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In the third book of the wonderful Temeraire series, Laurence and the dragon Temeraire receive an urgent communication from England directing them to head to Istanbul, where they will collect three dragon eggs and transport them to England. Deciding that the overland route will be the quickest, Laurence and his company set out with sketchy maps and a guide.

Naturally, they encounter a vast array of complications and obstacles, including a sandstorm, bandits and the utter collapse of English-Turkish diplomacy. Laurence faces all these challenges with a typically English stiff upper lip -- and the faithful Temeraire ever at his side.

Temeraire is still preaching suffrage for dragons -- but learns that a more moderate approach is more likely to be successful in the long run -- and Laurence continues to evolve into a better man. Secondary characters like Tharkay, the half-English/half-Asian guide, and Iskierka, the impulsive young dragon, stand out from the crowd. Once again, Novik has written a compelling and exciting story that's almost perfectly set into the historical backdrop. (Jun., 390 pp., $7.50)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs