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Marie Brennan

The Tropic of Serpents

Marie Brennan The Tropic Of Serpents A Memoir By Lady Trent
$11.89 New
 
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Series:

A Natural History of Dragons

Biographical note:

MARIE BRENNAN is an anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. She is the author of several acclaimed fantasy novels including A Natural History of Dragons; The Onyx Court Series: Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, A Star Shall Fall, and With Fate Conspire; Warior; and Witch. Her short stories have appeared in more than a dozen print and online publications.

Excerpt from book:

ONE


 
My life of solitude—My sister-in-law and my mother—An unexpected visitor—Trouble at Kemble’s
Not long before I embarked on my journey to Eriga, I girded my loins and set out for a destination I considered much more dangerous: Falchester.
The capital was not, in the ordinary way of things, a terribly adventurous place, except insofar as I might be rained upon there. I made the trip from Pasterway on a regular basis, as I had affairs to monitor in the city. Those trips, however, were not well-publicized—by which I mean I mentioned them to only a handful of people, all of them discreet. So far as most of Scirland knew (those few who cared to know), I was a recluse, and had been so since my return from Vystrana.
I was permitted reclusiveness on account of my personal troubles, though in reality I spent more of my time on work: first the publication of our Vystrani research, and then preparation for this Erigan expedition, which had been delayed and delayed again, by forces far beyond our control. On that Graminis morning, however, I could no longer escape the social obligations I assiduously buried beneath those other tasks. The best I could do was to discharge them both in quick succession: to visit first my blood relations, and then those bound to me by marriage.
My house in Pasterway was only a short drive from the fashionable district of Havistow, where my eldest brother Paul had settled the prior year. I usually escaped the necessity of visiting his house by the double gift of his frequent absence and his wife’s utter disinterest in me, but on this occasion I had been invited, and it would have been more trouble to refuse.
Please understand, it is not that I disliked my family. Most of us got on cordially enough, and I was on quite good terms with Andrew, the brother most immediately senior to me. But the rest of my brothers found me baffling, to say the least, and my mother’s censure of my behaviour had nudged their opinions toward disapproval. What Paul wanted with me that day I did not know—but on the whole, I would have preferred to face a disgruntled Vystrani rock-wyrm.
Alas, those were all quite far away, while my brother was too near to avoid. With a sensation of girding for battle, I lifted my skirt in ladylike delicacy, climbed the front steps, and rang the bell.
My sister-in-law was in the morning room when the footman escorted me in. Judith was a paragon of upper-class Scirling wifehood, in all the ways I was not: beautifully dressed, without crossing the line into gyver excess; a gracious hostess, facilitating her husband’s work by social means; and a dedicated mother, with three children already, and no doubt more to come.
We had precisely one thing in common, which was Paul. “Have I called at the wrong time?” I inquired, after accepting a cup of tea.
“Not at all,” Judith answered. “He is not at home just now—a meeting with Lord Melst—but you are welcome to stay until he returns.”
Lord Melst? Paul was moving up in the world. “I presume this is Synedrion business,” I said.
Judith nodded. “We had a short respite after he won his chair, but now the affairs of government ha

The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Tropic of Serpents . . .


Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.


The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell . . . where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.


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