A review by sdloomer
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


--3/5 stars--

Solid. The perfect word to end this book on! Before I continue, three out of five stars absolutely does not mean anything bad. It means precisely what Goodreads says it does: I liked it.

To begin with, I found the writing style incredibly charming, with just the right amount of historical fiction-y sass: jokes and jabs at Society, clothing, and what the hell is considered "proper". I can't exactly say anything more on it because I'm not much more familiar with historical fiction (as a proper genre. Although this is more fantasy, it's clearly written as a memoir with implications that the reader is already familiar with the world.)

I would like to point out that this is, first and foremost, a memoir. Which I anticipated, so I did not begin this with the expectation of reading something similar to Eragon. Lady Trent takes us on a severely personal journey of her life, and dragons just so happen to play a major part in it--not the other way around. It began slowly, as most memoirs do, with the introduction of family and persons of interest who eventually grew to be more influential in her quest to become a scholar, and slowly eased us into her first adventure, after which she had no doubt that studying dragons was going to be her lifelong pursuit. I've noticed a lot of reviewers stating that this book was "too slow", but I would implore them to remember that this is a history of someone's life. Not every instant is going to be filled with action and intensity.

But why the three stars? I had no qualms with this book, no complaints (with some minor exceptions that had to do with the end), and nothing that irritated me enough to stop reading. It was that Lady Trent is sometimes an idiot, for lack of a better word. While in reality, I understand that sometimes bad decisions fuel the plot along, some of the actions Lady Trent takes are downright...??? I am astounded she didn't die by the middle of the book, but I suppose that would have left readers extremely unsatisfied. I am also aware that she is only nineteen years old at the time of the adventure, but she managed to display incredible maturity during most of the book--which led me to believe that she wasn't like most nineteen-year-olds. But I suppose everyone has their off days.

Regardless, I did enjoy reading this, even if it did take me two weeks to do it (blame adulting), and I will be looking forward to the next in the series.