Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons
(Memoirs of Lady Trent #1)
Marie Brennan
Release: February 5, 2013
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Everyone knows Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. Here, at last, in her own words, is the story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, prospects, and her life to satisfy scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the mountains of Vystrana, where she made discoveries that would change the world.

I loved this book! I knew I was going to love everything about it after reading only two pages. I'm finding it difficult to say anything right now because I'm trying not to gush about it. I loved it that much. This series has the potential to become one of my all time favorites if each of the next books proceed in the same vein. I'm so glad all the books are out now so I can binge read this whole series!

Although this book is called A Natural History of Dragons, it is less about dragons and really more about Lady Trent's origin story. I loved how we get to see the events of this book from the point-of-view of an older Lady Trent. It's like when my Grandma tells me stories about her younger years. It added a whole different perspective to everything. I found it fascinating how she initially became interested in dragons and how her first dragon studying expedition went. Lady Trent is amazing and I instantly fell in love with her!

This book also deals with the struggles Lady Trent has to deal with being a female in a society that looks down on particularly on smart and independent women. I loved this pseudo-Victorian England setting and how it was combined with the fantasy and science in a world with dragons. I can't wait to see how the world expands in later books! And as if an awesome heroine, cool worldbuilding, and dragons weren't enough, there are these absolutely gorgeous illustrations throughout the whole book! It was amazing!

This book has everything I love in a fantasy-of-manners novel: the humor, the spunky heroine, the romance, the science... Gah! I just really loved everything about it. Okay?

I really don't have any complaints but the one thing I felt that this book was lacking was the development of the side characters. They kind of felt two-dimensional and I hope that we'll see them become three-dimensional as the series progresses.

Overall, if you love a good fantasy of manners book with a spunky, headstrong female protagonists or books about dragons, this one is for you!

Review copy provided by the publisher

  4.5 / 5 Stars

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