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
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!
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.
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.
It's hard for me to describe how I feel about this book. It awakens in me all the feelings I had as a girl, dealing with being a child that didn't want to follow the norms of what a "lady" should be.
Add to that the fact that the main character had an obsession with dragons much like I had as a child, but got a chance to live in a world where they actually existed, left me entranced by its words.
I love the scientific and historical approach the author takes on the story, a young child, their mind still absorbing every word as truth might even mistake it as a real biography of their imagination were to let them do so.
It is not dry, however, like a textbook or historical accounting. It's depths are not only adventurously exciting, but intellectually stimulating. The voice actress for the audible version especially brought the characters to life in a way I don't feel I'd have even imagined him while reading.
This book made me feel young again, and reminded me that life doesn't happen all at once. It reminded me that being a woman with intellect and a sense of adventure is something to aspire too, no matter how much society wants it the other way.
I can't tell you the extent that I loved his book, and it's worlds. I have not pined for a sequel to something so strongly since I was a child.
If you're looking for something to awaken your imagination into other worlds that aren't that far out of the range of possibly and happen to like dragons, this book is for you.
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!
This book was a delightfully refreshing take on a 19th century-style adventure memoir, only taking place in an alternate world where dragons are very real and active in the world. The culture is very British-style as is the narration. The author kept attention to detail in all the small cultural and historical things to keep it feeling real.
I wouldn't call it fast-paced, since this is more of a memoir, but it does keep the reader interested with the mystery aspect to the story.
The main thing that brings it down in my opinion is the last quarter of the book, where lots of things start happening and some of the attention to detail is lost. Especially the nonchalant way that the writer treats the death of her husband threw me out if the story, as well as the gimmicky decision to do that in the first place. I also found it hard to differentiate all the character names, many of which sounded similar, despite the narrator using different accents to try and remedy this.
Overall, a solid 3-star read.
Thoroughly enjoyable. it kept my interest throughout and the characters were well done. the narrator was invisible. That's a job well done.
The book starts a bit slowly, but the hits its stride. It's an adventure, Victorian science, a mystery and a love story. Kate Reading's narration is wonderful as always.
Glad I got it and will get the next.
This is one of the best books I've read/listened to in a long time. I'm seriously considering buying a hard copy. Fans of dragons, science, natural history, strong female characters, adventure, travel... should like this. It also has a pretty good twist at the end that I was *not* expecting.
Isabella is a strong, passionate, person who desperately wants to please her family and be a proper lady, yet has a passion for dragons and science. Eventually she gets her wish to study them, heading off with her husband to research them in the grand tradition of Victorian expeditions for science (while the story is set in a fictional world, it's a pretty accurate representation of the scientific interests and culture of the 19th century, which I'm very interested in). The book is narrated by her older, outspoken, and delightfully crotchety self.
The reading was good; it was easy to distinguish between characters, and I was happy that the next book is narrated by the same person. Kate Reading is a wonderful Lady Camhurst.
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