EMPIRE OF IVORY by Naomi Novik

Read: Feb 10 - Feb 15
Format: AUDIO, 10 CDs, 404 pages equivalent
Source: Public Library
Setting: Africa, England, France
Category: I Heard Them!
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, SYLL, Audio, Read your Name - Letter E, TIOLI
Stars: 3½

Temeraire and Laurence return from their travels to China and their battles along the way to find that the dragon fleet has all come down with a mysterious illness that is killing and incapacitating dragons small and large, quickly and slowly. Nothing that the dragon doctors try has prevented this major catastrophe. Laurence notices that the symptoms resemble the illness that Temeraire suffered on his way to China. The aviators suspect that some of the food that Temeraire received in Africa aided his recovery, so Laurence and Temeraire head to Africa to search for the cure.

After their arrival in Capetown and Temeraire's remembrances of a special mushroom, the crew find a sample and sent to work testing to see if it works against the consumptive disease. As the test dragons begin to recover, Laurence and the crew head into the interior searching for more mushrooms.

This story is crammed with perilous adventures, characters that we have taken to our hearts, as well as a delicate handling of the issues of slavery, colonialism and biological warfare. It was fun to see the adventures evolve without the constant inclusion of military movements as in the previous installments. The beauty of the story and the relationship between Temeraire and Laurence draw the reader further and further into the tale and now toward the next installment. I can't wait!

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