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A Natural History of Dragons – Marie Brennan

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★★★★ ½

One benefit of being an old woman now, and moreover one who has been called a “national treasure,” is that there are very few who can tell me what I may and may not write.

Ever since she was a child, Isabella was obsessed, absolutely obsessed, with dragons.

She would spent long hours curled up with her favorite book, A Natural History of Dragons and for a while, she was indulged by her father…but unfortunately that could not last.

No gentleman would want a wife covered in scars from misadventures with dangerous beasts.

Nowadays she’s known as Lady Trent, a world renowned Dragonologist, but she wasn’t always quite so well-known…or even well-liked.

During her early adulthood, all she could think of wasfinding a husband who would allow her to continue reading.

“You want me for my library.”

And so she marries Jacob, someone who respected her eccentricities, but the newlyweds soon realize life isn’t as simple as expected.

A miscarriage and a deep depression results in Isabella realizing that she cannot – will not – ever become the perfect English wife.

“I don’t need luxury, Jacob; I don’t need pampering.”

And so she secures a position for herself and her husband to participate in an exhibition to far off lands, Vystrana, to study the elusive and mysterious rock-wyrm.

But as so often happened during this exhibition, nothing went as planned.

She is about to discover a whole new world – and change her own forever.

Oh my gosh. I LOVED this one.

Also – I have a confession to make.

Some girls were obsessed with horses...I was a dragon girl. Drawing, reading and dreaming – all dragons all the time.

And this book fulfilled every childhood dream I had. (It was honestly such a blow to realize that dragons didn’t exist.)

This book was so well done. I loved how seriously it took the subject and how firmly grounded the dragon-based world was.

Sheep eat grass, wolves eat deer, dragons eat everything that doesn’t run away fast enough.

The only thing that bugged me was that there was a little less dragons and a little more politics than I expected.

I did love watching Isabella grow from a timid girl shaped by her times into a strong woman intent on making a life for herself…I just wanted more page time with the dragons.

Though…that ending was a bit of a shock to the system. Bit of a jump into an icy lake. 

In other words, I did NOT appreciate the way the ending wrapped up.

I honestly cannot imagine where the book is going next.

Interested in this one from Marie Brennan? Buy it here:  Amazon

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