A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
Pub­lisher: Tor Books
Pages: ebook, 336 pages
Series: unknown (yet)
Pub­li­ca­tion date: February 5th 2013

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.

I started A Natural History of Dragons thinking that it’s a standalone book. As you know, A Natural History of Dragons is the so called memoir of Isabella, or Lady Trent (whatever you want to call her), who is between the most acclaimed dragon researchers in the book’s universe. It’s needless to say that I was very curious to witness the events that have won Isabella’s title.

There were many things that I loved about this book. Exploring the world from Isabella’s point of view was nice. Marie Brennan built Isabella’s character very well, at least in the book’s first half. I appreciated how this book started with Isabella’s childhood since I got the feeling of growing up with her. And most importantly, the dragons!


A Natural History of Dragons is all about the dragons. Dragons in the title, cover, illustrations (yes, this book has some amazing illustrations in it – zomg, yes?), and in every chapter. (read on and witness my drama – follow the *** if you want to skip directly to my drama and miss out all the fun)

Did I mention the fact that I love dragons?

On the minus side we have the poor universe. Yes, I failed to feel the depth of the cities the characters were in. The descriptions were decent enough, and there were two sketches, if I’m correct, of some environments. However, I felt like they were not enough. I wanted to know more about the surrounding cities, creatures, cultures (the interesting ones, not the exorcise the demons in ice cold water ones), and so on.

Did I mention that I wanted more dragons?

I was expecting to get all my answers from A Natural History of Dragons. I saw that the book is about 300 pages long, and it seemed weird because the topic seems like it needs more than 300 pages in order to present the story properly. By the time I got 90% in, it was obvious that the book will either have a sequel or will disappoint.

Did I mention that I’m sick of being disappointed by stupid books?

I’m not keen to have a sequel and I don’t want to be disappointed. What I wanted was a standalone book full of dragon chasing, dragon study, and dragon riding for all I care. Just give me what you promised in the summary!

Yes. So I need to warn you, this is a series. As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, I did not know this small detail (that makes a fucking difference).

After finishing A Natural History of Dragons, I got rather pissed off. The ending upset me not because it was a bad ending, but because it was rather pointless. Many things that happened in the end proved worthless, and this has much to do with the fact that half of the book is eventless, so Marie Brennan had to stir up your desire to read her next book somehow.

Hahafuckingha the joy and laughter and sunny delight shoot me now another book that fails to deliver what it promises in the fucking summary.

Fifty points from Griff- oh wait wrong book. Two stars from A Natural History of Smugglers.

***It seems like I have found a huge mistake in this book’s title. Please allow me to fix it.

Ah much better. And accurate. Don’t forget accurate.

Why accurate, you ask? Because A Natural History of Dragons does not revolve around frigging dragons as it’s supposed to, but around the stupid village and stupid smugglers. I feel like the dragons were almost completely ignored, minus a few scenes where they attack people, some bones and empty caves. How is this book called A Natural History of Dragons again? Is it because of the original book that stirred Isabella’s desire to study dragons? Could be. Where the fuck is the dragon study I wanted to read about? Oh, well maybe the smugglers have it.

So freaking disappointing. Really. If you want to read this book because of the dragons (which is the only reason why you would) then don’t bother. It’s not what you think it is, and I doubt the sequel will be better.

3 stars (because the illustrations were nice – lucky you)

Don’t give me that look! Just look at this. Look at it!!

Doesn't that deserve an extra star? Does it not?! What about 10 of them? I still can't make myself give this book more than 3 stars, even with the 10 awesome illustrations scattered throughout it. It's not that good of a book to deserve it.

View all my reviews


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