The Tropic of Serpents
The Memoirs of Lady Trent, book 2
by Marie Brennan
Three years after her expedition to Vystrana, Isabella departs on her next adventure studying dragons in the more dangerous Eriga.
This trip is much more dangerous than the last one, and Isabella overcomes injuries and illnesses. Her passion for research and determination to break expectations and do what she must to contribute to what is known about dragons are as strong as ever. I do wish there were significantly more dragons though. A lot of the story focuses on local culture, which is interesting, and politics. The detached tone makes sense, but it also glosses over some things that I wish the narrative spent more time on.
I enjoyed seeing Isabella grow a bit more on this expedition. She acknowledges her ignorance, the consequences of her impulsive decisions, and the difficulty for her to balance her passion for research with learning to be a good mother for her son. Although I did recognize changes in her, and found it easy to fill in her grief and shortcomings, the fact that Lady Trent is recalling these moments years later dulls what could have been much more emotional moments. So don’t expect tremendous growth from our main character, but she is learning to be a better researcher and general human.
Overall, I did enjoy this book, and I am looking forward to the next one. Hopefully there will be more dragon action.