“An absorbing adventure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Former Aerial Corps captain Will Laurence and his faithful dragon, Temeraire, have been put out to pasture in Australia—and it seems their part in the war has ended just when they are needed most. The French have invaded Spain, forged an alliance with Africa’s powerful Tswana empire, and brought revolution to Brazil. With Britain’s last desperate hope of defeating Napoleon in peril, the government that sidelined Laurence swiftly offers to reinstate him, convinced that he’s the best man to enter the fray and negotiate peace. So the pair embark for Brazil, only to meet with a string of unmitigated disasters that forces them to make an unexpected landing in the hostile territory of the Incan empire. With the success of the mission balanced on a razor’s edge, an old enemy appears and threatens to tip the scales toward ruin. Yet even in the midst of disaster, opportunity may lurk—for one bold enough to grasp it.
“Captivating . . . compelling reading . . . [an] action-packed narrative [with] lively, uniquely drawn characters and intriguing takes on history.”—Tor.com
Includes a preview of the next book in the Temeraire series, Blood of Tyrants.
In a delightful return to form, British aviator William Laurence and his dragon companion, Temeraire, are recalled from Australian exile (described in 2010's Tongues of Serpents) for their seventh adventure. In the Incan Empire, European plagues have devastated the human population, and dragons have taken charge. As the Inca empress considers a personal and political alliance with Napoleon, British dragon Iskierka promotes her captain, Granby, as a marital alternative very much against his will. Meanwhile, the African Tswana tribe have begun raiding Brazil to rescue black slaves with French help, putting British abolitionist Laurence in an uncomfortable position. While delivering an absorbing adventure complete with shipwreck, mutiny, field surgery, and a difficult journey across a strange new land, Novik weaves in complex moral questions about the blurry line between freedom and possession on personal and societal scales. This is a must-read for series fans and an intriguing fantasy story in its own right.