Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the fifth and final installment in the memoirs of Baroness Isabella Trent, quasi-Victorian adventuress and scholar of dragonkind. Author Marie Brennan not only “documents” Lady Trent and Lord Suhail Trent’s latest quest for a reported new dragon, in the difficult to access mountains of a hostile country, but also often provides historical artifacts for readers to examine at her events. Marie’s Varekai novella, Cold-Forged Flame, released last fall, tells of a supernatural being manifesting as a woman who responds to a boundless clarion call of need -- an archon named Ree Varekai.
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent--dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field.
And yet--after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia--the 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.
Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.
As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
She comes into existence atop a flat, rough slab of stone. She has no memory. She is not alone, and is bound to a task they set. She sets off on an unexplained quest which she feels she needs to complete. Along the way, the obstacles will continue to grow, and the final choice will be the biggest sacrifice.