Marie Brennan


United Kingdom and British Commonwealth only: Represented in these territories on behalf of Jabberwocky Literary Agency.

Marie Brennan is the author of nine novels, including the Doppelganger and Onyx Court (Orbit) series. WITH FATE CONSPIRE, the final novel in the Onyx Court series, was Kirkus Review’s Best Fiction of the Year in 2011. She has won two Isaac Asimov Awards for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction, and a Fantasy Writing Grand Prizes in 2003. Marie has also received multiple honourable mentions for Year’s Best Science Fiction and Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror.

Brennan holds a joint BA in anthropology/archaeology, and folklore & mythology from Harvard University. She’s been writing fantasy since she was nine or ten years old, and blames this fact on Diana Wynne Jones. She is an anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material to use in her fiction. Marie is currently writing the Memoirs of Lady Trent fantasy series, featuring Lady Trent’s exciting adventures in the study of dragons – the first four novels in which have been published in the UK by Titan Books. Titan Books began re-issuing Marie’s Onyx Court series in the UK in 2015. The final novel is due out in early 2017. Her short stories have appeared in more than a dozen print and online publications.

Marie Brennan’s website is Swan Tower.

titles



Memoires of Lady Trent Series

Published in the US by Tor Books.

  1. A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS
  2. THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS
  3. THE VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK
  4. IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES
  5. WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS

Onyx Court Series

  1. MIDNIGHT NEVER COMES
  2. IN ASHES LIE
  3. A STAR SHALL FALL
  4. WITH FATE CONSPIRE

 

covers

+


  • Memoirs of Lady Trent Series
  • Memoirs of Lady Trent Series (Audio)
  • Onyx Court Series (UK)

translations

+


Memoirs of Lady Trent:

- WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS - Titan Books (UK, 2017)
- IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES - W.F. Howes (UK, Audio, 2016)
- IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES - Titan Books (UK, 2016)
- THE VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK - W.F. Howes (UK, Audio, 2015)
- THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS - W.F. Howes (Audio, 2015)
- A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS - W.F. Howes (UK, Audio, 2015)
- THE VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK - Titan Books (UK, 2015)
- THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS - Titan Books (UK, 2014)
- A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS - Titan Books (UK, 2014)

Onyx Court Series:

- WITH FATE CONSPIRE - Titan Books (UK, 2017)
- A STAR SHALL FALL - Titan Books (UK, 2016)
- IN ASHES LIE - Titan Books (UK, 2016)
- MIDNIGHT NEVER COMES - Titan Books (UK, 2015)

reviews

+


    • A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS
      +

      ‘… simply delightful—not a term I apply to literature very often, but the novel is just so well-executed and clever that I always had fun reading it…’  —  Far Beyond Reality

      ‘Isabella is a brilliant creation. The aging explorer, revisiting her past with the knowledge of the old, still has a great immediacy in putting us in her world, whether it be the grand dame of dragon science, flouncing around in trousers of all things, or the scientific genius seeing society through struggling eyes… he voice of the storyteller, the whole world scene, and the whole intelligent plot (minus that which is too guessable) are all reminders of what I enjoy most about only the best in fantasy. It’s a compelling book, with the authority of a great writer, and it’s the start of what surely will be a wonderful series.’  —  The Book Bag

      A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS is at its heart, a nostalgic book: there’s adventure to be had, with a cast of characters out to find adventure and knowledge at all ends of the Earth. It reminds me much of such stories as Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, where science and exploration were the central focus and it’s a good viewpoint to have. At the end of the day, Brennan’s novel is a fun read, and I’m hopeful that more adventures of Lady Trent are forthcoming.’  —  Geek Exchange

      ‘It is a very well written book, acting as an introduction to the world of dragons, as well as to this other world that Brennan has created – there is the Egyptian-like pre-history of the Draconean culture (dragon-headed gods at temples) with an indecipherable written language; there are the mentions of religions, with Vystrana a land of Temple-worshippers and Scirland full of ‘proper followers of the Magisterial path’. It’s a delightful book, accompanied with beautiful charcoal sketches of various dragons observed during the story (done by Todd Lockwood, who also did the amazing cover), and an absorbing introduction to this world of dragons and Lady Isabella Trent. I can’t wait for the next book.’  —  Clandestine Critic

      ‘This was just a great read all around, the experience made even better for me because it was such an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. To summarize: A very good book featuring an interesting concept, engrossing plot, and a refreshingly strong female protagonist.’  —  BiblioSanctum

      ‘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… Marie Brennan does an incredible job of writing in multiple voices… Brennan expertly maintains the balance that makes this commentary fun and informative, without pulling you from the actual story. It’s a brilliant touch that brings a level of authenticity to the memoir-style… the interior illustrations, also done by Todd Lockwood, are just as stunning.’  —  Fantasy Faction

      ‘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)

      ‘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

      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 Review (4.5/4.5 *)

      ‘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

      ‘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

      ‘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

      ‘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

      ‘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

      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

      ‘… 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

    • THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS
      +

      ‘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 Review

      ‘Where the first volume set the foundation for a series mingling character study with adventure, THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS has the transitional air and faster pace of an episode in a new environment… The Memoirs of Lady Trent feature a bright, observant woman (two of them here) who follows a need to explore the most enduring mysteries of her planet wherever they may take her. Lacking starships or dragon rides, these chronicles have the power of fabulous and historic voyages, along with a wry wit that refuses to accept the standard notions of any era – past, present, or future.’  —  Locus (April 2014)

      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.’  —  Washington Post

      ‘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.’  —  New York Times

      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

      ‘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 am having a lot of fun with this series. There are details hinting at so much more to come in Lady Trent’s long and accomplished life and I hope to read about all her adventures. Anyone who has a deep passion or commitment to a calling will find a kindred spirit in the main character; it’s truly wonderful to find a strong female protagonist with such powerful conviction and presence.’  —  Bibliosanctum

    • VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK
      +

      ‘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

      ‘Isabella, Lady Trent, narrates her astounding adventures from volume to volume, blending Victorian pastiche and alternate-world fantasy with a distinctly pulp sensibility… Brennan’s painstaking in the details… 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.’  —  National Public Radio

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

      ‘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

      ‘[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

      ‘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

    • IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES
      +

      ‘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

      ‘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

      ‘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

      ‘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

    • MIDNIGHT NEVER COME
      +

      ‘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

      ‘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.’  —  SF Crow’s Nest

      ‘These are not kinder, gentler faeries. Really they’re not.’  —  Elizabeth Bear

    • IN ASHES LIE
      +

      ‘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

    • A STAR SHALL FALL
      +

      ‘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.’  —  SFF World

      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

    • WITH FATE CONSPIRE
      +

      ‘An absorbing finale to a series that has grown richer with every installment.’  —  Kirkus Reviews (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 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’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 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.’  —  SF Crowsnest

      ‘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