Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan is the World Fantasy and Hugo Award-nominated author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent, the Onyx Court, and other series, as well as over sixty short stories. As half of M.A. Carrick, she also (co-)writes the Rook and Rose trilogy.

Marie Brennan holds an undergraduate degree in archaeology and folklore from Harvard, and completed graduate coursework in cultural anthropology and folklore at Indiana University in Bloomington. She now misapplies her professors’ hard work by using it as inspiration for her fantasy novels and short stories.

At present she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spends her time playing piano, studying shorin-ryu karate, dabbling in amateur photography, and playing a variety of role-playing games.

Her first novel was published in 2004. Since then she has written and sold more than a dozen books.

Find Marie on her website or follow her on Twitter @swan_tower.

Bibliography

  • Rook and Rose
    The Mask of Mirrors
    Marie Brennan
  • Driftwood Series
    Driftwood (#1)
    Marie Brennan
  • Doppelganger Duology
    Warrior (#1)
    Marie Brennan
  • Doppelganger Duology
    Witch (#2)
    Marie Brennan
  • Doppelganger Duology
    Dancing the Warrior (#0.5)
    Marie Brennan
  • Doppelganger Duology
    The Doppelganger Omnibus
    Marie Brennan
  • Varekai Series
    Cold-Forged Flame (#1)
    Marie Brennan
  • Varekai Series
    Lightning in the Blood (#2)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
    A Natural History of Dragons (#1)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
    The Tropic of Serpents (#2)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
    Voyage of the Basilisk (#3)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
    In the Labyrinth of Drakes (#4)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
    Within the Sanctuary of Wings (#5)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent
    Turning Darkness Into Light
    Marie Brennan
  • The Onyx Court
    Midnight Never Come (#1)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Onyx Court
    In Ashes Lie (#2)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Onyx Court
    A Star Shall Fall (#3)
    Marie Brennan
  • The Onyx Court
    With Fate Conspire (#4)
    Marie Brennan
     

Reviews

Rook and Rose

The Mask of Mirrors
"For those who like their revenge plots served with the intrigue of The Goblin Emperor, the colonial conflict of The City of Brass, the panache of Swordspoint, and the richly detailed settings of Guy Gavriel Kay."

Booklist, Starred Review!

"Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing as Carrick, join forces to launch...a tightly laced plot dripping with political intrigue. Carrick has built a strong foundation for things to come."

Publishers Weekly

"This novel [features] an elaborate con, secret identities, political machinations, stunning revelations, and three really interesting and well-delineated forms of magic."

Locus

"This novel hits all of my sweet spots, featuring as it does an elaborate con, secret identities, political machinations, stunning revelations, and three really interesting and well-delineated forms of magic."

Locus (For Audiobook)

“THE MASK OF MIRRORS, by M.A. Carrick (Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms) is a novel of complex plot and rich characterization that does just what you want a first novel in a series to do: arrive at a strong resolution while also leaving you eager to see what happens next… The authors have woven a rich tapestry of plot and character, and I’m hoping not to have to wait too long to see the rest of it unfold.”

Fantasy Literature

"Lush, engrossing, and full of mystery and dark magic, The Mask of Mirrors is sure to please fantasy readers looking to dial up the intrigue... The richness of Nadezra—the class systems, the detail with which things like clothing are rendered—is a joy, but the story itself also brims with intrigue, wonder and real pain. Jump in and get swept away."

BookPage

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS is a fantastic beginning to a trilogy I’m harbouring high hopes for, and I can’t wait to see where the second book in the Rook & Rose trilogy takes us! If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, The Mask of Mirrors is a book that should definitely be on your radar!"

The Nerd Daily

"[A] fantastic beginning to The Rook and the Rose trilogy...enjoyable and highly entertaining."

Adeel Reads

"Utterly captivating. Carrick spins an exciting web of mystery, magic, and political treachery in a richly drawn and innovative world."

S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS has it all: complex, believable characters; a fast-moving, intricate plot; rich details of attire, cuisine, religion, and so much more, all of which lead the reader to believe that Nadežra exists in more than dreams. This novel starts off strong and only gets better."

Jane Lindskold, New York Times Bestselling author of The Firekeeper Saga

"The Mask of Mirrors kept me up reading way past my bedtime. A web of intrigue, magic, and the art of the con this novel will catch hold of your dreams and keep you from sleeping."

Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Glamorous Histories series

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS is an intriguing and exciting opening act with show-stealing characters, mysteries, simmering tensions, and a worldbulding that is simply exquisite."

The Fantasy Inn

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS is an excellent fantasy novel. The characters are fun, the setting is magnificent, and the writing is smart and accessible."

