A Natural History of Dragons

The Lady Trent Memoirs

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Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one's life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

"Saturated with the joy and urgency of discovery and scientific curiosity."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Natural History of Dragons

An NPR Best Book of 2013

The Lady Trent Memoirs
1. A Natural History of Dragons
2. The Tropic of Serpents
3. Voyage of the Basilisk
4. In the Labyrinth of Drakes
5. Within the Sanctuary of Wings

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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About the author

MARIE BRENNAN habitually pillages her background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore for fictional purposes. She is the author of the Onyx Court series (Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, A Star Shall Fall, and With Fate Conspire) and the Doppelganger duology (Warrior and Witch), as well as more than thirty short stories.

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Additional Information

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Published on
Feb 5, 2013
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Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Fantasy / Dragons & Mythical Creatures
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“The Shattered Seas trilogy has worked its way into a very exclusive group of my favorite fantasy novels of all time.”—James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner

“A fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.”—George R. R. Martin

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds that his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Joe Abercrombie’s Half the World.

“Tremendously entertaining . . . lightning-fast and filled with a wonderful collection of rogues, villains and two-faced bastards . . . From the first chapter [Joe Abercrombie] wastes no time as the reader is swept up in a gripping tale of betrayal and revenge.”—SciFi Now

“Once this plot has its teeth in you, it will not let go. . . . Abercrombie’s masterful storytelling means that everything, from the characters that you come to love and despise, to the sprawling world that is explored, is enthralling.”—Fantasy Book Review

“Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea is a fantastic yet believable backdrop to Yarvi’s struggle, a vivid imaginary land.”—The Seattle Times

“Intriguing characters . . . nonstop action.”—Chicago Tribune

“Half a King is my favorite book by Joe Abercrombie so far, and that’s saying something.”—Patrick Rothfuss

“As in all Abercrombie’s books, friends turn out to be enemies, enemies turn out to be friends; the line between good and evil is murky indeed; and nothing goes quite as we expect. With eye-popping plot twists and rollicking good action, Half a King is definitely a full adventure.”—Rick Riordan

“Enthralling! An up-all-night read.”—Robin Hobb

“Polished and sharp, perhaps his most technically proficient novel yet . . . I dare you to read the first chapter and try not to turn the next page.”—Brent Weeks

“Half a King can be summed up in a single word: masterpiece. It’s a coming-of-age story. It’s a Viking saga. It’s a revenge tale and family drama and the return of the prodigal son. But most of all, it’s this: a short time alongside people as weak and blundering as we are and, in the midst of it all, as heroic. Far too short a time, as it turns out. What a wonderful book.”—Myke Cole

“Half a King is full of all the adventure I’ve come to expect from Abercrombie and a tenderness I never knew he had.”—Sam Sykes
The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan's Voyage of the Basilisk . . .

Devoted readers of Lady Trent's earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now.

Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella's in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella's life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

The Lady Trent Memoirs
1. A Natural History of Dragons
2. The Tropic of Serpents
3. Voyage of the Basilisk
4. In the Labyrinth of Drakes
5. Within the Sanctuary of Wings

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

The second volume in the ground-breaking, genre-bending, boundary-pushing Clockwork Phoenix anthology series, now available in digital format.

Includes critically-acclaimed and award-nominated stories by Claude Lalumière, Leah Bobet, Marie Brennan, Ian McHugh, Ann Leckie, Mary Robinette Kowal, Saladin Ahmed, Tanith Lee, Joanna Galbraith, Catherynne M. Valente, Forrest Aguirre, Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, Kelly Barnhill, Barbara Krasnoff and Steve Rasnic Tem.

With a whimsical introduction and new afterword by Nebula Award-nominated editor Mike Allen.

"Sixteen unique voices that manage nevertheless to harmonize into a sort of choir of the uncanny singing in the key of beauty and strangeness ... Mike Allen has conducted it masterfully. I highly recommend it, and look forward with great anticipation to CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3."
— SF Site


Three Friends • Claude Lalumière
Six • Leah Bobet
Once a Goddess • Marie Brennan
Angel Dust • Ian McHugh
The Endangered Camp • Ann Leckie
At the Edge of Dying • Mary Robinette Kowal
Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela • Saladin Ahmed
The Pain of Glass: A Tale of the Flat Earth • Tanith Lee
The Fish of Al-Kawthar's Fountain • Joanna Galbraith
The Secret History of Mirrors • Catherynne M. Valente
Never nor Ever • Forrest Aguirre
each thing i show you is a piece of my death • Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer
Open the Door and the Light Pours Through • Kelly Barnhill
Rosemary, That's For Remembrance • Barbara Krasnoff
When We Moved On • Steve Rasnic Tem 

Praise for CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 2 . . . .

Allen finds his groove for this second annual anthology of weird stories, selecting 16 wonderfully evocative, well-written tales. Marie Brennan’s thought-provoking “Once a Goddess” considers the fate of a goddess abruptly returned to mortality. Tanith Lee puts a stunning twist in the story of a morose prince in “The Pain of Glass.” Mary Robinette Kowal’s “At the Edge of Dying” describes a world where magic comes only to those at death’s door. In “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela,” Saladin Ahmed tells of a small village on the edge of a desert, a hermit and a woman who may be a witch. Each story fits neatly alongside the next, and the diversity of topics, perspectives and authors makes this cosmopolitan anthology a winner.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

In this anthology of 15 original tales by some of fantasy’s most imaginative voices, Tanith Lee returns to her remarkable Flat Earth setting for a poignant and cutting tale of love, fate, and misfortune in “The Pain of Glass.” Other contributors include veteran and newer writers Forrest Aguirre, Steve Rasnic Tem, Joanna Galbraith, Saladin Ahmed, and others, each chosen for their unique perspective and stylistic grace. VERDICT: This second volume in a new annual anthology series will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy short stories.
— Library Journal

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX is the most experimental and often the most interesting of the impressive stable of four anthologies published by Norilana. The second outing has a lot of strong work, including a nice ultra-romantic tale of a woman of glass by Tanith Lee (“The Pain of Glass”), a moving fairly traditional ghost story from Kelly Barnhill (“Open the Door and the Light Pours Through”), and a story I frankly didn’t think I’d like, but which seduced me, Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer’s “each thing i show you is a piece of my death,” about experimental film makers creating a sort of collage film, including what seems a very old clip of a man committing suicide. It’s queasy-making, odd, yet compelling. My favorite story is Ann Leckie’s “The Endangered Camp,” which she says resulted from a sort of challenge to combine dinosaurs, post-apocalyptic fiction, and Mars — and does so beautifully as the crew of the first spaceship to Mars witnesses the asteroid striking Earth and wonders what to do.
— Locus 

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