My rating: 4 stars
Those who enjoy a fusion of fantasy with scientific and anthropological elements may have already heard of the book series The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. Lady Trent, also known merely as Isabella, is a respected dragon naturalist who is recounting how she managed to achieve that status. Voyage of the Basilisk is the third instalment in the series, after A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents. In order to comprehensively review it, I’ll have to mention some of the events revealed in the two previous books. So, if you haven’t read them, I advise you not to read ahead.
The curiosity of the readers is aroused right since the beginning of the book. In the preface, Isabella introduces what she will recall in this part of her memoirs in a compelling manner. She will reveal what happened during her two-year journey aboard of the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk. Although she has written about it in other occasions, those texts were not totally accurate, since a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s Royal Navy had forbidden her from telling all the truth at the time of the events. We are also to be given an insight into more personal matters, as it’s requited from a memoir.
Accompanying her during the expedition were her son, Jake, who was then 9 years old, Tom Wilker and Abby, her new governess. Natalie Oscott, who had become her live-in companion, since being disowned by her father for going to Eriga, remained in Scirland. Their purpose was to find draconian species, in order to study their biology and actions, which leads to a discussion about the distinction between true dragons and other draconian creatures. Continue reading