Los Angeles Review of Books

"Narrator Nikki Massoud captures this epic fantasy-adventure with her smooth, clear diction. Massoud's blend of tones and timbres differentiates the characters in an engrossing way. The political intrigue begins when Ren arrives in Nadezra determined to use whatever con it takes to form an alliance with a noble house. But she soon discovers she's not the only con artist who is intent on bettering her future. Massoud's narration style enables listeners to stay on track through the world-building and complex plot. As the world comes to life, Massoud ensures that listeners connect with the story's many characters."

Audio File

"I expect we’re going to be seeing a great deal of chatter about THE MASK OF MIRRORS in the next few weeks and months, and for good reason. This was excellent. The main character is pulling a con that Locke Lamora would be proud of. We’ve got underworld kingpins, a Zorro like figure, traumatic childhoods, tarot readings, flirtations, and talented dressmakers. It’s all a delight."

One Mike to Read Them All

"Overall, this book really swept me away. I love the world building, the different types of magic mentioned, the characters… so much!"

Powder & Page

"I absolutely loved this book! It blew away all my expectations. I’m so grateful I got to read a copy, and I would 100% recommend it! I positively can’t wait for the second book to be released, and I wonder what else these authors could create!"

Scribe Owl

"Rich in detail, this is a slow burn, good for those who like complexity in their books."

Witty & Sarcastic

"Overall this is a well done epic fantasy with a lot of interesting characters, an amazing world, and an intricate and complex plot."

Hidden in Pages

"The Mask of Mirrors was an excellent start to my 2021 reading and really pumped me up for everything to come this year. It has style, it has grace, it has passion ... if you like political intrigues or heists, you will love this book. I am already counting the days until I get my hands on the next book in the series."

The Quill to Live

"This is the first book in a new fantasy series and it has completely captivated me with it's strong world-building, expansive and developed cast of characters, and overall compelling and richly layered plot."

Forever Lost in Literature

“An excellent start to my 2021 reading.”

The Quill to Live

"the delightful product of a collaboration."

San Francisco Book Review

"Compelling, addictive, twisty and it’s left me thirsty for more. I can’t wait to read the next Rook & Rose book and if you’re a fan of fantasy, magic, politics, romance and mystery (and probably so much more that I’ve not added) then I definitely recommend you go and grab a copy of The Mask or Mirrors."

It's All About the Book Blog

Driftwood Series

Driftwood (#1)
“A diverse cast of characters from disparate worlds, each facing their own rapidly approaching mortality, come together to memorialize a missing man—rumored to be immortal—in this new fantasy title from veteran author Brennan [...] Readers will close the cover aching to read more about Last and his world. An exciting delve into a conglomerate land filled with magic and mystery.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Brennan skillfully builds a multiplicity of worlds, painting each unique and fully developed culture with bold, minimalist strokes and, though readers don’t get to spend much time with any single character, rendering each member of the sprawling cast with impressive nuance and subtlety. Exploring found family, adaptation, and hope in the face of apocalypse, Brennan imbues this high-concept fantasy with a strong emotional core. Fantasy fans will be thrilled.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“DRIFTWOOD is epic in scale, and yet rooted in satisfying detail, full of possibility and wonder.”

Booklist, Starred Review

"The breadth of imagination displayed here is lovely – each of these worlds is an intriguing fantasy creation. The characters live. And the central image of Driftwood, and the constant loss of worlds, of culture, is stunning and moving. A very fine fantastical creation, and a perhaps-rare case of independent stories truly enhanced by their presentation in a fixup."

Locus

“The world building is excellent. The characters are all well developed as well. I thought this was a fantastic book.”

Book Lover’s Boudoir

“Absolutely tantalizing.”

Powder & Page

“DRIFTWOOD, by Marie Brennan, is the kind of weirdness I adore in fiction.”

A Bookish Type

“DRIFTWOOD, by Marie Brennan, is a short, sweet, and dark apocalyptic fantasy that does not overstay its welcome while leaving you desiring more.”

The Quill to Live

“Between the extremely original world building, effective story telling and fantastic writing I was spellbound by DRIFTWOOD.”

Looking Glass Reads

“Brennan has crafted a gorgeous, poignant apocalypse […] Each of the diaspora she’s depicted are richly imagined, complex, and compelling.”

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

"DRIFTWOOD is a beautiful book."

The Borrowed Bookshelf

“A wildly creative and imaginative novel that showcases an author’s vast talent and hard work.”

Scintilla

“Marie Brennan never disappoints.”

Elitist

“The entire structure of Driftwood and its workings is not only well drafted and detailed, but I felt the sadness, hopelessness and sorrow that so many of these people feel at the fact that places eventually come to their end, and so do the people that belonged to them.”

Words Like Stars

“We’re lucky to have the imagination of writers like Marie Brennan right now to keep us afloat amidst the flotsam and jetsam of COVID-19. DRIFTWOOD is a life preserver.”

The Woven Tale Press

“DRIFTWOOD by Marie Brennan is one of those rare stories you don’t quite see coming.”

