Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent Hardcover – February 5, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From School Library Journal
“Her Ladyship is a determined and canny woman in search of dragons--I wholeheartedly approve!” ―Melanie Rawn, bestselling author of Touchstone, on A Natural History of Dragons
“Saturated with the joy and urgency of discovery and scientific curiosity.” ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“If you've ever secretly wished dragons were real, this story is for you. Fans of Naomi Novik and Mary Robinette Kowal will especially enjoy this book.” ―RT Book Reviews
“Told in the style of a Victorian memoir, courageous, intelligent and determined Isabella's account is colorful, vigorous and absorbing. A sort of Victorian why-what-whodunit embellished by Brennan's singular upgrade of a fantasy bromide and revitalizingly different viewpoint.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Lady Trent is the Jane Goodall of dragonkind, and I'm glad she's finally sharing her story with the world.” ―Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer
“A Natural History of Dragons stands somewhere between Naomi Novik and Elizabeth Peters, but rock-solidly in its own world and on its own terms. Highly recommended.” ―Daniel Fox, author of Dragon in Chains
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
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
Written almost like a real scientific memoir, this book makes dragons feel like they really did exist. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Anne
"Either she's birdbrained and you failed to make the situation clear to her -- in which case she'll be entirely your problem; I wash my hands of her -- or she knows precisely... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Austine @ NovelKnight
A good read. Dragons take their place as yet another apex predator in a story of British enlightenment thinkers transposed into a new continental context.Published 15 days ago by Kindle Customer
I love the cover, with its reference to veterinary texts. The contents of the book cleverly mix a separate world much like Victorian Britain and Europe, with a study of dragons by... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Clare O'Beara
Let me preface my review by stating that I borrowed this book from a friend who had received it as a present and had never read it after I helped her move and the cover caught my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a memoir from a mythical land rather like 18th or 19th century England. The protagonist is a young bride, captivated by natural history, particularly that of dragons. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Walter Tingle
First Impression: I saw this book and thought it was going to be more of a history piece of dragons from across the ages but in fact it is part of a fantasy biopic of one Lady... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The book was well written and the main character was engaging. But I picked up the book because I wanted to read a fantasy with dragons in it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by N. De Leon
I love that this book contains sketches from the narrator. And the narrator herself has such a wonderful dry voice and sense of humor that is inexplicably enjoyable to read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kara Wixtrom