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Empire of Ivory: A Novel of Temeraire
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Empire of Ivory: A Novel of Temeraire (Temeraire #4)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  11,255 ratings  ·  592 reviews
“A new writer is soaring on the wings of a dragon.”
–The New York Times

“Enthralling reading–it’s like Jane Austen playing Dungeons & Dragons with Eragon’s Christopher Paolini.”
–Time, on His Majesty’s Dragon


Tragedy has struck His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England’s shores against the
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ebook, 404 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Corrielle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meredith Galman
In terms of both theme and action, this book seems more like a direct sequel, and a worthier follow-up, to Throne of Jade than the rather pointless Black Powder War. Back in England, Laurence and Temeraire discover the fighting dragons have been devastated by an unknown plague. Since Temeraire seems to have survived it, he and others of his consort are dispatched back to Africa to try and find the cure. There they encounter several African tribes and yet another societal relationship between h ...more
Trin
The fourth in the Temeraire series, and the one I've enjoyed the most since the introductory book. Which is to say, a lot. This one felt more tightly structured than the last, with the disease plot as a brilliantly chosen and terrifying centerpiece. I've never had a dragon, obviously, but the idea of losing one made me ache almost as much as the thought of losing one's daemon in His Dark Materials. The African setting really came alive; I love how we're getting to see how different cultures aro ...more
Kaethe
2011 September 21

Yeah, she managed to slip penguins in there with the colonialism and the slavery and the dragon plague. It feels quite a bit as if she can read my mind and anticipate everything I might want to see and give it to me. I'd give her a whole extra star just for the 19th century epidemiology alone. And another star for Mrs. Erasmus. It's hard for me to think of another book, let alone a series, which deals so well with very weighty issues and is such insane pleasure to read.

Library c
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Zen Cho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen
"It's a kind of consumption," Lord Lenton said tiredly, turning to the window.

“How widespread—?” Laurence asked.

“Everywhere,” Lenton said. “Dover, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough. The breeding grounds in Wales and Halifax; Gibraltar; everywhere the couriers went on their rounds; everywhere.” He turned away from the windows and took his chair again. “We were inexpressibly stupid; we thought it was only a cold, you see.”

Narrated superbly by Simon Vance. I've listened to the series. This one -- book 4 -
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Monica
The pacing of the plot really picks up in this installment of the Temeraire series. I also love that they are back in England with this book (for the most part), as I find the dynamic in that setting to be the most entertaining. This is one of the better books in the series, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed any of Novik's previous novels.
Jamie
I'm loving this series. This one has a sort of cliffhanger ending, which I don't in general care for, and I'm glad the next book is already available. I'm going to be really frustrated when I finish that one - I hate it when I "catch up" on a series and have to wait a year or more between books.

Novik's writing gets better and better. I kept going back to re-read sections that were particularly compelling, and there are some very funny scenes. I love the Regency-era dialog.
Kerry
Whaaaaat now that is a cliffhanger! Man.

This was once again a very nice little book. This one takes place in Africa for much of the time, which is fun. And it has a lady admiral! I know I've bemoaned in the past the lack of female characters in this series. But I have to admit that Novik is pretty good at having our hero be a product of his times, without being a huge dick. He seems more bewildered by women being able to, like, DO and THINK things, than really objecting to it. Which works for me
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P. Aaron Potter
CLIFFHANGER WARNING!

Newly proposed law: any book which ends on a verifiable Cliffhanger must sport a warning label, in bright orange, which covers no less than 25% of the available cover. "Verifiable," in this case, is subject entirely to the judgment of the Minister of Books, ie me.

Seriously, I got into George R. R. Martin's books with eyes wide open. I knew I was going to be left hanging. I have no beef with him.
But generally, if you put "book one of a trilogy" on your front cover, I'm not go
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Samrat
This was really much better than the third book. I really like how articulately Novik (and Temeraire) condemns slavery (duh, but still grateful) and goes to lengths to explain the Tswana society/religion, but I dunno, some of the descriptions were irksome and most of the African characters underdeveloped. I really like how creative and distinct each culture has been in their relationships to their dragons. Super happy about the ending. I don't even mind the cliffhangers because the stories feel ...more
Casey
After the previous installment, Black Powder War, I wasn't sure if I should continue on with the series. I am satisfied with my decision to read Empire of Ivory. I think it makes up for the previous shortcomings, and it is more tightly plotted compared to the previous books.

