A Natural History of Dragons:
A Memior by Lady Trent
by Marie Brennan
Published 2/5/13 by Tor Books
*ARC Provided for Review via NetGalley*
Synopsis via Goodreads:
You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of 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 discoveries that would change the world forever.
Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons.
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I'm not quite sure where to go with this review. I'll start by saying that if you enjoy reading novels with a writing style similar to Jane Austin's or enjoy the popular tv show Downton Abbey, then this would be for you. I have had a fascination with dragons since I was younger but the time period that this novel is set in bores me to tears. I'm not one for the classical style of writing either - I guess being forced to read them in school ruined me.
Marie Brennan does an amazing job sticking with the time period and the writing is absolutely beautiful. Her creativity is absolutely amazing too.
The artwork in the novel is hands down some of the best with regards to other dragon depictions that I've come across. Stunning! I would love to have the print version of this novel on my shelf simply so I had the artwork.
Now the plot... It's very slow - but this may just be my reflection because of the writing style & the period in time where this novel is based. Lady Trent is quite quirky so she does keep you entertained here and there - for instance: when she decides to examine the dead dragon in the yard at her house and is caught.
All of the referencing to dragons is great - honestly, I thought there would be more dragon & less of Lady Trent's day to day oddities. I guess that's another thing that turned me off with regards to this book. I enjoyed reading about Lady Trent's growing fascination with dragons but all of the in-between bored me.
Overall, I'd give this novel a 3.
I'd like to give it a higher rating simply based on how beautiful the author's writing style is & her creativity - but overall, I just can't - it's mainly because this book just ended up not being for me.
Cover Rating & Imagery Rating: a huge 5 stars! It's really stunning artwork. Loved it.