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crucible-of-gold

Naomi Novik’s beloved series returns, with Captain Will Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire once again taking to the air against the broadsides of Napoleon’s forces and the friendly—and sometimes not-so-friendly—fire of British soldiers and politicians who continue to suspect them of divided loyalties, if not outright treason. For Laurence and Temeraire, put out toNaomi Novik’s beloved series returns, with Captain Will Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire once again taking to the air against the broadsides of Napoleon’s forces and the friendly—and sometimes not-so-friendly—fire of British soldiers and politicians who continue to suspect them of divided loyalties, if not outright treason. For Laurence and Temeraire, put out to pasture in Australia, it seems their part in the war has come to an end just when they are needed most. But perhaps they are no longer alone in this opinion. Newly allied with the powerful African empire of the Tswana, the French have occupied Spain and brought revolution and bloodshed to Brazil, threatening Britain’s last desperate hope to defeat Napoleon.And now the government that sidelined them has decided they have the best chance at negotiating a peace with the angry Tswana, who have besieged the Portuguese royal family in Rio—and thus offer to reinstate Laurence to his former rank and seniority as a captain in the Aerial Corps. Temeraire is delighted by this sudden reversal of fortune, but Laurence is by no means sanguine, knowing from experience that personal honor and duty to one’s country do not always run on parallel tracks.Nonetheless, the pair embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that force them to make an unexpected landing in the hostile territory of the Incan empire, where they face new unanticipated dangers.Now with the success of the mission balanced on a razor’s edge, and failure looking more likely by the minute, the unexpected arrival of an old enemy will tip the scales toward ruin. Yet even in the midst of disaster, opportunity may lurk—for one bold enough to grasp it....

Title : crucible of gold
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11794335
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 386 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

crucible of gold Reviews

  • Jacob
    2018-12-15 02:05

    Temeraire is back! I was starting to worry about that. It was kind of a shame, the way the series ended in the fifth book. I didn't think it would continue.I SAID, it was a shame the way the series ended in the fifth book. Do I need to add a wink and a nudge here? Do I? Don't make me turn this review around, kids.But I digress. At the end of the fifth book, Victory of Eagles, Laurence and his dragon Temeraire went into exile to Australia after being convicted of treason, and it was very sad. After all, surely nothing interesting would happen in Australia, right? Nothing worth devoting a book to, at least, right? RIGHT? THAT'S RIGHT. And surely Naomi Novik agreed, which is why she skipped immediately from the fifth book to Crucible of Gold, the...seventh? Odd move there, Ms. Novik, but I suppose using that unusual numbering convention implies that Laurence and Temeraire's time in Australia makes up a "lost book" in the series, amiright? Clever of you, doing that.But I digress again. Following the Missing Episode in the Adventures of Laurence and Temeraire, the intrepid captain and his dragon companion are called out of exile in Australia and sent, with fellow dragons Iskierka and Kulingile (previously unseen; it is implied that he hatched at some point during the last, lost "book") and their crew, to South America, where Napoleon's allies are besieging the Portuguese in Brazil. But everything goes awry: shipwreck, capture, and other disaster impede their every step (and wing-stroke), and once again Temeraire and Laurence must confront a very changed--and still changing--world.It's all very exciting, and just as good as the other five books in the series--and it sounds like the final two books will be just as great. Honestly, I can't wait. Even with that mysterious gap in the series, the Temeraire books are a thrilling read.I SAID, even with that mysterious gap in the series, the Temeraire books are a thrilling read.Got it? Do we understand each other? Good.

  • Jamie Collins
    2018-11-14 04:21

    3.5 stars; better than the last book, if not as satisfying as the earlier ones. It’s too short, for one thing. It’s still a travelogue, but there is more excitement this time - disasters and battles and hardships - as Laurence and Temeraire continue their world tour in South America. Novik’s eagerness to depict the way people and dragons interact in different societies seems to drive the plot more than the circumstances of the war.Her writing is still very entertaining, though. The characterizations, both of humans and dragons, are nice and I enjoy the witty, convoluted Regency dialogue.Novik assumes you’ve read the earlier books and spends almost no time recapping - which I appreciate, considering that the book is so short, but I had to hit the Temeraire Wiki to remind myself about some of the secondary characters.An idle thought: Novik writes at length about the effort required to keep enormous dragons fed, but she writes not one word about any difficulties dealing with enormous piles of dragon shit. I suppose I should be grateful.

