A Natural History of Dragons
A Memoir by Lady Trent
By Marie Brennan
Isabella grew up in a world of rules. Ladies should not read books on science. Ladies should aspire to a good husband. Ladies should leave all exertion and danger to the men of the family. And, of course, ladies should most certainly never exhibit an interest in dragons. Unfortunately, Isabella has never been good at following the rules.
In this book Marie Brennan has created a society that mirrors the Georgian society in Jane Austen's novels. Only this isn't England, it's Scirland. And dragons, instead of existing only in the realm of myth and legend, are real. There are fire-breathing dragons and ice-breathing dragons and swamp-dwelling dragons who breathe poisonous gas. Men of science write books on the beasts and Isabella finds those books fascinating. Her mother, however, insists that she find a husband.
What her mother doesn't count on is that Isabella will find a husband who is interested in dragons almost as much as she is. That's how she finds herself on a scientific expedition to learn more about the flying lizards that inhabit foreign lands. If Jane Austen was of a more adventurous bent, and if she decided that Elizabeth Bennet would be more interested in dragons than Mr. Darcy, this is the book she might have written.
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Review by Danny Hanbery