Review: Crucible of Gold

Series: Temeraire: #7

“They are ours,” he said, “although not properly the sailors: they are only along because we would not leave them to drown, and ought to be more grateful for it than they are. Laurence,” he said, turning, “this is Palta, and that man is called Taruca: Iskierka snatched him, and I cannot find she asked him in the least.”

Well that’s an interesting one. On one hand, I’m glad they’re out of Australia. Instead, they’re off across the Pacific… to Brazil and the Portuguese royal family. Of course things don’t go as expected. Crossing the Pacific is one mess and meeting up with the Inca and how they deal with dragons was pretty fascinating–they’re still a power to be reckoned with in this world, mostly on the backs of their local dragons.

It’s still not up to the strengths of Victory of Eagles, mostly because the travels and exploration was never the original draw of the series–the Napoleon but dragons was, and we’ve scant little of that. This time around… we do at least get the war, which is pretty cool. So it’s a decent book.

Worldbuildingwise, I do find the twists of slavery (which has been a definite thread through all of the books) in the Incan Empire is fascinating, where it’s quite often the dragons who own the people and treat them relatively well, albeit still as property . It’s a fascinating look into how consent and law can be totally different in different cultures and I could have used a bit more of Temeraire and Laurence talking about that.

Onward to the penultimate book!