"Turning Darkness into Light" Can’t Find the Switch

Turning Darkness into Light had all the right pieces – a fantasy Victorian world, where the heroes are linguists, archeologists, and historians. Also an ancient dragon-like creatures that have been recently discovered. It should have been amazing. And, perhaps if I’d started at the beginning of the series, the phenomenally reviewed A Natural History of Dragons, it would have made more sense.

As it is, Turning Darkness into Light is a stand-alone novel in the same world. It follows Audrey Camherst in her attempt to translate newly discovered ancient draconic texts. Audrey has something of a legacy to live up to. She is the granddaughter of a famous (or notorious, depending on who you ask) Draconic memorialist. But she has plenty of help in her quest for fame and renown. She is assisted by her Draconean friend Kudshayn and the niece of the person who discovered the texts, Cora.

Author Marie Brennan chose to show the story through a series of diary entries, newspaper clippings, and personal letters, with rapidly changing points of view. The result is jarring, and, combined with an already unfamiliar world, prevented me from relaxing into the story.

That being said, I have high hopes for A Natural History of Dragons and will hopefully it will be in the 2020 reading stack.