A Natural History of Dragons

A Natural History of Dragons

A Memoir by Lady Trent

Book - 2013
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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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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).

KateHillier Jun 23, 2015

As much as I enjoyed this (and enjoy it I did) I couldn't help grasping onto these little references of future events. Tell me more! More, I'm sure we shall get since this is the first book in a series. It is set up as Lady Isabella Trent writing her memoirs and this one chronicles her very beginnings (as in childhood) and her very first expedition.

It's a Victorian travelogue by way of fantasy, except the dragons here are not fantastical. They are working within natural laws and Isabella is out to study everything about them in a world that knows very little about them and expects very little of her. She's a woman who knows her calling early and strives all she can to reach it, even unconsciously when she tries to be more of a 'proper' woman for her time and place.

So we have a great environment, a great heroine, and fab writing. It almost reads like the Victorian travelogues I had to read in undergrad. It feels very authentic and very real. I think we have a winner all around here so pick it up today!

Jun 10, 2014

Loved it. It managed to be slightly old fashioned but still kept me interested. The dragons certainly helped a lot.

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