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Within the Sanctuary of Wings
A Memoir by Lady Trent
by Marie Brennan
TOR Books; $27.99; 333pp
Published: April 2017

What a satisfying ending to the five volume set of memoirs by Lady Isabella Trent, begun with “A Natural History of Dragons.”  This is one of the most entertaining series I have read in, well, a dragon’s age. And really, if you love novels about dragons at ALL, these should be on the top of your list.

In this final entry, Lady Trent is at a talk given by her esteemed colleague and well-loved husband Suhail one evening, regarding the linguistics of the ancient and mysterious Draconean language. While she listens, she becomes aware of a disturbance at the back of the hall. She goes to see what’s amiss, and finds a young Yelangese man named Thu Phim-Lat. He must see Lady Trent.

And what he tells her is riveting: he has found the remains of a hitherto unknown large species of dragon in the isolated, near-inaccessible Mrtyahaima Mountains near Yelang.  This discovery takes Lady Trent and Suhail, along with the stalwart Tom Wilker, to the border of Yelang to a very remote valley where they discover something wondrous, unexpected, and utterly mind-boggling.

To reveal what it is, is really, really spoilers. But it is a perfect conclusion for this series. All the explorations taken up by Isabella Trent in the previous novels to expand the classification of the living dragons, and the discovery of the remains of the Draconeans comes to fruition here. The Draconeans were wide-spread and left just-now decipherable glyphs and carvings around the planet concerning dragons and their civilization. Dragons currently inhabit almost all the continents in Lady Isabella’s world in various sizes and types.

Every previous novel has given us tantalizing hints and new information on the lives of enigmatic Draconeans and they appear in many carvings as bipedal in dragon-like forms. And what their interactions with human civilizations have been are just now becoming clear.

If you’ve read the previous four novels, this book will be no disappointment. And once again, it’s illustrated by the talented Todd Lockwood. ~~ Sue Martin

Click here for more reviews of Marie Brennan

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