by Marie Brennan
Series: The Memoirs of Lady Trent #5
Published on April 25, 2017 by Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
The conclusion to the thrilling memoirs of Lady Isabella Trent and her legacy of dragon evolutionary research and anthropological adventures.
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent--dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field.
And yet--after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia--the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure--scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland's enemies--and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.
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I can’t believe the series is over. Though we had a rough start together I grew to love and adore these books and Lady Isabella Trent’s stories. I finally got the answers to questions asked throughout the series but at the cost of finishing a riveting tale of a very talented woman.
Much as has been the pattern with these books, it’s a bit of a slow start in Within the Sanctuary of Wings but that doesn’t last long. I was so excited to set off on this final adventure with Lady Trent and, let me tell y’all, they found something new. Something big. Something AMAZING. And you’re just going to have to read the whole series to see what I mean.
To be fair, I’ve waited four books for this to happen so I may have been a TAD too excited when I reached that point in the story.
Of course I fell back in love with all of Isabella’s work, the way she approaches her research and her views of the world. The narrative voice in this entire series, of her recounting her expeditions at a later date, has become one of my absolute favorites in fantasy. She’s so conversational and familiar while keeping to the structure of the story and increasing the stakes at every turn.
I will say that this book didn’t have quite as much action as I had expected and lagged in spots, somewhat of a letdown compared to the previous book, but still enjoyable.
With that, I wanted more of SOME parts of the plot (sorry for being purposefully vague but end-of-the-series and all) while others were drawn out too much. I think part of this is that I had pretty high expectations going into the book but also one of the big twists left me with questions that were never fully answered to my satisfaction.
And yet… I didn’t really care when it came down to it. Yes, I wanted more but the actual reading of Within the Sanctuary of Wings was just as enjoyable as the previous books. We still get that same voice, and all of her research which is drawing together to form the big picture (which, okay, as a scientist is seriously awesome to think about).
I don’t think I can recommend this series enough. If you fancy yourself a scientist, like dragons, enjoy Indiana Jones, or all of the above, check these books out. They’re really fun reads and you’ll soon grow to love Lady Trent as much as I have. I don’t want to say too much more about this book because of spoilers but it was a lovely finale to a great series and y’all definitely want to get this on your TBR soon!