Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik. 323 pages
Another adventure for Temeraire and Laurence.
The last book in this series, while still enjoyable, felt rather like an interlude in a play - something to keep the audience occupied while the scenery is shifted and the actors change their costumes. In this book, I'm glad to say, the action is definitely back on stage, to the extent that sometimes I felt that more time could have been spent describing and explaining some things.
The rest of this will be under a cut as this is the seventh book of the series, so spoilers are likely to creep in for previous books.
Temeraire and Laurence are recalled from their exile in Australia and reinstated in the service because the British government need their help - the Tswana are raiding cities in Brazil to recover their kinsmen stolen from them by slave traders and the British want to stop them in order to gain the support of the Portuguese in their ongoing war against Napoleon.
But all does not go well on the long journey through the Southern Ocean to reach Rio and our heroes' strength and determination are tested to the limit.
A rollercoaster ride of a story, this one - almost two books' worth really. Friends and enemies, new and old, character development and death-defying adventures. Roll on the next book!