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Turning Darkness Into Light

(The Memoirs of Lady Trent #6)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,286 ratings  ·  260 reviews
A brand-new adventure set in the hugely popular A Natural History of Dragons universe - a delightful Victorian-esque fantasy.

As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Titan Books
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Rob In my opinion, you really need to have read the books that comprise The Memoirs of Lady Trent first, and in order, to put this book in the proper ligh…moreIn my opinion, you really need to have read the books that comprise The Memoirs of Lady Trent first, and in order, to put this book in the proper light with regard to the Draconean civilization. As pointed out, this book (a stand-alone spinoff of the Memoirs) contains major spoilers, esp. with regard to the final book of the Memoirs series, _Within_the_Sanctuary_of_Wings_.(less)
Courtney Stand alone. She did an askreddit thread a few months ago and this question was asked.
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Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] Marie Brennan delivers again! Although the first Memoirs of Lady Trent book garnered mixed emotions from me, the series quickly developed into one of the most personally meaningful ones I’ve ever read. It spoke to me on so many levels, foremost of which was Lady Trent’s passion for understanding dragons. The whole caboodle was summarized beautifully with this quote:
It’s the way we find the things we’re passionate about and then chase them with everything we’ve got.
It’s precisel
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the ones I read for the O.W.Ls readathon and I'm so glad. I have been meaning to pick this up since I bought it when it came out as I so loved the Lady Trent books and this did not disappoint at all. It's another series which is great escapism and so fun to read as it's all about science and archaeology and more. Also there's always a lady who's amazing as the lead, which I love, and it's set in a time period which is both an age of discovery and an age of magical beings in S ...more
And here I am, continuing my tradition of reading series out of order. I mean, it was fine¹ when I did that with the Xuya series, and I also believe that while sequels don't have to stand on their own, spin-offs absolutely should, so why not try and read something when there are five books of worldbuilding before that one? This kind of thing obviously can't go wrong².

You don't need to have read the Memoirs of Lady Trent series to understand Turning Darkness Into Light. However, I think it could
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ravenclaws, anyone who loved Brennan's lady trent series
Shelves: arc, reviewed
For those unfamiliar with Brennan's books, she previously authored The Memoirs of Lady Trent Series, a completed five book series. Turning Darkness Into Light is a standalone book set in the same world, starring Lady Trent's granddaughter. (This is your warning that if you haven't completed the Lady Trent series, there are massive spoilers for the series in this book, so please read the full series first!)

I binged the entire Lady Trent series on audiobook earlier this summer, so despite my absol
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this one from the published in exchange for a review.

This book is a standalone story set in the same world as the Lady Trent series but I was assured I could read this book without having read the Lady Trent books and that is what I did. I think people who have read the previous series will be at a bit of an advantage and, after having read some other reviews, apparently there are some spoilers in this book for the other series but I don't mind that and I really enjoyed thi
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It was heartbreaking for me when the original Memoirs of Lady Trent series, even knowing all good things must come to an end. And so, when I found out that Marie Brennan would be returning to the world with Turning Darkness into Light, to say I was thrilled is an understatement. And that’s not all; I was even more excited when I learned that the new book would follow Audrey Camherst, the granddaughter of Isabella the Lady
Iona Sharma
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
At the halfway point of this book I was thinking that it was fine, and very enjoyable, but slight. I still think it's slight, but in a really powerful, interesting way: it's a book about how three people working in a library for six months, and their evolving friendships, can have as much impact on history and society and power as any manner of more exciting goings-on. It's particularly interesting when viewed against the other books in the series which are much more traditional adventure storie ...more
Bookphenomena (Micky)
2.5 - 3 stars.

Do you like dragons, mystery and ancient antiquities with a bit of an Indiana Jones feeling? If the answer is yes then TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT might be the book for you. It is marketed as a standalone fantasy and it can standalone, however I do believe that readers of Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series will have a great advantage when reading this.

This book has a feminist tone all the way through and the main protagonist, Audrey is commissioned to study and translate some rare t
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan is a fun historical fantasy featuring dragons. It's part of the Lady Trent universe, but you don't need to be familiar with that series to understand this novel. I haven't read that series yet and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm sure I would have gotten much more enjoyment out of this if I was already familiar with that series. I have to admit that I did feel out of the loop from tim
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marie Brennan’s delightfully bizarre breed of palace intrigue never fails to impress me.

