Get Your Free Audiobook

A Natural History of Dragons

Narrated by: Kate Reading
Series: Memoirs by Lady Trent, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

Non-member price: $32.62

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

From Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, Isabella, Lady Trent is known to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation and her prospects to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and how she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

©2013 Bryn Neuenschwander (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"A rich and absorbing tale" ( Publishers Weekly)
"It's a compelling book, with the authority of a great writer, and it's the start of what surely will be a wonderful series." ( The Book Bag)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable story

A great fantasy adventure. Drama, excitement, DRAGONS. Kate narrated the story so well. Well worth a listen, it would make a good introduction to reading Fantasy..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Catherine
  • Catherine
  • 23-07-2017

Engrossing, surprising and great fun.

Loved how the scholar-heroes of this book consider new theories so sensibly - something may be unlikely but worth taking precautions anyway! Such a relief from so many simplistic thinking.

Great main character, excellent world building with tantalising glimpses of an alternate history? With dragons, obviously, which makes everything better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beth Dewar
  • Beth Dewar
  • 25-07-2019

loved it, driving right into the next.

loved the story, Kate Reading is as always a gem and does a great performance.

love the character of Isabella, can totally see myself in her. only not interested in dead things as her.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-2018

Love the tone

I really like the premise of the aging woman writing her memoirs to keep the world from glossing her over from misunderstood respect. The tone is that of the past gentleman scholar, just with a gentlewoman and in a faintly steam punk world were the reader recognize most historical equivalents. She has a wonderful loving distance to her younger self and the narration supports it beautifully. I expected more dragons, but was certainly not disappointed when the emphasis was more on the story of the protagonist. The story ends on two highs, the promise of the next installment and the introduction of the the big story line that might carry a long, solid series.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jackie Burns
  • Jackie Burns
  • 08-08-2015

Warning - contains a thread of wit so dry it will cut the page that it's read from.

The story writing is an interesting blend of the Bronte sisters and the brothers Grimm. That isn't a criticism. There is also a vague flavour of steampunk around it. Just a hint, but enough to season the experience. I won't go into a critique of the story itself, other than to say that I really enjoyed it.

What elevated the story to the level of "I will listen for just five minutes more...no, another ten minutes...bugger, is that the time already?", was the impressive narration of Kate Reading. It will take a few minutes to get used to the irritating pomposity of the voice of the protagonist, but then you will discover that her voice actually changes, consistantly, to match the protagonist as she changes in age. She is so believable that I didn't even snigger at the voices she pulled for all the male characters. Consistency wins. What a professional!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Crackdown
  • Crackdown
  • 21-10-2015

Loved this book.

Simply put; I loved this book.

I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan, and somehow this book resonated with me in a Terry Pratchett way. Yet it's not at all like Sir Terry's books in that this is written as a serious fantasy piece. That said, if Lady Sybil Ramkin's Grandmother wrote a serious memoir cross anthropology book on Dragons, this could well be that book.

The author captures the essence of what we imagine Victorian England and their conquests of the World might have been like. The narrator carries that image through the way she uses her tone and inflection. Both merge to bring the story alive in a beautiful way. The engineering quality is also good with this audio download, which is nice as that is something that can be lacking on some downloads.

This is going to be a firm favourite of mine, and I have no trouble given it top marks all the way round.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for elly gausden
  • elly gausden
  • 09-03-2016

Part of the book is missing

What disappointed you about A Natural History of Dragons?

Nothing wrong with it as a story, but part of chapter 3 is missing from the recording. Very weird

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Annette Wright
  • Annette Wright
  • 26-02-2016

A good idea but a bit dull

I really loved the premise of this book and initially really enjoyed it. However, it soon began to drag and the quaint way is wooden soon began to grate. I'm afraid I couldn't finish it and that's very rare for me. Very disappointing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Teresa Cooper
  • Teresa Cooper
  • 04-10-2015

Dragons everywhere.

A very good book, well written and well narrated. I now have 2 dragon series to follow. Anna McCaffrey's Pern and now Marie Brennan and her series about Isabella and her search for dragon knowledge. I look forward to reading others in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ruth
  • Ruth
  • 25-09-2018

Not to my taste

The story is written from the perspective of the author reading through and reviewing an earlier memoir, and although this style can work, it did not do so for me. I wanted to get lost in the story but instead was irritated by the constant 'interruptions' of the narrator (not Kate) passing on asides and thoughts.

I found Kate's reading generally ok but there are some words she speaks with a very strange emphasis. As a Brit I found this quite distracting. Perhaps to an American the manner of speaking is more normal.

The story was ok, but I found myself not feeling much desire to find out any more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-07-2018

Not the expected

In my opinion, too much narrative. The backbone is about dragons and the science is also there but the main story settles in humans and their conspiracies, looks like a policial/detective's story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle Lynda
  • Michelle Lynda
  • 03-08-2019

Enjoyable adventure

I felt that the narrator match the characters wonderfully.
I will definitely be listening to the other books in this series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-06-2019

Fantastically realistic fantasy

If you can preserve through the rather slow and tedious first few chapters(which do in fairness hold required back story) and make it to the main plot of the book, then you are in for a treat.

The author has mastered a very clever way of writing as lady Trent, totally engrossing you into this fictional characters life in a realistic way. There were times I had to remind myself this wasn’t a real memoir and dragons don’t exist!

The narrators performance is exceptional with a voice that perfectly suits the class and character of lady Trent.

A fantastic listen/read, highly recommend for a alternative dragon fantasy with a more low key , realistic and scientific feel.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chelsea
  • Chelsea
  • 11-10-2016

Loved it!

As a whole I loved this book! The only downside is that a portion of one of the earlier chapters is missing, very strange!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful