My father is an archaeologist. Not unlike Lady Trent, he has traveled extensively to study cultures now lost to time. Due to being dragged through a large number of natural history museums as a child, I like these books both more and less than I otherwise would have. (At the very least, I come at them from a slightly different angle.)
I really like the idea behind these books. I like Lady Trent herself. I find the whole “old world natural history meets dragons” thing super entertaining. I like the world and the various places we get to see. I like that we get to finally uncover a few more solid facts about some plot elements that were referenced in other books. The thing I don’t always like is the plot. This installation is not quite as bad as the last few books as far as Lady Trent getting into truly ridiculous scrapes and coming out unscathed, but that element is still alive and well. You have been warned.
I grew up in the desert, so I have a soft spot for such landscapes. I felt more at home in this book than some of her others (though I could have kicked someone when the obligatory sand storm rolled around). Character dynamics fell flat for me at times, and I had a hard time swallowing the way a relationship or two evolved without a lot of interaction between the characters that might have explained why. That kind of thing tripped me up once or twice, but mostly while reading I was happily along for the ride.
Read it if you like dragons and discovery, especially if you have enjoyed the other books in this series and are up for more of the same.
Skip it if a plot with a few gaps, a lot of coincidences, and a healthy dose of unlikely outcomes drives you crazy.