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Turning Darkness Into Light

av Marie Brennan

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Lady Trent's Memoirs (6)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
15212138,662 (4.31)14
Marie Brennan'sTurning Darkness Into Light is a delightful fantasy of manners, the heir to the award-winning Natural History of Dragons series, a perfect stepping stone into an alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape. "Overwhelmingly fun."--io9onThe Tropic of Serpents As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study. When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it's too late.… (mer)
  1. 10
    Tess of the Road av Rachel Hartman (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Young women who can't quite live up to the family they are carrying around inside their heads. The reasons are different, but the battle is somewhat similar.
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Series Info/Source: This is the 6th book in A Natural History of Dragons series (aka The Memoirs of Lady Trent). I got this as an audiobook through Audible.

Audiobook Quality (5/5): The audiobook was a joy to listen to and very well done. I would strongly recommend listening to this on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks.

Story (4/5): This was a well done story set in the same world as the Memoirs of Lady Trent. The story follows Audrey (Lady Trent's granddaughter) as she works with one of the dragonkin (Kudshayn) to decipher an ancient draconic text that reveals many life changing facts about the past relationship between dragons and humans. Of course, things aren't completely straight-forward and it seems there is a conspiracy afoot as well. The story alternates between Audrey and Kudshayn and their lives and the reading of the ancient text itself. This was very well done and I enjoyed it. Some of the parts where the ancient draconic text is being read is a bit long.

Characters (4/5): I absolutely loved both Audrey and Kudshayn, they were fun characters to get to know and I loved learning their background. Both are intelligent and hardworking. The “evil” characters were just as well done, everyone was well filled out and had a lot of depth.

Setting (5/5): The setting in this series is amazing. It’s a very Victorian London type of world but where dragons exist and have recently become a part of daily life. The world-building is very well done and incredibly well filled out. We don’t get to adventure around like we did in the Lady Trent books but I still really enjoy the world. Brennan is an amazing world-builder.

Writing Style (4/5): The writing was well done and easy to follow. The sections of the ancient text are written in a much more formal style and I didn’t enjoy these parts as much because they were so dry...however, the different styles the book was written in were masterfully done. It was very well written.

My Summary (4.5/5): Overall I really liked this and would recommend if you are a fan of the Lady Trent series. I am not sure this would work well as a stand alone book because there's a lot of background that's needed from the Lady Trent series to fully appreciate the story. There is some amazing world-building in here and I really enjoyed the characters. I did miss all the adventure from the first books but was still very happy to have read this and would recommend it. ( )
  krau0098 | Sep 17, 2020 |
Really excellent. Highly recommended- but read the other books in the series first. ( )
  elenaj | Jul 31, 2020 |
Audrey Camherst feels the weight of family expectations: her parents are both brilliant, and her grandparents are world-famous for scientific, archaeological, and linguistic discoveries -- particularly her grandmother, Lady Trent. When a cache of Draconean tablets comes to light and Audrey is asked to translate them, she jumps at the chance. With the help of her friend and fellow scholar, the Draconean Kudshayn, Audrey sets to work. But there are many things she doesn't know, including why she is the one who has been asked to do this work, and what effect the translation may have on society.

I absolutely loved Brennan's Lady Trent series, so was thrilled to get my hands on this one. It's not quite as high-stakes as the earlier series -- no matter how you spin it, translating texts in the library of a secluded country estate is not going to be as exciting to the reader as hacking through the rain forest or sailing around the world in search of new dragon species. And, though there were some tense moments, especially toward the end, the pacing of this book was fairly leisurely. However, the characters were just as delightful and complex, and Lady Trent does make a couple of appearances in the story. If you enjoyed the original series, you should take a look at this book. I'd recommend reading the earlier books first if you're new to the lot, because though this one probably stands alone fairly well, why would you want to miss out on all of the delights awaiting you in Lady Trent's memoirs? ( )
  foggidawn | Jun 25, 2020 |
I started reading this when I'd only read two of the Lady Trent books. Which means a major spoiler or two - I knew several things Lady Trent had discovered, before I read about them in her own series. I stopped in the middle of this book to read the rest of the first series, to prevent more such spoilers. It's less interesting to me than Lady Trent - this is a combo mystery and coming-of-age story. Lady Trent's granddaughter is given the opportunity to translate a series of Draconean tablets, and discovers 1) an amazing story (which breaks a lot of the foundations of people's beliefs) and 2) fraud, chicanery, trickery and treachery. As she comments, if they hadn't tried so hard to cover their tracks she would have had a lot less to work with. There's also a rather sickly romance tangled in all this - I was very glad it did not end up the way I was afraid it was heading, with her realizing the _depth_ of his _love_ and falling into his arms... Better ending than that, on multiple levels. It's not a bad story, but not a favorite. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | May 13, 2020 |
By chance, [b:The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist's Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion|45045474|The Cure for Hate A Former White Supremacist's Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion|Tony McAleer|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1563766018l/45045474._SX50_.jpg|69747683] finally came up on my library holds just a few days after an impulse purchase of [b:Turning Darkness Into Light|41555968|Turning Darkness Into Light|Marie Brennan|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1541422614l/41555968._SY75_.jpg|64836455], so I read them within a day of each other. They both are about overcoming hatred and divisions in a time of increasing violent extremism, though one is a fantasy novel and one is a memoir, so they bounced off each other in interesting ways.

