ATTENTION WRITERS - Here is your chance to share your work. Send us your short stories to be published on-line. Click here for details Don't Delay

LATEST UPDATES


June
Book Pick
of the Month




June 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook and
Voices From the Past


June 11



June 1, 2018
Updated Convention Listings

May 20



May
Book Pick
of the Month




May 17



May 15
New reviews in
The Book Nook,
Illustrated Corner and
Voices From the Past


May 1, 2018
Updated Convention Listings

Previous Updates

WesternSFA
A Natural History of Dragons
A Memoir by Lady Trent
by Marie Brennan
TOR Books; $15.99; 352pp
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
This is as charming as they come: a pseudo-Victorian ladies journal/memoir looking back on how the narrator became a well-known expert in the natural history: anatomy, biology, habits, etc. of dragons.

This is Brennan’s own world, however. There is not a common city or land mentioned here.

But the flavor is very Victorian. Her narrator has a wonderful reserved voice. This may sound silly, but for me a nice cuppa tea in a china tea cup with scones is just the perfect companion to this tale.

It’s a very constricted world for women and our narrator, Mrs. Isabella Camherst is a woman who was lucky enough to have an indulgent father and even luckier, to attract an indulgent, intelligent husband in Jacob Camherst who shares her love of all things dragons.

The bulk of this story takes place in the hilly land of Vystrana , in and around the village of Drustanev where Jacob and Isabella, along with the delightfully eccentric Lord Hilford and his assistant Mr. Wilker have set up their base. They are going to explore and hunt up as much information as they can on the Vystrani rock-wyrm of which little is known. Actually little is known of most dragons. They are shot for trophies but no one has bothered to find out the intricacies of the dragon biology and habits. One interesting tidbit: dragons blow out icy breath when they are about to attack: not flames.

They pick the land of Vystrana which is rather Hungarian in flavor to my mind—and over-lorded by a boyar in a rather Russian style approach.

But their discoveries about the Vystrani dragons are almost over-shadowed by the mystery of their missing host, Jindrik Gritelkin, who had set up the permissions to stay in Drustanev at his home---but he never shows up.

And his fate remains a mystery pretty much throughout the novel. But what is going on in the dragon graveyard caverns discovered by Isabella and friends can change a great deal of what people know of dragons, and even more, how people perceive the creatures.

There is danger and confrontations with dragons and smugglers. This is an adventure after all. The book is wonderfully illustrated by detailed drawings by Todd Lockwood and maps provided by Rhys Davies.

If you like dragons even a crumb—this is definitely your book—and there are more volumes to come. ~~ Sue Martin

For reviews of other books in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series click here.

Follow us

for notices on new content and events.

to The Nameless Zine,
a publication of WesternSFA




Our Columns:

The Book Nook
Reviews of the latest in science fiction and fantasy

The Illustrated Corner
Reviews of the latest in Manga and Graphic Novels

Odds and Ends
Reviews of non-genre items our staff enjoyed
(Can be books, movies, TV shows or music)

Voices from the Past
Reviews of genre books from the past (at least 20 years old)
and those which are Out of Print but still wonderful to read

A Chat with
Interviews with people of interest
Current Interview: Brandon Sanderson

Author Appearance & News
This page lists author signings and appearances, convention news
and any other events we think might interest our readers.

Reel Talk
Reviews of current genre movies in the theater
and favorite and new DVD releases

A Tale Told Thusly
A place for new and established writers to show off their short stories

Trivia Contests

In Remembrance
Memories of those who have passed on



WesternSFA Main Page

Links of Interest

Email Us

Disclaimer

Copyright ©2005-2018 All Rights Reserved
(Note that external links to guest web sites are not maintained by WesternSFA)
Comments, questions etc. email WebMaster