  • Nicholas
    2018-11-17 07:12

    I really want to like this series, but I'm afraid the previous two entries have fallen flat with me.I enjoy the characters, but I don't really feel like they are progressing much. Novik is doing a good job of moving her characters around the globe and putting them in new settings. I liked the work she did w/ the Inca culture and it was nice to meet the Tswana again. Overall, however, we didn't learn much new about the characters and they didn't seem to evolve much. Sure we learned a personal secret about Granby and his relationship with Iskierka may have *finally* come to a head. So, overall, I'm disappointed. I'm still a big fan of Ms. Novik's work. I'll still read everything she puts out, I'm just hoping that she tries something new. I get the feeling that she's bored w/ Temeraire. More to the point, she's developed his character to the point where there is no reconciling him with the British Empire circa the Napoleonic conflicts. This is a difficult problem to solve for a series whose main selling point is putting a dragon into that time period.I'm hopeful, now that Temeraire has been to Australia and South America, that the series will advance in areas other than geographical. I guess we'll see when they get back to China.

  • Joe Howe
    2018-12-12 01:54

    Ok, this book, this series.Yes, the premise (the Napoleanic era + Dragons)is shamefully ridiculous. No need to doubt your judgement there.But the execution? Oh Sweet Merciful Lord, soooo good. It's light, it's fluffy, and it's flawless. The best treat is the characterizations of the main characters of the the Dragon and his Captain, but you go far enough into it and there's even some substance - meditations on how the war to fight Napoleon (good)balances against the preservation of the worst aspects of the British Empire (bad) or, even deeper, how the presence of an intelligent (but very differently intelligent) companion species could influence the development of human culture on levels both discrete and extraordinary.The post-plagues Incan empire with its dragon dominated economy is a distinct jewel of this book. Right down to very distinctly alien manifestations of demand, justice and consent and how they interact with more baseline human drives you have a fictional society in the best traditions of the genre. The economic issues for the society she presents, for example, are just marvelous not simply because of what she makes to evoke the society but in terms of what it illustrates in our psychology by imagining a very different idea of demand being used as the primary drive behind the marketplace.

  • Emily (BellaGrace)
    2018-12-08 05:18

    As always the best parts of the Temeraire series are the chapters that are Temeraire's POV. The dragons are so much better developed as characters than the humans. I always find Laurence's POV to be much less interesting. Crucible of Gold was definitely an improvement over the last book which was so boring, but this one also dragged in some places. It's another book where not much at all happens plot wise. The whole trip to Brazil was pretty pointless. Headed to the finish line on this series - 2 to go....

  • Algernon
    2018-12-14 06:14

    A good summer read, easy and fast. I know I'm reading it at the beginning of May, but we're already enduring a heatwave, so I wasn't in the mood for anything more demanding.I've been a moderate fan of Temeraire adventures sinceHis Majesty's Dragon , and I'm glad to find some improvement after the less satisfactoryTongues of Serpents. I still get the travelogue vibe that ignores the central Napoleonic Wars theme in favor of exploring exotic locations, but with Crucible of Gold there are actually quite a few lively action scenes: hurricanes in the southern Pacific, getting stranded on Robinson Crusoe island off the Chilean coast, being chased by Inca dragons through the Andes and, finally, a direct confrontation with a French military squadron.Temeraire gets reunited with Iskierka and with a number of other characters from previous books, both human and winged. Some of the humor from the start of the epic is also making a comeback after the gloomier episode in the Australian Outback.But, I feel this wandering around the globe thousand of miles away from the central theatre of operations is a bit self-indulgent (I'm trying to avoid using the cash cow analogy) and is adding to the already high number of volumes of this series. At the end of Crucible of Gold there is still no evidence the author is tightening the plot and approaching any kind of closure. This series may be heading for a 20 book target and I don't know if I have the patience to stick with it so long.

