Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennen

ANaturalHistorySource: Purchased
Publisher: Tor
Series: Memoirs by Lady Trent #1
Edition: Hardcover, 334 pages
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5

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

A Natural History of Dragons is a faux memoir set in a Victorian like era where women are meant to be wed, not galavanting after dragons in the wild.

Lady Trent is an intrepid young woman who has a scientific curiosity in dragonkind, and eventually learns to push boundaries to follow her heart as much as possible. I loved that this book was written as a memoir because we get a real since of voice for Isabella, and come to know her as an intelligent and strong willed woman capable of getting herself out of tight bind. She’s smart enough to know when she’s beaten, and quick witted enough to turn the tables on those who might do her harm.

The world building is also fantastic and I loved getting to know more about the lore of the different cultures. I want Draconic ruins to be real so badly, they sound gorgeous and the fact that their language and history are mysterious really adds to the richness of the history. Not everything needs to be explained and having a bit of mystery surrounding a bit of side lore makes me want to read all of the books in hopes of finding out a bit more alongside the main characters. And the Dragons!! While they are a focus they are not THE focus, which was great because we got a ton of awesome character development, but I adored every word having to do with the dragons and wanted so much more. The illustrations were gorgeous and really cemented the tone of this as a memoir and journal for someone enthused in natural history.

Overall I’m an beyond happy I decided to purchase this one, and I can’t wait to get around to A Tropic of Serpents, book two. If you enjoy fantasy and historical fiction this might be worth a shot, and if you enjoy audiobooks the narrator is really great and fits the voice of Lady Trent well.

4.5 Stars

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2015) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennen

  1. Christy says:

    This sounds like such a cool book! I’m not big on dragons, but I’m still very curious, especially since there’s character development too.

  2. pennma05 says:

    I’m glad to see you liked it! I just got this book in the mail today along with the sequel so I’m really looking forward to reading them.

  3. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    I had this on the radar a while, forgot about it, but then this fantastic review has reminded me how much I wanted to read it. This book sounds like loads of fun, and there can never be enough dragons!

    Aentee @ Read at Midnight

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