Voyage of the Basilisk
By Marie Brennan
Paperback, 348 pages
Lady Trent has released another volume of her enthralling memoirs, dedicated to her voracious appetite for dragon-related knowledge. This time, readers set sail with Trent, her partner Tom, and her son Jake as they set off on a two-year trip around the world to study any type of dragon they can find. However, fans of Isabella know her penchant for finding trouble, and this voyage is not without setbacks.
It’s a form of self-torture that I make myself wait for the paperback editions of these books before buying and reading them (but my series must match!) because I love these books so much and the wait is hard. As always, I enjoy Lady Trent’s voice and her strong personality.
This book has a bit of a slow start, as it details how Trent and her crew get started on their nautical adventure, but it picks up the pace once she supposedly commits a blunder in a foreign country and she and her comrades are expelled from the island. From there, Isabella has some of her most fantastical adventures and discoveries yet.
Semi-shipwrecked on a foreign island and reluctantly receiving help from the natives, Isabella can’t help but think that something is being hidden from them. She also notices how strangely the islanders are acting towards her personally and soon discovers they feel she has a dragon’s soul and that her strange ways (ie: wearing pants, having short hair and being unmarried) are because of this. To appease the locals and keep her, her son and her friends safe, Isabella must agree to an unconventional marriage. Amidst all this, she manages to ride sea serpents and make an amazing discovery regarding local dragon lore.
These books are a lot of fun and I also enjoy the process by which Isabella tries to differentiate how certain types of dragons could have evolved into others, or whether or not a certain species could even be considered a dragon. I’m also finally getting used to the names of the countries and types of people that inhabit them, so they feel much less foreign to me, compared to when I was reading her first two volumes.
As with the previous book, you don’t necessarily need to read the first two books to enjoy Basilisk, however, I strongly recommend doing so.
I, of course, also have to dote on the blue ink used for this edition! As always, the illustrations by Todd Lockwood are fabulous but too few! These too, are done in blue. Love it. Little touches like this always heighten my reading experience.
Now to endure the torture of waiting for the fourth book in paperback so I can enjoy that as well!