Part fantasy, part comedy of manners, part spy novel, Turning Darkness into Light was an airy but stimulating followup to Brennan’s beloved Lady Trent series, this time featuring our previous heroine’s plucky granddaughter Audrey and her dragon friend Kudshayn.

Audrey (and Kudshayn too, for that matter) are scholars, not naturalists, so this is a slightly different type of story, though set in the same univer
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Audrey Camherst is offered a chance to translate a unique cache of Draconean literature, she leaps at the opportunity. But a political storm is brewing. Her work may shatter her dreams and destroy her grandmother’s legacy…

This was pure joy from start to finish. The characters are a delight, the political plot is thrilling, there’s plenty of ill-advised but highly entertaining Camherst escapades along the way and Marie Brennan gets to go to town with her myth-making and political commentary
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2020
Audrey is Lady Trent's granddaughter - and she has much to live up to. Most of the book was tied up in Audrey's hatred for Aaron - though I quite enjoyed the character development she goes through (learning not to (view spoiler) and to (view spoiler)). ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a delight - a fantasy tale that praises research in archeology and makes you understand the power of myth on culture

Full review -
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a joy and a delight. I love this world and I was VERY happy to revisit it. It has not gotten any less fascinating or beautiful or dangerous. Audrey is amazing, Cora is perfect, and Kudshayn must be protected AT ALL COSTS.
Ten out of ten, would read many many more.

(view spoiler)
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think anyone is more skeptical of a latecomer sequel than me: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Dead to me. Toy Storys 2-4? Hard pass. Iron Gold ? It's best for everyone if we pretend that didn't happen.

So it was "with dread but cautious optimism" (kudos if you get that reference), I picked up Turning Darkness Into Light, the legacy sequel set decades after Within The Sanctuary of Wings and focused on Lady Trent's granddaughter, Audrey. Unlike previous novels, this one is entirely epistolary
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Lady Trent novels has been one of my very favorite series of the last few years, so I was eager to dive back into her world via the adventures of her granddaughter, Audrey Camhearst. Audrey has followed in her grandfather's footsteps as a philologist, so when she is asked to translate the archaeological find of the century -- a series of tablets that appear to be an epic of the ancient Draconians -- she jumps at the chance, despite a number of red flags on the situation. The story of what ha ...more
Julia Sarene
For some strange reason, my review of this has vanished, along with the book from my read shelf... So I'll just quickly say again:
I loved this book. Not just as much as I did the main Lady Trent series, but I think that could easily change with more of the same main character. It is in the same witty style that I enjoyed in the previous series, and I devoured it in no time.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THIS IS SO GOOD. SO VERY GOOD. I need to read more of this series and very much hope there are more of Audrey's adventures on the way ...more
Siona St Mark
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-ordered
I absolutely LOVED this book! It was amazing, and such a great continuation of the original series. Audrey was a great character to follow, and I loved her personality (she was reading those bitches to filth!!). Definitely one of the best books I've read in a while. ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a joy to read - I understand this is a standalone sequel to Brennan's Lady Trent series and features Lady Trent's granddaughter as the main character who is trying to translate an ancient Draconean text. There are all kinds of mysteries, adventures and intrigues surrounding this task but I was surprised to find I was as interested in the translation (which turns out to be an ancient Draconean creation myth and which Brennan includes in the novel) as I was in the intrigues. Perhaps becau ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“There has been no such thing for my people within living memory, or even the middle past. We have been few in number, single in society. My own kindred find me strange when I visit the Sanctuary, because my behaviour has been shaped by my time outside of it; this, as much as my physical difficulties, is the sacrifice my mother made on my behalf when she chose to lay her clutch beyond the Sanctuary’s walls."

Marie Brennan is back once more in the world of Lady Trent with her newest novel, Turning
Blodeuedd Finland
I would not say it felt like the previous series. That one was about exploring, and it had this other feel to it. This one is even more scholarly as most of it takes place when Audrey is translating clay tablets.

Audrey is Lady Trent's granddaughter (read the books to find out who Trent is.) She wants to prove her worth as her grand parents are famous, her parents are famous and she has not had her turn yet. So she spends month translating.

