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A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
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When reading a book about dragons, my average expectations are always higher than they are with other books. I am always very excited. 'A Natural History of Dragons' didn't fully meet my expectations, however, I was not too disappointed either.
The world constructed by the author reminded me of 19th century England. It had a very realistic touch. However, the narration was a bit to superficial. The author did not take time to explain some of the cultural circumstances of the world. She could have integrated these descriptions by addressing the 'foreign reader'. As the protagonist often breaks through the fourth wall and witfully comments her past behavior or interacts with the reader by giving him advice, it would have fitted just fine. All in all, I had a rough understanding of the world but more often than not I was kind of lost and wondering. This was one of the main reasons why couldn't fully immerse into the story.
Above all, the contrast between dragons and feminism caught my attention. It fits perfectly into the temporal circumstances of the world: A young woman fighting to be independent by studying dragons. In her narration it was interesting to see where the girl meets the woman. The combination resulted into an engaging perspective.
Unfortunately I had the irritational feeling that the dragons were only ornamental or decorative part of the story/world, not an intrinsic, natural part, just a means to an end, to tell Lady Trent's story and not the dragons' story. In that respect I just expected some more dragon-related narration/reality.
Anyway the narration was rather romantic and cheerful. It was not too fast-paced and rather light-weighed, building up an arc of suspense filled with excitement and anticipation. In the end the action dragged slightly but not for long. It all led to a great but heart-wrenching finale.

All in all it was a pleasant read. It became quite obvious that this was only the first book of the series - and that there is more to come (hopefully). I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel. Hopefully the sequels exploit the 'dragon'-potential a little bit more.

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Reading Progress

April 29, 2018 – Started Reading
April 29, 2018 – Shelved
April 30, 2018 –
page 86
May 1, 2018 –
page 257
May 4, 2018 –
page 323
May 4, 2018 – Finished Reading

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