Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
“Send up another, damn you, send them all up, at once if you have to,” Laurence said savagely to poor Calloway, who did not deserve to be sworn at: the gunner was firing off the flares so quickly his hands were scorched black, skin cracking and peeling to bright red where some power had spilled onto his fingers; he was not stopping to wipe them clean before setting each flare to the match.
Dragons and the Napoleonic wars. What could possibly be better? Well, I suppose there really isn’t too much of the Napoleonic wars in this book. Laurence and Temeraire are back from their trip to China, but they had returned to a plague. The dragons of Britain are ill; some are dead and more are dying. So off they head to maybe track down a cure. And of course they get embroiled in plenty of adventures along the way.
I do enjoy these books. But I always feel like I could enjoy them a hell of a lot more. Novik’s writing does the job, but she never manages to really grip me as a reader. Yes the story is fine and I turn the pages to find out what happens next, so she has more than done her job there, but her characters are a little lacking for my liking. And while her style tells a good story there is nothing more there.
Nothing wrong with that. I’m just always hoping for more
If you’ve enjoyed the previous books I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one too. It is after all, more of the same, with some extras thrown in, like Africa, more on the slave-trade, and well, to tell more would be spoilerish wouldn’t it.