Book Review: A Natural History of Dragons


Title: A Natural History of Dragons
Author: Marie Brennan 
Publication Date: 2013
Publishing House: Tor Books

Dragons. I’ve been reading a lot of books about dragons recently. A Natural History of Dragons has probably been on my to read shelf since the year it was published. Sometimes it takes me a bit to get to reading them. The blog Kristin Kraves Books is co-hosting a read-along of this six part books series and since I owned the first one I decided to join. I’m not sure if I will read the rest of the series with the read-along timeline but I definitely want to read them in the future.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. 

I really loved this book. The dragons are more animals than those in other worlds, such as the Temeraire series. That isn’t a bad thing though, it is good for both writers and readers to see things in different ways. However, they are mysterious creatures that deserve to be better understood and appreciated. The dragons in this world are as varied as the ecosystems that they live in. This books deals mainly with the dragons of a mountainous region.

This series is written as a memoir of the main character, Lady Trent. With that the reader get other information about her life and why she loved to do the things she did. This maybe a fictional world and Lady Trent maybe studying creatures that do not exist in our world but many of the problems that she faces are very real. She is a high society woman and is expected to behave in a certain way and not study or really be interested in natural history. As a young woman she gets married and her story deals with miscarriage and depression. I appreciate that this story has elements of really life.

I suggest this books for those that love dragons, for those who love fantasy, and for those that want a bit of science mixed in with the magic. Have you read this story? If yes, what did you think? Let me know in the comments and happy reading.

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