The second book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series, while The Tropic of Serpents didn’t quite reach the same giddy heights of adoration as A Natural History of Dragons had, that was mostly down to me having had no expectations with the first, and stratospheric ones with the second.
The now widowed Isabella Trent is mother to a young son, but still possessing a naturalist’s thirst for more knowledge about dragons. Flying in the face of what polite Scirling society thinks she ought to do (stay at home and simply be a mother), Isabella embarks on another expedition, this time to Eriga to study its native swamp-wyrms.
Finding both a land and culture entirely different to what she’s faced before, the book has a much slower pace this time around as Isabella navigates her way through an alien environment and customs, before trekking out for her actual mission.
I enjoyed the addition of what would appear to be a new member of the gang going forward – Natalie, a young woman as equally uncomfortable with the role society expects for her and just as eager to fight against it – and am enjoying the little glimpses along the way of the reasons why Lady Trent is considered rather scandalous by her readers.
I love the approach of these books – viewing dragons through a lens of natural history rather than fantasy and borrowing the tone of Victorian explorers to lend it an air of authenticity, and Lady Trent is a great character to spend a few hours with on the weekend.
I’ll definitely be reading more of the series.