1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dragons and academia in a mock-Victorian setting, what could be better?,
This review is from: A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (Hardcover)
I'm not much of a fantasy reader but I do have a soft spot for dragons, so when I find a novel that combines dragons and intellectual scholarship in a mock-Victorian setting it's a fair conclusion I'm going to enjoy it.
I didn't enjoy this book. I loved it. I couldn't put it down. I was hooked within a few pages and just rattled through the rest in a single day. Isabella Camherst is such an engaging narrator, and as a woman I could particularly identify with her restless nature, her desire to be more than the patriarchal society of her time would allow, her keen mind and inquisitive nature. I would have wanted to go on an expedition to study dragons too!
And I love that as much as this is a rollicking adventure story, it is also very much a story about knowledge, about those who seek it, about why knowledge for its own sake matters, about how much of our world (although this isn't our world, albeit very much akin to it) has been driven by people of inexhaustible curiosity. There aren't many fantasy-adventure novels starring naturalists, but this has to be one of the very best.
There are hints, particularly at the end, that this novel isn't a standalone, and I sincerely hope that's true. I would dearly love to read more about Isabella Camherst, not least of which is to find out how she becomes Lady Trent!