A Natural History of Dragons

A Memoir by Lady Trent

Brennan, Marie

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Natural History of Dragons
Isabella, Lady Trent, known as the world's preeminent dragon naturalist, writes her memoir detailing 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 dragon discoveries that would change the world forever.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2013.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765331960
Characteristics: 334 p. :,ill., map ;,22 cm.


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Jun 10, 2014
  • Argavius117 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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

Apr 18, 2014
  • forbesrachel rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A magnificent new approach to the much overused topic of dragons. Lady Trent recounts her adventures with dragon-kind in the manner of a memoir and instructional guide to academics. She approaches her study though scientific inquiry, seeking to learn about their physiology, behaviour, and habitat. In this world, dragons are not magical creatures, they are real, and bound by the same natural laws that effect us. To remain true to this realism, her abilities are kept to the plausible. Certainly she is bold, but having lived a comfortable life, she is ill-equipped to handle the harshness of her first journey.

The setting, social conventions, and language are similar to Victorian England. By their standards, Lady Trent is quite eccentric, especially when she accompanies her husband and their mutual friend into the backwater Vystrana mountains. Curiosity leads her down many a dangerous path, but even for such a risky pursuit, she remains determined to learn all she can. Her independence, and intelligence provides a fascinating perspective of this world.

Disgruntled villagers, and mysterious occurrences plague this groups attempts to study these wondrous beasts. There is much more than meets the eye though, and because of this Lady Trent's course in life is to be forever changed. A Natural History of Dragons is just the first of her adventures, and as she so often hints at, there is much more to be learned.

Apr 03, 2014
  • julia_sedai rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book so much because it was like reading a novel about the Victorian era except that there are dragons added. Everything is really similar, although the author makes it a different world. It is so interesting. I am excited to read the sequel. I think Marie Brennan is a very clever author.

Jul 01, 2013
  • ctpete rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A fun read! Think Amelia Peabody with dragons.

Jun 28, 2013
  • nerowolfgal rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

What a delightful book! Written by as a memoir by the first "lady naturialist" recounting how she became an expert in dragons. The voice of Lady Trent is intelligent, witty and refresingly brash. Her tale of the difficulties in being an intelligent woman of the "proper" upperclass let alone being interested in something as "unladylike" as dragons is both perceptive and funny. The writing is crisp, the story gallops along and you will finish the book hoping that Lady Trent is writing her next memoir right this minute. Think of it as Jane Austen with dragons.

Jun 23, 2013
  • SusanWilbanks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A charming fantasy novel set in a world reminiscent of our 19th century.

May 28, 2013
  • Barbara5060 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this novel. The interest in dragons motivated the main (female) character to challenge the cultural restrictions that would have limited her to a more ordinary life. The challenges of being in a new culture and becoming involved in the political and social stresses of the region enriched the landscape of the novel. It is a keeper!


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