A few months ago, Tor.com posted the cover art for an unusual title. The art, by the talented Todd Lockwood, portrayed an anatomically correct dragon (you can download wallpaper in various sizes here and click the cover below to see a huge version). And Todd didn’t just create the cover, there are numerous illustrations throughout the book, a few of which you can see here:
A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS: A Memoir by Lady Trent (Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Tom Doherty Associates) by Marie Brennan (which Julia is reviewing later today) is described as “a delightful adventure that draws from an era currently in romantic vogue thanks to such popular shows as the BBC’s Downton Abbey. It also has parallels to the “wickedly entertaining” Alexia Tarabotti novels by Gail Carriger as both feature a headstrong female whose intellect and will can’t and won’t be stifled by her times. Additionally, its refreshingly scientific take on the well-worn fantasy trope of dragons will please both genre fans and skeptics.” Thanks to Tor, we have three copies of this gorgeous book to giveaway.
MARIE BRENNAN habitually pillages her background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore for fictional purposes. She is the author of the Onyx Court series and the doppelgänger duology of Warrior and Witch, as well as more than thirty short stories. Find her online at www.swantower.com.
Giveaway provided by Tom Doherty Associates
3 copies of A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
Available on February 5th 2013 by Tom Doherty Associates
Not a day goes by that the post does not bring me at least one letter from a young person (or sometimes one not so young) who wishes to follow in my footsteps and become a dragon naturalist. Nowadays, of course, the field is quite respectable, with university courses and intellectual societies putting out fat volumes titled Proceedings of some meeting or other. Those interested in respectable things, however, attend my lectures. The ones who write to me invariably want to hear about my adventures: my escape from captivity in the swamps of Mouleen, or my role in the great Battle of Keonga, or (most frequently) my flight to the inhospitable heights of the Mrtyahaima peaks, the only place on earth where the secrets of the ancient world could be unlocked.
Even the most dedicated of letter-writers could not hope to answer all these queries personally. I have therefore accepted the offer from Messrs. Carrigdon & Rudge to publish a series of memoirs, chronicling the more interesting portions of my life. By and large these shall focus on those expeditions which led to the discovery for which I have become so famous, but there shall also be occasional digressions into matters more entertaining, personal, or even (yes) salacious. One benefit of being an old woman now, and moreover one who has been called a “national treasure,” is that there are very few who can tell me what I may and may not write.
Beyond this point, therefore, lie foetid swamps, society gossip, disfiguring diseases, familial conflicts, hostile foreigners, and a plenitude of mud. You, dear reader, continue on at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart — no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments — even at the risk of one’s life — is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. If my humble words convey even a fraction of that wonder, I will rest content.
In this first volume, I will relate to you how my career as a lady adventurer and dragon naturalist began, commencing at the creation of my childhood fascination with all things winged, and for the bulk of its length describing my first foreign expedition, to study the rock-wyrms of Vystrana. Common gossip has made the bare facts well-known, but I warn you, dear reader, that all was not as you have heard.
Isabella, Lady Trent
11 Iyar, 1895
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