A Natural History of Dragons

A Natural History of Dragons

A Memoir by Lady Trent

Book - 2013
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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
Characteristics: 334 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765331960 (hbk.)
0765331969 (hbk.)


From Library Staff

Written in the style of Charles Darwin arguing evolution, Marie Brennan's character Lady Trent trudges through bogs, across deserts, and up mountains to study various elusive dragon species.

List - Dragons
JeffcoBooks Sep 09, 2019

Fascinated by dragons since childhood, Lady Isabella Trent devotes her time and considerable energy to the study of natural history. Her intellect attracts the notice of famed explorer Lord Hilford, who invites her to join his expedition in search of rock-wyrms, finally giving Lady Isabella the ... Read More »

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IndyPL_LoriO Nov 22, 2019

I usually struggle to read fantasy, but I try to pick one up occasionally. I liked this title because it has strong roots in reality. The fantasy world Brennan creates looks like the 19th century with one obvious difference: Dragons. If you enjoy light fantasy, mystery, and a strong female protagonist, this book's for you!

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!

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