Betwixt The Sheets

“From religious zealotry to loners trying to save their little stretch of earth or memory of their people, Driftwood is as diverse as the Shreds themselves. Definitely worth a read. “

Manhattan Book Reivew

"DRIFTWOOD isn’t just a clinic on how a small collection of short stories can punch above its weight, or proof that fantasy settings don’t require thousand-page books to elucidate them. DRIFTWOOD has a point to make; and like all arguments, it’s best made with speed, clarity, and force. Brevity is a virtue in more ways than one."

Strange Horizons

"Those who are intrigued by vignettes of imaginative worlds will find plenty of that here."

File 770

"From the very first page, Driftwood is an immersive book."

Okurun Kosesi

Doppelganger Duology

Warrior (#1)
“Brennan’s excellent first novel Doppelganger set up a unique quest and conflict for her heroine — or heroines, as it were.”

RT Book Reviews

“[WARRIOR] is a very strong story, and it is hard to believe that this is Ms. Brennan’s debut novel.”

The Book Smugglers via Red Room

“…a fun, compelling, traditional fantasy series.”

Bookyurt

“It’s good. An original world, interesting protagonists, a fun story, and a satisfying conclusion.”

Jim C. Hines, Hugo and Writers of the Future Award Winner

Witch (#2)
“Brennan crafts a thought-provoking, exciting and entertaining read.”

RT Book Reviews

“This work is full of grand notions, multiple characters, and political twists and turns […] [and] has a sturdy fantasy backbone, fleshed out with a large amount of adventure.”

The Thunder Child

“Life is rarely as simple as black and white, and Brennan does a masterful job of capturing that messy complexity. I love her characters, both for their courage and for their flaws.”

Jim C. Hines, Hugo and Writers of the Future Award Winner

Varekai Series

Cold-Forged Flame (#1)
“The heroine is fierce of mind, strong of will, and quite the warrior. Brennan delights readers with this exciting, fast-paced start to a fantasy novella series.”

Publishers Weekly

“An intriguing mix of folklore and fantasy. The heroine’s quest may be a long-standing trope in fantasy, but her character and situation are by no means dated. These mere 100 pages will fly by, leaving readers anticipating the next steps of her journey.”

Library Journal

“It’s a tight, tense, gripping narrative, that builds to an excellent climax.”

Tor.com

“Marie Brennan brings the same thoughtful and fresh worldbuilding and character development to this small novella as she does to her longer books, and it’s proof that epic fantasy doesn’t need to be of epic size to work […] COLD-FORGED FLAME is an exciting and engaging start to a new series.”

New York Journal of Books

“I enjoyed this novella a good deal. Brennan’s writing is very good, as can be expected — her prose well-crafted, descriptions evocative […] Her characters are interesting and all feel real and well-rounded.”

Civilian Reader

“If you’re looking for smart, exciting stories of fantastical adventure, look no further: Marie Brennan will deliver.”

Kate Elliott, author of BLACK WOLVES

Lightning in the Blood (#2)
“Ree’s hunger for self-realization adds depth to the rich worldbuilding and exciting action sequences.”

Publishers Weekly

The Memoirs of Lady Trent

A Natural History of Dragons (#1)
“Brennan’s world-building is wonderfully subtle, rendering a familiar land alien with casual details. Fans of fantasy, science, and history will adore this rich and absorbing tale of discovery.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Though dragons may not exist in our own world’s history, it is certain that the struggles of women like Trent do, and Brennan captures both with equal elegance in this first volume in the memoirs of Lady Trent.”

Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

“Told in the style of a Victorian memoir, courageous, intelligent and determined Isabella’s account is colorful, vigorous and absorbing. A sort of Victorian why-what-whodunit embellished by Brennan’s singular upgrade of a fantasy bromide and revitalizingly different viewpoint.”

Kirkus

“Downton Abbey, but with dragons! [...] A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is a mellow and agreeable memoir, an absorbing and entertaining novel, and I want more.”

Tor.com

“A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is a tale historical fiction lovers and fantasy fans alike will adore. Isabella is a heroine readers will root for, and fans of Naomi Novik and Mary Robinette Kowal will especially enjoy this book.”

RT Book Reviews

“What’s truly great about this novel is the seamless merging of fantasy themes and incredibly realistic scientific and social details. Come for the dragon adventure — because there’s a lot of it. But stay for characters whose stories feel as real as Marie Curie’s.”

io9.com

“Isabella is a triumph, her voice a pitch-perfect blend of Jane Austen and travel writer Freya Stark. Brennan juggles the two layers with aplomb, using the older Isabella’s wise, wry detachment to reflect on the period’s snobbery and jingoism without sacrificing the main story’s intrigue and fun. Excellent stuff.”

SFX

“Whether it’s a recollection of a youthful Isabella disguising herself as a boy so she can sneak along on a hunting party near her father’s estate, or Lady Trent’s first examination of a dragon corpse in the mountains of Vystrana […] you can’t help but get caught up in the discoveries she’s making.”

