This book drug and went too fast. It couldn't decide where the pace should be. I enjoyed the fact that African dragons and dragon culture were extremely different than European dragon culture, but the extent of the African empire was pretty unbelievable. The sheer structure and power of that empire with the Europeans encroaching on the coast should have been obvious, but was apparently secret. The fact that any culture would be so upset over picking a fungus (which should grow pretty quickly) was also a bit over the top. I was also extremely upset by the ending and Laurence's decisions in dealing with Napoleon. I still haven't picked up the next book because I'm not sure I'm going to like it, but I will read it just to see what happens.