~Posted by Jenny C.
Oh, Dragons! How do I even begin?
And my friend Misha’s post captured three of my all time favorite dragon fantasies: Temeraire, (Master and Commander with dragons), Tooth and Claw, (Dickensian succession drama) and A Natural History of Dragons. The good news there is that Voyage of the Basilisk has just come out, and continues Lady’s Trent’s captivating alt-Victorian memoirs in high style, this time studying sea serpents.
While dragon stories all exhibit a certain fascination with the giant flying reptiles, each one tackles the beauty and horror with a new, free imagination. I think dragons are more pliable that way for being fantasy beasts; it would be difficult to sell a wise old dinosaur, and yet sage and peace loving dragons abound.
That is not, however, what you find in The Story of Owen, Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, a dragon slaying ballad at once steeped in ancient tradition and written for the new millennium. Their dragons are carbon eaters, vicious, and bent on laying waste to the Canadian wilds. It’s a book about the environment and the collapse of rural society, and dragons. It’s also a satisfyingly drama-free teen book.
Shadow Scale is the other most notable new teen dragon book, the sequel and end of the Seraphina story. These dragons are similarly warlike, but steeped in logic and lacking emotion. It’s like crossing a Vulcan with a shape changing lizard, and setting it down in a saints-obsessed medieval society. Now imagine the half-human child of such a union, if you can. It’s a strangely intoxicating blend, with a heroine of great compassion and power.
In Moth and Spark, the dragons drop into the unsuspecting mind of a prince and both court intrigue and romance follow as he tries to collect his memories and separate his thoughts from their control. Then there’s the Hurog Duology by Patricia Briggs, where Ward must save his kingdom by returning the dragons to life. Both are excellent epic fantasies with great characters and whirlwind plots.
But if you’re in the mood for those wonderful dragon stories of childhood, Dealing with Dragons is still easily found. Add to that Jessica Day George’s magical Dragon Slippers series, about a girl with a talent for sewing and knack for trouble. Don’t forget Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, The Reluctant Dragon, The Hobbit and The Hero and the Crown.
And keep in mind that Dragons Love Tacos, too.