Reread this ready for the release of the fourth book in April (which I am very excited about and argh, can’t I just have it already?!). I didn’t love this the first time I read it, and now I’m not entirely sure why; I think I found it slow, but this time I tore through it. I guess it helps that I’m already acquainted with Isabella and I know what’s coming, and how straight-up awesome it all is. I described the series in a recommendation as “pseudo-Victorian lady becomes a scholar and takes on the patriarchy”, and that’s a pretty good summary, though it misses out on a lot of the extra stuff — the fine writing, the world-building, the attention to detail.
The thing I loved particularly, reading it this time, was Isabella’s relationship with her father and then later, with her husband. The way her father tries to find a way for her to be happy; the way Jacob slowly learns about her and learns to support her, learns to give her what she needs. The portrayal of Isabella’s periods of depression is great, too; the point isn’t belaboured, but it’s there.
And, you know, dragons. Dragons being studied, for science — the history/archaeology of an older civilisation that seemed to worship them — the glimpses of draconic intelligence and social life.
And despite the Victorian-ish tone of the memoir writing, it’s never boring; Brennan manages to capture the flavour of it without sacrificing fun. I really need to get my own copy of this.