Hot Best Seller

In the Labyrinth of Drakes

Availability: Ready to download

In the Labyrinth of Drakes, the thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, 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 romanti In the Labyrinth of Drakes, the thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, 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 from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries. As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.


Compare

In the Labyrinth of Drakes, the thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, 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 romanti In the Labyrinth of Drakes, the thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, 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 from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries. As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.

30 review for In the Labyrinth of Drakes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    4.5 stars If I misstep, it goes far beyond me. Errors on my part are proof that women are unsuited to professional work. Jane Goodall - but with dragons. I know, right? The famous (and famously scandalous) Lady Trent has studied dragons across the lands, she's back again for a new adventure. “I honestly cannot tell whether you are the most practical women I have ever met or the most deranged." "Why can't I be both?” Scandals aside, she is ready for her latest adventure - dragon breed 4.5 stars If I misstep, it goes far beyond me. Errors on my part are proof that women are unsuited to professional work. Jane Goodall - but with dragons. I know, right? The famous (and famously scandalous) Lady Trent has studied dragons across the lands, she's back again for a new adventure. “I honestly cannot tell whether you are the most practical women I have ever met or the most deranged." "Why can't I be both?” Scandals aside, she is ready for her latest adventure - dragon breeding. Only, things don't quite go to plan right away. There is very little pleasure in being snubbed over a task for which one is well qualified. There is, however, quite a bit of pleasure in watching the ones who did the snubbing later eat their own words. Lady Trent is no stranger to circumventing obstinate men to get what she wants and there is no man on earth that could stand before her and her dragons. Ahhh yes. I am just soaking up these Jane Goodall vibes. Normally by the fourth book we start to hit a little bit of a slump but instead, this series is really picking up! I'm loving how with every book, the lore of this dragon-world is steadily increased and how much detail is put into the lore. Brennan seamlessly slips in subspecies and various adaptions of the dragons - it's so wonderfully done. I'm also really excited how we are coming closer (and closer) to discovering the scandal that tipped Lady Trent from a obscure dragon scholar to the infamous women she's known as. I just want to know. (Which is why I grabbed book 5 right away!) The illustrations (as always) are absolutely gorgeous and really uplifts the book. In addition, if you are like me and have a terrible memory for strange names and places, the audiobook has really helped me just focus on the plot rather than the pronunciation. All in all, I'm quite pleased with this book and I'm so excited for the next!! YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2016/03/29/b... 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 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2016/03/29/b... 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, this is one book you do not want to miss. This is an important volume that covers the events that vaulted Isabella, Lady Trent into fame, and it is a must-read. Author Marie Brennan has written that there will be five books in all in this series, but instead of winding down at book four, Isabella’s story is simply building up even more momentum. Past installments have brought us to the inhospitable mountains of Vystrana, the sweltering jungles of Mouleen, and upon the high seas to the tropical islands of Keonga. Naturally, In the Labyrinth of Drakes is another opportunity to visit another all new biome on the quest for more dragons and more science! This time, Isabella is heading into the scorching deserts of Akhia, hoping to study the golden drakes that live there. But as usual, the situation is a lot more complicated. Isabella has long been snubbed by the scientific community because of her sex, and her much coveted post to Akhia with her colleague Tom Wilker