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
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.
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.
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!
As the title suggest, it is written as a memoir of Lady Trent early years. A head strong women in Victorian England who is not content with the quiet house wife life society expects her to live. After just reading Pride and Prejudice I don't blame her. She goes off on an expedition in search of Dragons.
Despite the title, Dragons play a very little role until the very end. They're used as a macguffin to motivate the character and add additional 'wow' to the reader. Because of this is read more like historical fiction with a little bit of fantasy added. Themes include showing culture shock and how she deals with it.
I wouldn't call it hard science by any means but it takes a practical look at Dragons and facts the character studies. The world is large and rich with plenty of room for a sequel or series.
I speed read/listened to it so others who don't may find it a slow read. If you'r not into biographies don't read it.
I'd recommend it to someone who is curious about the fantasy genre, especially if you like historical fiction, and biographies. Fortunately I do.
"Not all those who wander are lost" -JRR Tolkien
Less tea drinking, more dragons.
I have and I will. She brought a certain experienced voice that was necessary to the character.
Somewhere in the middle toward the top
There were several, and I'd be spoiling some revelations if I noted them here.
Kate Reading doesn't have a very developed range in character voices, but she does an okay job to the point that you can tell when someone else is talking. She tries incorporating Russian & French accents but they kind of waver in-and-out when the character has more than one line.
There were some parts that made me want to stay to listen, but I couldn't have listened all in one sitting.
This is a charming book series! I recommend it to any girl or woman who doesn't want the traditional life style of raising children, cooking meals for the family, cleaning the house, etc., or even those who want to branch into a more male-dominated career field. The main character breaks all social boundaries of how women should act in (I'm assuming) the Victorian era. Just because there are dragons in the book does not mean this is futuristic. I believe the author had the Victorian era in mind when women had few rights, and she just reinvented our natural world a little. The story has less to do about dragons and more to do about adventure, mystery, scientific discovery, and following your dreams. And if you like this book, #2 is even better!
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)
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