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Empire of Ivory (Temeraire #04)

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Empire of Ivory (Temeraire #04) Cover

ISBN13: 9780345496874
ISBN10: 0345496876
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

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

Review:

"[F]irst-class in every respect." Booklist

Synopsis:

Novik presents another thrilling airborne adventure in the Hugo Award-nominated, best selling Napoleonic War-era series, featuring the fighting dragon Temeraire and Captain Will Laurence.

About the Author

Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War, the first three volumes of the Temeraire series, recently optioned by Peter Jackson, the Academy Award-winning director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. A history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era, Novik studied English literature at Brown University, then did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide. Novik lives in New York City with her husband and six computers.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Jvstin, April 19, 2009 (view all comments by Jvstin)
Empire of Ivory is the fourth novel in Novik's series, after His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade and Black Powder War. Like all of the books in this series, the action follows fairly closely on the heels of the previous novel. And like all of the previous novels save the first, reading the novels that come before it is essential to understanding what is going on.

In a nutshell, this is an alternate world/alternate history set in a 19th century where men are learning to breed and tame dragons for use in the military. Napoleon is still threatening to conquer Europe and his machinations have, ironically, brought the egg of, and later the hatched egg of a powerful Chinese dragon, Temeraire, to the hands of the English, and the bonding of Temeraire to Captain Will Laurence. Formerly a naval officer, the novels, at their best, have explored his "culture shock" in the dragon corps.

In this fourth novel, after reverses on the continent against Napoleon's army, the English are licking their wounds and dreading a cross-Channel invasion when a new wrinkle and complication occurs--a strange, debilitating illness which is devastating the entire dragon corps of England. The loss of the dragons would leave England at the mercy of Napoleon's forces.

The only clue is that Temeraire had a brief illness of his own on his journey to China (in Throne of Jade), and recovered while in South Africa. And so, in the search for a cure to save England's dragons leads Temeraire and Laurence into the dark of Africa...

I think I mentioned in previous reviews that I felt that Throne of Jade and Black Powder War did not recapture the magic and deft touch that His Majesty's Dragon did. Novik seemed to take the wrong lessons from the success of that first novel, and so the second and third novels, while not bad novels, just didn't hit on all the cylinders the first one did.

This fourth novel, while still not quite capturing the magic of His Majesty's Dragon, seems to be more more in the vein of the first novel, and less of the problems of the second and third novels. The characters develop, we do get some travelogue, we get development of the history and politics of the world, and things occur. Pacing is good, and at 400 pages, the novel is of a goodly and not-padded length to tell the story it wants to tell.

And it ends with an obvious cliffhanger. The actions Laurence and Temeraire take at the end of the novel are shocking and surprising on face value, but they grow naturally from the events starting in the first novel. Novik does not break the character. Indeed, if the characters did not take their actions, that would have been a betrayal of their characters.

I enjoyed it, and look forward to the MMPB version of the fifth novel, Victory of Eagles.


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crowyhead, November 6, 2007 (view all comments by crowyhead)
Another extremely enjoyable entry in the Temeraire series. Upon returning from Turkey and Germany, Laurence and Temeraire learn that nearly all of the dragons in England have fallen prety to a tuberculosis-type illness, and there is great danger that England may be left undefended. This leads the pair to Africa, in a last-ditch effort to find a cure.

I didn't feel that this was quite so neatly plotted as the earlier books in the series; the story takes a while to get going at first, and then portions of the second half end up feeling a bit rushed. It's still wildly entertaining, and I devoured it speedily. I also loved Novik's exploration of what would have happened to the African slave trade if certain African tribes had powerful dragons to back them up and protect them; it's an intriguing twist, and I hope she continues to pursue it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345496874
Author:
Novik, Naomi
Publisher:
Del Rey Books
Subject:
Fantasy - Historical
Subject:
Dragons
Subject:
Napoleonic wars, 1800-1815
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Historical
Subject:
fantasy;dragons;fiction;alternate history;temeraire;historical fiction;historical fantasy;napoleonic wars;historical;africa;war;military;dragon;england;adventure;novel;19th century;sff;napoleon;sf;history;naomi novik;slavery;age of sail;american;science f
Subject:
fantasy;dragons;fiction;alternate history;temeraire;historical fiction;historical fantasy;napoleonic wars;historical;africa;war;military;dragon;england;adventure;novel;19th century;sff;napoleon;sf;history;naomi novik;slavery;age of sail;american;science f
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Temeraire
Series Volume:
04
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
6.90x4.32x1.14 in. .46 lbs.

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Empire of Ivory (Temeraire #04) Used Mass Market
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$5.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Del Rey Books - English 9780345496874 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon."
"Review" by , "[F]irst-class in every respect."
"Synopsis" by , Novik presents another thrilling airborne adventure in the Hugo Award-nominated, best selling Napoleonic War-era series, featuring the fighting dragon Temeraire and Captain Will Laurence.
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