Dallas News

“A blend of Elizabeth Peters’ formidable Amelia Peabody and a decidedly less-cuddly version of How to Train Your Dragon.”

The Book Smugglers, via Kirkus

“It’s a saga, Reader, that I’ll happily follow, containing enough madcap adventure (Draconian ruins! Secret smuggling cabals! Mysterious dragon burial grounds!) to satisfy the armchair explorer and enough research to ground its engaging alternate history.”

Strange Horizons

‘”While the story is ostensibly a fantasy, it has the heart of a science fiction novel, in the spirit of exploration and scientific endeavor.”

Geek Exchange

“If you are looking for a grown-up version of How to Train Your Dragon, with some Jane Austen mixed in, I would definitely suggest picking up A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS . It is an extraordinarily well-written and tremendously gripping tale filled with mystery, humor, discovery, and originality.”

The Ranting Dragon

“Isabella is no shrinking violet, and her rather madcap adventures grow from the natural curiosity of a child to mould her into the Darwin of dragons. Ms. Brennan masterfully and evocatively tells this memoir-style tale of one girl’s love of dragons, and her willingness to sacrifice everything to study them.”

Examiner.com

“The author’s love of books, science and dragons shines brightly through this novel […] The atmosphere is a blend of Downton Abbey, Pern and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The eclectic mixture works and it’s easy to imagine dragon boffinry and petticoats being discussed at a high society dinner in Scirling.”

Seattle PI

“Lady Isabella Trent is a wonderfully charming female-lead who is willing to break from the gender roles of the era and do as her heart desires, study dragons.”

Fantasy Faction

“A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS felt like it was written specifically for me. It’s got a swashbuckling adventure, a young lady of quality as the main character, with dresses and tea and dragons. It has the sense of a mid-nineteenth century travel memoir but set in a secondary world fantasy.”

SF Signal

“The world-building is magnificent. The dragons are a delight, both majestic and dangerous.”

All About Romance (Novels)

“Not only did Brennan tickle my fantasy bone, but she also tickled my intellectual one, and I appreciated that immensely. Brennan set a wonderful groundwork for an absolutely charming series.”

Bookworm Blues

“The tone is spot on […] its style was distinctive and told a dragon story from a refreshing new angle. The main character was easy to relate to […] and I’m looking forward to see how her adventures continue.”

SFcrowsnest

“A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is a lovely, quirky book which reads like a proper memoir.”

Nocturnal Book Reviews

“[W]hat makes A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS so riveting is Isabella’s quest not just to better understand dragons, no matter the cost, but to understand the metaphorical dragon in herself. I found the book completely engrossing.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“In terms of the world-building, this book is just lovely […] I did merrily enjoy reading it, and will definitely be back for more.”

Book Yurt

“Whimsical language, funny remarks by the narrator, and a love for science and dragons that touches the reader as much as the heroine […] Recommended to people who liked Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell or the Parasol Protectorate. And dragons, of course.”

SFF Book Review

“I’ve enjoyed all of Brennan’s previous novels to one degree or another but I think this is the one I am most likely to remember twenty years from now.”

Fantasy Reviews

“After reading this book, I found I couldn’t wait to read more about Lady Trent and her escapades around the world of dragons. It is a truly inspiring read.”

SF Site

“With a wealth of detail and striking visuals, there is so much more that could be, and should be!, explored in this fantastic alternate history envisioned by Marie Brennan.”

Ageless Pages

“Brennan had me at the very start with this wry, rebellious, sardonic voice.”

Fantasy Literature

“The writer does an excellent job at the world building, as the book’s world is a reflection of our very own Earth yet drastically different and somehow just a bit more magical and wonderful […] 2 parts fierce and a million parts fantastic.”

Bitches with Books

“The ending is properly shocking […] I look forward to reading about her further adventures.”

Sci-Fi Fan Letter

“Oh, if we but could just take a quick trip to the world and be on an expedition – I would love it […] if you like dragons, this is thus a must-read book.”

Boglabyrinten

“What struck me most about A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is the impeccable execution of Marie Brennan’s concept […] The characters and plot developments and dialogues are pitch-perfect […] A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is simply delightful […] the novel is just so well-executed and clever that I always had fun reading it.”

Far Beyond Reality

“DRAGONS is a fantastic novel that should appeal to any readers of Victorian-esque fantasy. It has all the character and cultural charm of those shows where propriety and manners are of the utmost importance. But DRAGONS is also about following your dreams, regardless of your lot in life.”

Elitist Book Reviews

“Brennan’s writing is polished, her pacing slow but smooth, and her ideas sharp and intelligent […] a fantasy novel that really stands out from others.”

Bibliotropic

“This is an ambitious novel; one that is utterly unlike any other dragon-focused book I’ve read, and of the most part, A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS succeeds in all it attempts to do something new and fun with the genre.”

