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Empire of Ivory, Narrated By Simon Vance, 10…
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Empire of Ivory, Narrated By Simon Vance, 10 Cds [Complete & Unabridged… (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Naomi Novik

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2,357772,666 (3.87)111
Member:Jaelle
Title:Empire of Ivory, Narrated By Simon Vance, 10 Cds [Complete & Unabridged Audio Work]
Authors:Naomi Novik
Info:Books on Tape (2008), Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Dragons, Historical Fantasy, Temeraire, Iskierka, Alternate history, Napoleanic Wars, England, OverDrive Audiobook. Africa, Slavery, England - Abolition

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Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (2008)

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English (75)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
In this book Temeraire and Lawrence visit Africa. So now they have covered Europe, Asia and Africa can a voyage to North and or South America be far behind? That is if Lawrence manages to extricate himself from the problem he faces at the end of the book.

Read no further if you do not want to read spoilers.

Britain's dragons have come down with a virulent illness but Temeraire seems to be immune. It seems like he may have had the illness on the voyage to China but something he was exposed to in South Africa seems to have cured him. So a voyage back to Africa with some of the sickest (and most important) dragons is planned. It is a voyage fraught with personal differences especially between Lawrence and the ship's captain. Lawrence and Temeraire actually leave the ship before it reaches port in Cape Town because of the difficulties. In Cape Town numerous remedies are tried but none seem to be effective until some small boys manage to find a few very odiferous mushrooms. These are the magic bullet but they are very scarce around Cape Town. The recovered dragons and their crews look for more farther inland but run into more than they bargained for. Natives and their dragons have cultivated the mushrooms and do not want them taken by the interlopers. Lawrence and the rest of the humans are taken captive but Lily and Temeraire find them and release them. Then they make a mad flight back to Cape Town where they find the place overrun with rebellious natives who object to the slave trade. The dragons and their crews and a number of settlers sail back to England. Although many dragons died the cure is effective and the mushrooms will be cultivated in England for future need. When Lawrence and Temeraire discover that the French dragons have been deliberately infected they take mushrooms to France. Lawrence knew he would face treason charges back in England but at the end of the book he is about to return.

Another delightful book from this author/narrator combination. ( )
  gypsysmom | Apr 27, 2015 |
Description: 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.

Thoughts: I'm winging through these books at an insane pace! Awesome!

Another rather solid installment in the ongoing adventures of Temeraire and Capt Laurence. Luckily this time Novik decided to skip over much of the sea voyage since it's been covered before and got straight back into the story. I really enjoyed how she contrived to get her characters into the situations that drove the plot as it was unexpected and surprising in places but ultimately mostly satisfying.

This book is the first to really change from historical fiction with fantasy elements to more direct alternative history. In the previous books, Novik was content to change small facts and details, saving some historical characters or tweaking a time line, but her she really goes for it and razes a good deal of historical fact. It's a very interesting turn which would have significant implications for the world she's created, so I'm intrigued to see how it plays out. Having read some Wikipedia synopses a while back I know at least a little of where it's leading but not much.

My only real complaint, and it's a general one about Empire stories in Africa, is really only seeing native Africans portrayed as slaves, ignorant children, or aggressive warlords. There is much historical evidence that contradicts that these are the only ways native peoples reacted to white settlers and foreign armies. Where are the African traders who had regular contact with settlers? Where are the noble villagers who aren't terrified and superstitious or ready to kill at the sign of white skin? It's not that those things are false, they just aren't a full picture and it's a rather tired stereotype. Novik has the decency to give her African tribesmen a great deal of social complexity and ingenuity but she also makes use of the reliable stereotypes to drive a convenient, albeit interesting, plot.

At least the Chinese had the benefit of being noble and cultivated AND violent, plotting madmen.

Rating: 3.9

Liked: 4
Plot: 4
Characterization: 3.5
Writing: 4

Another word about this series: At the end of each book, Novik includes a few pages of a text from within the world. They might be from a natural history of dragon breeds or a tract from a pastor about the misplaced ideas that dragons are intelligent beings worthy of elevation or some other writing that sheds light on some part of the story contained in that particular volume. They are usually quite engaging and I often find myself wishing there were more of them or that they were found throughout the text. They somewhat bring to mind the footnotes from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell which I completely adore. I love this kind of touch in alternative fiction since it really rounds out the entire world so nicely.

https://www.librarything.com/work/2766298 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 20, 2015 |
Since I hadn't read the first 3 books of the series, I was a bit at a loss in the first few chapters as to why I should care if the Prussians were being killed by French. However, the relationship between Laurence and Temraire was delightful, as was the playing out of this alternate history. Laurence was quite the honourable gentleman, and the ending respects his choices. ( )
  juniperSun | Aug 29, 2014 |
I think this might be my favorite book in the series, with perhaps exception for the first book. I loved that they ended up in Africa and saw that there was a whole different world there with a slew of dragons themselves. I felt it broadened the story considerably. The formal language is still a constant although listening to the language instead of reading it in this book’s case was a little interesting at first. It’s not like any of the other books have lacked the quest storyline, but here in particular I appreciated the quest much more than previous books. Perhaps because it was centered on the dragons themselves whom I’ve been missing. The British dragons weren’t in the previous two books at all. Also, Laurence actually meets Bonaparte in this book. This book ends on a semi-cliffhanger, so I am very curious to get my hands on the next one. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 3, 2014 |
Review on its way, but in the meantime please see the full post on my blog:
http://theidlewoman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/empire-of-ivory-naomi-novik.html ( )
  Leander2010 | Apr 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Francesca, may we always flee lions together.
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"Send up another, damn you, send them all up, at once if you have to,” Laurence said savagely to poor Calloway, who did not deserve to be sworn at: the gunner was firing off the flares so quickly his hands were scorched black, skin cracking and peeling to bright red where some powder had spilled onto his fingers; he was not stopping to wipe them clean before setting each flare to the match.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345496876, Mass Market Paperback)

“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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Tragedy has struck His Majesty's Aerial Corps, as an epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the dragons' ranks. Only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected and must stand as the only means of airborne defense against France's ever bolder sorties. As Bonaparte's dragons harrow Britain's ships, Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, take wing to Africa in search of a cure for the deadly contagion.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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