was only secured after a hard won battle with the Royal Scirling Army, their new employers. Tensions have been fomenting between Scirland and Yelang for the last few years, with both nations racing to unlock the secrets of dragon breeding so they can harvest the beasts’ bones for materials to build airships and other war machines. However, large dragons do not thrive in captivity, and both breeding and egg hatching programs have failed over and over again because of the lack of knowledge in the subject. In this volume of her memoirs, Isabella recounts the research challenges that she faced during her time in Akhia, and how danger also threatened behind every corner as shadowy factions learn about her secret work and attempt to destroy her. My fascination with this series continues unabated because reading every page is a reminder of my love for the natural sciences and why I went on to study Biology and Anthropology. As a girl, one of my biggest heroes was Jane Goodall, and her decades of research and fieldwork with the chimpanzees in the wild have been a major inspiration. While Memoir by Lady Trent takes place in another time and in a fictional world with dragons, I find that the stories in these books about Isabella’s passion for learning and discovery affect me in much the same way. For me, Isabella has also become one of the most powerful and interesting feminist icons in fantasy fiction due to her role in championing her gender in her world through addressing problems and fighting back—with knowledge! Her most effective and awesome weapon is her intelligence, along with her determination and ability to achieve more than anyone in her field so that she can no longer be ignored. The greatest obstacle comes in this latest volume, because of the nature of her assignment in Akhia. As I’ve mentioned before, the best thing about this series is that every time Isabella travels to a new location, you don’t just get the dragons—you get the entire culture of the place as well! Akhia has some very strict customs when it comes to the role of women, which Isabella has to deal with on top of her Scirling employers’ old school attitudes regarding her presence among the all-male army. I also liked how this book threw me right into the action, not to mention the dragons get a lot more page time compared to the previous books. Early in the series, “Not enough dragons!” was a common complaint I saw, but it’s definitely not an issue here. The question of breeding the desert drakes is the central problem in this novel, but there’s also the mystery and threat behind who is sabotaging the dragon research. The antagonist also comes in the form of nature, which is a recurring theme in this series. The merciless desert setting comes to life in this one; Brennan describes this forbidding environment in such exquisite detail, you can practically feel the sand in your underwear or your skin blistering beneath the sun’s dry heat. There’s one particular scene with a sandstorm that left me open-mouthed in awe and terror. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the romance. Suhail is back! I wanted to pump my fists in the air but ended up refraining, if nothing else because that would mean dropping the book and interrupting my reading. However, Suhail’s return does mean you cannot tackle this book on its own without having read The Voyage of the Basilisk (I would recommend starting from the beginning of the series anyway), since his relationship with Isabella would feel way too sudden if you weren’t familiar with everything they experienced together in the previous book. Their romance actually went further than I thought it would, but it was also a very welcome development. I so enjoy the chemistry between them, but don’t expect anything in Isabella’s love life to follow conventions! Remember, this is the woman who was initially attracted to her first husband because of his impressive library, so you can imagine the courtship between her and Suhail would be based on love but also much, much more! But you’ll just have to read to find out… I think I’ve gushed enough about this book for now, but trust me when I say I could go on and on. I just love this series! Marie Brennan gives Isabella a voice that is so fresh and authentic that this is one of the few fantasy series that truly makes me feel like I am transported to another world. I highly, highly recommended these books; it is an experience like no other.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    My favorite yet!! This series speaks to everything I love about dragons. RTC