Turning Darkness Into Light was first, a standalone continuation of the Lady Trent series (beginning with [b:A Natural History of Dragons|12974372|A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #1)|Marie Brennan|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1359770409l/12974372._SX50_.jpg|18132937]). Those books were all about tolerance, beginning with the trials of a young woman with a scientific mind living in a Victorian-like society where she is supposed to make an advantageous marriage and have lots of babies. That series gradually broadened the horizons of empathy and acceptance, from women's rights to class issues to xenophobia and racism, until our heroine must arrange an understanding between (some) humans and a humanoid and civilized dragon-like species in the last novel. )

It is now decades in the future, and Lady Trent's granddaughter, Audrey, a young and very capable philologist with an emphasis on draconean translations, has been hired to translate a newly discovered set of ancient plaques that appear to be the draconean's founding myth. Hijinks ensue, because of course, and it turns out that there is a conspiracy among a few sects of humans who are essentially human supremacists, willing to use violence to maintain the segregation between species and assert the right of humans to dominate and control the draconeans, through any means necessary. In 21st century speak: they want to spark a race war.

Audrey is a very believable heroine, and of course Isabella makes an appearance or two. There is less gallivanting in this novel--most of it takes place in one house--but it expands on the theme of acceptance of difference and defence of universal rights begun in the first series. It is recognizably more modern, and some of the dialogue from the human supremacists could be lifted with very few changes from a Heritage Front website.

It was utterly engrossing, well-plotted and -paced, and well written.

And then the next day I read [b:The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist's Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion|45045474|The Cure for Hate A Former White Supremacist's Journey from Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion|Tony McAleer|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1563766018l/45045474._SX50_.jpg|69747683], the memoir of a Canadian who is radicalized as a Vancouver teen, progressing from the new skinhead subculture through to a very public leadership position in various white supremacist organizations, and who then ... leaves. Only he doesn't just leave. He does very substantial work over a number of years to fully understand the harm of what he's done, make meaningful apologies, atone, and then dedicate his life to helping others leave violent extremist groups and assisting the populations and communities they target.

It, too, was completely engrossing. I couldn't put it down and finished it in a few hours. The writing wasn't the most polished I've come across, and at times the storytelling felt a bit scattered and disorganized, but overall it comes together in an encouraging and hopeful story about repentance, change and redemption.

There's only one substantial point I disagree with the author on, and it's his argument that hate speech laws etc. serve to drive the speech and actions underground where, he says, it becomes impossible to discuss and dispel them, and he says this makes hate groups and their actions stronger. But his own story belies this (not to mention the research showing how properly-enforced hate speech regulations make it much more difficult for hate groups to recruit and radicalize potential members): if it weren't for the social and professional consequences of his actions, the possibility of jail time, the increasing penalties placed on his own hate speech, etc., what would have been the incentive for him to leave those groups behind? Yes, his children brought to him the possibility of unconditional love and opening his heart again; but it's also the knowledge that his actions potentially harm his children and their prospects that encourages him to think again. Yes, his encounter with a formerly-Jewish person who hears his story of his skinhead and white supremacist years with forgiveness and compassion is clearly a significant turning point; but without the social and professional consequences of his hate actions, what would have impelled him to have that conversation?

Not to mention the fact that as a white man he's never had to have the "debates" about his own rights and humanity, not just in person but broadcast on television and the internet, and the recaps of those debates in the press, ad nauseum, and the way they suffuse the entire culture so you never know when you're meeting or talking to someone if they think you're a person or not, so he doesn't know the harm that having those debates and conversations in public can cause. Which is ironic, because he does discuss at length in other parts of the book the toxic shame that results from membership in a group that is routinely discriminated against. Well, where does that come from?

In Turning Darkness Into Light, Audrey's former love interest, Aaron, is an irritating and interesting young man of a type that will be known to many women reading this: Extremely smart. Charming. Good conversationalist. Flattering. Pays attention and treats your opinions with respect. But also steals your ideas and takes credit for them, never acknowledges or apologizes for what he's done, and when you get to know him better, has some pretty appalling opinions about other demographics. Kind of like Tony McAleer portrays himself in the memoir, though I doubt he ever did much to hide his opinions on other races when he met women as a young man. In the novel, Aaron is brilliant, attentive, charming, funny, adventurous ... and he steals Audrey's work and belongs to one of the less-violent anti-draconean factions. Kind of like Tony in his respectable white-supremacist-businessman phase, he doesn't dole out the bloodshed, but he does promote hatred. (This is all back-story to the novel, by the way; Audrey recaps it almost as soon as Aaron is introduced, so these actions are not part of this novel. No spoilers!)

And Audrey does not scorch and salt the earth of their former relationship. She makes it clear that she finds the views repugnant, but leaves the door open for him to re-enter her life if he changes those views. Normally, I would take a pretty dim view of that decision: of course he's never going to change! But it's hard to be so certain on the heels of The Cure for Hate.

I highly recommend both books, and think they make a great pair to read together, particularly with violent extremism and far-right politics on the rise in so many places. There's a lot of good and a lot of hope to get from each. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Marie Brennanprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Lockwood, ToddOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Marie Brennan'sTurning Darkness Into Light is a delightful fantasy of manners, the heir to the award-winning Natural History of Dragons series, a perfect stepping stone into an alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape. "Overwhelmingly fun."--io9onThe Tropic of Serpents As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study. When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it's too late.

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