works, which is different than the way it should work, and just accepts that difference as a fact of life. He is a good person, but very much a man of his time, and there are some things he just does not question. Temeraire's idealism has been breaking down some of his assumptions about the way the world should be, and the power people have to changes things, from the very start of their friendship. That comes to a head at the end of the book, which is what leads to the cliffhanger.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dragon Riders of Britannia Return! October 8, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Empire of Ivory is the latest volume of what is informally called "the Dragon Riders of Britannia" and, like the previous three, is a joy to read. The premise of the series is that dragons exist and coexist with humans. It is the height of the Napoleonic Wars and the great battles which are fought on land and sea are also fought in the air with each combatant nation deploying squadrons of dragons.

The changes that have been wrought are subtle, mainly having to do with dragons being a great equalizer between European countries and countries, such as China, which fell under European domination in our time line. For instance, the history of the slave trade takes an unexpected turn when an African kingdom shows up with its own dragons. There is reference to an Incan country, apparently unmolested by the Spaniards.

The great dragon Temeraire and his rider, Captain Will Laurence (a man with a far greater social consciousness than Hornblower or Aubrey), are faced with a crisis as a mysterious plague sweeps through the dragons upon which Britain depends for her defense. Their quest for a cure takes them to unexpected places, but in geography and in the human (and dragon) heart. Meanwhile, Napoleon and his undefeated legions await across the Channel.

There's loads of historical detail, with appearances by such people as Admiral Nelson (having survived Trafalgar) and the great reformer Wilberforce. The story, with the before mentioned cliffhanger, makes one aching for the next volume.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love this series
Wow, what a fantastic turn of events for Temeraire. Can't wait to begin reading the next chapter in this series.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good reading
Published 1 month ago by MAC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect
Published 1 month ago by Hilda M. Sellers
4.0 out of 5 stars I like all these books.
This is more a general review for the series. I like all the books and I think using real history as a backdrop for Dragons is extremely creative and entertaining. Read more
Published 3 months ago by NotMe
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternate Africa! with dragons...
Naomi Novik just keeps getting better. Love her alternate Africa! If only there'd been dragons like Temeraire, our whole sorry world would have been better. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Martha Meyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Dragons
I enjoyed this book like the previous books in the series, but found the pace slower -- not as much action in this book compared to the others.
Published 6 months ago by CARR13
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Sequel!
Action, adventure, intrigue. This book has all that and more. It is more exciting than the previous offering without losing any of the things that make the series a good read.
Published 6 months ago by Sean Hornsby
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this series
I enjoyed all of the books so far and I anticipate the next book coming out. Each book was unique and held my interest. I would recommend this book
Published 8 months ago by Teresa
3.0 out of 5 stars At least they aren't in the Gobi Desert
The third book left a bad taste in my mouth which I admit may have carried into this, but again, a lot of explanation and traveling that don't really progress the plot for as long... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
Great addition to my set. Great series , I am getting them all. Item is as stated in description. When is Peter Jackson making these into movies?
Published 10 months ago by Rhys Moore
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More About the Author

I'm a New Yorker who writes about Napoleonic-era England, China, Istanbul, and, oh yes, dragons. My official website is at www.temeraire.org, and my livejournal there is the best way to reach me -- I am sporadic about updating and responding to comments because everything else slides when I am on a roll with writing, but I read everything posted there and always love to hear any and all comments from readers.

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