As anyone knows who gets me started on the subject, my favorite book series of the last few years is the Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan. The fifth and final book in the main series, Within the Sanctuary of Wings
, was recently released, and it more than lives up to the promise of its predecessors -- in fact, it closes out Isabella's story in a brilliant way that I could have never have imagined.
Back in January, I wrote a non-spoilery introduction to Lady Trent for The Book Smugglers, as part of their annual Smugglivus series. So if you aren't familiar with the books and would like to learn more without any spoilers, I recommend that you read that article
. Here, I want to go into a little more spoilery detail, so caution: spoilers for the series ahead! I promise all will be well-marked.
I picked up the first book in this series, The Natural History of Dragons
, on a bit of a whim. I had read some of Marie Brennan's Onyx Court
books, but I was more a fan of her public persona than her writing; in particular, she's a regular attendee and panelist at FogCon
, my local literary SFF convention, and I always enjoy her panels. I'm pretty sure, actually, that I saw the book in the FogCon dealers room and bought it there. I like Marie Brennan, and I like dragons, so the combination was hard to resist. To say that I fell in love immediately might be an overstatement, but I enjoyed the book well enough to give the book five stars on GoodReads, and I bought the second volume in hardback. As the series continued, I found that each book leveled up in terms of storytelling and intrigue, building on what came before as the key incidents that bookmark Isabella's life are revealed, one by one, and I was drawn completely in. ( Read more. )