Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age. You, dear listener, 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.
"Saturated with the joy and urgency of discovery and scientific curiosity." (Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on A Natural History of Dragons)
©2013 Bryn Neuenschwander (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Very well written, realistic ( an odd word to describe a work of imagination, but an apt one) book. The narration is excellent. The main character is a bit too unemotional at the end, but she acknowledges it herself. She seems to care more about scholarship, than about life. That is the reason this story gets four instead of five stars.
I found this a solid read. It was entertaining and engaging, but not enough that I feel it is necessary to continue with the series. I don't think it is bad, but I can't say it is great.
On level 5 of Robot Hell
It felt so natural and real. In the midst of the dangers and trials you were reminded the heroine was a naturalist at heart and the scientific observation and inquiries did not disappear in favor of action at moments of crisis.
The exploration of the ruins I would have to say. It was a moment of timelessness in a world of the fantastic. The heroine and reader both shared a glimpse into ancient eons.
Oh very much so. I sank right into the book hated having to stop and start repeatedly.
Victorian history with touches of bizarre chemistry and creatures of unfathomable grandness. It has a "Steam-Punk" feel but keeps you in that Victorian era. The main character is a young woman way ahead of her time. Luckily she's able to find some one to share it with. In a time when women were expected to stay and home and look pretty, our heroine wants to grow with knowledge
I don't think I've come across any book like this. It is the memoir of a woman who is now in her old age telling of how she started out as a child with interests in nature and and especially Dragons.
There are so many I don't want to spoil the story, there are twists and turns that really make the story interesting.
When Jacob tells Isabelle "Don't let them get away with this." I won't spoil it .
I've read reviews of people who read the kindle version, and the print version. I have to say Kate Reading makes this story come alive. She is marvelous with accents, voices both male and female, and showing emotions. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
This is a book that defies neat and orderly description. It is, in turn, an adventure, a fantasy, a steampunk mystery, a romance, and a most excellent scientific treatise. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and look forward to the continuation of the series.
The narration was spot on!
Science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction...take me away!
Engrossing story told by Lady Trent, documenting her early life and fascination with dragons, culminating in a dangerous trip to distant lands to study them closely. Amazing narration, lovely story. I hope there are more volumes to come!
I found the story and characters captivating! It's set at a wonderful pace, and told from a unique and refreshing angle. If you love dragons I highly recommend this!
I have not read the print version but I enjoyed the audio version.
No. But I did enjoy her performance. She has a strong style that suits the genre.
Yes. There was a point that was especially poinant but I hesitate to say because of spoilers.
I started the series after a recommendation from Writing Excuses. But I am continuing it because the writing had a dry edge that reminded me of a mix of Naomi Novik and Elizabeth Peters. (If you have read either of these two authors you will enjoy this series)
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent is a biography of a fictional behavioral ecologist. This book explores how a woman gets started in science and is set in a heyday of new discoveries by trophy-hunting, armchair scientists similar to the Victorian Era. This book brings into focus what it was like to be curious about the world before experimental design was appropriately applied systematically; so, hypotheses could actually be answered. A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent is full of the wonder that gets ecologists, behaviorists, and evolutionary biologists started in their fields, and it is beautiful. If you enjoy this book, I encourage you to read some of the first volumes of the journal Nature. You will enjoy the use of adjectives in early scientific writing and the hilarious and often horrifying way armchair scientists overcame barriers to address hypotheses.
A lovely "memoir" told by an older woman who overcomes the odds in her world in order to become a natural scientist who studies dragons. Her passion takes her on adventures with both rewards and losses. Superb reading by the appropriately named Kate Reading adds to the charm of the main character. I am looking forward to the next in the series!
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