March 9, 2020 by TinyNavajo
Okay…I do believe that I shall be able to start making more consistent posts once again…just give me about a week or two to make sure. Anyway, onto the review!
In the Labyrinth of Drakes (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #4) by Marie Brennan, narrated by Kate Reading
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*Published April 5, 2016*
I think this might be one of my top two favourites of Lady Trent’s memoirs, if only because of the slight slow burn of romance! Which is weird for me, as I don’t normally go for the romance in a book.
The thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, as the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia.
Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent’s expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.
As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
In this book, we set off towards Akhia, kind of this world’s form of Africa/Middle East, and the fire-breathing drakes that live there. These the dragons that seem to come to mind most often when you hear the word “dragons,” giant-winged, fire-breathing terrors of the desert. This is where we see the scientific knowledge, research, and discovery of both Lady Trent and Tom. But the biggest thing in this book, for me, is the relationship that further develops between Isabella and Suhail.
But first, we know that in each new book, Lady Trent travels to a new area of the world to study dragons, mostly by choice, even when she is snubbed because of her sex in the scientific community. In Akhia, not only does she have to deal with Scirling attitudes towards women and science, but she has to work around Akhia’s culture towards the separation of men and women as well. For someone like Isabella, it irks her to no end that she needs to push and force her way in, but if she hadn’t then she would not be the woman she is as she’s writing these memoirs.
While there are a great many dragons and dragon research going on in this book, especially concerning the breeding and hatching of dragons in captivity, my favourite part of this book was the characters and their interactions with one another; Isabella and Tom, Isabella and her brother Andrew, Isabella and Suhail, just Isabella and all of the relationships she builds and strengthens throughout the books. We also see her start to connect, unintentionally, with Suhail’s family, which his brother, the leader of their family, and their contact for the research dragons in Akhia.
I love seeing how clearly though Isabella has to fight against her gender to prove she is just as good, and in some areas even better, then the men around her and in her field of study. She has to do more and be more, when a man does the exact same thing, they are praised beyond belief. It is a sentiment that resounded with me, and I think quite a few other women who have read this book, because we have all experienced this in one way or another.
I love this book, I love this series, and I love how much I connect with Isabella and all of friends and family and the love they all give each other. This is definitely one of my favourites of the series, and there’s only one left to review! But, what do you like about a book that you keep noticing as you go back to read it again and again? What draws you back to that book?