  • Kate
    2018-11-30 09:53

    This is the first dragon book of hers that I gave less than 5 or 4 stars to. I don't think it's a stand-alone book. Heck, I've read them all and I was still confused by who did what when. It's a tough call about how much backstory to toss into each book in a series and I think she under-did it.Temeraire seems to have lost some of his intelligence and love of learning--and he's caught in the whole competition with other dragons to the point of dullness. He'd matured so much through the first couple of books and now he's apparently done.Plus Laurence's responses are barely visible. I know these are stories of battles, intrigue etc, but there was always enough emotion to keep me caring about the characters. Laurence finds out that one of his best friends is an invert (a great name for it--new to me) and he doesn't even flinch or consider the matter? Sure it's been a long time since he blushed at the sight of Catherine in trousers, but the whole contrast of his upbringing to this strange new world was a lot of fun. That couldn't keep up (the world isn't new any longer) and he just seems weary.I suppose if you enjoy books like Lord of the Rings, this lack of deep POV won't bug you. The plot was clever enough, though it didn't have a story arc and no one was entirely different at the end as they were at the beginning. Gong Su is the only one who's significantly changed and he hasn't really changed, just our perception of him. (Although I suppose Riley counts as "significantly changed" too.)Will I still buy the books? Yup, and I'll be looking forward to the next as well.

  • Katy
    2018-12-02 10:12

    Another fun installment in the series. By now you should realize that the books follow the same formula. Travel to a new continent, meet some bad guys & good guys. Move on to another place.

  • Jennifer Rinehart
    2018-12-01 06:10

    I have been more than patient, I waited for Temeraire and Lawrence to get back to the fight against Napoleon through three books and now this one drags the story to Incan South America (might as well have been back to Africa, the storyline is so similar). Uh uh, I'm done now (sorry if I sound ticked off, it's just that I adored this series, I even bought the first three books in audio version as well as paper).But each book after has gotten more and more preachy, dragg-y and one off, it's like the Scrappy Doo of dragon books and I will not read it anymore, not even for free.If I had to sum up this book it would be like this (Scooby Doo analogy to follow);The scooby Gang (Laurence, Granby, Iskierska, etc.) take the mystery machine (HMS Allegience)to Brazil. On the way they are waylaid and caught up in a dangerous and mysterious situation, they find out some bad guys turn out not to be totally bad. No ghosts, but pretty similar all the same.Velma, played by Laurence, figures out what's going on, but it's Scooby that saves the day, but not before Scrappy (the world's most annoying cartoon puppy) played by Iskierska almost ruins everything.Story ends with Temeraire gulping down a huge amount of food.Sigh, I just wish the story would wrap up with taking Napoleon down. Plus, there's already an inbuilt sequel to the story, Napoleon escapes the island of Elba where he was exiled and returns to France and his usual shenanigans. I see this as two books, the first ending with his defeat and exile to Elba, the second book, the peace is shattered with Napoleon's escape and ending with his second and last defeat at Waterloo, maybe Temeraire and Laurence could escort him to St. Helena, his last place of exile.

  • Wealhtheow
    2018-11-26 06:05

    After repeatedly doing what they thought was moral, rather than following their orders, Laurence and Temeraire had finally broken free of the British Empire and began living a peaceful life in Australia. But alas, Laurence's dutiful nature cannot be overcome forever, and he and his draconic bff are convinced to rejoin the Aerial Service. They ship off to South America, in hopes of gaining new allies or at least, not losing their current ones. At this point I kinda don't know why I shouldn't be rooting for Napoleon? I mean, I've always read the Napoleonic Wars from the viewpoint of the British, so I'm predisposed to hope Napoleon loses, purely so the protagonists can win. And in real history, he ordered various atrocities--poisoning the ill to keep from holding up the baggage train, that sort of thing. But in Novik's alternate history, it is the British who use germ warfare, defend their allies' practices of slavery, and refuse to treat women, dragons, or non-white people well. Napoleon, meanwhile, seems perfectly willing to treat women, non-white people, and dragons as equal to white men. He makes treaties with African nations to help them get their enslaved fellows back. He sees no problem relying upon the brains of his female dragon, or marrying an Incan woman. I'm sure it's all part of one of his self-serving schemes, but--his allies are perfectly aware that he's using him, and they're using him back. Would it really be that bad if this alternate Napoleon won?

  • Miriam
    2018-11-27 05:18

    Not great, but better than book 6, so I guess I'll get 8 in case we're on an upward slope. Hopefully they'll ditch some of the personnel because there were way too many characters with not enough to do in this one. Including some who haven't been around since book 3, whom I'd forgotten all about.

  • Joanka
    2018-12-14 07:19

    Some review will follow, I believe...

