Melissa McShane's Reviews > Crucible of Gold

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
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's review
Mar 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: alternate-history, fantasy, military-fiction, action-adventure, own
Read in March, 2012

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...which, of course, they have. The exploration of the alternate-history Incan Empire is still very interesting, particularly the idea that the Incan dragons are essentially owners of the humans. I also like that Iskierka, whose wild nature has been a danger to everyone around her from the beginning, finally goes to such extremes that Granby gives her the metaphorical spanking she really needs. Less pleasant is that (view spoiler)

The ending of the novel makes it clear that Lawrence and Temeraire's exile is at an end, and I look forward to their rejoining the war in the next book.
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Rachel I'm still (view spoiler)

Melissa McShane Rachel wrote: "I'm still [spoilers removed]"
Me too! There's always hope, right?

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