Naturally, I turned this question over to Twitter to see which dragon books people responded to: which were their favorites, how many had they read, and what kind (series vs. standalone)? The answers will astound you readers. At least they astounded me.
There are a disproportionally large number of dragon books out there—so many that this post is going to feature just a few of the books I’ve read with a listing at the end for further dragon reading. There are just far too many books for one post to handle!
The Hobbit is a book I remember reading in high school. It has wizards, elves, strange grassy knolls that double as houses, and weird short folk with crazy curly hair who call themselves Hobbits. I’m pretty short and I do have crazy curly hair, but as much as I’d like to imagine myself as one of Frodo’s distant relations, I don’t relish the idea of having big hairy feet. One of the best parts about this book, though?
It has a DRAGON in it. Smaug is mean and clever with an obsession with gold and jewelry that makes pack rats drool over his hoarding space. He has a wicked temper, but also a dangerous Achilles’ heel that Bilbo and his dwarf pals will use to their advantage.
I won’t spoil it for you because you have to read this one for yourself (and watch the Rankin & Bass animated movie immediately afterward for some catchy tunes and perspective).
Smaug is one bad ass dragon (who breathes fire and will eat you. Probably). He’s also the first in a Suvudu style fan-fight for this Friday’s #DragonFriday event on Twitter!
His Majesty’s Dragon is the first in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. There are currently 6 books out in publication with more to come in the future. I don’t know what I’ll do when this series ends, but saying I’ll be sad is an understatement.
Imagine what the Napoleonic Wars would have been like if parties on both sides added a Dragon Corps to their military ranks. Naval battles, land battles… nothing would quite compare to the awesomeness that is battles between dragons while people are riding them. That has to beat the best roller coaster in the world, right?
But Temeraire is no ordinary dragon (which on this series of posts is ever merely ordinary?). He has all sorts of surprises waiting in store for Laurence as well as new readers.
He’s black, he’s bold, and he has one outrageous sense of propriety that will astound you. He’s also quite the freethinker and political activist.
Carrie Vaughn’s Voices of Dragons is one of those books I’m glad I read, but not one I found not entirely to my taste. She does some interesting things with dragons including separating them from humans and using them and the threat the represent as instruments of fear striking Silver River, Montana and the wider world around them.
Artegal is an inquisitive and rebellious young dragon every bit as eager as Kay to break boundaries and discover new friendships and possibilities. With the bravado of youth they toss away ancient conventions (and the law) to meet in secret: she, improving his English; he, teaching her the histories of dragons and humans.
It’s a thoughtful consideration of the kind of real fear the possibilities of dragons existing would cause. I don’t know about you, but if dragons went around burning villages and eating the neighbors, I’d be kind of freaked out, too.
Don’t worry, Artegal’s a sweetheart. The other dragons? They breathe fire.
Havemercy is a joint effort between writers Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. This was another book I wasn’t too particularly fond of, but it gave me a lot to talk about and that certainly has its merits, too.
Havemercy (or Have, for short) is exactly what the cover images shows: a mechanical dragon. She (not quite sure where the gender comes in, but it’s all in whimsical good fun. Why not a female—am I right, ladies?) is quite the impressive dragon, held together by the mercy of magic and the grease of hard working men like Rook and Royston.
I have to apologize, it’s been too long since I read this, but I do remember being disappointed that we don’t get to see Havemercy (or any of the mechanical dragons) in action. I cannot say for sure whether she breathes fire, but the cover would have me think otherwise, wouldn’t you say?
And now for a listing of all of the marvelous recommendations suggested by others! Some of these I’ve read, some of these I haven’t, but to spare you the minutiae of books that don’t necessary center around dragons, but have a dragon (or dragons) in them, I thought a list would be best. In no particular order and to improve your (and my) dragon lexicon:
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
- The Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
- Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
- The Dragaera books by Steven Brust
- A Fate Worse than Dragons by John Moore
- Dragonlance books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
- Slayers by Hajime Kanzaka
- Xanth by Piers Anthony
- The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind
- The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paoloni
- The Belgariad series by David Eddings
- The Mallorean series by David Eddings
- Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
- The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin
- Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner
- The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey
- A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan (to be released by Tor Books on August 31, 2010)
- Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy
- Dragon Kin series by G. A. Aiken
- Dragondoom by Dennis L. McKiernan
- Dragonworld by Byron Preiss, Michael Reaves and Joseph Zucker
- Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
- Assassin trilogy by Robin Hobb
- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
The list doesn’t look nearly long enough. Do you have any favorites I forgot to add? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you to everyone who helped me with suggestions with this and the previous dragon posts. It’s been a lot of fun reminiscing about some of the movies and shows I enjoyed watching as a kid. I guess dragons have the kind of magic that takes me back to my childhood, no matter what age I am.
Suggestions for the next Discussion post (or series of Discussion posts) are welcome!