Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan

Review copy provided by Tor. For further disclosure, the author is a friend of mine.

This is the third in the series of fictional memoirs by the dragon naturalist Lady Isabella Trent. In this volume, Lady Trent’s young son Jake is old enough to accompany her on her travels, which adds a note of domestic logistics but neatly avoids the “child as constant source of idiotic trouble” plot that I so hate.

This series is set up to go very readily to new places and see new dragons there, and this volume–as one might expect from the title–is no exception. The main body of the action takes place in a Pacific Island analogue, but there are some other places along the way, and also there is a great deal of Victorian-analogue sea travel.

There is also more arc plot than it may seem to begin with, beyond just “Lady Trent would like to find out more stuff about dragons, and does,” which would in some ways be enough for me, but I do like arc plot as well. I think this would be a quite reasonable starting place for the series; while you’d ideally then go back and read the others, I think it would be perfectly comprehensible to just dive right in (…so to speak) to sea serpents, fire lizards, and other taxonomic goodness.

I do love taxonomy.

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