  • Oda Renate
    2018-11-16 06:56

    This one is a clean 3 star, its defently better than 4,5,6. Its not as good as 1 but still an improvement. I enjoyed the way this one went, there was a lot less skim reading then previously.Also book 8 seems interesting from the premise

  • Otherwyrld
    2018-11-30 08:01

    Laurence and Temeraire are pulled out of their self-imposed exile in Australia for a new mission, to try and stop the Tswana (the African empire first encountered a few books ago) from permanently allying themselves with Napoleon. To that end, Laurence is reinstated as a Captain in the Aerial Corps and the Allegiance is sent back to retrieve them. Needless to say, things go badly awry with this plan...It is no spoiler to note that the ship is wrecked long before they reach their goal, as it appears both on the cover art and on the interior map. I was sad to lose both it and Captain Riley, as they have both been a part of this series almost since the beginning. The dragons and the few survivors fly towards the coast of South America, but are saved rather too providently by a French Dragon transporter. Prisoners, they find themselves marooned on a bleak island but manage to escape and make their way to the mysterious Incan Empire.This is one aspect where the author excels. She takes an existing historical society and throws dragons into the mix, then shows us how such a society might have developed. The Incas were able to beat off the Conquistadors in this case thanks to their dragons, though the population is still suffering the depredations of imported European diseases such as Smallpox which has devastated their human population. Laurence finds himself in charge of a delegation that tries to make peace with the Incan Empress by marrying one of their own to her (though it is really Granby's fire breathing dragon that is actually wanted). Just when you think they have succeeded (view spoiler)[ Napoleon himself flies in on Lien and steals the Inca Empress and an alliance with them from under their noses (hide spoiler)].Forced to flee for their lives, the British contingent go down the Amazon and into Portuguese territory. Here is where the story really gets messy and falls apart a bit, as the Tswana have attacked the Portuguese in an effort to free millions of their people taken up in slavery over generations. They have brought a powerful contingent of dragons with them, and Laurence finds himself almost committing treason again as his natural instincts incline him towards the Tswana rather than the Portuguese, who are allied to Britain. A decision is taken out of his hands with the arrival of Temeraire's squadron, and it is a real pleasure to see the group back together again. There is always a lot of fun with the interactions between the dragons such as Lily and Maximus (who is shocked to meet a dragon that is as big as he is). There is a final thrilling sea battle with some French dragon transports, and the stage is set for a possible return home. Then, a final spanner is thrown into the works, and the destination and goal is now for China, and a possible alliance with them.This was a fun read and more than made up for the depressing last book. It may be a while before I can get my hands on the next book though, as neither this book nor book 9 is available in the UK yet. I was lucky to get hold of an American edition of this book from my library.

  • Melissa McShane
    2018-11-17 03:03

    Like Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold is much shorter than the other Temeraire books. When I first read Tongues of Serpents in 2010, I wondered if it was the first half of a novel that was too long to publish in one volume, but now it's clear that they're both independent but short novels. Part of the four-star rating is the very-probably-wrong feeling I have that this book, like the previous one, is too short, but it's really that it feels as if Temeraire and Lawrence have been sidelined...which, of course, they have. The exploration of the alternate-history Incan Empire is still very interesting, particularly the idea that the Incan dragons are essentially owners of the humans. I also like that Iskierka, whose wild nature has been a danger to everyone around her from the beginning, finally goes to such extremes that Granby gives her the metaphorical spanking she really needs. Less pleasant is that (view spoiler)[RILEY IS DEAD! How sad is it that I kept hoping that he'd somehow, I don't know, escaped the explosion and the sinking ship and swam three hundred miles to the mainland...fine, okay, I'm sad and pathetic. But I liked him so much, and he provided an important link between Lawrence and the Navy. (hide spoiler)]The ending of the novel makes it clear that Lawrence and Temeraire's exile is at an end, and I look forward to their rejoining the war in the next book.

  • YouKneeK
    2018-11-21 04:06

    This is the seventh book in the Temeraire series. I enjoyed it a lot, on about the same level as the previous books, and definitely more than the sixth one. Unlike the last book, there weren’t as many unlikeable characters and I think that helped. I don’t have too much else to write about -- just a couple comments within the spoiler tags.(view spoiler)[I expect that Riley isn’t really dead and will show back up sooner or later. When a fairly significant character dies, it’s usually made more obvious and definite. I won’t be terribly disappointed if I'm mistaken; I don’t much care one way or another except for the sake of the characters who do care. I haven’t cared much for him since his conflicts with Laurence in the earlier books.I thought Granby was better developed in this book. I enjoyed learning more about him and seeing him play a slightly more prominent role in the story. I also was very happy to see him finally put his foot down with Iskierka. I hope he doesn’t back down in the remaining books. (hide spoiler)]Even though it took me 9 days to read this, it was only a reflection of my work schedule and not of my enjoyment of the book. I was on a business trip for a little over a week, with many 16-18 hour work days. I read most of this book within three days; the rest of the days involved reading the same paragraphs over and over with my eyes while my brain thought about work until I gave up the attempt. :)