Helping her she has Kudshayn, a well I will just say drag
Karyn Silverman
Loved it. I would read the Draconean tax records, frankly, if Brennan wrote them out, but this was much more enjoyable. A little more smoothly paced than the Lady Trent books (which tend to slingshot from travelogue to peril very fast), and I like Audrey Camherst a lot. She’s a scholar and clearly not a society girl, she’s good-hearted and smart but also good hearted enough to miss some clues, so that the reader has the fun of figuring things out just slightly ahead of the characters. The transl ...more
Rachel Bridgeman
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-2019
My thanks to the team at Titan Books for my gifted paperback review copy which arrived along with dragon egg chocolates!! Best book post EVER! 'Turning Darkness Into Light' will be published in paperback on the 20th August 2019.

This is a great introductory novel to Marie's alternate fantasy universe-it acts a bridge, a stand alone set in the same universe but centering Lady Trent's granddaughter, Audrey. Through her, the reader gains an understanding of their world, the divisions, the politics a
Kam Yung Soh
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
An excellent stand-alone follow-up to her "Lady Trent" series, this book involves the grand-daughter of the original Lady Trent and largely depends on information revealed in the original series. As such, it is best to read this only after reading the original series first.

The book is written mainly as a series of entries from the private dairies of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent's grand-daughter), along with written entries from other supporting characters and occasional newspaper snippets. As s
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
*I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting with this one and even after reading it, I’m still not sure what to make of it. This is a difficult one to review, because a lot of it didn’t make complete sense to me and I don’t think that those things benefited the story anyway, but then there were other things that I did like. I feel like books like this can make one feel like they’re missing a few brain cells
Kevin Potter
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite starting with two strikes against it (not only being written largely in first person, but also in the epistolary form, both of which I typically abhor), this is a wonderful story that makes an excellent successor to the absolutely fantastic Lady Trent series.

Although I was disappointed to find Kate Reading didn't return for this book, both narrators were fantastic. Each has a wide array of voices that were excellently crafted. Both have near perfect control of vocal inflection and their
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
I enjoyed every second reading this wonderful book.

Once again Marie Brennan managed to captivate me with one of her books. The story was structured in such a way that there was no direct scenario in which the characters interacted. The entire book is composed of diary entries, articles, letters and other printed media of the characters. This concept was very exciting to read and was something different than usual.

Turning Darkness Into Light takes place about 40 years after the last book of the
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I heard there was going to be a new Marie Brennan book I knew that I was going to get it, devour it and probably love it. And sure enough all of those things happened

The style of this took some getting used to, being that it was told in the form of diary entries, letters and notes from all sorts of characters. This had the effect of conveying a lot of information quickly so I always felt I had to keep my wits about me

I loved Audrey. Her desire to step out of her grandmothers shadow
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As book 5 of the Memoirs of Lady Trent came to an end, I was thrilled to learn that we would get to follow her granddaughter's adventures. I was even happier when the book wasn't just reading Isabella Camherst part 2. Audrey is her own person with her own story and personality. ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Brennan - Turning Darkness into Light [Aug 22, 2019] 50 31 Oct 03, 2019 07:40PM  

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Marie Brennan a.k.a. M.A. Carrick

Marie Brennan is a former anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. She recently misapplied her professors' hard work to Turning Darkness Into Light, a sequel to the Hugo Award-nominated series The Memoirs of Lady Trent. As half of M.A. Carrick, she is also the author of The Mask of Mirrors, first in the Rook and Rose

Other books in the series

The Memoirs of Lady Trent (6 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)
  • In the Labyrinth of Drakes (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #4)
  • Within the Sanctuary of Wings (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #5)

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“If you read the translation, know this: it is a work in progress. All such things are. Other scholars will come along, armed with a better comprehension of the language, other texts, the evidence of archaeology, and they will refine our words, or replace them entirely. We once thought that southern Anthiope was the homeland of my people; now we know it was their second home, as the Sanctuary we live in today is the third. We should not lament this alteration in our knowledge, but celebrate it. Our understanding should always change, always grow—even when that means the necessary destruction of what we knew before.” 1 likes
“Consider what story you want to tell. Consider what tale should embody the spirit of our age, when people look back on this time. Will it be the tale of domination that some today sought to write? Or will it be the harmony whose passing my ancient brother immortalized in clay and gold?” 1 likes
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