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Crucible of Gold (Temeraire #7)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,009 Ratings  ·  564 Reviews
Naomi Novik’s beloved series returns, with Capt. Will Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire once again taking to the air against the broadsides of Napoleon’s forces and the friendly—and sometimes not-so-friendly—fire of British soldiers and politicians who continue to suspect them of divided loyalties, if not outright treason.

For Laurence and Temeraire, put out to pa
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Del Rey (first published 2012)
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Temeraire is back! I was starting to worry about that. It was kind of a shame, the way the series ended in the fifth book. I didn't think it would continue.

I SAID, it was a shame the way the series ended in the fifth book. Do I need to add a wink and a nudge here? Do I? Don't make me turn this review around, kids.

But I digress. At the end of the fifth book, Victory of Eagles, Laurence and his dragon Temeraire went into exile to Australia after being convicted of treason, and it was very sad. Aft
Jamie Collins
3.5 stars; better than the last book, if not as satisfying as the earlier ones. It’s too short, for one thing. It’s still a travelogue, but there is more excitement this time - disasters and battles and hardships - as Laurence and Temeraire continue their world tour in South America. Novik’s eagerness to depict the way people and dragons interact in different societies seems to drive the plot more than the circumstances of the war.

Her writing is still very entertaining, though. The characterizat
Mar 15, 2012 Nicholas rated it it was ok
I really want to like this series, but I'm afraid the previous two entries have fallen flat with me.

I enjoy the characters, but I don't really feel like they are progressing much. Novik is doing a good job of moving her characters around the globe and putting them in new settings. I liked the work she did w/ the Inca culture and it was nice to meet the Tswana again. Overall, however, we didn't learn much new about the characters and they didn't seem to evolve much. Sure we learned a personal sec
Joe Howe
Apr 13, 2012 Joe Howe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this book, this series.

Yes, the premise (the Napoleanic era + Dragons)is shamefully ridiculous. No need to doubt your judgement there.

But the execution? Oh Sweet Merciful Lord, soooo good. It's light, it's fluffy, and it's flawless. The best treat is the characterizations of the main characters of the the Dragon and his Captain, but you go far enough into it and there's even some substance - meditations on how the war to fight Napoleon (good)balances against the preservation of the worst asp
May 04, 2012 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
A good summer read, easy and fast. I know I'm reading it at the beginning of May, but we're already enduring a heatwave, so I wasn't in the mood for anything more demanding.

I've been a moderate fan of Temeraire adventures since His Majesty's Dragon , and I'm glad to find some improvement after the less satisfactory Tongues of Serpents . I still get the travelogue vibe that ignores the central Napoleonic Wars theme in favor of exploring exotic locations, but with Crucible of Gold there are act
Apr 03, 2012 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first dragon book of hers that I gave less than 5 or 4 stars to. I don't think it's a stand-alone book. Heck, I've read them all and I was still confused by who did what when. It's a tough call about how much backstory to toss into each book in a series and I think she under-did it.

Temeraire seems to have lost some of his intelligence and love of learning--and he's caught in the whole competition with other dragons to the point of dullness. He'd matured so much through the first coup
After repeatedly doing what they thought was moral, rather than following their orders, Laurence and Temeraire had finally broken free of the British Empire and began living a peaceful life in Australia. But alas, Laurence's dutiful nature cannot be overcome forever, and he and his draconic bff are convinced to rejoin the Aerial Service. They ship off to South America, in hopes of gaining new allies or at least, not losing their current ones.

At this point I kinda don't know why I shouldn't be r
Jennifer Rinehart
I have been more than patient, I waited for Temeraire and Lawrence to get back to the fight against Napoleon through three books and now this one drags the story to Incan South America (might as well have been back to Africa, the storyline is so similar). Uh uh, I'm done now (sorry if I sound ticked off, it's just that I adored this series, I even bought the first three books in audio version as well as paper).

But each book after has gotten more and more preachy, dragg-y and one off, it's like t
Melissa McShane
Like Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold is much shorter than the other Temeraire books. When I first read Tongues of Serpents in 2010, I wondered if it was the first half of a novel that was too long to publish in one volume, but now it's clear that they're both independent but short novels.

Part of the four-star rating is the very-probably-wrong feeling I have that this book, like the previous one, is too short, but it's really that it feels as if Temeraire and Lawrence have been sidelined..
Oct 08, 2013 Otherwyrld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
Laurence and Temeraire are pulled out of their self-imposed exile in Australia for a new mission, to try and stop the Tswana (the African empire first encountered a few books ago) from permanently allying themselves with Napoleon. To that end, Laurence is reinstated as a Captain in the Aerial Corps and the Allegiance is sent back to retrieve them. Needless to say, things go badly awry with this plan...

