Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik

Hammond arrives in Australia with a message for Laurence and Temeraire. The government has decided to reinstate Laurence into the Aerial Corps provided they agree to undertake a mission to Brazil and attempt negotiate a peace between the Tswana, who have come to recover what slaves they can, and the Portuguese. After some soul searching they agree but the trip to South America may not be as smooth as they would have hoped.

Like the previous volume Tongue of Serpents this book reads like a bit of a travelogue at times. I think the main problem is a lot of the tension from the earlier books is missing and I never believed that the characters were in any real peril. The conclusion is also a bit of a non-event and it almost feels like Novik is simply passing time in this volume and the last. The charm of the characters is still evident so there is still enough to keep fans of the series interested but I doubt it would win anyone else over.

Overall like its predecessor Crucible of Gold lacks a spark that made the earlier books so compelling. 7/10.

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