December 16, 2019 by TinyNavajo
A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) by Marie Brennan
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published November 15, 2013 by Macmillan Audio*
This is still one of my favourite books, and book series, so I have decided that it’s time to give all a reread by listening to them! YAY for Overdrive/Libby from my library! And it’ll be my third time reading this particular book.
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.
The most ingenious part of this book for me is that Lady Trent, our protagonist, is willing to write her life story now for the whole world to read, and it’s a story that no one can forget.
In a world where dragons are real and a part of the life, Isabella develops a fascination for wings and all winged things; particularly dragons. But when it come to studying them, or studying anything that is not considered lady-like in the least, she finds all sorts of obstacles in her way. But as she grows older and marries, she finds a husband that is not only willing to share his library with her, but take her to Vystrana, to study dragons there. It’s here in Vystrana that we start to see the edges of how hare-brained Lady Trent can, and will be, in the future when it comes to dragons.
Lady Trent is a likable narrator, giving us not only her thoughts of what was happening at the time, but thoughts of how it has impacted her life now, as she’s “writing” this memoir. She shows what it means to throw gender into the world ruled by men, and struggles to be taken seriously because of her gender. And while we know that these are the memoirs of Lady Trent, we know that she will succeed in the most profound way possible, and become a well-known name in the dragon naturalist community.
By seeing her story start here in her childhood, we see that Isabella has come a long way in the world, and she is letting us see it for the first time. I love this writing style and I love reading and learning about the life of Lady Trent, especially a life where her gender makes it almost impossible for her to do as she would like. While there may not be a lot of dragons to begin with, we do see her make a start to getting close to dragons in anyway that she can.
How far would you go to do what you truly loved, even when society says that you can’t or shouldn’t? Are you doing what you love? Comment below and let me know!