Book Review: IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES by Marie Brennan

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - fourth book

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS, THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS, and THE VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK*

Synopsis:

Book cover for IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES: title in black on beige above drawing of dragon watching hatchlings

Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent’s expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.

As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

I am absolutely loving this series, and as we charge towards to finale (booo!), various hints placed early on are starting to bear fruit and have enormous impacts on the plot.

With the exception of Tom, there are very few returning characters in the series, due to the nature of Isabella travelling so much. But we get not one but TWO returning characters. Isabella’s brother Andrew (who can be like an excitable child sometimes) was briefly mentioned in other books, but is part of the adventures in this one, and I loved seeing her with family.

We’re in Ahkia – and yup, that means the return of Suhail (the dashing foreign lord from the previous book) and seeing how that plays out was a joy. Plus, to NOT have Tom turn into a love interest? To have a book that so clearly shows a man-woman friendship on the deepest of terms with no romantic inclinations? That is so rare, but brilliant to see.

I have been loving the mystery around the ancient civilisation and the stunner of a revelation in the previous book is just topped by this one. All the archaeology and field-changing discoveries! As someone who was interested in Egypt and the process of archaeological discoveries there, this book was a joy. It’s so clearly going to be a major component of the next book and I can’t wait for the various threads to come together into the finale.

One more book to go in the main series (plus a companion/sequel.) The whole series has been such a rewarding one to read (and doubtless the next ones shall be too.) I am very glad my friend suggested the buddy read. We also have very similar humours, so if a phrase sets one off cackling, you can be sure an answering laugh will come once the other gets to that section.


Read my reviews of other books by Marie Brennan:

The Memoirs of Lady Trent (this series):

With Alyc Helms (as M. A. Carrick)

Rook and Rose:

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