A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent – by Marie Brennan.
I read a lot of books that have Dragons in them. But I’m by no means an expert on the sub-genre of Dragon/Fantasy – which is my way of making excuses for how I’ve overlooked this wonderful series of books for so long by Marie Brennan.
Marie Brennan (aka @swan_tower on Twitter) has written several other novels in various other series. Until this book, my only other experience of Marie Brennan’s writing were the Doppelganger books – a Duology that I highly recommend! (Side note: In writing this post, I just became aware of a novella set in that world – so YAY, more reading!)
“You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons.”
~ Goodreads Book Description.
Told in the delightful fashion of the memoirs of a Lady Trent of Scirland, renowned traveler and scholar of Dragons. This fantasy is told from the point of view of a Victorian-esque Lady, relating an account of her early life and her first foray into and with a scientific expedition to study Dragons.
The tale abounds with wonderful turns of phrase, adventure and excitement – but also sorrow. If you are a reader of some delicate disposition, you should be aware this novel contains an account of the killing and dissection of a Dragon for scientific understanding.
Let us also admire the fantastic cover art! Todd Lockwood is one of those artists that, when his art graces the cover of a book – makes me spend far much money than I really should! The cover art for this (and the follow-on novels in this series) is no exception… just look at it! Wow.
I loved this novel. I’m upset I missed out on it when it was first released. I’m looking forward to enjoying further accounts from the adventures of Lady Trent!
In short, this book is awesome. You should read it sooner rather than later – future you will curse you for waiting longer than necessary!