Review: Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (UK edition)

Title: Empire of Ivory (Temeraire 4)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Alternative History, Fantasy, War Novel
Publisher: Harper Voyager (3rd March 2008)
Blurb:

Soar on the wings of adventure

After a year of adventuring from China to the Ottoman Empire and across Europe, Laurence and Temeraire finally land upon the familiar shores of Britain.

But instead of enjoying a jubilant homecoming, they are hushed and herded to a camp far from their usual covert. Laurence soon discovers that during their time in the east, a virulent epidemic swept through the Aerial Corps, and the British have lost many of their dragons. Entire formations have succumbed to the disease, and now only the appearance of an aerial defence keeps Bonaparte from invading.

Laurence and Temeraire are ordered to prepare for another long journey; this time to save the lives of their friends and British autonomy, but to do so they must venture into the most mysterious of places: Africa.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

EMPIRE OF IVORY by Naomi Novik is the fourth book in her brilliant Temeraire series. The novel continues the story of Captain Will Laurence and his dragon Termeraire after the events of the previous book, BLACK POWDER WAR, and continues their story as they land in Britain to discover what has been happening back home. It is not good news; a virulent epidemic has swept through the Aerial Corps, and Laurence and Temeraire find themselves ordered to Africa in search of a possible cure.

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Review: Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Title: Black Powder War (Temeraire 3)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Alternative History, Fantasy, War Novel
Publisher: Harper Voyager (6th August 2007)
Blurb:

Before Captain William Laurence can prepare his crew for the slow voyage home from China, new orders arrive for him and his dragon, Temeraire. They must fly home immediately, stopping only in Istanbul to collect three priceless dragon eggs, purchased from the Ottoman Empire.

But the cross-continental journey is fraught with danger; not only will they have to survive the perilous terrain but Lein, consumed by vengeance, has absconded from China. Holding Temeraire responsible for the death of her princely companion, her only desire is to destroy everything and everyone he loves.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

BLACK POWDER WAR is the third book in the magical Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. The book continues the story of the dragon Temeraire and his companion Captain Will Laurence of the Royal Aerial Corps. This book takes place not long after the events of the second book in the series. When we last left Temeraire and Laurence they were in China, this book sees them prepare to return home only to be commanded to collect three dragons eggs, purchased by the British from the Ottoman Empire, from Istanbul; a dangerous journey across the continents, a dangerous journey even without Europe on the brink of war.

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Review: Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

Title: Throne of Jade (Temeraire, 2)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre:  Alternative History, Fantasy
Publisher:  HarperVoyager (20 February 2009)
Blurb:

Captain William Laurence, formerly of His Majesty’s Navy, has had only a few months to adjust to his new life as the captain of a fighting dragon, but now he can’t imagine a life outside the British Aerial Corps and Temeraire.

But now the Chinese have demanded the return of their Celestial dragon, and the British government cannot afford to refuse them, even if it costs them the most powerful weapon in their arsenal. Laurence and Temeraire must journey to Chine, knowing that once they arrive in the exotic east, they could be seperated forever.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

THRONE OF JADE by Naomi Novik is the second book in her fantastic Temeraire series. The book continues the stories of Captain Will Laurence and the dragon Temeraire. Having settled into life with the British Aerial Corps, Captain Laurence and Temeraire’s lives are disrupted when the Chinese demand the return of their Celestial dragon. As the British government cannot afford to refuse them Temeraire and Captain Laurence are forced to journey to China to find out what future awaits them.

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Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Title: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan (21st May 2015)
Blurb:

Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what the stories tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travellers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true; he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our father’s would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard known only as the Dragon, to keep the Wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik is a standalone young adult fantasy novel. The novel is heavily influenced by fairy tales and tells the story of Agnieszka who lives in a small village that is protected by the Dragon. Next to this village is the Wood, which casts a dark shadow. The book begins just before Dragon picks the next young woman to serve him.

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Review: Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Temeraire #1

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Title: Temeraire (Temeraire #1)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre:  Alternative History, Fantasy
Publisher:  HarperVoyager (16th June 2011)
Blurb:

Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancée, society’s esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to invade.

After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself. Dragons are much prized: properly trained, they can mount a fearsome attack from the skies. One of Laurence’s men must take the beast in hand and join the aviators’ cause, thus relinquishing all hope of a normal life.

But when the newly-hatched dragon decides to imprint itself on Laurence, the horrified captain’s world falls apart.  Gone is his golden future: gone his social standing, and soon his beautiful fiancee, as he is consigned to be the constant companion and trainer of the fighting dragon Temeraire . . .


Rating: *****
(5 stars)
Review:

Temeraire is the first book in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. The series is an alternative history for adult readers of the Napoleonic wars, that features dragons. Some have therefore considered it a steampunk series, but I think it is actually an alternative history series as  the only change is the inclusion of dragons.

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