It is no spoiler to note that the ship is wrecked long before they reach their goal, as it appe
Feb 28, 2015 Kara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Termeraire and his captain lurch from one disaster to the next as they go from Australia to South America. For the characters, it’s a terrible time all around, but for the reader it’s an absolutely delicious adventure; a fine return to form after the dullness of the last book.

Due to a shift in the political wind, it’s now advantageous for the British government to put Lawrence and Ter back to work, but Lawrence, instead of holding firm and demanding some sort of advantage from the situation, col
Hazel West
May 02, 2013 Hazel West rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been a long time coming because I had to muddle through what I felt was a betrayal from this author who up to this point was one of my favorites, and how I won't be continuing this series.

Okay, a lot of people agree with me, the last book "Tongues of Serpents" was just ridiculous. What was the point of that book? They did nothing but tramp around Australian outback fighting desert water creatures. I was somewhat willing to cut slack when I read it, but after finding this book wa
Mar 16, 2012 Theobroma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! The thing I hate most about the Temeraire books is when they END!! I had been looking forward to this book for a long time and I wasn't disappointed (except when it ended cuz I wanted more and now I'll have to wait another two years, grrr).

I love these books because of the dragon characters. Temeraire and Iskierka did not disappoint. Laurence and the other human characters are good too, but let's face it, the dragons are the personalities in these books that really shine
Jun 18, 2015 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I adore the Temeraire books and can't read these fast enough! The characters are so engaging, the depth of detail and description are so immersive and rich - they are some of the best historical-sci-fi around. This one was an enjoyable story with some surprising revelations and twists, as well as some nail-biting and hand-wringing developments (augh! there were some awful and sad things that happened). The only difficulty I had with this installment was the distracting jumps and shifts in point- ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so happy to have Temeraire back. I'd forgotten him for too long.

Novik didn't leave a dull moment in this book, let me tell you! I listened to the first half of this on audiobook and read the second half... and Simon Vance definitely did the story justice as narrator.

Has anyone noticed, though -- has Novik not used a single curse word during this whole series? Iskierka says "damned" once in this book, and it's censored out (d----d) like in some old Victorian novel. I'm sure I'd have noticed
Erin (PT)
I keep wanting to write a longer review about Crucible of Gold but most of what I want to say about it boils down to this: it was an excellent and fun read. It was much better than the less-than-satisfying Tongues of Serpents. Novik brought back all the things I love about the series and it was glorious. Also, GRANBY. O, my heart, Granby. I also think that Novik has gotten a lot better at not Othering the cultures she's writing about while still remaining faithfully in Laurence's Colonialist POV ...more
Apr 06, 2016 Leseparatist rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Slightly disappointed by this volume. The Incan dragons and dragon-and-human culture were cool and different enough (and the return of Tswana characters provided some decent continuity) but the overall pacing felt slightly off and the characters didn't feel like they were given their due.

(view spoiler)
Really enjoyed this one. Really, really. And that's saying something, since I enjoy all her books! This one deals with certain hard questions, like the dragons' behavior toward their people, and vice versa. Also, it gives us an intriguing look at South America in Novik's world, and what the dragons are like there. Very interesting stuff, and I'm happy-sad to find that the series is winding down.
Mar 16, 2014 LenaLena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I waited a good long while to read this, because I found book 6 rather tedious, but I am glad I did finally get around to it. The events in this book are much more exciting so it isn't so obvious that the characterizations seem to have stalled in the last few books. The dragons are still much like petulant children and Laurence has been stuck in a persistent mope for what seems like forever. What I would love to see, besides the always fascinating travelogue with fun cultural details, the hair r ...more
Oh, Temeraire, how I've missed you. Even though this book (and this whole series) has some major flaws, they are always good for a quick, breezy, exciting read. I think each book of Naomi Novik's can be entitled "The Adventures Of Temeraire And His Wacky Dragon Sidekicks (And Their Human Friends)". This book is no exception to that, as our heroes globe-trot from one catastrophe into another.

I'd give this book a higher rating if the main plot would just GET GOING AGAIN. Lawrence and Temeraire hav
Fabulous performance by Simon Vance, who narrated the entire series. Yay for consistent voices! As for the story, about 3-4 stars. Good to see the crew rejoined, and lots of vivid scenes in the ocean and in South America. We travel from Sydney, Australia to Peru and Brazil: Lake Titicaca, Old Cuzco, and Rio. Lots of action. Battles and duels and dire straights. Surviving on the edge of starvation. Some deaths and some wonderful feasting and glad reunions. Also, the soothing leaves of the coca tr ...more
Oh, wow! Crucible of gold is an improvement on Tongues of Serpents with more of the action and adventure from earlier books in the series.

