May 30, 2015
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A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

by Marie Brennan

A young lady of the rural gentry develops a certain passion for natural history, both of her native Scirland and most especially of dragons and their kin, creatures of remote lands. In time, she marries a tolerant young man of considerable means who shares a certain amateur interest in natural philosophy, and they join an expedition to a remote Balkan-like land where dragons may be found amidst colorful (if superstitious) villagers.

I’m not entirely sure that this story is best told in fantasy or whether, if we do want a fantasy, whether the setting chosen here – the technology seems to be late 18th century while manners are mid-19th and fashions later still – is ideal. Despite the dragons (and some nice archeological interludes) the world is not very strange.