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Empire of Ivory (2008)

by Naomi Novik

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Temeraire (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,204993,326 (3.86)159
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)
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» See also 159 mentions

English (97)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Felt very different from the other books, I suppose in a 9 book series it's going to go in some different directions. I will admit this is my least favorite in the series so far - I was a bit confused about how they figured out a few things and maybe I just drifted on a few sections and didn't feel the action was as good. The story is still very interesting and the last 40 pages or so really threw me for a loop, a great spin and I'm dying to read book 5 because of it. ( )
  hskey | Apr 28, 2022 |
Overall I really liked this one! A few critiques about how race/slavery was handled below.

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I think Novik could have given a little more care to avoid the 'savage native' stereotype, but I appreciated that at the very least Novik included a lot of praise for how ingenious the prison they were held in was. I also thought it was interesting that the missionary's wife chose to stay, commenting that she and her daughters would never be truly free in England because of their race and gender. I also really liked that Novik forced Lawrence to be actively anti-slavery by choosing to risk his friendship by taking the missionary family abroad in the first place and freeing the captured people after escaping himself. Prior, he's just said he was against it, but never really did anything about it. I love the character arc, and I think the ending (choosing to do what's right even at the cost of going against his government) is a great example of how his character is slowly becoming more active and less passive in what he claims to believe. I hope that theme continues with the 'rights for dragons' arc too! ( )
  Sennie_V | Mar 22, 2022 |
Again, half of this book is spent explaining either sea voyage or living in africa, it got me extremelly upset when the slave trade could keep going when the african empire had dragons to defend themselves, it was rather nice see them revolting.

this book is ok ( )
  GridCube | Jan 17, 2022 |
You know, just when I hesitate to start a book in this series because how can it possibly top the last one, I read it anyway. And am still blown away by the breadth and depth of Novik's research and insight into her time period!

Of course, reading it post-2020 is a bit, well, relevant? Is that the right word? Because as the book begins, we find that there is a mysterious, contagious pandemic occurring among the dragons in the British Empire. It broke out while the events of Book 3 were taking place, so of course there are no warning signs until Laurence and Temeraire and their crews and dragons land. And Novik describes the conditions of lockdown and isolation, and the effects of the dragons' deaths both on the defense of Britain and on the dragons' handlers.

But since Temeraire does not catch this virus, events and travels become a timeline and the pieces are connected to see how it was that his previous year's journey brought him around the Horn of Africa and to a probable cure. So off to Cape Town go a crew of sailors and less-sick dragons and a ship's captain whose beliefs in the slave trade do not match with Laurence's own. Remember the time that this book takes place, and yes, Wilberforce plays a part in the pre-voyage action of the book.

Events lead everyone to the Dutch settlements in Cape Town, a cure is uncovered, but so is a dragon-centered culture in the midst of Africa who are determined to end the depredations of the slave trade on their villages and people.

And the adventures continue . . . ( )
  threadnsong | Oct 3, 2021 |
Having a summer affair with this series, I just cannot stop reading it. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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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.

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Average: (3.86)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 41
2.5 10
3 173
3.5 84
4 381
4.5 43
5 164

 

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