Title: A Natural History of Dragons
Author: Marie Brennan
Series: The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #1
When a friend wanted a signed copy of The Tropic of Serpents, the sequel to this book, I gladly headed into the City for a reading. After the puppet show and artifacts, I definitely had my interest peaked in this novel; it promised to be something different. And something different it was, something delightfully different.
It's soft biology fantasy, which makes me happy on its own. I wish there were more biology-based books (I'd hesitate to call this science fantasy, but it is fantasy science) out there. It's based in the Victorian Age, which means that a lot of the science is being pioneered at the moment... and the fact that the main character, a naturalist, is a woman, is a problem.
This is dealt with in ways that kind of work, but at the same time feel like something's just being excused. Having read the second book now, however, that's dealt with again, and in a betterish way? I'm just glad that it was dealt with; I think of this as a cupcake book, so I'm not expecting a treatise on women scientists in the era.
Honestly, besides the reading, one of the major reasons I wanted to read this book was for my dragon-fascinated partner, who I think will greatly enjoy it, even more than I did. I highly suggest it, and wish that it had been slightly better (the narration kind of grates on me after a while) but it was definitely a great romp whilst I was working at it.