Dragons in Books

Many books in the fantasy genre feature dragons as real animals and not as mythical creatures no one has ever seen. They are serpentine beings that spew fire and have both reptilian and avian traits. Despite sharing these characteristics, the role they play in a specific story vary according to the world created by each author. In some books dragons can speak or have riders, while in others they are subject to scientific studies. I’ve read a few books which include dragons, all having different parts to play.

When we think about the Harry Potter series the first word that comes to mind is wizards. But the books in this beloved series also feature dragons, although they are not one of the major elements of the world created by J.K. Rowling. They were used as an obstacle to be overcome in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for example. Dragons, in the world of the Harry Potter series, are generally considered impossible to either train or domesticate. They are seen as dangerous, since they can kill wizards. Nonetheless, there are people trained to work with them.

Dragons assume a more relevant and totally different role in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan. This is a fantasy and adventure series where the protagonist, Lady Trent, recalls how she became a famous and respected dragon naturalist. So far, I’ve only read the first two books – A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents. However, it is obvious from the very beginning that in this series dragons are not portrayed as magical or mythological creatures, but real wild animals that roam free in various parts of the world and are scientifically studied. Continue reading

‘A Natural History of Dragons’ by Marie Brennan

My rating: 4 stars

A Natural History of Dragons, the first book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan, is a fantasy and adventure story with prominent scientific and anthropological strands. Throughout the novel many remarks are made about how difficult it was for a woman to be truly accepted by the scientific community. Even though the story takes place in a fictional world, it highly resembles our own some centuries ago, just with dragons flying in the skies.

Lady Trent tells in the first person the story of how she became a famous and respected dragon naturalist. Isabella was the only daughter in a set of six children and wasn’t known for her ladylike ways. She first became obsessed with all animals with wings. Her special interest in dragons began while reading the book ‘A Natural History of Dragons’ by Sir Richard Edgeworth.

Her first reckless adventure took place still in Scirland, where she was born and grew up, when she was 14 years old. Dressed as a boy, she managed to take part on the hunt for a wolf-drake, because she wanted to see it alive and not already dead. From the beginning of the story, we realise that she has always been adventurous, curious, intelligent, a little reckless, but kind-hearted. Continue reading

Reading More Book Series

One of the things I enjoy while reading is to completely immerse myself in a new world, be it a fantasy one or not. This is also one of the reasons why I am also keen on reading book series, as it enables me to spend more time with a group of characters who inhabited a certain world. Nevertheless, I haven’t read that many series yet.

Until now I’ve only read four series: A Song of Ice and Fire which is still being written by George R.R. Martin; Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling; The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; and Memories of the Eagle and the Jaguar by Isabel Allende.

My plan is to read many more in the future. The following are some of the first books in a series (accompanied by a Goodreads description) that caught my eye and that are on my wish list: Continue reading