A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Subtitle: A Memoir by Lady Trent

Published: 2013

Genre: fantasy travel memoir

Length: 334 pages

Setting: Scirland and Vystrana, in what feels like a Victorian time period

Interest: I have always loved dragons, so when I saw this book combining dragons and science, I was immediately intrigued.

Summary: Isabella has always been fascinated with the natural world, and especially by dragons. But, those topics aren’t appropriate for a proper young lade. So, she puts her interests away long enough to find a husband. Luckily, he supports her interest in dragons. Isabella finds out Lord Hilford is leading an expedition into Vystrana to research dragons. She convinces her husband not only to go, but to take her with them. Of course, the fieldwork doesn’t go as planned. The boyar who invited them is missing, dragons are attacking people unusually often, and the villagers aren’t thrilled with the newcomers. With a series of wild adventures, Isabella and her party figure out why the dragons have been attacking, and learn more about the natural history of dragons.

Final thoughts: I devoured this book in two days. It felt like a travel memoir from a genteel Victorian lady, but with dragons. It’s not set in our universe, but there are only little things that really differ, like month and country names, and religious details. Oh, and the presence of dragons! It definitely hit two sides of reading pleasure that don’t often meet – science and dragons.

This isn’t a book you read for the depth of social commentary, but we do get a bit of thought about industrialization and the use of natural resources. One of the characters had figured out how to treat dragon bone, and plans to use it as a super-strong, super-light building material. Isabella is horrified, because it will likely lead to the extinction of dragons. Reminds me a lot of what we did to whales when switched to whale oil for lighting.

Title comes from: It is descriptive of the subject.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #66 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge, and an N in my Title Reading the Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!



1 Comment

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One response to “A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

  1. Pingback: The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan | Fill Your Bookshelf

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