Well this is a bummer!
Big spoiler ahead! It is rare for me to give a review on a book I cannot finish, but I read 321 pages before I decided I could not go on. Here are my thoughts on The Natural History of Dragons, a Memoir by Lady Trent. I was soooo looking forward to this book. I love make-believe, love whimsy, love magical beings, love adventure and I thought that was what I would be getting with this book. Nothing says magic like dragons, right? Well, in this case you'd be wrong. The dragons in this book were not magical, they were written as if they were real animals. Part of the book had a textbook quality about it. Much to my disappointment, I found this to be a pretty blase' book. Maybe it was just me having trouble with a different genre. Granted I am used to the romance genre, fantasy isn't one of my favorite things but I have read them. However, I can't think of one fantasy book that has bored me and that's including the ones I didn't like. Added to the dryness of the novel, was the irritating use of fake names...the heroine of the story isn't just going to the Balkans, she's going to Fliffenhoffersteinfuffle under the Ragerrangerclaussenpepper Mountain range. I find fake names annoying, even in romance novels. Big Spoiler Ahead!! Then, there was the death of a character I loved!!! Jacob, her wonderful charming husband bites the dust in the last few chapters. Yes, I did skip ahead after I became disenchanted with the first part of the book. I wanted to find out if I should continue. Perchance, there would be a big reward awaiting me at the end. Thbbft! Maybe in fantasy novels it's alright to kill off heroes, but not in my world. I loved Jacob, he was a lovely man and he loved his wife. I had envisioned Lady Trent's other adventures with her husband by her side. So, as far as I was concerned there wasn't any reason for me to continue to read.
Now, I'm sure for others The Natural History of Dragons, a Memoir by Lady Trent will work, but for me the enchantment was just not there. There was a little whimsy, but not enough. A little adventure, but not enough, and while I found Lady Trent's childhood to be fascinating, the rest of the book was too dry for my taste. And, the mysterious magical dragons...alas, were just not magical enough.
Time/Place: Victorian fake land