A Natural History of Dragons

A Natural History of Dragons

A Memoir by Lady Trent

Book - 2013 | 1st ed
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Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.

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.

"Saturated with the joy and urgency of discovery and scientific curiosity." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Natural History of Dragons

An NPR Best Book of 2013

The Lady Trent Memoirs
1. A Natural History of Dragons
2. The Tropic of Serpents
3. Voyage of the Basilisk
4. In the Labyrinth of Drakes
5. Within the Sanctuary of Wings

Publisher: New York : Tor, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765331960
Branch Call Number: FAN BRE
Characteristics: 334 p. : ill. maps ; 22 cm


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Aug 28, 2020

Loved this book! Memoirs can be hard to follow or stay involved in for some people, while fantasy can seem a little out of proportion and its unreal aspect becomes less interesting. This book does a stellar job of combining the two genres into one spectacular story. Having action side by side with science and fantasy with deep routes in reality creates a different bond between the characters of the bond and the reader. No long can you say "That's completely impossible!", it leaves you with a sense of "Woah! That doesn't happen around here but it sure seems like it could." Its ties to many popular yet different genres are what makes it a truly remarkable and wonderful book. Keep calm and read on.

IndyPL_LoriO Nov 22, 2019

I usually struggle to read fantasy, but I try to pick one up occasionally. I liked this title because it has strong roots in reality. The fantasy world Brennan creates looks like the 19th century with one obvious difference: Dragons. If you enjoy light fantasy, mystery, and a strong female protagonist, this book's for you!

Theoretical_Onesie May 18, 2018

I actually thought this was a non-fiction book before I read it. I enjoyed it for the most part and think the author did a good job with the writing.

Feb 12, 2018

I really like this book's writing style. It goes into great detail without going on and on. The personalities are well depicted and the science of the dragons painted a interesting picture in my mind.

Feb 05, 2018

I picked this up expecting a typical fantasy full of dragons. I was disappointed, but in the end I liked it and read the entire series. It is a memoir that occurs in a fantasy world. Written simply by an elderly victorian woman about her adventures as a young woman overcoming bias against women in science while researching dragons.

ArapahoeKati Jan 10, 2018

A fun romp through what feels like the Victorian era except with dragons. A great read if you like diary entries and historical fiction blended with the magic of dragons.

LPL_KimberlyL Dec 21, 2017

Lady Isabella Trent is the alt-Victorian version of Jane Goodall - where Goodall is most known for her study of chimps, Lady Trent became famous for her study of DRAGONS. I gobbled up each book in this series one after another. Lady Trent is an A++ heroine, and if you find this first book doesn't have enough dragons or action for you taste, just keep on reading. These books are thoughtful, adventurous, and oh-so-fun. Quite possibly my favorite fantasy series, ever.

DBRL_JulieC Aug 08, 2016

Written like a memoir from the equivalent of the Victorian era, this book reads like a scientific journal on the pursuit of knowledge on dragons. It's a bit of a slow start but well worth the read.

CMLReads_Kristin Apr 11, 2016

Lady Trent has never been a typical woman, being altogether too interested in dragons for social acceptability. In spite of disdain for societal norms, she does an excellent job of manipulating them to end up in a position to be able to head off to Vystrana on dragon studying adventures. The beginning of a unique Victorian-like Gaslamp-like series.

Aug 26, 2015

This reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series (independent woman explorer, set in Egypt). I liked the mix of old fashioned speech and attitudes with the novelty of DRAGONS! There are a few touches I especially liked, such as the "sparklings" - small, dragon-like creatures classified as insects (a classification Lady Trent attempts to disprove) - and the names of places and seasons that conjure images of our world, but that belong to another. Highly recommended for the adventurous reader/listener (I listened to the audio version and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of narration).

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