A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent
Yes, I have been reading. But nothing I have read has inspired much thought for discussion. So do not expect much from today’s book review. I will try to do better at some future date.
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Title: A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent
Author: Marie Brennan
Synopsis (giving nothing of import away): Lady Isabella Trent, preeminent dragon naturalist lays before the reader her beginnings into a career that would make her famous from Scirland to the furthest reaches of Eriga. The start of her story lays in childhood and Isabella’s early obsession with dragons. The book continues until the conclusion of her Vystrana Mountain expedition.
What was good: I like that the author created an original world. I like the description of dragons as another type of animal to be studied. It is successful in its stylized memoir format.
What was less impressive: I did not like the memoir format. Sure it was accurate. It echoed reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. Which meant that it was largely impersonal, vaguely scientific in style and almost dry considering we are discussing dragons. I did not engage well with the main character. Despite efforts to round out the character, I found Isabella largely cold and distant. The word and secondary characters were similarly distant and unapproachable.
Because of the memoir format, it was difficult to have an overarching plot or classical story element. Despite these inherent challenges, the author shoved one in there. Unfortunately this plot was seemingly tacked on at the end of the book and introduced an element of magic that did not fit well with the science bend of the book.
Solid effort, but I struggled to connect with any of the characters. And the side notes became something I skimmed over uninterested.
Prognosis: Since this series appears to be available at the library and I have been bored of late, there is a chance I might continue with the series. I wouldn’t invest money into the book, but the fact that I am willing to mention it on the blog means it is not trashy. And that is something at least. Still, I am not rushing out to read more of Lady Trent’s banal adventures.
Rank and Reason: 4 out of 5 stars for being well written, inventive but still a dry read.