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sanaa

    [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! [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!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Is it really bad that the romance in a tale about heading to the desert to find dragons and special archeology related to dragons is rather a secondary concern? And that's including violence, culture shock, and a bunch of interesting action? Maybe. Maybe not! But for such a light fare of adventure in the old style with old-style propriety concerns and a very distinctive Victorian feel, I certainly can't complain. Is it really bad that the romance in a tale about heading to the desert to find dragons and special archeology related to dragons is rather a secondary concern? And that's including violence, culture shock, and a bunch of interesting action? Maybe. Maybe not! But for such a light fare of adventure in the old style with old-style propriety concerns and a very distinctive Victorian feel, I certainly can't complain.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    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 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 many of the Scaerling men in her life are accustomed to. I love her friendship with Tom Wilker and how that's developed over the years. I continue to feel uncomfortable with the colonial aspect of this story. Scaerling/England has been meddling and messing around in a number of countries, and the racist attitudes of Isabella's countrymen is grating and their politics is at times infuriating. At the same time, though Isabella does have some unconscious superiority thanks to where she grew up and the class into which she was born, she does learn and tends to treat the variety of people she meets on her travels as people, instead of just things to be looked down on, used then thrown away. (view spoiler)[And she does end up getting happily married to someone a proper Scaerling woman would never normally get involved with. (hide spoiler)] I'm a little sad that I'm almost done this series. I could listen to Isabella rhapsodize about dragons over and over again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    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 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 are very similar to my own and so she is a character I truly admire and a heroine who I root for every time! Within this book we see Isabella and her good friend Tom and they adventure together into the Desert lands to try and start up a breeding program. As always there are various complications along the way and the reintroduction of a character we've met before doesn't help this much... Isabella remains true to herself throughout however and is just as marvellously rambunctious and fearsome as can be, stating her claim to her research and her inclusion whenever necessary. I particularly enjoyed seeing her being more forceful in this book, and I believe now the series is drawing to a close she's become quite close to the woman she is as she narrates her memoirs many years on. This book also focuses more on the Draconians. A race of ancients who are long gone from the world by the time of Isabella and her friends, but whom I find particularly fascinating to discover more about and learn from. As the book goes on we do encounter more clues about this race, and I have to say, things get very exciting! Finally I would say that the way that dragons (and in fact any living creature) are presented in this book is very practical and scientific (not so much fantastical). The dragons are definitely mystical and have extraordinary prowess and powers, but they are also beasts for study and Isabella embraces this. Her constant notes and diagrams help to flesh this idea of Dragon Naturalism out, and I almost wish I could be one myself now (becuase of all the fun she's had on her own adventures). As expected, and other brilliant book and this firmly cements Marie Brennan and a favourite author for me. I cannot wait for book #5 in the series to be released and I am certain I will be picking up a copy as soon as I possibly can!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This series keeps getting better and better! Can't wait for the next book. This series keeps getting better and better! Can't wait for the next book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christine PNW

