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Book review: Lady Trent's search for dragons returns in 'Voyage of the Basilisk'

"VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK: A Memoir by Lady Trent, A Natural History of Dragons, Vol 3," by Marie Brennan, Tor Books, $25.99, 352 pages (f)

Six years after the completion of her research expedition in Eriga, Lady Trent is determined to continue her study of dragons by embarking on another journey in "The Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent," which is scheduled to be released on March 31.

Her plan is to set sail on a two-year voyage to circle the world in search of a wide variety of habitats where dragons might dwell. But unlike with her previous excursions, Lady Trent has decided to include her young son Jacob in the adventure and hopes his interest in the study of dragons will be piqued by the experiences of the trip. Unbeknownst to her, Jacob will find his calling in life, but it will have little to do with dragons.

“The Voyage of the Basilisk" is the third volume in Marie Brennan's A Natural History of Dragons series and continues her well-written exposé on the life and adventures of her widowed but unbroken heroine.

“Basilisk” follows the voyage of the small ship captained by a gruff but excellent sailor to the outer perimeters of the known world. There, Lady Trent — Isabella Camherst's title — and her friends see new lands, participate in sacred rituals of a backward-seeming people and find that the new environs have many of the same political challenges Lady Trent experienced at home. And amidst all else, Lady Trent discovers numerous new and exciting truths about the dragons she so loves to study.

“The Voyage of the Basilisk” is full of adventure, political intrigue, battles on the high seas and even a little bit of love. The author writes in an easy-to-read style and may quickly envelop many readers in the world she has created with Lady Trent.

Brennan's attention to detail, along with her background in anthropology, archaeology and folklore, invites readers to see exactly what the incomparable Isabella is experiencing as she forges ahead in her quest for knowledge. A few may even find themselves believing dragons exist.

The book has no swearing or sexual content. There is some fighting between sailing ships, but nothing is described in detail.

Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and can be reached at He also blogs from time to time at