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Empire of Ivory: Bk. 4 (Temeraire 4) [Hardcover]

Naomi Novik
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Nov 2007 Temeraire 4

Naomi Novik’s stunning series of novels follow the adventures of Cpt Laurence and his dragon Temeraire as they travel from the shores of Britain to China and Africa.

Laurence and Temeraire made a daring journey across vast and inhospitable continents to bring home a rare Turkish dragon from the treacherous Ottoman Empire.

Kazilik dragons are firebreathers, and Britain is in greater need of protection than ever, for while Laurence and Temeraire were away, an epidemic struck British shores and is killing off her greatest defence – her dragon air force is slowly dying.

The dreadful truth must be kept from Napoleon at all costs. Allied with the white Chinese dragon, Lien, he would not hestitate to take advantage of Britain's weakness and launch a devasting invasion.

Hope lies with the only remaining healthy dragon – Temeraire cannot stay at home, but must once again venture into the unknown to help his friends and seek out a cure in darkest Africa.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (5 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007256736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007256730
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 731,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular fascination with the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O'Brian and Jane Austen. She began writing as a guilty pleasure while studying for her Master's degree in Computer Science at Columbia. She found an opportunity to combine her passions by developing computer games, starting with a multi-player online science fiction game she created in college that has now been in continuous operation for almost a decade. She is also the founder and organizer of Vividcon, the annual convention for digital video enthusiasts who create music videos and other short films based on their favorite television shows and movies, and of the Commonverse, a project dedicated to applying the "open source" approach for software development to the writing of shared-universe fiction. She lives with her husband in New York City.

Product Description


‘These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart’
Peter Jackson

'Novik won me over with her first novel. the combination of history, sympathetic characters, and an engaging style makes this series great, intelligent fun.’
The Times

‘Plenty of intrigue, swordplay, exotic locations, plausible invention. In short a treat’
The Telegraph

‘Novik has stirred the passions with a genre-busting historical fantasy of the first order’
Sunday Sport

Praise for the Temeraire series:

‘A splendid novel. Not only is it a new way to utilize dragons, it's a very clever one and fits neatly into the historical niche this author has used. The plot was excellent, extraordinary in that the reader has no idea where it's leading–which is always fun.’ Anne McCaffrey

‘Wonderful “Temeraire” is a dragon for the ages and a fitting companion for the brave, steadfast Will Laurence.’
Terry Brooks

About the Author

Naomi Novik was born in New York in 1973, a first-generation American, and raised on Polish fairy tales, Baba Yaga, and Tolkien. She studied English Literature at Brown University and Computer Science at Columbia University before leaving to work in the games industry. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn working on a game in Canada, she realized she preferred the writing to the programming, and, on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels. Temeraire is her first.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! 18 Nov 2007
Last year, Naomi Novik burst into the fantasy scene with three highly entertaining novels which earned her the John W. Campbell Award. Temeraire/His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War were a veritable breath of fresh air in an otherwise often stagnating genre, each installment showing more potential than its predecessor. Using the Napoleonic Wars as a backdrop, Novik revitalized the oldest cliché in fantasy -- the dragons. And in so doing, she created something fresh, hip and extremely original.

Hence, it was somewhat of a tall order to follow this up. Indeed, Empire of Ivory needed to live up to the high expectations generated by the first three volumes in the series. And once more, Naomi Novik, writing with the skills of a veteran and with remarkable panache, rose to the occasion!

A tragedy has struck His Majesty's Aerial Corps. An epidemic of unknown origin is decimating the dragons' fleet, forcing most of the survivors into quarantine. Which leaves England virtually defenseless against Bonaparte's encroaching armies. As France's sorties become bolder and more frequent with each passing day, it's up to Laurence and Temeraire, along with a few uninfected dragons, to find a cure to the deadly contagion. Their mission takes them to distant Africa, where they believe a cure might be discovered. Yet in the heart of that mysterious continent lies a secret which could change everything. . .

Once again, Novik builds on existing storylines and comes up with a number of fascinating new plotlines. In previous reviews I claimed that some facets of Novik's earlier Temeraire novels hinted at a lot more depth than meets the eye. And Empire of Ivory demonstrates that it is indeed the case, and no doubt about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost Direction 11 Jun 2011
When i picked this book up it was in the hope that naomi had managed to keep going a series that is both action packed and filled with great characters, and to start with i was worried, the action was not there, what was there though, was a new depth to the characters, a real depth of sadness and despair for Captain william laurence that really carried over to the reader, but was also counter balanced by the intelligence but naivety of Temeraire and his dragon friends.

