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Empire of Ivory

(Temeraire #4)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  24,229 ratings  ·  1,220 reviews
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 encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons’ ranks–forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of ne ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 404 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Del Rey
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Dustin 7 or 8th Grade, maybe. Lots of historical stuff that most kids I know would hate. As for content, there is some suggestive content that would depend o…more7 or 8th Grade, maybe. Lots of historical stuff that most kids I know would hate. As for content, there is some suggestive content that would depend on the parent and how far they get in the series.

I will say that if you're looking for dragon books for that age range, the Wings of Fire Series is a popular one for middle grade readers (and adults).
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His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi NovikThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienEragon by Christopher PaoliniEldest by Christopher PaoliniThrone of Jade by Naomi Novik
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  24,229 ratings  ·  1,220 reviews

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May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love historical fiction, fantasy or dragons
This is the fourth book in the series but the first real review I’ve done for the series as I read the previous three last year when my reviews were one or two sentences long. The premise of these novels are simply: what would have happened if the Napoleonic Wars were fought with dragons?

I’ve enjoyed all four of the Temeraire novels so far. However I have seen lots of people mention that they haven’t found the second, third or fourth one as good as the first. Maybe I am biased because of my smal
Anish Kohli
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Deal Breaker..!! This book is a complete deal breaker.

The 4th installment in the Temeraire series, comes as a shockingly hollow book. Devoid of any story line, this book left me thoroughly disappointed. I am quite literally sad.

When I picked this series initially, I was ecstatic. Such brilliant writing style with such flow and a very charming Dragon. What else could I ask for? But since then this series has been on the decline in terms of story line and this book in particular brings it to a g
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“The very young hold up best, and the old ones linger; it is the ones between who have been dying. Dying first, anyway; I suppose they will all go in the end.”

In “Empire of Ivory” we are transported to Africa as we follow Laurence and Temeraire in their quest to find a cure for the epidemic that has spread to his fellow dragons.

I love the fact that with each book we explore a different place instead of just staying in the same setting every time. Since this book is set in Africa we
Kaethe Douglas
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
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, I finished book 4 with a bit of trepidation for future entries. Despite my love for the series, and the solid foundation that this alternate history tale was built on, THIS was the Temeraire book I didn’t even know I wanted. While the previous books in the series have all been good, Empire of Ivory definitely stands taller than the rest. My concern is that this is the pinnacle of the series, and that everything else that follows might not quite live up to the newly established standard. Li ...more
Scott Sigler
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The best yet in this series. Empire of Ivory delivers several gut-punches. I am so happy I started this series after it is mostly done, because after the cliffhanger ending in this book I would have been fit to be tied. As it is, I'm already listening to Book V, Victory of Eagles. ...more
Simona Stoica
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LAURENCE! *sigh*
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an ending!!!

Reread 07/19 - still felt every emotion just as strongly this time round!!
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Marie
3 stars, maaaaaaybe 3.5

It seemed like a lot of people were disappointed by Black Powder War and enjoyed this one much more. I'm the opposite. Loved Black Powder War and in comparison, Empire of Ivory... it just feels like not a lot happened. Yes, the dragons were sick. Laurence and Temeraire went to Africa to find a cure. Found a cure, brought it home, and voila! Dragons all better. The ending with Napoleon was mildly interesting, and I enjoyed their time spent in Africa thanks to Laurence's en
Michael Campbell
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
The fastest paced of the novels yet, and I really enjoyed it. It's nice that we're not solely focused on the events of the Napoleonic Wars and get to move around the world. In this one, we get to see Africa and the evils of slave trafficking and colonialism.

It's really neat how each culture has their own thing going with dragons and how they're treated. The interactions between Temeraire and Laurence were particularly good in this one, especially at the end.

Laurence fighting with his own patri
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
So.. I'm moving out of state in a few days and have been listening to a lot of books while I pack and clean. Since I was listening, I had no idea how far into a book I was. I felt like it was getting close to the end because a BIG THING was about to happen when....

the book ended.

I seriously thought there was something wrong with the file. But no. Fucking big cliffhanger ending.

It's been a year or more since I read a Temeraire book. I forgot how much I adore Temeraire and also the new baby dragon
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This volume is again one of my favourite from the series. I found the beginning really emotional and stressful in a very positive way, how can you not care for all the characters at this point? The pace is as fast as these books generally can be. Finally, I also got what I wanted for a long time – more of the rest of British captains and their dragons. This is one of the very few things that frustrates me about Novik’s writing – she introduces lots of characters that either make me curious or I ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
This was definitely a step up from the previous couple books!

That said, it still feels like I just read 3 different books even though I only read one. I really approve of how this series UNDERSTANDS that what I care about are the relationships and emotions. It's absolutely priceless, and I continue to love Temeraire and Laurence. But I am weary and they have traveled SO much; if they ever try to strike out for the New World I will riot.

The decision Laurence and Temeraire made at the end ups the
Bryce O'Connor
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite in the series thus far. An incredible commentary on everything from racism to war to sexism bundled up in an endless awesome world.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one started a bit slow for me, but in the end I actually enjoyed this one as much as the first. Very nice addition for the series.
Zen Cho
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, sff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meredith Galman
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not sure exactly what my expectations of this series but I can't say that I'm addicted to it at all. I felt that this book sort of went off the rail a bit. Firstly, they went away to look for a cure for a dragon cold that's killing all the dragons. I found the setting rather interesting in this part of Africa with their own dragon culture but then I felt the end of that adventure to be rather un-satisfying. Then followed what could be an exciting twist! I'm not sure I like how that's handled ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I may have underestimated the aims of this series, which I had assumed, based on the first three books, to be following the history of our world - or at least Europe - more or less as it did for real, only with the various powers involved having dragons at their disposal. That's what it seemed to be: The Napoleonic Wars, only with dragons.

Here in the fourth volume, that basic concept is blown open. Escaping from the events at the end of the third book with French dragons nipping at their heels,
Timothy Boyd
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has talking dragons that serve in the military! How cool is that. but wait, it turns out that Africa is infested with a ton more dragons than Europe. The bad part is that they are now pissed off at the European nations and have decided to do something about that. This series has pretty much everything you need; action, humor, great characters and a very nice plot. Highly recommended
Chameleon Bay
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Book Haunt
Finally, Laurence & Temeraire and company have arrived home after more than a year away. Also in tow are the feral dragons, Tharkay, the rescued Huguenots and the baby dragon, Iskierka. The home front has markedly changed though and not for the good. Temeraire’s fellow dragons that were left behind in England have been hit by an epidemic, some kind of dragon consumption. The consumption has killed some and left others badly weakened, one of which is Maximus, who will not last much longer without ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Much more interesting and exciting than the preceding couple of books, with a mission into Africa to boot. I've always liked how this series takes the reader to faraway places and this time Lawrence and Temeraire are off to find a cure for a dragon disease that's ravaging across the country and crippling the forces of the Aerial Corps.

I'm reading these books now more for the adventures rather than for the dragon battle scenes or the growing friendship between Lawrence and Temeraire, though thos
P. Aaron Potter
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy

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
L.E. Doggett
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not much to say about this one. It is a four star story. The writing is suburb: descriptions of events and setting, the plot is carried on as it should. There are a couple of details some readers may not like but they fit in. And this deals with an alternate setting for an event that really happened in our world in England. That history has a twist but so close to what we know too. Africa is different with dragons around.

I liked the fact that not every book is rewriting of the events in the pre
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Bringing the story back to its roots, Novik sends Lawrence and Temeraire to Africa, searching for a cure for the mysterious plague that has stricken England's dragons. The theme of dragon-independence is interwoven with the struggle to stop the English slave trade. A simply brilliant book. (Although my personal subplot of choice is Lawrence's parents thinking Emily Roland is his illegitimate daughter. Ha ha ha!) ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Temeraire (9 books)
  • 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)
  • Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
  • League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9)

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196 likes · 49 comments
“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.”
“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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