Review: The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

BasiliskBrennanSeries: Memoir by Lady Trent #3
Published by: Tor
ISBN: 0765331985
ISBN 13: 9780765331984
Published: March 2015
Pages: 352
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Related Reviews: Memoir by Lady Trent #1

In the third book of the series, we see another adventure Lady Trent has taken herself on, this time taking along her son and two friends. As an explorer and dragon naturalist, these books are written in the style of a memoir, so we have both Lady Trent’s account of a time as though it’s happening, but with interesting interjections as this is being published when she’s quite a lot older, and is able to gently correct herself here and there.

In this book Lady Isabella Trent joins the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk with a range of duties, whether it’s to pursue her own dragon-hunting, capture examples of other bits and pieces of wildlife such as birds, for another rich lady back home, or indeed survey islands not yet charted completely. The ship she is on also does other bits of cargo work when there’s time, and all in all they’re all kept rather busy – even when there’s not a storm throwing them into life-threatening difficulties.

With a touch of romance – though perhaps not in a way that’s entirely expected – this book was a bit quicker and harder to put down than the second book, but only marginally. Mentioned in another review, it was commented that these books are consistent, and this I have to agree with. If you liked the first book then you’ll equally like the second and third, as there’s no change in quality or tone – all are as exciting, well written and full of adventure as the other.

Different from previous instalments, in this piece her son Jake becomes a major character. The way he is handled, as well as their interactions with each other, always took me by surprise – in a good way. He is an entirely realised character and it’s so good to see even fairly young characters detailed with a measure of intelligence. As far as other characters go, I really hope we see much more of Suhail in the fourth book – he’s so much like Lady Trent in that he’s just as obsessed with draconic ruins, and in a scene where they both come across a wonderful discovery for the both of them you see exactly why they need to meet again. Also, the way he left was mysterious and enigmatic, to which we need answers for, though I have my suspicions.

This book leaves me desperate as always for the fourth book. As I was writing this review, Marie Brennan tweeted ‘It appears the soundtrack to Memoir #4 will be brought to you by Jerry Goldsmith, Harry Gregson-Williams, and Bear McCreary.’ so I’m happy to see it’s already underway. I can’t wait!

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