    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 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 way possible, that it does not matter how amazing she is, how accomplished she is, how much BETTER she is than the man. Her womanhood forever excludes her from being part of the old boy’s club. I highly recommend reading Brennan’s free short story, available on Tor, before jumping into this one. It is a slender thing of a tale, told in letters, between Isabella and a man who is so clearly her inferior in all things important, but who is just so smug about his superiority. The tagline for this book could be: “Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white male.” I’m going to share a few quotes here, because they are so awesome. “Shall we get to the point? You are afraid that I will disgrace Scirland by carrying on with an unmarried man.” “I would never suggest that.” No, he would only imply it. I ground my teeth, then said “Colonel, do you make a habit of querying your men about their involvement with every woman they meet? I assure you that many if not most of them have done far more to merit censure than I have. I know it may be difficult to believe, but dragons truly are my concern here. I have not undertaken their study in the hope of attracting a new husband; indeed, such a thing would be an inconvenience rather than a benefit, as there are few husbands who would accept my life as I have become accustomed to living it. As for scandal outside the bounds of marriage…that would be even more inconvenient, as people question my professional integrity quite enough without such justification to encourage them. So you may lay your mind at ease, sir: I have no intention of disgracing our nation. Not when there are dragons to be studied.” This is a conversation between Isabella and the Colonel Pensyth, who is basically in charge of her new research project, which is an effort to breed dragons in captivity for use in military combat. In this book, Brennan has laid bare the struggle of women to be taken seriously in their chosen field, both in the past, but as well, in the present. In a conversation with Isabella’s older brother, Andrew, they are discussing her undeniable attraction to Suhail, who reappears in this book. Andrew is commenting that Isabella need not choose between her attraction to Suhail and her work as a dragonologist. Isabella corrects him: I felt weary, as if I were ten years older than my brother, instead of a year his junior. “Yes, it doe. You and I are not held to the same standards, Andrew. People will forgive a slip, a weakness, a minor personal folly — when it comes from a man. They may click their tongues at you, even gossip about your behavior…but at worst, it will only reflect on you. “If I misstep, it goes far beyond me. Errors on my part are proof that women are unsuited to professional work.” And, when Andrew goes on to point out that Isabella is “not like other women,” she pointedly states: “Ah, yes,” I said ironically, “I have made myself exceptional. It is a wonderful game, is it not? Because I am exceptional, anything I achieve does not reflect on my sex, for of course, I am not like them. Strange, though, how that division seems to vanish when we are speaking instead of my shortcomings. Then I am a woman, like any other.” One of the things that I’ve really loved about this series is Isabella’s platonic relationship with Tom Wilker. As fellow scientists, they both carry a stigma. Tom is low-born, not one of the peers who are encouraged to take up science as a hobby, and who are given opportunity after opportunity on the strength of their ancestry, as opposed to their talent or work ethic. Isabella, of course, is a woman. Tom’s lot is, actually, not so difficult as Isabella’s, although he certainly doesn’t have it easy. But even though he has to scrap and struggle, he considers Isabella to be his colleague, and there is never a suggestion by him, although Isabella does suggest it once or twice, that he take credit for her work in order to get it published. He is intent on pulling the two of them up together, and if she can’t go too, he isn’t interested. So, when they make the scientific discovery of a generation, Isabella, Tom and Suhail (another character who defies the path laid for him by birth and sex), I literally cheered. I almost wept. Never has this book and these characters felt more real to me than in the section where they discover the “Watcher’s Heart,” as the site became known, a monumental archeological treasure of the Draconean civilization. Near the end of the book, Tom bursts out, angrily: “We have to achieve twice as much, in order to get half as much reward.” There was no answer I could make to that. It was true…but neither of us could do a thing about it. Except, of course, to achieve four times as much. To be so exceptional, they could no longer shut us out, and having done that, to hope that those who came after might be judged on equal terms with those who should be their peers. It is not a dream easily attained. We have no truly attained it in my lifetime. But I was more determined than ever to do my part.” In The Labyrinth of Drakes is an exceptional book, which I loved. Brennan has built this series into something amazing, each book frankly becoming better than the last, which is a rare thing in series, in my experience. I am waiting for the end of the series with delight.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    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 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 still have bullshit to navigate as well. For those following the series, this is so satisfying: we get the solutions to various riddles about dragons, and we also get developments in Isabella’s personal life. If you’ve been wanting to know how she becomes Lady Trent, or who her second husband is — well, here you finally find out. The only disappointments are not seeing much of Natalie or Jake, in my view. I love the way Isabella supports and promotes other women, and I want more of it, and Natalie was such a big part of how that got started. And she’s asexual and an engineer and just… gimme more! Gimme more of all of them. But I do adore how much we get of Tom Wilker and how much he’s developed: how he’s come to trust Isabella and support her, and how he’s not going anywhere without her as his partner. I really, really love that aspect; the way they stick together, and use their respective strengths for the other’s benefit. And if you were wondering, yes: we see more of Suhail. Not surprisingly, perhaps, since this book is set in Akhia, and Suhail was Akhian — that detail was, of course, no coincidence. And Suhail gets his Howard Carter-esque “wonderful things” moment, which is also a delight.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    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 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 the best installments in the series as it manages to evenly balance adventures, politics, the "scientific" studies, and the relationships. We get to meet one of Isabella's brothers and witness their relationship, see how she and Tom study the dragons, her growing romantic relationship with Suhail, and see how she navigates the sexism of her world. I cannot wait for the next book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mehmet

    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. W 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. Well done, Lady Trent!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia 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 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 book 5 now, and not for each one as they came out!

