Glee's Reviews > Crucible of Gold

Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
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Apr 13, 2012

liked it

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 that she was going to pee in her pants if we didn't find a bathroom.

Temeraire and Iskierka have regressed into petulant whining adolescents, and Will has become the ineffectual parent. I know this all sounds unlikely, but I love these characters. Somehow Novik continues to imbue them with personalities you want to spend time with, even as you tear your hair out. And not to worry, Napoleon shows up on cue, with the evil (hiss hiss boo) Lien at his side, but our trusty heroes outwit them again (mostly).

Read these, but in order. The earlier books have more depth and take their social commentary much more seriously than the latter books in the series. Now for me, they offer the opportunity to visit with old friends.
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Craig Curtis I would agree. Personally, it's starting to feel less like an epic adventure tale and more like a travelogue (let's see ... where haven't they gone yet...). The characters have become much more familiar, and thus far more comfortable, and at this point, that's really the draw anymore. It's fun to follow their exploits, but if feels like, for the moment, we're just kind of 'jogging in place' (as we hop from continent to continent) story-wise until everything gets resolved in the last book.

I think the first four books had a real 'game changer' quality to their stories, and yes, this one had the supposed super-alliance here, but it just doesn't have the same impact as the dragon plague or Napoleon conquering half of Britain like earlier books.

I'm still looking forward to the next one (traveling across North America), but it's the characters I mostly enjoy being with now - story-wise, I expect it's going to be another transition installment until Book 9.

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