Ageless Pages

“The book is well written, characters are fully developed, and Lady Trent is a likable enough main character […] If you like uncomplicated fantasy served up in normal novel-length sizes (unlike the hefty tomes of so many fantasy series), A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS may be a good addition to your reading shelf. Give it a try.”

Bookgasm

“A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is always engaging and entirely charming, and abounds with moments of tension, humour and emotion. Isabella may just be my new hero, and the Memoirs of Lady Trent my new favourite series.”

The Half-Strung Harp

“[Marie Brennan] brings a naturalness and clarity to her writing in this utterly charming book […] It’s a delightful book […] and an absorbing introduction to this world of dragons and Lady Isabella Trent. I can’t wait for the next book.”

Clandestine Critic

“[A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS] follows mostly the sedate and restful pace of a fantasy of manners. Restful does not mean boring; I was addicted to Isabella’s tale and Brennan’s impeccable writing.”

The Fantasy Inn

“Highly recommended.”

Peter V. Brett, the New York Times bestselling author of The Demon Cycle series

“Her Ladyship is a determined and canny woman in search of dragons–I wholeheartedly approve!”

Melanie Rawn, Bestselling author of TOUCHSTONE

“A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS [by Marie BRENNAN] is a superb book. Loved it. Tightly written, great world building, well plotted, and a very interesting & believable main character. And of course, DRAGONS!!! Highly recommended.”

Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle

The Tropic of Serpents (#2)
“A rollicking adventure in which women wearing unnerving amounts of underwear tromp through jungles on dragon-hunting safaris. Really, that should be more than enough for just about everyone.”

The New York Times

“THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS: A Memoir By Lady Trent brings dragons into the Victorian world, and flawlessly so…[it] gives fantasy readers another good reason to enter Brennan’s fantastical world.”

The Washington Post

“Uncompromisingly honest and forthright as the first, narrated in Brennan’s usual crisp, vivid style, with a heroine at once admirable, formidable and captivating. Reader, lose no time in making Isabella’s acquaintance.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS is in part a fantasy travelogue, a guided tour of a world aslant from our own. It is also, in its way, a very science-fictional fantasy novel: it is in love with the idea of discovery, of knowing the world, of knowledge for the sake of knowledge […] a thoroughly enjoyable book. I recommend it without hesitation.”

Tor.com

“Brennan’s follow up to A Natural History of Dragons is every bit as exciting and engrossing as the first part of Lady Trent’s memoir […] Isabella’s strength and bravery in the name of scientific advancement is beyond admirable–she’s a model protagonist.”

RT Book Reviews

“THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS is one of those books that just really worked for me. It was a lot of fun, and reminded me of all the reasons why Marie Brennan is an author to watch. Her writing is smooth, flowing, and easy to absorb. She manages to really make me feel like I am there, living in Lady Trent’s world, experiencing her life […] This is a very strong installment that will make you fall in love with Lady Trent and Marie Brennan all over again.”

Bookworm Blues

“It’s always nice to see someone do something a little different, particularly when they do it this well.”

Don D’Amassa

“Those who have read the first volume of these memoirs will be delighted with the continuation of Lady Trent’s stories. Written in a wry and to-the-point voice, the memoir has the gritty feel of reality.”

The Journal Star

“These ‘memoirs’ are such a joy to read […] If you like fun, witty storytelling that’s quick to read and thoughtful about representing diversity, then pick this up.”

Sci-Fi Fan Letter

“I very much enjoyed reading THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS. Lady Trent is a fascinating character […] Marie Brennan’s execution of the faux memoir format is once again flawless. The Memoirs of Lady Trent are a pleasure to read, and I eagerly look forward to the next installment in the series.”

Far Beyond Reality

“I can’t rave about the Memoir by Lady Trent series enough! I haven’t read anything quite like it, and when I’m not reading this series a part of my brain is always wishing I had the next book in my hands. I can’t wait to follow Isabella on her next adventure […] I got so completely sucked into TROPIC OF SERPENTS that it felt like I was living and breathing the experiences right next to Isabella.”

Small Review

“This is a wonderful book with a never tiring or boring story. It has thrilling adventure, light comedy, quick wit, and everything you could hope for in a romance story.”

Purple Owl Reviews

Voyage of the Basilisk (#3)
“Isabella, Lady Trent, narrates her astounding adventures from volume to volume, blending Victorian pastiche and alternate-world fantasy with a distinctly pulp sensibility […] Brennan has constructed both a slow-burn detective story, seeding hints at Isabella’s spearheading a dramatic taxonomic shift within dragon studies as she gathers firsthand data around the world, and a story about a delicately-balanced global ecology in which individual villages might be trying to rid themselves of predatory dragons even as populations elsewhere are being hunted to extinction […] Lady Trent will continue her adventures after VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK; if you love dragons as she does, perhaps now is the time to get acquainted.”

NPR

“[VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK is] beautifully worked and thoroughly engrossing. Fans of this charming series won’t be disappointed.”