  14. 5 out of 5

    YouKneeK

    In the Labyrinth of Drakes is the fourth book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. There is only one more book to go, and so far I’ve found the series to be consistently entertaining. This was another fun story and I especially enjoyed some of the discoveries and revelations near the end of the book. I really like the main character Isabella, as well as some of the recurring secondary characters. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this much before, but there is a bit of humor sprinkled throughout the In the Labyrinth of Drakes is the fourth book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. There is only one more book to go, and so far I’ve found the series to be consistently entertaining. This was another fun story and I especially enjoyed some of the discoveries and revelations near the end of the book. I really like the main character Isabella, as well as some of the recurring secondary characters. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this much before, but there is a bit of humor sprinkled throughout the stories. I chuckled at several parts in this book, and there was an entire chapter in the previous book that had me snickering and occasionally guffawing all the way through. I look forward to seeing what the last book has in store.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela Burkhead

    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). The 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). The Lady Trent stories do study dragons, they are memoirs of a naturalist in the field, but they are so much more than that. Isabella's studies lead her to the most exciting adventures and she is perpetually in trouble. While fighting social status, propriety, and the oppressive nature of her sex, Lady Trent is a shining example of hard work, determination, and overcoming all odds to not only accomplish your dreams, but to succeed in spite of all obstacles working against you. I couldn't wait to read more and luckily since I had waited so long to read the first book provided me, the second was near release and I devoured it the moment it arrived at my door. In the Labyrinth of Drakes is the fourth book of the series, the fifth book coming in 2016 is to be the last installment, and I can very confidently say this is the best of the series. Absolutely brilliant. Her relationships deepen, her status as a naturalist solidifies, and surprisingly she behaves herself. That's not to say trouble still doesn't find her... Todd Lockwood provides the artwork for these books and they are absolutely stunning. I received an Advanced Readers Copy so I'll have to wait for the hardcover to release this April to see the full sketches throughout the book-Yes, all Lady Trent books are fully illustrated with Isabella's sketches in the field- In the Labyrinth of Drakes is set to release in April so there's still time to get a great pre-order price and catch up on the series. TOR.com provides computer backgrounds of the covers if you love them as much as I do. In the Labyrinth of Drakes can be found here: http://www.tor.com/2015/05/06/cover-r...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine PNW

