Well that certainly wasn’t where I was expecting this series to go…
We’ve reached the end of our journey through The Memoirs of Lady Trent and I have rarely been this sad about finishing a series. I enjoyed these books so much, every single one of them was 5 star in my opinion and, while I am excited to read Marie Brennan’s proposed follow up series on Isabella’s descendant, I’m going to miss this character so very much.
If you want to catch up on my previous reviews in this series then I will link them here:
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent–dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field.
And yet–after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia–the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure–scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland’s enemies–and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.
I think this may be one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to review without spoiling anything. I swear I just want to blither at you about all the various details of what happens but to reveal anything would totally spoil what was for me a complete surprise. Suffice it to say, however you anticipated the end of this series happening-something different happens. It was totally and utterly unexpected and I’m still a little in shock days later. I’m so thankful for Marie Brennan’s creativity and for this ending because I thought this was going to basically be one of the older books put into a new setting but it was completely and utterly different. I’m so happy.
Brennan’s writing, her ability to create an entertaining voice remains phenomenal in this book as it has done in the previous titles. I still want to be Lady Trent’s protogé with all of my being, though I might settle for being Suhail’s apprentice (we could dig sites together it would be amazing).
The illustrations are also, as always, gorgeous. I will find a way to get prints of all of these because they are stunningly beautiful and always make for a nice break in the text, a little variety when you’re mid chapter.
I think this is the most obviously ‘fantasy’ of all the books, though of course they all fall firmly into that category (I mean there are dragons) but this really pushes you out into ‘oh no this is a totally different universe’ which suits me to a tee.
The only thing I might have wanted, maybe, if I am being the most nit-picky I can possibly be, is a bit more tying off of the ends of some of the minor characters. That is the one thing I think people don’t enjoy as much in these books, beyond a core cast of around 3/4 characters, the people in these stories are pretty much interchangeable from book to book. I don’t mind this too much as I think it makes the books work better as standalones (you know I hate waiting until I can find the first book in a series) but I might have appreciated the happy ‘where are they now’ segment as I think it would have rounded out the memoirs nicely.
All in all, these were some of the best books I have read this year and I’m so glad I thought to finally pick up the first one. If you’re any kind of Dragon fanatic I can firmly recommend them to you, or if you’re interested in archaeology or fantasy diplomacy you might also find a new favourite here!
My rating: 5/5 (Of course)
Have you read these? Are you going to? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @judithcmoore! Don’t forget to hit that follow button so you never miss a post!
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