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.
Laurence and Temeraire—joined by the egotistical fire-breather Iskierka and the still-growing Kulingile, who has already surpassed Temeraire in size—embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that leave the dragons and their human friends forced to make an unexpected landing in the hostile territory of the Inca 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.
©2012 Temeraire LLC (P)2012 Recorded Books
“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 good addition to the Temeraire series.
As always, Simon Vance does an amazing job with the narration. All the characters have distinct and recognizable voices. Furthermore, those voices have not changed from the first book until now (which can be an issue with long series; listen to the Wheel of Time books, voices and pronunciations change several times despite the same narrators).
This book has more of the "Captain and Dragon; Buddy Adventure" feel from the first few books rather than the "I'm super depressed that I'm a traitor" theme that has dominated the past two books. There is some really nice character development for the dragons in this book, mostly regarding Temeraire and Iskierka, but also the new member of the gang: Kulingile.
If you didn't enjoy the last two books quite as much as the first few, this book puts the series back on the more upbeat and optimistic tone set in the beginning of the series.
Better than the previous couple of books in the series; how's that for praise?
This time Laurence and his beloved Chinese Celestial dragon Temeraire are freed from transportation in Australia and reinstated for a diplomatic mission to Brazil, to intercept Napoleon's envoys .
Are they too late? Will England now stand alone in the world against Napoleon? Will the supercilious dragon squabbling defeat their own mission?
Novik nicely adds some Incan history and geography, as well as a Patrick O'Brien-esque sailor flavour to their long voyage to South America and overland. According to the author's blog, there will be two more in the series; perhaps north to Captain Vancouver's Island next?
Simon Vance is an excellent narrator, and a joy to listen to: hopefully he can also complete the complete/unabridged O'Brian series.
Fabulous performance by Simon Vance, who narrated the entire series. Yay for consistent voices! As for the story, about 3 stars. Good to see the crew rejoined, and lots of vivid scenes in the ocean and in South America. We travel from Sydney, Australia to Peru and Brazil: Lake Titicaca, Old Cuzco, and Rio. Lots of action. Battles and duels and dire straights. Surviving on the edge of starvation. Some deaths and some wonderful feasting and glad reunions. Also, the soothing leaves of the coca tree / bush provide for some mildly amusing bits.
One of the best scenes is towards the end, when the British dragon teams capture several French ships and dragons. Nicely detailed, but not too long or drawn out. I loved the way the dragons worked together, ensuring their crew's safety while taking down the French.
However, I couldn't get into the larger plot: Napoleon allies with the Botswana-based Tswana tribe (who travel to Brazil to free their enslaved kinsmen). Napoleon also attempts to ally with the Incan empire.
Still, I do love this juvenile dragon. He tries so hard to be a better beast, for Laurence's sake, despite his innate fascination with shiny bling, his possessiveness, and his easily ruffled pride.
Lots of action and predicaments for Temeraire and crew to escape from.
Simon Vance is a master--he has so many voices that are perfect for each character! His "accents" are great.
It made me frustrated when I got to the end. I wasn't ready for it to be over, and I wanted to read more about the next adventures! It is one of those books where one says "Oh no! It's over?"
Can hardly wait for the next Temeraire book.
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I really like Novik's books and I really like Vance's readin of them. This one like book 6 was not her best but I did enjoy the story.
At this point her books move very quickly and sometime something is lost. They are often a whirlwind of action and some depth to her stories are lost.
I await her next Temeraire book and will listen.
Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel
Love this series, but this one sort of plods along and then just suddenly ends. Almost felt like... "ok, reached page 325 and everything else goes into next book"
Since it is part of a series, in its place, absolutely.
Because of the common theme of dragons and riders bonding so deeply, the Dragon Riders of Pern series (Anne McCaffrey).
His readings are musical in their cadence and intonation, rendering a listener readily engaged and easily lost in the experience.
If hanging on every word is an extreme reaction, then yes.
I have both the audio and the the paper version of this book (the audiobook was released quite late) and the audiobook is a great way to enjoy this text.
This book had a lot of good twists. Novik's discussion of how dragons fit into the different cultures of the world is always interesting.
Kulingile. He is just such a funny character without being the overly "Scrappy Doo" that is Iskierka. Vance does an excellent job of giving each character voice without sounding silly or making a mockery of the plot.
I really enjoyed the book. I wouldn't count this as the top book in the series. That's definitely Victory of Eagles. But, it's a great listen and it continues the major plot arcs nicely. Novic does an excellent job of mixing world wars, politics, cultures, and dragons into one great story.
I found this story to be a great addition to the Temeraire universe. It was a better story and flow than some of her past stories. The interaction between Temeraire and all of the other characters works very well.
I personally lovered how they added more countries and attitudes to the Temeraire universe.
I personally thought he did and amazing job of portraying each character differently.
As a note to the author, this is book seven and it would be nice if she could start tying up some of the story lines.
The Temeraire Series is fresh and original. The writing is well done and Simon Vance is splendid as always. Great series which builds upon history but with a twist. Highly recommend!
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