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In the Labyrinth of Drakes (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #4)
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In the Labyrinth of Drakes (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #4)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,624 Ratings  ·  375 Reviews
The thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, as the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia.

Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Tor Books
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Avaminn F'nett It's low fantasy, which is why there's no magic. I hesitate to call it historical fantasy since it doesn't have a historical real-world setting like…moreIt's low fantasy, which is why there's no magic. I hesitate to call it historical fantasy since it doesn't have a historical real-world setting like Temeraire. There's a difference between science fiction and fiction about science. Say dragons are replaced with birds and, this would be a realistic historical fiction novel about a scientist.(less)

Community Reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

If you’re not reading this series yet, you should be! My love for it just grows and grows, and indeed I think In the Labyrinth of Drakes may be my favorite Memoir by Lady Trent installment yet! So many questions that I had are finally answered, and there are plenty of other major reveals (but don’t worry, I won’t say what they are here) for readers who have been following our protagonist on her adventures. I promise you, t
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
My favorite yet!! This series speaks to everything I love about dragons. RTC
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
[5 Stars] My favorite so far. I could not put it down and basically read it in one sitting. This series is so unique and refreshing. I can't wait to read the conclusion!
Isabella continues doing what she loves best, which is chase after dragons. This time, she goes to Akhia (no idea how to spell any of the names, as I've been listening my way through this series) on a project for the Scaerling army, to figure out how to breed dragons, and also hopes to reconnect with Suhail, the scholar who journeyed with her for part of her time on the Basilisk (The Voyage of the Basilisk).
There is still lots of humour in this story, as Isabella is much more forthright than so
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-sff-faves
This book...or rather this series...has been marvellous. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed every one, but this one I found particularly charming and loveable for some of the developments within. In this book we continue to follow Isabella (a.k.a. Lady Trent) as she travels abroad to study her passion once more...Dragons. Isabella is a wonderful character, very resilient, highly practical, very forthright, and filled with opinions about how ladies should be treated fairly alongside men. Her ideals ...more
This series keeps getting better and better! Can't wait for the next book.
Moonlight Reader
I am caught up to the final book, which won’t be released until the 25th.

I adored this book. As far as my enjoyment goes, the pacing of this series has been remarkably effective. Although the tale is being told as a memoir, Marie Brennan has done an outstanding job letting the intellectual development of Isabella unfold. We get some of the most frankly feminist moments in this book. Lady Trent, at this point, is a woman with no fucks left to give about propriety. She has learned, in the hardest
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the Labyrinth of the Drakes is the fourth installment in the Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan, and it is one of the best dragon series' written, that I've read.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes continues the adventures of Isabella - Lady Trent- and Tom and we follow them to the deserts of Akhia, where they go to study the Drakes. In it there they are reunited with Suhail - and I will be a liar is I deny that I practically squealed every time they ended up near each other.

This is probably one of th
I was dying for this book ever since I finished Voyage of the Basilisk, and I made sure to get hold of it the very first chance I got, and reread the other books in preparation. I’ve loved this series more and more with each book, and this one is no exception: there’s so much awesome stuff — more biology, more anthropology, more archaeology, more Isabella, and of course, more politics. It’s lovely to follow Isabella and Tom and see them finally getting the recognition they deserve, even if they ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marie Brennan's approach to the Arab world, or "Akhia," marks a departure from the orientalist attitudes usually expected from Western storytellers. She stays true to the cultural, linguistic and religious aspects of the region, with close attention and regard to the latter; she does not shy away from being inclusive of Islamic sects, no matter how much of a minutiae it might seem to the reader when brought to light. She is accurate and adamantly precise, someone who actually did her homework.
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
My favourite so far!
Kitvaria Sarene
4,5 stars

While I really enjoyed this one too, it didn't stick me in just as much as the other the books before. It might be that this one has less expeditions and more stationary work, so it's also less adventure and new cultures, or it might be that dragons in pens just aren't as exciting as ones on the wild.
But Isabellas witty and snarky comments made up for most of that, so I still devoured it on just two days. I am quite glad that I busy found this series now, so I'll only have to wait for b
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-along
I'm a long way past objective reviews of these books. I thought Basilisk pandered to me: Marie Brennan was only just warming up. Labyrinth is a rollercoaster of feelings that leaves me so utterly delighted all I can do is sigh happily or squeak with excitement.

Objectively this could be 4 stars but this level of sheer joy demands 5.
Marielle Ooms-Voges
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-own
I loved it, again I will write my thoughts later on because I have to go and order #5! What a fantastic series... thanks Julia for recommending it!
Karen A. Wyle
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-dragons
I'm rounding up again -- but I enjoyed this book in the series as much as any of the others.

The first-class world-building, character development, and plot craftsmanship of this series continue here. The book also showcases, to amusing effect, Isabella's tendency to say what comes into her head without the typical degree of consideration or censorship.

Now I'm stuck in limbo until the next book comes out in April. I could curse as fluently as Isabella at this delay.
Angela Burkhead
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Several years ago, when I received a copy of A Natural History of Dragons, I thought-oh, that looks like an interesting book-and then tucked it under my TBR pile and figured someday I'd get to it.

It took nearly a year to pick the book back up, which was at the same time a blessing and a curse. I absolutely fell in love with Isabella. The story is not simply a textbook style history lesson on dragons as I expected (because I'm notoriously lazy when it comes to reading back cover descriptions).