That being said, Temeraire novels are a slow burn. There are periods of inactivity between skirmishes, and periods of time where the characters are stuck in their situation. That is indicative of being in the military. I rema
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Saphirablue
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Tari_Roo
Well, after the first book, this book is my next favourite. The anxiety and tension in books 2 and 3 restrained my complete enjoyment, but with Empire of Ivory, I was reading avidly, unable to put the book down.

The first notes of enjoyment were Iskierka and the ferals - who were delightfully funny and amusing, especially in contrast to the overhanging sorrow and worry with the plague affecting the other dragons. And as frustrating as Laurence finds the British Government, I found them worthy of
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Glee
OK, first book was Temeraire's birth and early training in England (with his trusty sidekick, Will Laurence, British naval officer turned dragon captain), followed by Temeraire's exploration of his "roots" in China, then Temeraire on the Silk Road, with special emphasis on Constantinople and other Balkan hot spots, and now in book 4, we have Temeraire in Africa!!

As ridiculous as this sounds, these are more than just ripping good fantasy reads. There is a lot of history (and geography) wedged in
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Otherwyrld
A much better book than the previous one, with much better pacing. The real downer of an ending took the edge off a possible 5 star rating though.

Temeraire and his crew finally make it home only to find most of the dragons sick with a lung complaint that kills them slowly and agonisingly. So, with barely time to draw breath they find themselves on their way to Africa to look for a cure. This seems to be little more than a blind stab in the dark, based on the fact that Temeraire didn't get sick.
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BJ Rose
Well, we traveled to another continent in this book. In His Majesty's Dragon it was Europe (England especially) and the Napoleonic Wars, in Throne of Jade it was Asia (China specifically), in Black Powder War it was the region of Eurasia (Turkey), and in this book we travel to Africa to try to find a cure for the deadly disease that is decimating the dragons. In the process, they are captured and enslaved, and ... (well, more would be a serious spoiler).

Again, this book didn't really grab me unt
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Audrey Dailey


This is the 4th book in the Temeraire series. While the ongoing conflict with Napoleon and France overshadows this novel, the bigger problem at hand is a consumptive disease that is threatening the lives of all dragons in Britain. So almost immediately after returning home from China, Laurence and Temeraire are headed off to Africa in search of a warmer climate and a cure. What they find is that their knowledge of African dragons and customs is sorely lacking. The book has a cliff-hanger ending
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nicebutnubbly
I love this series, but I really didn't like this one much. While the beginning was interesting, and the end was more so, the middle takes us to Africa and randomly deposits us into a new culture whose analog in history (if any) was not apparent to me. The point of the trip to Africa may be some impact on the world that we'll need for future books, but it's barely mentioned in the fifth book, and I can't help but feel that it was a ridiculous interpolation in terms of the wider narrative flow. W ...more
Judy
Probably 3.5 stars because I thought the middle third of the book dragged on a bit. For once, I'm glad I came to this series a bit late and don't have to wait for the next release since this one ended on a cliffhanger. I felt pretty sad by the end of this book, but I'll definitely read the next one. Wonderful narration of the audiobook.
Hazel
Well crafted historical fantasy that was immediately engaging. Novik has done her research and presents convincing period detail. Her fight scenes are exciting and realistic, and I particularly appreciate the high casualty rate, no namby-pamby romanticism here. The characters are growing on me too and it's nice to see Temeraire's personality develop. Again, there is an attempt to describe the place of dragons in another culture. Lately I was reminded of H Rider Haggard. I am glad to say that Nov ...more
Karen
In the fourth installment of the Temeraire series, Will Laurence and his dragon Temeraire return to England to find most of the dragons in the Aerial Corp deathly ill, and they (and their crew) soon set off to Africa to find a possible cure. While not the main focus of the book the picture of the slave trade was accurate and brutal, and I very much enjoyed that historical figures such as William Wilberforce, Horatio Nelson and Napoleon made appearances. Another great historical adventure story f ...more
Felicity
One of the things that is really pleasing about the Temeraire books is how, while I see some smaller plot developments coming, Novik sets up huge unexpected reversals of stakes, and does it so far in advance you have to admire the craftsmanship as well as the effect. This book goes in quite an unexpected direction from the last one, and takes us out of the Napoleon tunnel vision we might have been settling into.

