Oh my oh my. I will preface by saying that I have had this book almost since I finished the first, “A Natural History of Dragons.” I’ve been trying with all my might to pace myself on this one, but I had a shift of work this week that encouraged reading, and this morning I could not resist finishing the tale.
The second book of Isabella Camherst’s forays into the world of dragons was as captivating as the first. Leaving her homeland for a second time, Isabella believes her trip to Eriga will be easier than her last adventure. Marie Brennan has written her heroine with finesse – I am inclined to believe her a real person. Even more amazing is the world in which the books are set.
I noticed in reading book 1 that Brennan has overlaid a fantasy world on the cultures and countries of our own world in historic times. And yet she does this with such precision that there is no doubt as to her creative powers. I found myself on the edge of my seat (again) and begging for those books which she mentions to be real. Brennan writes:
The history of how this process developed has been discussed at greater length by the Yembe historian … I advise those interested in such matters to read her work…
p.300, “The Tropic of Serpents” by Marie Brennan
If only I could read it! There are omissions in the story that, in large part, are due to one of two reasons. 1)That the narrator (Isabella) is keeping a secret for the people she met whose rules prevent her from discussing certain things and 2) that she refers us to other works which, unfortunately, do not exist. I would love to read those other books. Let me be clear: I by no means think that the omissions are a failure of the book. Rather, they add to it’s authenticity and keep me engaged after I am finished reading.
I recommend with all of my heart that you pick up this book (after, of course, reading A Natural History of Dragons). You will not regret it if you do!