crucible of gold

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crucible of gold

Review #1

crucible of gold audiobook free

I give this one four stars, mostly because I liked her writing style in this volume. I enjoyed the various draconic perspectives, and the general flow and movement of plot. The author’s clearly engaged with the story being crafted, and finding each character’s voice.

The basic question of how the world would develop if dragons were part of life keeps being re-explored, and I find it fascinating. Here, humans aren’t necessarily in control, and haven’t necessarily achieved the pinnacle of cultural development either, no matter what they might think. Intriguing to consider, and hugely entertaining. Familiar characters abound, but their fate is, as always, not assured.

On the other hand, this reads more like a snippet taken from the middle of a much larger story than a novel standing alone. If you come to this book looking for a story with a beginning, middle and end, standard drama which finds resolution by the last few paragraphs, etc, you’ll be disappointed. In fact, I think the end here seemed a bit abrupt, leaving the door open for the next in the series.

Review #2

crucible of gold audiobook Series Temeraire

I’ll start by saying I’m a fan of the series, and I did enjoy this book. Having said that, however, I also want to say that the road trip concept is getting a little tired. Yes, it’s interesting to see how dragons are incorporated into different cultures around the world, but, sheesh. Laurence has been traveling for most of the past several years and even though he probably did expect to do that as a Navy man, it seems hard that he hasn’t been able to see his Aerial Corp “family” much, and that his standard of living gets worse and worse. The way Incan dragons and people interact was definitely interesting, and it seems more and more that only the Europeans treat dragons as “property”. There was a lot of direct dragon-to-dragon interaction in this book, which was nice. I was saddened by a key (human) death, as well – I kept thinking that maybe that character mysteriously survived after all, and would reappear, but it seems such is not the case. And Laurence, who is perfectly aware that women make excellent captains – and admirals – needs to STOP trying to protect Emily Roland and Captain Harcourt. Yes, he is noble and chivalrous and all that, but these women (and Emily just about qualifies at this point) do not need coddling.

One thing that I really did enjoy was new insight into Granby’s character. I hope Novik continues to expand on this in the next book (which, sigh, looks to involve yet MORE travel – any bets on whether some of the British team, whom we see at the end of this book, will get to go along? I miss them!).

So, anyway, I spent a good part of this book wanting them to just GET THERE already because the road tripping was getting irksome, and it wasn’t until midway through their stay in the Incan Empire that I stopped feeling itchy about that. But I did still like the book overall, despite my quibbles – and I realize many people don’t mind Novik’s pattern at all. If you’re already a fan in the series, it’s definitely worth continuing on with CoG.

Review #3

Audiobook crucible of gold by Naomi Novik

The first book in this series remains the best; not merely because it was a brilliant book, but because the others since have largely been awfully boring. This one is no different. Continuing with the episodic travelogue style, this time the story of Laurence and Temeraire takes us to South America (undoubtedly the final book will end in North America, as it is the only continent apart from the Poles not yet visited). Cue artful but endless descriptions of the local geography as the characters travel, with frequent stop-overs where Laurence and Temeraire have to sit and wait in the custody of various rulers, engaging in unforgivably boring diplomatic dialogue. It is the politicking and the diplomacy that are the worst parts of the Temeraire series – while I’m sure much of historic warfare was spent in discussions rather than on the battlefield, I wish Novik could spare us most of the details. Instead we are treated to filler material, as has been the case more and more with the Temeraire series.

I will finish the series, because Temeraire and the other dragons are still such wonderful creations, and the preview of ‘Blood Of Tyrants’ provided at the end of this book seems to show the next plot will be refreshingly different (if no less light on the travel writing). But with so much filler, this series ought to be half the length it actually is.

Review #4

Audio crucible of gold narrated by Simon Vance

Having found ‘Victory of Eagles’ rather relentlessly depressing and stalled forever on the first chapter of ‘Tongues of Serpents’, I was surprised when my friend told me this latest – ‘Crucible of Gold’ was fantastic. Duly, I made my way quickly through ‘Serpents’ (which is really rather dry and lacking in character moments – a nice adventure but no one seems to experience any emotional development) and got hold of this. And I was very pleased. The pace, fabulous character interaction, imagination and twists and turns that drew me to Novik’s work in the first place are all back in place here, in a rip-roaring adventure taking in disaster, adventure, exploration and, yes, character interaction, including some revelations that cast a new light on previous books. If all the future books of this series are in this mould, we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Review #5

Free audio crucible of gold – in the audio player below

Brilliant! The whole series is brilliant, and if you haven’t already tried it, I urge you to do so. Sentient dragons deployed by the British Army in fighting Napoleon, trouble with the Incas, disaster on the High Seas…what more could any fantasy and sci fi fan ask for? Then, to have accurate historical detail, manners, mores and turn of speech totally correct for their time – I’m in heaven!

I have the entire series, and have already pre-paid for the next in the series which isn’t due till May (waaaah! sob!) and already read them all twice. Do I need to say more?

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