I admit I was trepidacious when I realized the characters were going to Africa. Some
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Linda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
*Don't* pick up this book unless you have the next one in the series sitting at your fingertips. It ends with a cliffhanger that made me cry even though I *knew* our heroes had to survive (given the length of the series.)

I think this is the best book in the series so far. Yes, it does succumb to some of the same world-building preoccupation that slows down the previous two books, but that world is fascinating, the characters are wonderful, and we get to explore yet another continent!
Tzu-mainn Chen
You should know how I conduct my ratings before reading the rest of this review. I consider a three star rating to mean that, while I do not regret reading a particular book, I would have also held no regrets passing it by.

'Empire of Ivory' is a book I would have regretted not reading; however it also left me unsatisfied and frustrated. The fourth book in the Temeraire series, it continues the story of Laurence and the dragon Temeraire as they navigate the increasingly complicated situation in N
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Shiloh (Fantastic Reading)
Laurence and Temeraire finally return to England and discover why the English haven't been helping with the war effort--the dragons have come down with a sickness that so far doesn't have a cure. Laurence and Temeraire head back to Africa to look for a cure, but it's not going to be easy. . .

This is easily the most tightly plotted book of the series so far, even more so than the first one. It's also the most interesting, as the stakes are higher than just whether Temeraire will be taken away fro
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Alec
This series continues to be one of the most effortlessly enjoyable around - while still managing a level of social discourse unprecedented among its peers. While Novik is by no means the first person to think about these issues nor their deepest inquisitor, it is still endlessly refreshing to find $5 paperbacks making such an effort to have serious discussions about gender, sexuality and race.

And dragons and boats.
Logan Smith
I'm a fan of the series, and this one had some good stuff, but the structure and pacing of the story just seemed a little off. I was most of the way into the book and I still wasn't really hooked on any primary conflict or plot arc.
Jose Solis
Buena novela de la serie. Comienza un tanto lenta y aburrida pero hacia el final se pone emocionante y termina con un cliffhanger irresistible. De esos que hacen imperativo leer el siguiente libro... ;)
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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...
His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2) Black Powder War (Temeraire #3) Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5) Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire, #6)

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“Proper circus you make,' Berkley said, with a snort of laughter Laurence considered unnecessary, when they landed in the clearing and set the dog down; it promptly went tearing around the parade ground yelling at the dragons. For their part they were only interested and curious until the dog bit a too-inquisitive Dulcia on the tender nip of her muzzle, at which she hissed in anger; the dog yelped and fled back to the dubious shelter of Temeraire's side; he looked down at it in irritation and tried unsuccessfully to nudge it away.

'Pray be careful of the creature; I have no idea how we should get or train another,' Laurence said, and Temeraire at last grumbling allowed it to curl up beside him.”
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“Keynes, quite ignoring the covert gestures, the attempts at signaling, of nearly every senior officer, examined [Lily] and declared that she was perfectly fit to fly, "had better fly, I should say; this agitation is unnatural, and must be worked off."

"But perhaps," Laurence said, voicing the reluctance which the captains all privately shared, and they as a body began to suggest flights out over the ocean, along the scenic and settled coastline and back; gentle exercise.

"I hope," Catherine said, going pink clear up to her forehead in a wave of color, "I hope that no-one is going to fuss; I would dislike fuss extremely.”
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