Kirkus

“Discoveries about the connections between dragons and humans mix with bone-punk technology, and revelations crash like waves in a satisfying conclusion. This is a good pick for lovers of Victorian fiction or those seeking a novel approach to dragons.”

Publishers Weekly

“[Lady Trent] continues her memoirs of dragon hunting in a gently paced but always entertaining adventure. Fans of Patrick O’Brian’s “Aubrey-Maturin” series protagonist, Stephen Maturin, will appreciate Isabella’s devotion to her studies, and those who like the Victorian feel of steampunk might want to try this variation on the theme.”

Library Journal

“VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK combines grand adventure with fascinating insights into the principles behind a world that could almost be our own.”

Locus

“The third installment in Lady Trent’s series of reflective memoirs does not disappoint. Isabella’s familiar audacity as she circles the globe in search of unfamiliar dragons – with her son by her side, no less – makes for an enchanting story. And the romantic interest she finds in Suhail is a much welcome addition.”

RT Book Reviews

“Her two-year round-the-world voyage takes her and her young Jake into dangers and predicaments of almost every imaginable sort, all of which make this book one superbly civilized entertainment.”

Barnes & Noble

“Marie Brennan has now written three books in her “Lady Trent” series, and all three feature the unique and powerful voice of Isabella Camherst, which drives stories of adventure in an Earthlike world in the Victorian age […] All are well-written and have the requisite dash of danger, romance and mystery. Brennan’s control of Isabella’s first-person narrative is pitch-perfect.“

San Jose Mercury News

“What I enjoy most about Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent Memoir series is the narrative voice. Isabella Camherst engages in adventures and feats of derring-do that would have H. Rider Haggard clapping his hands in glee, and they are related in the crisp, slightly sardonic tone of a well-educated and witty Victorian gentlewoman. VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK is no exception […] [It] was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and makes me eager for the next book, the In the Labyrinth of the Drakes, due out next year.”

Fantasy Literature

“Lady Trent is an excellent narrator with a dry and wry wit who draws the readers in. Author Marie Brennan hit a home run when she came up with using Lady Trent as a narrative voice for her novels […] VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK by Marie Brennan is a Must Read […] a compelling, page-turning read.”

Guardian Liberty Voice

“This series is something of a departure from most of the rest of current fantasy in that it avoids most of the clichés and is more interesting in intellectual discoveries than martial combat. It doesn’t hurt any that it is also very well written. I have liked each of these better than its predecessors, so I’m actively looking forward to the next.”

Don D’Ammassa

“Isabella’s exuberant curiosity and unflagging ability to stumble into and out of trouble make her an engaging guide.”

Cleveland.com

In the Labyrinth of Drakes (#4)
“[A] solid fourth book of the Lady Trent series [...] It’s a time of changes for the main character, but this mix of scientific and fantastic creatures remains in fine form.”

Publishers Weekly

“It is a pleasure to go on another adventure with Lady Trent.”

Library Journal

“The locations are so clearly described and so reminiscent of actual awe-inspiring places, that the book is a joy to read. The scene setting almost makes the reader into part of the story—casting you as the reader back home in her own land who the book is written for, and so putting you into the world as you read it. It’s a clever, exciting, informative book, sure of its characters and its world, and striking out in new directions further into that world in every chapter. May all of them be as fun to read as this one!”

New York Journal of Books

“This is the fourth of the Lady Trent memoirs, and it’s only fair to note that I’ve been in love — platonic love, but deeply felt — with Dame Isabella (as she is at the beginning of In the Labyrinth of Drakes) since the first chapters of A Natural History of Dragons. The wry, retrospective quality of the first-person narrative and the quasi-Victorian style has an enormous appeal, and so too does the fact that at their heart, these are novels about science, about the love of discovery and the joy and struggle of intellectual work […] Isabella’s inimitable voice and striking character makes Labyrinth of Drakes practically a perfect read: equal parts soothing and stimulating. Personally, I could read about Isabella’s adventures forever, and I hope there are many more Memoirs to come.”

Tor.com

“Once again, the work is a delight. Its most appealing aspect isn’t the genre-bending riffs on genuine events so much as the level-headed outlook that people like Lady Trent bring to both fantasy and romance.”

Locus

“I adore this series for its world building, fascinating characters, strong narrative voice and sense of adventure, and for the dragons of course. Special mention goes to the cover and interior art, which is by Todd Lockwood. The books would be worth purchasing for the covers alone. They fully cement Isabella’s role as a skilled artist and meticulous naturalist in the Victorian style.”

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

“If you’re not reading this series yet, you should be! My love for it just grows and grows, and indeed I think In the Labyrinth of Drakes may be my favorite Memoir by Lady Trent installment yet! So many questions that I had are finally answered, and there are plenty of other major reveals for readers who have been following our protagonist on her adventures. I promise you, this is one book you do not want to miss [...] I just love this series! Marie Brennan gives Isabella a voice that is so fresh and authentic that this is one of the few fantasy series that truly makes me feel like I am transported to another world. I highly, highly recommended these books; it is an experience like no other. 5/5 Stars.”

