by Marie Brennan
Series: The Memoirs of Lady Trent #4
Published on April 5, 2016 by Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
The thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, as the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia.
Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.
As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
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Another book, another whirlwind adventure with Lady Isabella Trent in the lead. As has been the case with the last three books, they just keep getting better and better, and In the Labyrinth of Drakes is no exception. I’m a tad worried about the final book in the series because I’m not sure I’ll be able to let this character and her story go.
I loved how much of a focus there was this time on the research element. It’s always been a part of this story but I think, of all the books, this one really hit home with the struggles Lady Trent has had to face in order to receive any recognition for her work. As someone who loves research and is invested in the sciences and natural history of the world, there couldn’t be a more perfect book. I can’t applaud Brennan enough for taking this strong female lead and having her fight the status quo with her work and her intelligence rather than brute strength. It’s a book I want all girls to read to see that you don’t need to be a warrior princess to make a difference because, after all, fiction can teach those lessons even involving the research of dragons.
Once more the world-building was absolutely amazing, intricate, and immersive. This author has a way of writing a story that examines not only the character’s personal beliefs and culture but that of the area(s) she visits. When looking at this from a series perspective, the sheer amount of information given about all different parts of this world is astounding. I love fantasy with a solid world and these books are some I would highly recommend for readers looking for the same.
I’m still swooning over the idea of researching dragons. Lady Trent approaches her work much like I did mine in college, with science and a practical nature. I spent four years studying wildlife science and natural history but I would have loved to have done the kind of work described in this book. I think that’s one of its biggest draws for me. I just relate so much to the protagonist with her work, her struggles as a woman in the sciences and academia, her way of looking at the world. Every reader experiences something different when they tackle a book and I see what I wish I could do in these.
I also loved the introduction of the romance, as well as the character dynamics between Isabella, her family, her colleagues, and the rest of the cast. You definitely need to read the previous books to understand where Isabella started but also some of the relationships developed in this book so don’t just skip ahead!
I can’t get enough of these books and can’t believe there’s only one more left! I have no doubt that Brennan will knock it out of the park with the finale, and if you haven’t started this series, definitely check it out!