  • Alyssa (redheadreads)
    2018-12-12 10:10

    I think this might be my second favorite series ever (just behind HP of course)! This series is so well thought out, so riveting, so funny, so joyful, and so dramatic, that even though I still have 2 books to read I’m already grieving the end. This book was an incredible installment in the series so far. I absolutely loved the Incan setting and how it essentially swapped the world-building (which is incredible) previously established. The cast of characters got even better and became even more real to me this book. I was filled with anxiety over the twist and am so utterly invested in this series I want to shout about it to everyone. My only tiny critique for this installment was the rather abrupt ending, but it was a great set up for the 8th book. Again if you haven’t read this series yet, YOU MUST. I’ve listened to everything so far via audiobook and I can not recommend them highly enough. Pick this one up guys!!!

  • Hazel West
    2018-12-11 06:15

    This review has been a long time coming because I had to muddle through what I felt was a betrayal from this author who up to this point was one of my favorites, and how I won't be continuing this series. Okay, a lot of people agree with me, the last book "Tongues of Serpents" was just ridiculous. What was the point of that book? They did nothing but tramp around Australian outback fighting desert water creatures. I was somewhat willing to cut slack when I read it, but after finding this book was no better, not anymore.I was excited for this one because it was set in South America, and I have always enjoyed the Mayan and Aztec culture and was eager to see what it was like in this time period. But no, this book was just as ridiculous and pointless as the last one. The entire plot is first they get marooned on an Island. Then there is a mutiny. This is the first half of the book. Then they somehow find their way to the place in South America (I don't remember how, they found more dragons or something.) Then when they got there it was just more boring things. The most interesting thing that happened in this whole book (the part I read anyway, but I'll get to that later) was the fight Iskierka had with another dragon. Now let's get to other things that ruined this book for me. I used to love the dragons, Temeraire was so adorable, and I loved his ignorance, and Iskierka was pretty scrappy, but she never annoyed me. That all changed in this one, though I think it kind of started in the one prior. The dragons were simply annoying in this book. There was nothing endearing about them, they were just silly and annoying, so that made em angry, causing me to accuse Naomi Novik of one count of character abuse ( see my blog post for explanation: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com/2013/01... ) by not letting the dragons keep in character. Though it might all have been character rebellion on their part for not wanting to be in a stupid novel anymore. Lawrence too, I didn't feel anything for. He seemed dumb and unable to make any decisive decisions. It make me long to call in Hornblower or Aubrey and smack everyone around the head. Another stupid plot line that took up waaayy too much time was Emily (another character I previously liked) and Demane's relationship. Emily just got waaayy to much of an attitude in this one, trying to be the best, and wanting to be a kick-butt female just like all those horrible heroines in YA novels I hate. And Demane wanted to protect her, possessively so, and she hated him for it. So this was all going on while they were on the island. Really annoying to say the least.And then we come to the part that made me drop the novel all together. I don't personally think it should be a spoiler, but I'll make it one anyway, just so people don't get angry at me for it.(view spoiler)[ Granby is gay????????????????????????????????????? My initial reaction to this was something akin to WHAT THE DEVIL??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And here's why. I'm not afraid to say I do not approve of homosexuality, oaky, but this goes beyond my personal feelings. There was no bloody indication through the series, there was no reason for it. It was a REALLY lame attempt to come up with some reason that he wouldn't have to marry the Aztec princess or whatever she was. Well that is probably the NUMBER ONE STUPIDEST REASON I HAVE EVER HEARD OF IN MY LIFE. I literally came up with three better reasons on the spot like this one: He has a secret wife and child back in England (which would have worked WAY better and been plausible because the dragon riders aren't supposed to marry anyway) It was so stupid I closed the book, put it back on the shelf and read no farther. Here's another reason this bothered me. Granby never seemed gay to me. There should have been some indication of it if he were. never going to brothels isn't good enough because did Lawrence? no? oh, he must be gay too! Duh, no SMART man would go to a brothel-- and again that could be explained away with my explanation of secret wife and child. And the way Granby revealed it just seemed so wrong. Okay, deal with an author's strange opinion for a minute: characters talk to authors, mine come to me all the time complaining about how I am writing them. If my planned baddie isn't bad, he'll tell me. As a good author who listens to my characters, I change him so that he will redeem himself. That's an example. If I didn't, he wouldn't cooperate, or he'd act whipped. Whipped like Granby. Granby isn't gay, because I don't feel it. It doesn't make sense, the only thing he is is an abused character. I know it sounds silly and weird, but it's true.(hide spoiler)]Therefore I charge Naomi Novik with another count of character abuse. So no, I didn't finish this book, I had no wish to, and I will not finish the series, it is farewell and adieu from me and there will be no hoping in a short time to see them again.