    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 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 way possible, that it does not matter how amazing she is, how accomplished she is, how much BETTER she is than the man. Her womanhood forever excludes her from being part of the old boy's club. I highly recommend reading Brennan's free short story, available on Tor, before jumping into this one. It is a slender thing of a tale, told in letters, between Isabella and a man who is so clearly her inferior in all things important, but who is just so smug about his superiority. The tagline for this book could be: "Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white male." I'm going to share a few quotes here, because they are so awesome. "Shall we get to the point? You are afraid that I will disgrace Scirland by carrying on with an unmarried man." "I would never suggest that." No, he would only imply it. I ground my teeth, then said "Colonel, do you make a habit of querying your men about their involvement with every woman they meet? I assure you that many if not most of them have done far more to merit censure than I have. I know it may be difficult to believe, but dragons truly are my concern here. I have not undertaken their study in the hope of attracting a new husband; indeed, such a thing would be an inconvenience rather than a benefit, as there are few husbands who would accept my life as I have become accustomed to living it. As for scandal outside the bounds of marriage...that would be even more inconvenient, as people question my professional integrity quite enough without such justification to encourage them. So you may lay your mind at ease, sir: I have no intention of disgracing our nation. Not when there are dragons to be studied." This is a conversation between Isabella and the Colonel Pensyth, who is basically in charge of her new research project, which is an effort to breed dragons in captivity for use in military combat. In this book, Brennan has laid bare the struggle of women to be taken seriously in their chosen field, both in the past, but as well, in the present. In a conversation with Isabella's older brother, Andrew, they are discussing her undeniable attraction to Suhail, who reappears in this book. Andrew is commenting that Isabella need not choose between her attraction to Suhail and her work as a dragonologist. Isabella corrects him: I felt weary, as if I were ten years older than my brother, instead of a year his junior. "Yes, it doe. You and I are not held to the same standards, Andrew. People will forgive a slip, a weakness, a minor personal folly -- when it comes from a man. They may click their tongues at you, even gossip about your behavior...but at worst, it will only reflect on you. "If I misstep, it goes far beyond me. Errors on my part are proof that women are unsuited to professional work." And, when Andrew goes on to point out that Isabella is "not like other women," she pointedly states: "Ah, yes," I said ironically, "I have made myself exceptional. It is a wonderful game, is it not? Because I am exceptional, anything I achieve does not reflect on my sex, for of course, I am not like them. Strange, though, how that division seems to vanish when we are speaking instead of my shortcomings. Then I am a woman, like any other." One of the things that I've really loved about this series is Isabella's platonic relationship with Tom Wilker. As fellow scientists, they both carry a stigma. Tom is low-born, not one of the peers who are encouraged to take up science as a hobby, and who are given opportunity after opportunity on the strength of their ancestry, as opposed to their talent or work ethic. Isabella, of course, is a woman. Tom's lot is, actually, not so difficult as Isabella's, although he certainly doesn't have it easy. But even though he has to scrap and struggle, he considers Isabella to be his colleague, and there is never a suggestion by him, although Isabella does suggest it once or twice, that he take credit for her work in order to get it published. He is intent on pulling the two of them up together, and if she can't go too, he isn't interested. So, when they make the scientific discovery of a generation, Isabella, Tom and Suhail (another character who defies the path laid for him by birth and sex), I literally cheered. I almost wept. Never has this book and these characters felt more real to me than in the section where they discover the "Watcher's Heart," as the site became known, a monumental archeological treasure of the Draconean civilization. Near the end of the book, Tom bursts out, angrily: "We have to achieve twice as much, in order to get half as much reward." There was no answer I could make to that. It was true...but neither of us could do a thing about it. Except, of course, to achieve four times as much. To be so exceptional, they could no longer shut us out, and having done that, to hope that those who came after might be judged on equal terms with those who should be their peers. It is not a dream easily attained. We have no truly attained it in my lifetime. But I was more determined than ever to do my part." In The Labyrinth of Drakes is an exceptional book, which I loved. Brennan has built this series into something amazing, each book frankly becoming better than the last, which is a rare thing in series, in my experience. I am waiting for the end of the series with delight.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    I really think this was the best of the stories so far. Now we finally know how she became Lady Trent. I enjoyed the scientific discussions and the discoveries. It was like Howard Carter finding King Tut's tumb. I really think this was the best of the stories so far. Now we finally know how she became Lady Trent. I enjoyed the scientific discussions and the discoveries. It was like Howard Carter finding King Tut's tumb.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Claudia ✨

