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Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007
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Audio CD, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
As with all books in the series, the story mixes historical military fiction elements (Sharp's rifles, master and commander, etc.), adventure novel emeents, and fantasy tropes. And it does so really well.
Ms. Novik clearly has a better understanding of this historical period than I do. One of her challenges (self-imposed, but righteous) was to include racial minorities, women, etc. in a meaningful way into a narrative set in a historical period where they might otherwise be invisible or absent. She does so with consummate skill, naturally, and in a manner which enhances her storytelling rather than drawing attention to their presence for the sake of being present.
Great stuff, highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can you say about a bond so deep that nothing will separate it. I so many ways we yearn for such a bond. So just reading about it gives a dreamer hope.Published 7 days ago by MelsMovies
the plot went in a strange direction and I will stop reading this series now.Published 25 days ago by Richard A. Bell, sr
Ihave loved this entire series as there is always something new. It is interesting to read the Naploliaic story with dragons involved.
In spite of the increasingly dated language, the characters continue to fascinate me & the lot does enough to keep me coming back.Published 2 months ago by Neil and Kristi Rogers
I am so glad I discovered Temeraire! This purchase was to fill in a gap in the series of books that somebody passed on to me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lisa Driscoll
The manner in which the author presents an extremely complex and layered world is admirable and impressive. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Leigh