After a couple of chunksters (The Diviners, The Woman in White) and some DNFing (Possession) at the beginning of January, I decided to pick up a shorter book that I thought would be a quick read. Voila! A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan was just the thing.
This is a fictional memoir of a natural historian named Lady Trent. I thoroughly enjoyed this mode of storytelling as it helped me sink into this world, and Lady Trent is pretty sassy for a lady of the olden days.
Just to give you a bit of backstory, it's set in a fictional world that's heavily influenced by Russian culture. We're talking about a society where women were expected to be demure and enjoy sitting in the house a lot, and Lady Trent is anything but that archetype. She finds a book about dragons...A Natural History of Dragons, in fact...when she's a young girl, and her obsession with the animals only grows. When she ages and gets married, she has an opportunity to set out on an expedition to study the creatures, and a there's a whole lot of adventure going down.
I very much enjoyed reading about dragons in this book even though I'm typically not a big dragon fan. It was clever of Brennan to come at this book from the natural history perspective as it takes away a level of cheese that could've been inherent in this story otherwise (for me, anyway).
While I did enjoy this book very much, and I read through it pretty quickly, it did not blow my skirt up to the extent that some other books have already this year. It was good enough: 3/5 stars on Goodreads.
This is the first in a proposed series of books. I'd read more!
Pub. Date: February 2013
Publisher: Tom Doherty and Associates
Source: Gifted to me from a friend.