  • Kelly
    2018-12-15 03:58

    I don't know what's with this series that every time I stop paying attention for a few minutes there are suddenly corpses everywhere.

  • Ben Babcock
    2018-11-27 03:01

    After over a year, I stumbled across the last three Temeraire books while browsing Chapters and realized the time has come to pick up this series and put it to rest. Crucible of Gold, the seventh instalment in these adventures, sees Laurence and Temeraire reinstated in the Aerial Corps for an urgent mission to Brazil. Napoleon has a shaky alliance with the Tswana, and they are raiding the Portuguese colonies there for their enslaved kin. Along the way, however, Laurence, Temeraire, and their party are sidetracked by shipwreck, the French, and the Inca.As with many long-running series, it becomes difficult to recap and review these books without sounding like a broken record. Worldbuilding, characterization, blah blah blah—it’s all here. Overall, I definitely liked this over the last book, because it doesn’t drag. Novik constantly changes up the game, raises the stakes, and generally keeps us guessing as to how this will all work out. A little bit of foreshadowing at the beginning warns us that even once Laurence and Temeraire reach Brazil, they aren’t just going to let the Tswana slaves remain in bondage to the Portuguese—some kind of abolition is on the table, even if it makes their Portuguese allies unhappy.Fans of the series (and I assume that makes up the large majority of the people who survive to book 7) will love the character development here. The relationship (if that’s the right word) between Temeraire and Iskierka deepens. Granby undergoes a dramatic change in fortunes. We even learn a little more about Gong Su’s role beyond cook and camp hanger-on.Similarly, I like Novik’s portrayal of the Incan empire. In particular, she takes the time to show us the Sapa Inca’s perspective on the British party’s arrival. I like that we’re shown how the Sapa Inca wants to play the British and French off against each other long enough to avoid any of her local suitors to become a rival for her power. Too often, foreign ruler characters in a book tend to exist solely as obstacles for the protagonists to overcome, with little thought for how their actions towards a protagonist will affect their own power base. In Crucible of Gold, it feels like Temeraire and Laurence have genuinely stumbled upon a very delicate situation, one that their arrival could upset or aid.I could have spent a lot longer in the Incan empire. Still, Brazil poses a whole new set of challenges for the team. Once again, Novik achieves a fine balance between intense fight sequences and the sweet, sweet song of negotiation. I love how, as the series branched out from military action in the Channel, Novik found ways to keep the action going even while giving us breathing room.Crucible of Gold is a fine return to form for this series. You can easily skip the previous book and jump straight to this one. My reviews of Temeraire:← Tongues of Serpents | Blood of Tyrants →

