Crucible of Gold Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Mar 6 2012
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Praise for Naomi Novik and her novels of Temeraire
“Novik’s influences run the gamut from Jane Austen to Patrick O’Brian, with a side trip through Anne McCaffrey. Her books are completely involving and probably addictive, their central conceit explored in clever detail with a great deal of wit and historical insight.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“These are beautifully written novels: not only fresh, original, and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart.”—Peter Jackson
“A gripping adventure full of rich detail and the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”—The New York Times
“[This is] a glorious series whose future status as a genre classic is now assured.”—SF Reviews
About the Author
Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, and Tongues of Serpents, the first six volumes of the Temeraire series, recently optioned by Peter Jackson, the Academy Award–winning director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2007, Novik received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the World Science Fiction Convention. 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. She is also the author of the graphic novel Will Supervillains Be on the Final? Novik lives in New York City with her family and six computers.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Restored unexpectedly to his former rank and seniority in His Britannic Majesty's Aerial Corps, Captain Laurence, Temeraire and their friends - both human and dragon - are compelled to take a hazardous sea voyage to South America, once more escorting diplomat Arthur Hammond, hoping to aid the exiled Portugese royal family in Rio De Janeiro, besieged by both the French and the Southern African Tswana dragonriders (The native people described in "Empire of Ivory", the fourth "Temeraire" novel).Read more ›
But building pavilions doesn't make for a very exciting book, so Naomi Novik's seventh novel is all about bringing the awesome pair back into action. It's a solid, tight historical fantasy that blasts Laurence and Temeraire into yet another strange exotic place, complete with shipwrecks, Frenchmen, whales, mutiny and feathered dragons.
Laurence is offered his commission back, because the British government has decided that it needs his help once more -- Brazil is in turmoil because of the Tswana empire, and the French have thrown Spain into chaos. Despite Laurence's misgivings, he and Temeraire leave on a ship for Brazil -- along with Demane, Granby, Iskierka and Kulingile.
But near the end of their voyage, their ship is destroyed, and the survivors find themselves marooned in the land of the Incas, ruled by dragons and not too pleased to see them. As they work their way to Rio, Temeraire and Laurence find themselves embroiled in another diplomatic disaster that can only end in another battle.
Temeraire and Laurence have gone to Asia, the Middle-East, Africa, Europe and even far-off Australia. Since they're rapidly running out of far-off places to visit, it's time for the pair to head off to South and Central America, which allows Novik to further flesh out her fictional world -- she mingles real history (Brazil's slavery issues) with fictional dragoncentric social customs.
The story also moves at a quicker pace than "Tongues of Serpents," with more dragon-fighting, fiery shipwrecks and a big climactic battle.Read more ›
Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. This series has been losing steam for a while now, and Crucible of Gold is more of the same.
Here's the blurb:
Naomi Novik’s beloved series returns, with Capt. 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. 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.
So the British government dispatches Arthur Hammond from China to enlist Laurence and Temeraire to negotiate a peace with the angry Tswana, who have besieged the Portuguese royal family in Rio—and as bait, Hammond bears an 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.Read more ›