Goodreads Link: The Tropic of Serpents (Lady Trent’s Memoirs #2)
Author: Marie Brennan
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
After reading and falling in love with A Natural History of Dragons last year, I eagerly awaited the release of the second book in the series, and it did not disappoint. This series has so many great things going for it: deep friendships, a Victorian lady scientist, dragons, travel to foreign places, and adventure.
Isabella is a very confident and determined woman with a curious mind who wants to know everything there is to know about dragons. Against the constraints of her society, she dares to brave dangerous locales on her own in order to study different types of dragons in their natural habitats. She faces each challenge with a sophisticated sense of humor and unshakeable optimism.
I love the rich cultures that Marie Brennan creates for Isabella to travel in. she encounters problems with foreign politics, religious differences, language barriers–all realistic problems in a unique setting. Although she’s primarily interested in dragons, she’s forced to open her mind and learn more about other people as well, both from her own culture and others. She’s also willing to make sacrifices for her pursuit of knowledge.
I can’t wait for the rest of the books in this series, and it’s inspired me to pick up more works by Marie Brennan as well. I have a new favorite author!
The dragons are also fascinating creatures. Each kind is unique and detailed, with naturalist illustrations adding flavor to the books. The dragons in this particular book have a special twist that surprised me near the end.
Isabella is a naturalist but she’s definitely following in the footsteps of the early scientific method. Like any good scientist, she tests each hypothesis and revises her theories as she learns new information. I suspect that she’s got some big discoveries yet to come.