A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


The Book

I’ll preface this review with something that I feel it’s important to know.

This book is not for everyone. It’s really, *really* not for everyone. If you read Fantasy for lots of action, wish fulfillment, badass overpowered characters, action scenes, battles, intricate plot and heavy world building, run. Run far, run fast, and don’t look back. It’s not for you, Jen.

If you enjoy a good character piece, if you have an interest in science and natural history, if you enjoy classical literature in the vein of Jane Austen and the Brontës, if David Attenborough is listed amongst your personal heroes, if you want something light and gentle and a bit whimsical, or if you just feel like trying something a little different, you’re in the right place.

In A Natural History of Dragons, a Victorian lady defies the rules of society and heads off into the wilds on an expedition to study dragons. The Victorian “voice” is well written and convincing, the main character flawed but likeable, and the adventure eventually leads to an interesting mystery/conspiracy. It’s written like an old timey adventure, something you might expect from the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Rudyard Kipling. And it works. I have knocked off one star because it did get a little bit dry in places and the plot meandered just a touch too often, but there’s a great deal to enjoy here and honestly, well done for doing something different. In a sea of Drizzts and Durzo Blints, here stands Lady Trent. Strong, (mostly) dignified, and very much her own person. Good for her. 🙂

/r/Fantasy Bingo 2017 Squares

  • Dragons
  • Fantasy of Manners

The Cocktail



The Lady Trent

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