I waited a good long while to read this, because I found book 6 rather tedious, but I am glad I did finally get around to it. The events in this book are much more exciting so it isn't so obvious that the characterizations seem to have stalled in the last few books. The dragons are still much like petulant children and Laurence has been stuck in a persistent mope for what seems like forever. What I would love to see, besides the always fascinating travelogue with fun cultural details, the hair raising events and the understated humor, is Laurence getting truly passionate about something besides his dragon. It can be a woman, a man, a cause or whatever you want, but someone light a fire under that man's ass, please. Or hand him an anti-depressant of some sort.... And while I am making requests: can we have Tharkay back?
I am looking forward to the next one, though.