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Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 747 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Novik's earlier fantasies (His Majesty's Dragon, etc.), readers soared to Europe and Asia on the wings of an intriguing premise: How would the Napoleonic Wars have played out if dragons not only existed, but participated in the war effort? The fourth part of Novik's engrossing answer sweeps readers off to Africa, where the cure to the disease that has decimated England's dragon forces may be found. The African adventures of British captain Will Laurence, his dragon Temeraire and their bedraggled band of aerial corps make up the book's latter half, which showcases Novik's knack for weaving dragons and dragon lore into a vivid, well-researched historical tapestry. In Africa's wild interior, dragons shepherd and feed from elephant caravans while protecting the native villagers. This protection includes waging war against England's slave-seeking colonists, a clash that Laurence and his band may not escape unscathed. Novik fills the conflict's lead-up with lengthy meditations on dragon civil rights and England's abolition movement, making for a fitful, pedantic first half. But most will find the richness of Novik's developing world—and characters—to be worthy compensation for the slow start. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for His Majesty’s Dragon and the Temeraire series

“These are beautifully written novels—not only fresh, original, and fast paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart. [The Temeraire series] is a terrific meld of two genres that I particularly love—fantasy and historical epic.”
—Peter Jackson
 
“A terrifically entertaining fantasy novel . . . Is it hard to imagine a cross between Susanna Clarke, of Norrell and Strange fame, and the late Patrick O’Brian? Not if you’ve read this wonderful, arresting novel.”
—Stephen King
 
“A splendid series . . . Not only is it a new way to utilize dragons, it’s a very clever one and fits neatly into the historical niche this author has used.”
—Anne McCaffrey
 
“Just when you think you’ve seen every variation possible on the dragon story, along comes Naomi Novik. Her wonderful Temeraire is a dragon for the ages.”
—Terry Brooks
 
“Enthralling reading—it’s like Jane Austen playing Dungeons & Dragons with Eragon’s Christopher Paolini.”
Time
 
“A completely authentic tale, brimming with all the detail and richness one looks for . . . as well as the impossible wonder of gilded fantasy.”
—Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice,Grade:A)
 
“Novik has accomplished something singular with her Temeraire series. . . . At its heart, it’s a story about friendship that transcends not only time and class, but species.”
—NPR

“[Naomi Novik] is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”
The New York Times
 
“A thrilling fantasy . . . All hail Naomi Novik.”
The Washington Post Book World
 
“An amazing performance . . . [I] was immediately hooked by the writing, the research and the sheer courage of the whole enterprise.”
Chicago Tribune
 
“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
 
“Something new and quite wonderful . . . The Temeraire trilogy could well be this year’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.”
BookPage

“A superbly written, character-driven series . . . What keeps one turning the pages is the urge to find out what happens next to Captain Laurence and Temeraire, characters who win one’s heart from the beginning. Bravo!”
Booklist (starred review)

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Del Rey; 1st Printing edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0345496876
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345496874
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1200L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.13 x 1.04 x 6.85 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 747 ratings

About the author

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An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular fascination with the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O'Brian and Jane Austen. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York City along with many purring computers.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
747 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Beard
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant idea, well executed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2020
Roman Clodia
5.0 out of 5 stars Raises the stakes for Laurence and Temeraire
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2012
One person found this helpful
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Mc Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2013
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RattyBunyip
4.0 out of 5 stars good series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2018
Cygfa
5.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable book in the series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2019