Today, January 16th, is Appreciate a Dragon Day. Apparently the author Donita K Paul started this day back in 2004 to celebrate the release of her book Dragonspell. I will confess that I have never read this particular dragon book, but in Donita’s honor for starting this wonderful day, I have added it to my TBR list. I discovered the day a few years ago and have celebrated it ever since, although I have expanded it to the whole of January being Appreciate a Dragon Month. During the month I have all of my dragons and dragon books out on display in the library and have dragon activities for the kids to enjoy. So for my post today I want to share with you some of my favorite dragons and dragon books.
1. Smaug from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Smaug, I think, was the first dragon I ever came across in a book. I just loved the thought of him lying on all of that gold and talking to Bilbo. And then how scary he was when he flew out to destroy Lake Town. Although I didn’t like the movie on the whole, I did like Smaug and Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice! Smaug is the one that started my love affair with dragons.
2. The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McGaffrey
This series is my next favorite about dragons. I discovered it in high school and it was the first series I encountered where the dragons worked with people not against them. I so wanted a dragon of my own that I could ride around on! And then later on in the series there are little dragons that everyone keeps as pets! How adorable! (I think they first show up in The White Dragon) So, if I couldn’t ride one maybe I could get one as a pet, yeah! There are lots of books in the series, I never did read them all, and I believe her son is continuing to write them. If you love dragons and have never read them, I highly recommend this series.
Onto more recent dragon books
3. The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston
Even though the dragons in this book are evil, mindless beasts, I really like it. The story was fresh and exciting. Johnston wove dragons throughout our history in such a way that you could almost believe that dragons caused WWII. I also loved the character of Siobhan McQuaid, a bard, a gifted musician, who tells Owen’s story. She was a great narrator, who was torn between her music and her friendship with Owen. I also liked the fact that there was no romance between Owen and Siobhan, just a wonderful friendship. The scenes where they are fighting the dragons are also well done. I don’t think this book received the attention it deserved when it was published, so I talk it up whenever I can. Plus, don’t you just love the cover! It is a must read for dragon lovers anywhere.
4. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Now technically Seraphina is not a true dragon, she is half human, half dragon, but there are lots of true dragons in the story. This I think is the first book I read where dragons could take human form and interact with humans. I loved the world that Ms Hartman created here with the politics of living with dragons and with the dragons sort of being autistic in their human forms. I like how Seraphina had to teach her Uncle how to behave like a human and explain emotions to him. I also enjoyed watching Seraphina find and help the other half dragons in her world. Truly a unique fantasy world with some very unique characters.
5. A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder
This book is for Tween dragon lovers, but I think older readers will appreciate it to. It is very humorous and charmingly whimsical. Who wouldn’t want their very own dragon to have tea and go on adventures with . All told from the dragon’s point of view it is a very lighthearted look at how humans and dragon’s interact. So far there are two books in the series, but I’m hoping for more.
I could go on forever about dragon books. There are so many good ones out there, but I will save a few for another time. Have you read any good dragon books lately? Let me know, I’m always looking for good ones.