Title: The Voyage of the Basilisk
Author: Marie Brennan
Series: Memoir by Lady Trent #3
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Source: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.
Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.
Memoirs by Lady Trent has been a really interesting and enjoyable series for me so far. I love that it looks at the science and biology of dragons as if they truly did exist. And the variety of detail of the dragons really makes it a believable world.
I think this book has been my favourite so far. I found it had a bit more action in it for me. And I also think it's taken me a couple books to warm up to the Isabella and also to the writing style, which is reminiscent of classics (but with dragons and a bit of a scandalous narrator). I like that Jake has become a full character now and Isabella's involvement in his life is probably one of the reasons why I felt like I connected more with her in this book than the previous one.
I really do like Tom's character and his transcending of economic class through science. However, I felt like he took a bit of a back seat in this one, as they add Suhail to their expedition. I really like Suhail and it would be a lie if I said I didn't ship him and Isabella just a bit. In this book, I also loved the ship's captain Aekinitos.
Another character I found very interesting was Heali'i, who gave some interesting insight into gender norms and roles. I liked getting to see these concepts presented through a bit of an anthropological lens.
Overall, I have really enjoyed this series so far and can't wait to see what kind of trouble Isabella gets herself into in the next book.
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