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The Exit of Lady Trent
Created by ggrihn on 5/22/2017 2:42:31 PM

Within the Sanctuary of Wings: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan

Reviewed by Gregory G.H. Rihn, Steampunk Chronicle Literary Editor

The preface to Within the Sanctuary of Wings tells us that this is the last of Lady Trent's chronicles, which records her last, and perhaps greatest adventure, and definitely her greatest scientific discovery.

Having successfully dared the jungles, oceans, and deserts of her world, the lure of a potentially unknown dragon specimen pulls Lady Trent, her husband Suhail, and colleague Tom Wilker into the fringes of the world's greatest mountain range, territory hostile not only for its manifold natural hazards, but also because it lies on the borders of the enemy Empire of Yelang.

As to the plot, I shall not go into further detail. Suffice to say that her ultimate discovery was a surprise to me, who have read all of the Lady Trent books faithfully. It is of a magnitude to literally change her world in manifold ways, and not just in those personal to Isabella, Lady Trent.

I've enjoyed the memoirs of Lady Trent, others of which I have reviewed here. I like Isabella as a character for her self-deprecating voice. Even though it's unlikely that one person should have been involved in discovering her world's equivalent of the Rosetta Stone, King Tut's tomb, and the origin of species, it's all good fun, in large part because Isabella prevails due to significant helpings of dumb luck, cross-grained stubborness, and the competence and pluck of her friends, as well as her scientific acumen. The series wraps up in a most satisfying fashion.

The physical book continues the style of the previous volumes, although with fewer illustrations, and the non-black type in this case is a dark brown, which is reasonably easy on the eyes.

If you are a fan of H. Rider Haggard, Charles Darwin, or "How Stanley Found Livingston," you may enjoy the Memoirs of Lady Trent. I would recommend jumping on at the beginning, with A Natural History of Dragons.

Within the Sanctuary of Wings at Amazon

A Natural History of Dragons

The Tropic of Serpents

Voyage of the Basilisk

In the Labyrinth of Drakes


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