    This series is just getting more and more delightful, and has grown to be one of my favorite comfort reads ever. That is not to say these are books that will sweep you completely off your feet at first line - and maybe that's why I enjoy them so much. Marie Brennan truly knows how to take her time with things, and even though her not rushing into the adventure and scientific discoveries immediately gives this series somewhat a slow pace, it is also what makes them so juicy. Everything is just s This series is just getting more and more delightful, and has grown to be one of my favorite comfort reads ever. That is not to say these are books that will sweep you completely off your feet at first line - and maybe that's why I enjoy them so much. Marie Brennan truly knows how to take her time with things, and even though her not rushing into the adventure and scientific discoveries immediately gives this series somewhat a slow pace, it is also what makes them so juicy. Everything is just so slowburn, which makes them finally arriving at the point so much more satisfying. And Lady Trent herself is, of course, simply a star. Her sassy but wise voice never falters, even when telling of her own shortcomings, and I've loved following her story. In In the Labyrinth of Drakes we get to partake in Isabella and her loyal companion Tom's biggest challenge yet - they have been recruited to try to breed desert drakes in Akhia. Not surprisingly, many troubles arise. Not only the obvious ones with the dragons either; no, there is political matters at play, too. And although we weren't introduced to many new characters that really felt important to the plot, some old faces showed up that I were quite pleased to meet again. This installment, along with The Voyage of the Basilisk are most certainly my favorite installments in the series which is probably due to the simple fact that these contained more dragons. Basically, it's like this - give me dragons, and I am a happy girl. But more than that, these books tell the story of a woman fighting to make room for herself and her dreams in a world of men that doesn't want her there. “You and I are not held to the same standards, Andrew. People will forgive a slip, a weakness, a minor personal folly — when it comes from a man. They may click their tongues at you, even gossip about your behavior…but at worst, it will only reflect on you. If I misstep, it goes far beyond me. Errors on my part are proof that women are unsuited to professional work.” It's not the entire story - we have politics, adventure, science, and even some romance - but it is the beating heart of this series. And I just love seeing Lady Trent prove all those bastards wrong. I really can't wait to read the conclusion to this brilliant series, and finally uncover what it is that Marie Brennan has been building up to. I am certain I won't be disappinted.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is one of those series that just keeps getting better and better as the books go on. For me, the series really kicked into high gear with book three, and this fourth volume is just as great as the third one in my opinion. Sure it doesn’t have the fun of a sea voyage, but the desert setting was quite refreshing. I love how Isabella travels to all parts of the world and we get to see different kinds of environments throughout the time we spend with her on her journeys. There is a sense of anti This is one of those series that just keeps getting better and better as the books go on. For me, the series really kicked into high gear with book three, and this fourth volume is just as great as the third one in my opinion. Sure it doesn’t have the fun of a sea voyage, but the desert setting was quite refreshing. I love how Isabella travels to all parts of the world and we get to see different kinds of environments throughout the time we spend with her on her journeys. There is a sense of anticipation in this book, as Isabella and her partner Tom are sent on an expedition to Akhia through their government. This is, after all, the homeland of her friend Suhail, an archaeologist studying the history of the ancient Draconean civilization, she met while on her last voyage. Because I’m a bit of a romance fan I have been rooting for the two of them to get together since the previous book. Will it happen in this one? Well, let’s not get into spoiler territory, shall we? But I will say that when they meet again, that spark was lit again and I love the way they work together. Both Isabella and Suhail are very passionate about their work and it’s fortunate that their work often intersects. There is a degree of uncertainty with Suhail in this book. Where he was confident in the previous one, and a bit of a charmer, he’s much more cautious here. In his own lands he feels more bound by his own cultural attitudes and expresses himself accordingly. This leaves Isabella sometimes unsure of their friendship and where they stand and there’s a wonderful bit of confusion between them before things are cleared up. I continue to enjoy all the different cultures explored, learning about the differences and similarities between various peoples–this is the author’s anthropology background coming through here to create a rich and diverse world based on a version of our own. The desert setting in this one was fun. We get a bit of desert bandits, attempted kidnappings, daring rescues, and sandstorms. And of course there is the work. There is a bit of politicking going on in this one as their voyage is a governmental one and a joint effort between the two nations to discover more about the dragons and how they may be useful. Of course, Isabella’s main concern, as always, is discovering more about the dragon’s biology. Overall, In the Labyrinth of Drakes is a great edition to the series and one of the highlights, in my opinion. The growth in the characters and the advancement of the overarching plot was great. Recommend this series for anyone who loves fantasy of manners, scientific exploration, adventure and romance. 5/5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    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 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 mighty dragons that swim the oceans. So yes read those, they are too interesting to miss. In this one she struggles being a woman in a man's world. But she loves her studies and that brings her to Akhia, and desert dragons. And trying to get dragons to mate. All while there are other things going on in the world. A big war is brewing...slowly. And we finally get to see a few of those hints talked about in earlier books, I can't say more but I have waited for those and I was happy. *mysterious giggle* Just read it. I mean to explain it, I can not do it justice. I like the way it's told, I like the world she has created. I like those tidbits about an ancient culture, I am dying to know more about it, but they still need to discover more. The book is scientific in a wonderful way, because well it's all made up. It's delightful to read and and Trent is so not proper in a proper world. A fascinating world, and a great "memoir":