  • Skyeofskynet
    2018-12-08 08:15

    I really wanted to give 4 stars to this one, because I liked it a lot. And come on, Granby happened to be canonically gay. It almost never happens to me.But I can't, because of Granby's hand amputation. I have to explain that amputation is my greatest phobia. That's a big reason why I don't watch movies/read books about it, it makes me literally sick. And recently I've read at least three books in which amputation had no sense plot-wise. it just happened because the author felt like cutting somebody's hand off for a little drama. Let's see:Does this amputation, in any way, stops him from being an aviator? No.Does this amputation, in any way, is discussed or noticed by other characters beside the narrator? No. (srsly, nobody SAYS A WORD)Does this amputation, in any way, changes his relationship with his lover? No.Does this amputation, in any way, changes the course of the plot in the book? No. Does this amputation, in any way, changes his relationship with his dragon? No. Because the discussion about boundaries that he has with Iskierka could and should have happened sooner. Trying to get him married with a woman despite of the knowledge that he's gay was a way bigger reason for it than... Iskierka buying him a pretty hook.Does this amputation changes anything in the book beside the two pages on which it's happening? No. His arm could be easily just rebroken again and everything would be the same. It happens only for the sake of drama and I am sick of amputation being used as a drama factor. If you do it, then write about the consequences it has for the character. But the amputation is forgotten (and I am writing it while reading the next book), and the recovery takes like three pages. And, yeah, of course I am glad for it, because I could actually finish the book thanks to that. If there were details, I would never finish it, or the series (so yeah, my phobia is glad actually). So there's an advice. Just don't do that shit, if you aren't planing to do ANYTHING about it. If it was a movie and we could see he's disabled all the time, it would make sense. But in a book you need to actually say things. With words. Don't make a character disabled if you won't mention it ever again. That's no representation. That's unnecessary drama. At least mention how badass he is, aviatoring shit without a hand. In air. On a motherfucking dragon whose skin is WET all the time because of steam. Skye out.

  • Leseparatist
    2018-12-10 04:07

    Slightly disappointed by this volume. The Incan dragons and dragon-and-human culture were cool and different enough (and the return of Tswana characters provided some decent continuity) but the overall pacing felt slightly off and the characters didn't feel like they were given their due.(view spoiler)[I could cope with losing Tharkay temporarily--I expect he'll return in the next book?--but the way Demane and Emily Roland were relegated to the background for chapters at a time? I didn't appreciate that. It made me want to ask whoever was narrating at the time, "would you mind updating us on what's going on with everyone else?" Moreover, I think Iskierka and Granby got more character development this volume than either of the protagonists. And I appreciate Granby and love Iskierka, but I'd like Laurence to go back to being awesome and growing. Like a volume and two volumes ago. Riley's death... Laurence's comment about not being sure if he'd be missed felt somewhat meta. The answer is no, and this book didn't make him any more essential. Which brings me to the point that this was clearly supposed to make more of an impact than it did.The surgeon's death, on the other hand, was just plain terrible. "Let me get my equipment-- sudden death by reptile!" is more slapstick than adventure, truth be told.In addition, the concluding battle was somewhat boring and its stakes once again didn't really make an impression. The reveal of Gong Su as an imperial agent was better, but not enough to raise the rating back to four stars. (hide spoiler)]And now I'm stuck wondering if it's better strategy to read volume 8 and wait for 9 or read 8 in a week or two weeks' time, or wait for 9 and read the two volumes together. Decisions, decisions.

  • Theobroma
    2018-11-22 07:17

    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! The thing I hate most about the Temeraire books is when they END!! I had been looking forward to this book for a long time and I wasn't disappointed (except when it ended cuz I wanted more and now I'll have to wait another two years, grrr). I love these books because of the dragon characters. Temeraire and Iskierka did not disappoint. Laurence and the other human characters are good too, but let's face it, the dragons are the personalities in these books that really shine (although I was glad to see that stuffed-shirt Laurence seems to have loosened up just a little bit, and we get something interesting revealed about one or two of the other characters). I often wish that these books were written completely from the dragons' point of view, because for me that is when they are the most interesting. I never had much interest in history so a lot of the historical and political/tactical aspects go straight over my head. Although now I sort of want to read up on the history of the Napoleonic Wars and then go back and reread the Temeraire series from the beginning.Anyway, this book was pretty much nonstop action, which really pleased me considering that some of the previous books have gotten a little bogged down, either in too much political intrigue or just when the war against Napoleon is at a stalemate. Not so here, because while there was definitely political intrigue and maneuvering, the characters were usually right in the heat of battle, chasing across thousands of miles of ocean and uncharted continent. Hooray! It makes me want to draw a sword and fly through the air on the back of a dragon. A dragon that I can read books to.