Speculative Herald

“The strength of In the Labyrinth of Drakes, and of the series as a whole, is the first-person narration of Lady Trent herself, which is always sharply, thrillingly intelligent and also wonderfully, variously wry, self-deprecating, angry, introspective, oblivious, awed, indignant, and the list goes on. In short, she is an entire personality vividly, compellingly portrayed in all its human complexity.”

Fantasy Literature

“I honestly can’t get enough of this series. Brennan has reached down inside of me, torn out my inner most fantasies, and brought them to life.”

The Quill to Live

“Isabella is as witty as ever and the realistic science and character development make it seem so believable. I can’t forgo mentioning Marie Brennan’s lovely writing either, I had difficulty putting this down and ended up reading most of it in one sitting.”

What a Wise Guy

Within the Sanctuary of Wings (#5)
“A thoroughly absorbing conclusion to this refreshingly different and consistently intriguing pentalogy.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Brennan delights with this fifth and final memoir…Lady Trent is the perfect heroine for this history-flavored fantasy romp.”

Publishers Weekly

“While fans will be sad to leave the series behind, Lady Trent has earned her retirement.”

Library Journal

“Brennan brings the fifth and final adventure of the fearless Lady Isabella Trent to a conclusion that is perfectly triumphant and absolutely touching.”

RT Book Reviews

“I’ve been enchanted with these books since I first opened A Natural History of Dragons, and the final pages of WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS felt like a tremendous validation — not only for Lady Trent, but for myself as a reader, who’s been rooting for her success since that first encounter with a sparkling. Her long path from curious young girl to novice scientist to world-renowned naturalist has brought such joy to my heart, as much as the real-life biographies and memoirs of Marie Curie, Temple Grandin, and Sally Ride. … Highly, highly recommended.”

Fantasy Literature

“Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure–scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland’s enemies–and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings.”

Fantasy Faction

Turning Darkness Into Light
“TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT works beautifully as a standalone novel for newcomers to her elaborate, dragon-centric world.”

NPR

“[TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT] will appeal greatly to readers who love science and the simple pleasures of discovery and learning.”

Bibliosanctum

“Like the related series, TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is perfect for those readers who ap­preciate a light touch, thoughtful characters, and antagonists who almost but not quite topple into one-dimensional props in a melodrama.”

Locus

“TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT stands very well on its own and is a great introduction to the series for new readers.”

The Arched Doorway

“A creative, new book that highlights just how intertwined and important history and storytelling are.”

The Library Ladies

“The intricate use of language makes TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT immersive, fantastical and a credit to the skills and knowledge of Marie Brennan.”

Rachel Read It

“The writing is expertly done, the characters are multi-faceted, and the mythology is enthralling.”

Realms and Robots

“TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is a fascinating read that immerses you in a world of conspiracy, high stakes, and danger.”

Utopia State of Mind

“A creative, new book that highlights just how intertwined and important history and storytelling are.”

Breathes Books

The Onyx Court

Midnight Never Come (#1)
“Stunningly conceived and exquisitely achieved…”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Strong prose, tight plotting, mischievous humor, quick pacing and wonderful storytelling that fully engages the reader.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“I highly recommend MIDNIGHT NEVER COME to readers who enjoy historical fiction and high fantasy.”

Dark Matter Zine

“Marie Brennan’s lush and lovely tale will draw you in at once and not let you go until long after midnight…”

Green Man Review

“What sets Marie Brennan apart, then, is the quality of her writing, the complexities of her plot, the characterisations, the world-building… everything.”

The Book Swede

“A highly-enjoyable mix of Elizabethan and faerie politics and intrigue.”

The Genre Files

“MIDNIGHT NEVER COME returns the fairies to their roots: terrifying, alien, yet captivating at the same time.”

Curled Up

“A historical thriller with a fascinating twist…”

The Bookbag

“A nicely told tale of curses, intrigue, love and faeries […] The story is compelling and well-plotted. The world-building is excellent and you notice right from the start that author Marie Brennan has done extensive research into Elizabethan times and British faerie lore.”

SFcrowsnest

“These are not kinder, gentler faeries. Really they’re not.”

Elizabeth Bear, author of the Locus Award-winning novel HAMMERED and multiple Hugo Award winner

In Ashes Lie (#2)
“Brennan has created a fascinating hidden underworld beneath London, and it’s enhanced by prose that has an elegance perfect for historical fantasy.”

RT Book Reviews

“Marie Brennan juggled complex politics, plague, and fire to great effect in IN ASHES LIE.”

Strange Horizons

“Brennan is a bright new voice in fantasy fiction, and IN ASHES LIE is her best effort yet.”

Sacramento Book Review

“Brennan does do an amazing job of weaving parallels between the real world events with the affects on the fae and vice versa.”