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenia

    This was so much fun!! I really need more fun, non-colonial archaeological adventure stories in my life...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Olga

    Another series that gets better with every book. This one was absolutely amazing. 😍

  23. 4 out of 5

    All Things Urban Fantasy

    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 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 make things interesting. Alongside a familiar layer of pseudo-British history, culture, and prejudices is the very real mystery of draconic biology. Fans of the series will find long hoped for personal and professional milestones for Isabella, as well as the familiar physical graces that make these books a must have on the shelf (gorgeous illustrations and presentation). I finished book three in this series, THE VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK, thinking it was my favorite Lady Trent book to date, and now I find myself saying the same about IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES. This is a series that just gets better and better, and hopefully with no end in sight. Sexual Content: None.

  24. 4 out of 5

    imyril

    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. 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dichotomy Girl

    I think this is my favorite of the series. I especially enjoyed the surprise twist! Some what sad to realize that book #5 is the last, still I suppose Isabella couldn't keep having adventures forever. I think this is my favorite of the series. I especially enjoyed the surprise twist! Some what sad to realize that book #5 is the last, still I suppose Isabella couldn't keep having adventures forever.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    4.5* My favourite so far!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marielle

    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!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ciaran

    Gosh, it was like Indiana Jones but with dragons

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anita Fajita Pita

    Lady Trent has arrived. Another fantastic installment to one of my newest favorite series'. In this book, Isabella and Tom get commissioned by Scirland to figure out dragon breeding. For political and military purposes, of course. Well, technically Tom is commissioned, as they made it clear that they weren't interested in Isabella being part of anything. And this is where the constant snubbing of Isabella by the scientific community comes to a head. Sure, she still pursues her passion of being a Lady Trent has arrived. Another fantastic installment to one of my newest favorite series'. In this book, Isabella and Tom get commissioned by Scirland to figure out dragon breeding. For political and military purposes, of course. Well, technically Tom is commissioned, as they made it clear that they weren't interested in Isabella being part of anything. And this is where the constant snubbing of Isabella by the scientific community comes to a head. Sure, she still pursues her passion of being a dragon naturalist, but the constant dismissive and harsh treatment of her by her supposed intellectual peers is really starting to chafe, as becomes apparent in an uncharacteristic moment of 'expressing her feelings' she has with her brother Andrew.“If I misstep, it goes far beyond me. Errors on my part are proof that women are unsuited to professional work.” At which point Andrew states that she is not like other women. She isn't like most women, true, but neither are most Indiana Jones'. “Ah, yes,” I said ironically, “I have made myself exceptional. It is a wonderful game, is it not? Because I am exceptional, anything I achieve does not reflect on my sex, for of course, I am not like them. Strange, though, how that division seems to vanish when we are speaking instead of my shortcomings. Then I am a woman, like any other.” Gosh, she's the epitome of a level of classy cool snarky I can't seem to achieve. Luckily, our narrating Lady Trent assures us that this is the expedition that propels her into that community that she has such a love/hate relationship with. This is also the book that brings us her oft-mentioned second husband. And although one of the things I love about this series is the absolute lack of necessity for a partner or sidekick for Isabella, let's be honest we all want to know who snags our beloved boo's heart. It is *kisses fingers* perfection. We also get to read about another harsh biome and diverse culture - another element I love about these books. She did warn us in the very first memoir that dragons tended towards extreme climates, and these books have proven that to us. Onwards, Lady Trent, onwards. Do you think they'll ever get made into movies??

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Still a great writing style from this author! And spoiler: this book contains the most pragmatic, unromantic and romantic at the same time marriage proposal that one can think of 😂

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...