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Empire of Ivory (The Temeraire Series, Book 4): Bk. 4 (Temeraire 4) Hardcover – 5 Nov 2007

28 customer reviews

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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 (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,021,875 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

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on 18 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
In terms of writing, I would rank it either on the same level or slightly below Black Powder War. Better than Throne of Jade but nowhere near Temeraire. It does feel rushed, then first part was mostly me yelling at the characters for being so thick and there was a lot of repetition. Out of a four hundred page book, it took them more than 100 pages for them to actually get the Africa, meaning that a sea voyage of several months had to be cut to barley 15 pages. In comparison it's better than the hundreds of pages dwelling on that in Throne of Jade, but I do think it should have been longer, dwelling more on Harcourt and Riley's relationship, and the tension between Lawrence and Riley, and perhaps developing Erasmus' character a bit more.

The Africa chapters were pretty good on the other hand, the search for the mushroom was well done, giving a sense of tension without taking so long as to get dull. I liked that finding the mushroom wasn't even half the struggle, that they still needed to find more, and how the cave full of mushrooms was turned into a plot point. I thought some of the confrontations were a bit rushed, but the ideas in that blew the book straight out of the doldrums. They was incredible. I loved how the dragons had been incorperated so seamlessly into African culture, and the little fragment at the back of the book was wonderful. Equally, the mention that the Inca empire is still alive and well due to the dragons has me squeeing.

Once again, I deeply admire how Novik makes every character that Lawrence and Temeraire come into conflict with so believably sympathetic. I am a bit annoyed that al the characters she kills are those that won't be missed. However, she does at least kill them realistically and it's always a shock.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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