Science Fiction Friday: The three best 19th century fantasies. Oh, also with dragons!

natural history of dragonsA Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir By Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
An irrepressible young woman in a stifling alternate history Victorian age finds action and adventure when her new husband takes her on an expedition to study dragons in their natural environment. The way the author uses little period details to flesh out the world is instantly absorbing. A winning feminist fantasy with a subtle touch and a colorful protagonist.

tooth and clawTooth and Claw by Jo Walton
In a world populate entirely by dragons, five siblings fight over consuming the remains of their father, as the ritual consuming of a dragon’s body imbues the living with power and strength. An utterly unique Victorian fantasy where the interesting dragon characters don’t have to take a backseat to humans. Walton deftly mixes one part fantasy and one part Trollope to create something novel and thoroughly enjoyable.

his majesty's dragonsHis Majesty’s Dragons by Naomi Novik
Will Laurence, a British navy captain, is charged with transporting a dragon egg during the Napoleonic Wars, but his career comes to an abrupt end when the newly hatched dragon bonds with him. Imaginative fast-paced adventure stories don’t come along every day, especially not this witty. Rich in historical detail, His Majesty’s Dragons is a delightful twist on both familiar dragon tropes and history.

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