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WesternSFA
Crucible of Gold
by Naomi Novik
Del Rey, $25.00, 323pp
Release Date: March 6, 2012
This is the 7th installment in Novik’s popular and wonderful Temeraire series.

Lawrence and Temeraire are still in Australia , in exile, when the story opens. The British government decides it can still use them and sends them to Brazil to open diplomatic relations with the angry Tswana who have besieged the Portuguese royal family. Lawrence is returned to his former rank and seniority as a captain in the air corps.

I was mildly disappointed that Novik didn’t continue her story with the Australian serpents; I was sure there was more there.

Disastrous events propel them into the Incan Empire with fascinating challenges, not the least of which is the proposed marriage of Granby and the Empress. There is some fun as Iskierka tries to get Granby married off so that she would acquire more crew in the form of children. Novik brings yet another culture to the forefront to examine how they have incorporated dragons into their society. So Temeraire acquires yet more revolutionary ideas of how dragons ought to be treated. Eventually, I think we’ll find that the adventures Lawrence and Temeraire experience will make them unfit to live in British society…or they will be agents of change.

Novik always delivers an exciting story with a complex plot. Her characters continue to be intriguing, although not always as detailed as I might wish. I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about Temeraire and look forward to more of the same. ~~ Catherine Book

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