Judith Moore
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review up on my blog:

Last review I said I wanted the romance to be good. AND IT IS. I was sat there in front of my phone screen (thankyou Library ebooks app) just beaming away. This was done so well and so in character for the Lady Trent we have come to love and I’m just so happy for her. If Brennan does what she did in the first book in the final chapter and dashes all my happiness on the rocks I may just have to sob for about a million hours.

The desert setting was al
All Things Urban Fantasy
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Marie Brennan has created a literary banquet in the Lady Trent series, with IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES as the piece de resistance. A delicate blend of science, romance, and adventure, this is a book readers will sigh, smile, and clasp to their chests when they're done.

A love song to scientific discovery, personal fortitude, and the romance of discovering an unknown world, IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES brought back all of the excitement of our own world's "ancient history" with a dollop of magic to
Fantasy Literature
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Bill and Jana:

In the Labyrinth of Drakes is the fourth book in the MEMOIRS BY LADY TRENT series by Marie Brennan, and in terms of quality I’d place it just behind the second one, The Tropic of Serpents, which so far is my favorite. And if it has a few of the same issues that have detracted from prior books, as always, these are outweighed by the wonderful voice of the narrator, which is really the number one reason for picking up this series.

As has been the pattern, In the Labyrinth
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
(Full review here:

Long story short, if you enjoyed the previous books in the series, you’re going to enjoy In the Labyrinth of Drakes just as much. It has everything I’ve come to expect from the series, Isabella’s wonderful wit and commentary, the thrill of discovery, and all set in a world that’s familiar and new at the same time. It’s a series that I don’t want to see end, because I always get the feeling that new discoveries are just around the corner
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, shelfie
Once again. I adore Kate Reading's narration of Isabella. I throughly enjoyed the developments in In the Labyrinth of Drakes.
Kater Cheek
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
If this novel had been the same strength as the third one, I would not be eagerly anticipating book #5, but this novel really kicked it up a notch.

Politics play a much larger role in this novel, as Lady Trent and Tom Wilkins work with the Scirling army on a program to try to breed dragons for their bones. As introduced in earlier books, Lady Trent's research directly influences world politics because of the technique for preserving dragon bones and the missing research material for synthesizing
Trigger warnings: does it count as animal cruelty if they're mythical animals?? Also kidnapping, poisoning, murder.

I can't work out if the second one or this one is my favourite thus far. This one is certainly up there, that's for sure. I found it fast paced and compelling from start to finish, where some volumes have dragged at times. I loved the archaeology stuff, and it totally reminded me of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series, which is great.

Also, I ship it like whoa. Just saying.
Nicole Jackson
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This series is captivating, intriguing, unique and astounding. Brennan’s style of memoir is so detailed and unlike anything I’ve read before. In the Labyrinth of Drakes is thus far my favorite installment and I am beyond thrilled I encountered this series! Fair warning to my fellow dragon-lovers, this series does not have as much time with dragons as one would initially think; rather, the beauty of these books lies in the protagonist Isabella, whose scientific journey in a male-dominated world i ...more
Nicollette Winiewicz
Another fantastic installment! I absolutely loved it!
Blodeuedd Finland
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This series just has to be read, it is so wonderful. I love the way it's written and the seriousness of it, and not. Like I said you have to read it.

It's a memoir of a famous dragon naturalist. It's a Victorian fantasy setting and there be dragons...

This is then Lady Trent's memoir. And yes sure you could just jump in but don't. The previous books are too good to miss. You have to read them and see her earlier adventures. Her first one. The swamp one. And the last one where she looked at the mig
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to acquire an advance copy of "In The Labyrinth of Drakes" in a charity auction. Readers of the other books in the series will recognize the same formula of comedy of manners wrapped in a sci-fi-like treatment of fantasy material - but it's a delightful formula.
Isabella remains an insightful and captivating protagonist and narrator - and her serving in those two different roles is a major part of the joy in the series. Unfortunately, as the books go on and Isabella gets older
I adore this entire series. They're amazing, though I know they won't appeal to everyone. But I love the setting. I love the worldbuilding (though I find the idea of an ancient global culture odd, if not completely unbelievable, but still, I am loving it.) I love the slow build romantic relationship between Isabella and Suhair. I love that what happens in one book actually affects what happens in the next. I love the differing cultures.

I love voyage of discovery stories. I love naturalist storie
Stephen Richter
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Marie Brennan goes back to her roots and adds a little romance amongst dragon research in this latest edition of the life of Lady Trent. Kate Reading did the narration for the audio and does a pro job. Another great addition to the series.
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Marie Brennan is the author of the Doppelganger, Onyx Court, Wilders, and Memoirs of Lady Trent series of fantasy novels. Sign up for her newsletter here!
More about Marie Brennan

Other books in the series

The Memoirs of Lady Trent (5 books)
  • A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #1)
  • The Tropic of Serpents (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #2)
  • The Voyage of the Basilisk (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #3)
  • Within the Sanctuary of Wings (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #5)
“I sometimes imagine there is a clerk behind a desk situated between the brain and the mouth. It is his job to examine utterances on their way out, and stamp them with approval or send them back for reconsideration. If such a clerk exists, mine must be very harried and overworked; and on occasion he puts his head down on the desk in despair, letting things pass without so much as a second glance.” 15 likes
“There's a bit of difference between swimming in shark-infested water because you're trying to retrieve something from the bottom, and staying in just because you're already there and haven't been eaten yet.” 4 likes
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