And for those that dont care about that and just want the action...do not worry, when it does arrive it does so in spades.
As usual i finished the book in about 24 hours and was left really looking forward to the next, and that the only pointer i need to know its been a great book, if a little slower and has the potential for the series to be flogged a little too hard...maybe more concentration on the books rather than the movies??
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Four back on quality 30 Oct 2007
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
The fourth part in Naomi's epic Temeraire series (Or His Majesties Dragon if youre in the US) and one that gets back more to the flavour of the first two with the last feeling a bit more like a filler to me. Cracking read and if you know a fan of Dragon fiction and they've not heard of this series then it's a must buy, especially for fans of Anne McCaffrey.

Wonderfully written with the continual growth of the characters both personally and emotionally, especially the complex dragon/rider relationship between the two principle protagonists. Idealistic, alternative fantasy fiction topped off with enough writing talent to keep the reader more than satisfied and demonstrates why Naomi is so popular amongst critics and fans alike, with the film rights having been bought by Peter Jackson.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Inactivity 23 Jan 2011
By Fantasy Lore TOP 1000 REVIEWER
By the time I began reading `Empire of Ivory' it had been two years since I'd read the previous novel in the Temeraire series, `Black Powder War'. I'd all but forgotten most of the characters, not to mention precisely where the story left off. So I was more than a little disappointed that the author began this book by making no effort to reacquaint readers with the on-going story. Instead, it picks up (I assume) exactly where the previous book left off, and with no exposition provided for readers.

I can't quite understand how `Empire of Ivory' has garnered so many positive reviews, when so little happens in this book. But I could have forgiven the lack of any plot points besides a flu-like virus sweeping His Majesty's dragon populous had the author (during a four-hundred-page novel, which any other writer would have made the basis for no more than two chapters) taken advantage of that to work on character development. William Laurence is the character whom the author treats most like a protagonist, but very little of the events in the story are actually told from his perspective, so I found myself longing constantly for the author to assert him. Whether he'd impressed, disappointed or surprised me I didn't really care, if only he'd performed some function other than to act as scenery to an even blander story, I wouldn't have felt as cheated.

As has been a criticism of the Temeraire novels in the past, the editing continues to be sub-standard. This is a shame, especially since Novik often demonstrates a superbly articulate and dynamic turn-of-phrase, which sadly falls flat when the reader must re-read a sentence in order to have it ring true due to poor editing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable!
Loving the Temeraire series of books. Very well written and they give a fresh view on well known historical events!
Published 1 day ago by Tina Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars A real joy to read
awaiting the last one , really looking forward to plunging once more in this wonderful world of dragons, if you have not done so before, take the plunge, you will not regret it.
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Sabine Broadbent
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good read
Still well written, engaging and entertaining.

I tend to devour these books, with the strange side effect that I find myself talking like Captain Lawrence for a day or... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mc Ellis
3.0 out of 5 stars empire of okay.
i really loved the way this series started, but it seems to be faltering in the later books, not sure if i will be buying the next one...
Published 11 months ago by konnar
5.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Ivory
All the books in this series have been most enjoyable. Of course one has to like dragons, which actually are depicted as having quite human characteristics, so each one is as... Read more
Published 15 months ago by shirly collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Temeraire
Love the Temeraire books and have the whole series, once you read one you are hooked. Can't wait for the next book.
Published 17 months ago by teccarol
5.0 out of 5 stars Raises the stakes for Laurence and Temeraire
Laurence and Temeraire are finally back in Britain after their long travels - but all is not well with their friends, dragon and human. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2012 by Roman Clodia
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant series
A great set of books each story is complete in itself but makes you want to read the next one - excellent delivery
Published on 10 Jan 2012 by Mr. M. Franzkowiak
3.0 out of 5 stars Errors in the Kindle edition
I want to start this review by saying that I really enjoyed the story, and would have given the story itself four or five stars. Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to read the next one
Some women love chick lit, but the Temeraire books are my own literary equivalent of munching on a family sized bar of chocolate as a mood booster. Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2011 by Amanda J. Vlietstra
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