I’ll refer you back to my previous comments about needing a bit of a breather after reading The Vegetarian, and what better way than with Marie Brennan’s Darwin genderswap mind candy? I mean, it’s a superior sort of mind candy, certainly, but it’s exactly the sort of world you can sink into without having to challenge yourself to analyse every detail, should you so wish. And I so wished.
One note here though for when I finish this series (the final volume is due out next year, I believe), and that is to consider exactly what the point of making this a secondary world was. Things so obviously parallel our own Earth in the late 19th century (Basilisk the ship is obviously based on the Beagle, and the book is essentially ‘Dragons in Polynesia’ while Drakes is ‘Dragons in Arabia’) that, dragons aside, you do start to question what the point was. Why not just alternate history? I have inklings in that direction, but as these were summer reading I’m going to shamelessly abdicate any further deepthinks until a later date.