  • Kara
    2018-11-16 04:11

    Termeraire and his captain lurch from one disaster to the next as they go from Australia to South America. For the characters, it’s a terrible time all around, but for the reader it’s an absolutely delicious adventure; a fine return to form after the dullness of the last book.Due to a shift in the political wind, it’s now advantageous for the British government to put Lawrence and Ter back to work, but Lawrence, instead of holding firm and demanding some sort of advantage from the situation, collapses like wet paper at the first ‘do it for king and country, man’. Luckily, nothing goes to plan and things get progressively more interesting, especially once their nautical disasters end (after narrowly escaping a Lord of the Flies scenario) and they reach the mainland and encounter the Incan Empire.It was rather like a classic Star Trek episode where a current event or issue is neatly tipped on its head by being presented in an overblown fashion to make a point, like the episode with the Planet of the Checkerboard Face People.Here poor, dear, hidebound Lawrence again has his ideas about dragons and people exploded as they encounter a culture refreshingly absent of the British attitudes of what dragons and women can and can’t do.Things get even better (for the reader) when they get to meet the Incan Empress, who very much is running things on her terms and who is interested in entering the world stage of politics. And - the world being flat, as they say - the affairs of Europe, Africa and Asia very much influence events in South America.

  • Mitch
    2018-12-01 04:58

    This series had me at 'Napoleonic Wars' and 'dragons', but while the first few books had a sense of mystery and magic (i.e. the identity of the dragon, the conflict with Napoleon, how the war in the air worked) the series started to get bogged down in a Carmen Sandiego esque need to visit exotic world locales and became less about the war or the dragon. For me, the books peaked at Napoleon's invasion of England, and started to get boring right around when the heroes are sent to Australia.This book is (sort of) a return to form. There's probably too much filler in the Pacific, but Napoleon reappears and the conflict with the Inca is better plotted and more interesting/intriguing than Temeraire's most recent adventures, if still suffering from the need to go global. Temeraire is at its best when in Europe and focused on the war, and suffers during these outlandish side trips, though this one is more tolerable than the last two. But something's not right when Austerlitz and Jena get maybe a paragraph and there's chapters dedicated to African slave traders or setting up an Australian penal colony.

  • Jenn
    2018-12-04 03:19

    I adore the Temeraire books and can't read these fast enough! The characters are so engaging, the depth of detail and description are so immersive and rich - they are some of the best historical-sci-fi around. This one was an enjoyable story with some surprising revelations and twists, as well as some nail-biting and hand-wringing developments (augh! there were some awful and sad things that happened). The only difficulty I had with this installment was the distracting jumps and shifts in point-of-view - there were times when I couldn't figure out for a few paragraphs whose perspective I was looking through. However, I'm really enjoying the different dragon cultures on the differenet continents and how that affects the course of this alternate history - I think I enjoyed this more than the last one. I'm just continually concerned about Laurence and Temeraire - love these characters so much!Reread: June 17, 2015 - Unfortunately, I devour these books so fast that I couldn't remember this one at all, so I reread it in preparation for Blood of Tyrants. I liked it the second time, but Novik really knows how to stress me out by putting her characters in peril!

  • Sara
    2018-12-10 10:15

    I am so happy to have Temeraire back. I'd forgotten him for too long.Novik didn't leave a dull moment in this book, let me tell you! I listened to the first half of this on audiobook and read the second half... and Simon Vance definitely did the story justice as narrator.Has anyone noticed, though -- has Novik not used a single curse word during this whole series? Iskierka says "damned" once in this book, and it's censored out (d----d) like in some old Victorian novel. I'm sure I'd have noticed this if it had happened before -- or have I missed it up until now?

  • Erin (PT)
    2018-11-24 06:57

    I keep wanting to write a longer review about Crucible of Gold but most of what I want to say about it boils down to this: it was an excellent and fun read. It was much better than the less-than-satisfying Tongues of Serpents. Novik brought back all the things I love about the series and it was glorious. Also, GRANBY. O, my heart, Granby. I also think that Novik has gotten a lot better at not Othering the cultures she's writing about while still remaining faithfully in Laurence's Colonialist POV.I really, deeply enjoyed this book.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-28 03:57

    Really enjoyed this one. Really, really. And that's saying something, since I enjoy all her books! This one deals with certain hard questions, like the dragons' behavior toward their people, and vice versa. Also, it gives us an intriguing look at South America in Novik's world, and what the dragons are like there. Very interesting stuff, and I'm happy-sad to find that the series is winding down.

  • Kyle
    2018-11-28 06:55

    Ah, that's better. Ignoring the previous book, Novik remains a wonderfully consistent writer who always manages to give me my guilty pleasure fix. At least, whenever my guilty pleasure includes Napoleonic politics, adolescent-brained dragons, and lots of murdered livestock. The mix of fun, serious, and corny makes a nice enough cocktail to have at dinner parties, yet is also 6-pack enough to have on game-day.