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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Empire of Ivory - Naomi Novik

Captain Laurence and Temeraire have finally made it back to England, only to find that all the dragons there have been infected with a very nasty cold that’s kept them sick enough that many of them can no longer fly.    After accidentally breaching the quarantine, they find that Temeraire is immune to the cold, and after a bit more thought, they remember him having had a slight cold that cleared up while they were off the coast of Africa (on their journey to China).

Figuring that some of the exotic food he had on the journey must have cured him, he and the dragons of his squad are loaded on the Allegiance, and it’s down to Cape Town, where they finally discover that it’s a very hard to find mushroom that is the cure for the terrible disease.    While trying to find more of the mushroom, they stumble onto what they think are the local feral dragons, until a simple misunderstanding reveals much about the African dragons.

This book in some ways seems like a filler book, sort of how the sixth Harry Potter book was necessary to move the action along, but comes across as a somewhat unsatisfactory story on its own.    I did like how the author built the African dragon society, and a certain action that Temeraire and Laurence make at the close of the book explained certain spoilers I’d accidentally discovered about a future book.   So, I’m not sorry to have read it, but I now definitely need more.

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