“If you're new to the Temeraire books, you shouldn't start here but with His Majesty's Dragon, then Throne of Jade and Black Powder War. This particular book is rather in the same vein as the second and third books. Just as the second book took us to China and the third to...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Ug. Got so bored with this series. Never really liked any of the characters.”see full review » see other reviews »
“If you're new to the Temeraire books, you shouldn't start here but with His Majesty's Dragon, then Throne of Jade and Black Powder War. This particular book is rather in the same vein as the second and third books. Just as the second book took us to China and the third to Turkey and Austria, this one takes us now to Africa. All the things that made the first three books so engrossing are on display here. I loved this look at an alternate history Napoleonic War with dragons, and it was interesting to look at African dragons and yet another variation on dragon/human relations and how it (and aerial combat) changes the historical dynamic. As with the other books, Laurence and his dragon Temeraire, and the relationship between them is a standout. The ending packs a wallop, I remember just sitting stunned at that last line; it will send you scurrying to the next book in the series to find out what happens next.”Lisa Maria C wrote this review Saturday, September 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The dragon Temeraire and his human rider and dear friend Laurence have returned to England under the grimmest of circumstances. Not only has Prussia fallen to the armies of Napoleon on the European mainland despite their every attempt, England's dragons have fallen to an epidemic that is not unlike consumption. It has spread through the whole population, leaving England undefended at it's shores as the French turn their eyes to invasion.
England's aviators and their dragons do what they can to put up the pretense that they are still fighting strong, but what little visibility they have is now largely due to the ferral dragons and the young eggling that just recently hatched as Temeraire and Laurence were making their way from Turkey to England. The hope is that seeing them will be enough to keep the French away for as long as possible.
This becomes an even greater need as Temeraire and Laurene are sent on a mission with their surviving companions from Dover to South Africa with the hopes of finding a cure for the disease that seems to do little but savage the dragon in his or her slow decline to death. They find themselves in Cape Town, South Africa, joined by a Caribbean African preacher and his wife, who are doing what they can to end the evils of slavery in the British Empire.
That would seem to be an argument that would align quite nicely with the Temeraire's more recent views about gaining dragons equal treatment in England after their trip to China, where dragons are kept in great esteem. The question is whether England is ready to end slavery or treat dragons as more than just intelligent pets or modes of transportation/war.
After running into more feral dragons in Africa, resulting in a major geo-political shift on the Dark Continent, everything about the war with Napoleon seems to be about to change. What will be the fate of the United Kingdom and her dragons. Will their scaled defenders survive and will the empire that rules the waves fall to the little emperor who know dominates all of the European mainland?
This was a really nice addition to the series. Besides all the action and mystery found in the battles and mystery of Temeraire and Laurence's missions, readers are drawn right into some of the major questions of the era: slavery, women's rights, despotism. The characters continue to be interesting, and I know that I really enjoyed the return of many of our main characters' friends from Dover. Admiral Nelson pops up with a very different history in this novel, only to come across a bit less the hero, but still interesting.
This is a must read for fans of the series as well as anyone who loves dragon stories, which have become few and far between in recent years. What would Horatio Hornblower have done with allies like these dragons?”
“Ug. Got so bored with this series. Never really liked any of the characters. ”Dayna Shrader wrote this review Saturday, January 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was a really good book and I want to read the next book now.”Elly wrote this review Monday, December 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Major history changer here. Imagine that Africa has the power to beat the invaders off. Wouldn't that have changed the world!”Renee F wrote this review Sunday, August 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“4th book”Martha S wrote this review Thursday, July 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dragons, the age of sail, or fantasy books!!!!”Suzi1138 wrote this review Thursday, July 26, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This re-envisioning of an Africa with dragons who revolt against the slave trade, has lots of intrigue, adventure, and drama. An excellent piece of work in this delightful and thoughtful series!”Neelthak wrote this review Friday, June 29, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No