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Lawrence and his dragon take flight

Series returns with a golden volume

By Rob Hedelt

The Free Lance-Star

THANK GOODNESS Naomi Novik got  British captain Will Laurence and his fighting dragon, Temeraire, out of Australia.

It wasn’t the country that was the problem in that sixth Temeraire novel, it was just the fact that nothing much happened there.

Not so in this, the seventh book, as the captain once branded a traitor is given a chance to rejoin the battle against Napoleon’s forces and the British pair are dispatched to Africa and then Brazil.

The action that was so moribund in Australia is much more compelling here as adventures range from being stranded on a desolate island to trying to create an alliance with a people and dragons so far not involved in the struggle for world dominance.

Temeraire is one of the more interesting creatures in fantasy, a fully educated and articulate dragon who loves flying for king and country—even if he is by dragon type an Oriental.

Likewise, Laurence is a true English gentleman and officer, a fact that shapes every encounter, battle and  negotiation he’s part of.

Things get a little wild as one flight and battle give way to another near the novel’s end.

Will Laurence and Temeraire win back the respect they once had?

Ah, you’ll have to wait for the next novel to find that out, following them to whatever corner of the world it visits in Napoleon’s time.

Rob Hedelt  is a columnist  with The Free Lance–Star.

CRUCIBLE OF GOLD

By Naomi Novik

(DelRey, $25, 336 pp.)

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/books/2012/05/20/lawrence-and-his-dragon-take-flight/

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