NextReads

“Brennan shines, and her abundant imagination […] becomes something you will definitely want to experience for yourself.”

Arctic Wren

“Lovely.”

Kate MacLeod

A Star Shall Fall (#3)
“Enchanting, fearsome faerie vistas and pinpoint character delineations make Galen’s absorbing quest one to savor and remember.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Brennan’s historical research is as impeccable as ever, and the twining of the two worlds is the best yet. Fans of the Onyx Court novels, and anyone who enjoys historical fantasy, should like A STAR SHALL FALL.”

Booklist

“An ambitious tale and a pleasing triumph. Wonderful.”

SFFWorld

“A STAR SHALL FALL is a terrific novel. It stands solidly on its own two feet despite being the third novel in a series. You should be reading this novel.”

Elitist Book Reviews

“A STAR SHALL FALL is a well-written novel and a good addition to the series. I recommend it to fans of historical fantasy.”

Fantasy Literature

“The third book follows the pattern of the others, a quiet, slow beginning as complicated threads are laid down, rising to a terrific climax.”

Sherwood Smith

“This is my favorite of the series so far. The plotting is sharper, the characters are great, and Brennan continues to blend history and magic so smoothly it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins.”

Jim C. Hines, Hugo and Writers of the Future Award Winner

“A STAR SHALL FALL is a a marvelous, magical novel that evocatively brings to life 18th Century London through interesting and believable characters and a wealth of historical details.”

David Forbes, author of the bestselling Osserian Saga

“…a fantasy novel that’s utterly steeped in science.”

Wendy Shaffer

“Marie Brennan is a writer worth making space for in your library.”

Alma Alexander

“The best of the Onyx Court books to date… Very fine book, highly recommended.”

Alec Austin

With Fate Conspire (#4)
“An absorbing finale to a series that has grown richer with every installment.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“Series readers and fans of the Tam Lin myth will be captivated by this complex and vibrant depiction of a magical Victorian era.”

Publishers Weekly

“[Brennan’s] characters, both major and minor, are well drawn and memorable. Brennan’s own fans, historical-fantasy fans, and lovers of classic fantasy will find this a must-read.”

Booklist

“Brennan’s characters breathe life into a landscape rich in detail and vibrant with imagination. This title should please fans of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series and Elizabeth Bear’s Promethean Age series.”

Library Journal

“For more tales of a London based on history as well as sheer invention, try WITH FATE CONSPIRE and its predecessors. Instead of the old-style fantasy of quests through green fields and dark domains, Brennan makes the most of one extraordinary city.”

Locus Magazine

“…Brennan has taken a level in skill with prose: her writing was good before, but it’s gotten even better […] WITH FATE CONSPIRE is a thoughtfully entertaining dénouement to an excellent series, and all round, a really good book.”

Tor.com

“WITH FATE CONSPIRE is a well-plotted and compelling novel […] if you like historical fantasy and enjoy rich world-building, you definitely should give this book a try.”

SFcrowsnest

“There are very few authors that really impress me with the way they write. Bakker. Valente. Gaiman. Brennan, for me, is right there […] I often felt like I was slowing down my reading purposely so I could catch all the little literary goodies she has buried in the pages.”

Elitest Book Reviews

“Brennan set her work in an impressive historical time and coupled it with wonderfully done research that really sets it apart from many other fantasy books […] WITH FATE CONSPIRE is a solid addition to an already strong series.”

Book Worm Blues

“The rounded characters and intricate plot create an absorbing story.”

Dr. Fantastique

“…this book is an entertaining and carefully crafted work. I must applaud Brennan’s dedication to her research as well as the inventive use of her concepts…”

Steampunk Chronicles

“If you’ve been following the Onyx Court series, you won’t want to miss this one. If you’re looking for a unique read about faeries in a richly detailed London through several centuries, give this series a try. I’ve very much enjoyed it. (And Dead Rick is awesome.)”

Fantasy Literature

“…if you’re a fan of richly detailed and vivid historical settings, full of old-school fairy magic, then I’d definitely recommend reading them, period.”

Jim C. Hines, Hugo and Writers of the Future Award Winner

“So be advised: this one is complete, it has an actual ending, and it remains excellent throughout. Highly recommended.”

Marissa Lingen

Awards & Accolades

Doppelganger Duology

The Memoirs of Lady Trent

A Natural History of Dragons (#1)
USA

#8 Locus Magazine bestseller in hardcover

USA

#8 Bookscan hardcover fantasy list

USA

Booklist: “Notable Books Reading List”

USA

GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist: “Best Fantasy”

USA

SF Signal: “Favorite SF/F/H Consumed In 2013”

The Tropic of Serpents (#2)
Voyage of the Basilisk (#3)
In the Labyrinth of Drakes (#4)
Within the Sanctuary of Wings (#5)
Turning Darkness Into Light
USA

Den of Geek: “Best New Fantasy Books”