While I have one or two little suggestions that might have improved my reading experience, my biggest complaint is that I shall have to wait for the next book. Novik continued with her character development and rejoined world events. (view spoiler)
Mar 25, 2012 Li rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CRUCIBLE had a lot of what I loved in the early Temeraire books - plenty of action and adventure, with fantasy melded seamlessly with historical fact. I found the pacing in CRUCIBLE much better than in previous book - it took me a couple of chapters to sink into the rhythm of Naomi Novik's prose, but once I did, I was engrossed in the story.

I liked how Ms Novik gave us a peek into the very different dragon society of the Incas, and I can see this experience certainly shaping Temeraire's thinkin
Ranting Dragon
Jul 04, 2013 Ranting Dragon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephan

In Naomi Novik’s marvelous alternative history Temeraire series, the British armies fight the French warmonger Napoleon Bonaparte—and both armies possess an air force of dragons. It’s a concept that merges everything that’s good about fantasy, combining an imaginative, meticulously detailed historical setting with dragons, swords, battleships, and gunpowder. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Temeraire series is one of my favorite ongoing works o
Mar 31, 2012 Laney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best additions to this series since the initial work "His Majesty's Dragon." Where some of the other novels have a tendency to plod along through the wilderness of both scenery and plot (*cough* Victory of Eagles), Crucible of Gold moves from one fast-paced adventure to the next, without being a connivance by the author to keep reader interest. Particularly, the humorous development of Iskierka's (the irrepressible pirate of a dragon)and Temeraire's (the musing, self-controlling philo ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Glee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was nice to visit with Will and Temeraire again. More travels on behalf of, or in spite of, the British Empire. This time to South America and the Inca. This entry in the ongoing saga was like those family trips from my childhood - all seven or eight of us jammed into the trusty station wagon, kids bickering and whining about someone crowding into their space, with Dad ineffectually threatening us with the old "Don't make me have to stop the car" and someone insisting every five minutes or so ...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
I had hopes that Crucible of Gold would get the series back on track after Tongues of Serpents, but the same problems pervade. Foremost, whereas the first few books were pretty tight on their alternate history, sticking fairly close to historical events, from 4 onwards, things got increasingly silly (with the exception of book 5) and had less and less to do with the historical events of the Napoleonic Wars. Moreover, the dragon-friendly Incan Empire she creates in Crucible of Gold shares a lot o ...more
May 08, 2012 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
These books want so badly to be Master and Commander with dragons. I can't fault the author for wanting to follow so successful a formula, but at times she follows it too closely for my tastes. Granted, most people will probably not even realize the parallels, since the M&C series appeals to a much different set of readers.

But they have dragons! you say, and I will grant you that they are original in that they veer off into a much different history of the Napoleonic Wars. But of course they
Chris Bauer
I've been reading this series since the first book came out and have tremendously enjoyed the rich combination of historical fiction and "plausible" fantasy elements such as dragons. The first several books read like an awesome combination of Horatio Hornblower + Dragonriders of Pern and were very enjoyable. But this latest book in the series was more along the lines of Pride & Prejudice with dragons and a little Robinson Crusoe added for taste.

I can't recall the last time I felt like readin

OHhhhh YOU wacky Napoleonic/Victorian dragon alt-history thing. I like you and hate you. Not quite love, because the annoying parts are really annoying (to me). The way people act drives me right fucking crazy. BUT I think it's a setting thing, not a bad writing thing. This is pretty much the only exposure I have to the whole Victorian gentleman/woman thing, but I can already tell you that I hate it. Even dragons make it only barely tolerable. Because everyone acts like a goddam idiot.

Novak's ta
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An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to partic ...more
More about Naomi Novik...

Other Books in the Series

Temeraire (9 books)
  • His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)
  • Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2)
  • Black Powder War (Temeraire, #3)
  • Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, #4)
  • Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)
  • Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire, #6)
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
  • League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9)

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“. . . and it came out that this King Arthur and his knights had done nothing of real note but to kill innocent dragons all around Britain: almost certainly a pack of lies, as Forthing admitted they had not possessed even any guns at the time, and unpleasant lies at that.” 4 likes
“They are ours,” he said, “although not properly the sailors: they are only along because we would not leave them to drown, and ought to be more grateful for it than they are. Laurence,” he said, turning, “this is Palta, and that man is called Taruca: Iskierka snatched him, and I cannot find she asked him in the least.” 2 likes
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