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A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent Kindle Edition
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|Length: 335 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 4 in A Natural History of Dragons (4 Book Series)
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More About the Author
When she's not obsessing over historical details too minute for anybody but her to care about, she practices shorin-ryu karate and pretends to be other people in role-playing games (which sometimes find their way into her writing).
Top Customer Reviews
"A Natural History of Dragons" chronicles Lady Trent's early years and her first expedition, leaving plenty of space for future volumes. Thankfully, the story has a satisfactory conclusion rather than leaving the readers with a cliff-hanger as some first-of-a-series books do. The characterizations of various characters other than Lady Trent (and perhaps her husband) are somewhat two-dimensional and the I felt the pacing of the plot was a bit rushed at the end compared to the rest of the book, but the saucy narrative makes the book hard to put down.
As an added bonus, the hardcover copy of the book is absolutely beautiful. The deckled edges combined with text printed in chestnut brown ink immediately evokes the feeling of holding a handwritten journal. Also, Todd Lockwood is amazing as usual and the inner illustrations of various draconic species are stunning and lovingly detailed in an elegant sepia ink. The fanastic cover needs no words. This is definitely a book to purchase as a hard copy.
A Natural History of Dragons is the first in what looks to be a long series of fictionalized memoirs of Isabella, Lady Trent, a dragon naturalist. In this book, Isabella briefly takes readers through her childhood, courtship and marriage, then moves on to spend the bulk of the pages describing her first scientific expedition: from her quasi-English homeland to the quasi-Eastern-European mountains. Very little is known about dragons in this world, and Isabella and her companions seek them out with limited success, while meanwhile she must struggle against the restrictive gender expectations of her time.
This is a short, quick read, and an entertaining novel. It's not action-packed and the dragons' appearances are fairly limited, but if you enjoy historical fiction as well as fantasy, you and this book will likely get along well. The older Isabella, the supposed author of the memoir, has a strong and believably Victorian voice, and the world is interesting and grounded as much in historical fiction and anthropology as in fantasy, such that it feels more real than your average secondary world. Isabella is a bold and active protagonist, always up for an adventure. And the book does a great job of making fantasy elements feel realistic; dragons here are just another species of wild animal (albeit a particularly difficult one to study), and are given an entertainingly scientific treatment.
But while the book is certainly competent, some problems hold it back.Read more ›
If, however, you enjoy snarky old ladies commenting on the adventures (mis- and otherwise) of their youth, if you get a kick out of cryptozoology, if you love nature documentaries, anthropology, and mannered romances of the 19th century, if you wish you could have gone along on Darwin's voyage of the Beagle, if you think Wallace was shafted on the whole evolution issue due to class prejudice and structural inequality... then this book with thrill and delight you.
It's right there in the title. A Natural History of Dragons. Brennan doesn't disappoint on that front. She builds a convincing secondary world -- a good choice, as it frees her from the constraints of fitting her dragons in around the cracks of actual history and biological classification -- where exists an entire... hm... I think it would be Family in taxonomic terms... of reptilian creatures, some of which fit a set of characteristics marking them as dragons.
She shows us this world through the eyes of Lady Isabella Trent, and Lady Isabella shows us her world through her memoirs documenting her first forays into naturalism.
This double-voiced narrative is perhaps the strongest part of this book (alongside the excellent portrayal of scientific study and the challenges of fieldwork). Brennan draws the reader into the gap between younger Isabella's adventures and older Isabella's wisdom and regrets, and there is just as much emotional weight in what Isabella doesn't tell us as there is in what she does say.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WONDERFUL story. Plan to replace in hardback once my paperback falls apart. My book club loved it as well.Published 17 days ago by Mtorleans
Do you like dragons? Do you like science-accurate science fiction? Do you like Intersectional Feminist Victorian Historical Fiction? Of course you do.
Read this book. Read more
The story of a young woman in Victorian England seeks to know more about the little studied world of dragons. No explicit sex or gore, engaging plot, good writing.Published 29 days ago by Katie Applebee
This is a new series for me and though only halfway through, can recommend this to those who like such fiction as the Amelia Peabody series. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. M-R
for me, a great book, is one that can take you out of your physical body and mentally place you where she is talking about. The explanation she does is incredible. Read morePublished 3 months ago by tryanythingonce
I'm not finished reading this yet but I really like this book. A story of a woman who does what she wants and gets her way despite society telling her no.Published 4 months ago by SoAdorable
This was an awesome, and very enjoyable read! Dragons are just another animal in this world, and the science put in to explain the mystery of dragons is unique and surprisingly... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Victoria Crego
Great Book. Awesome shipping and communication. Thank you. A+A+A+A+.Published 4 months ago by Carolyn Waters
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