Dragons are nearly universal, with practically every culture on Earth offering some kind of variant on these familiar beasts. Long after we’ve ceased to believe in them, these scaly monstrosities continue to exert a strong hold on the imagination, appearing in our games, movies, and of course, our books. If you’re looking to put a little fire in your reading list, we know just where to start. (Looking for suggestions for younger readers? Check out this list on Brightly!)
Dragons and politics are a volatile mixture in writer/illustrator Todd Lockwood’s first fantasy novel, The Summer Dragon. It is a time of war, and Maia and her family are busy breeding and raising dragons: the only creatures who can defeat the monstrous thralls of the enemy. Maia’s peaceful valley may be far from the front line, but the appearance of a Summer Dragon threatens to bring it to her front door. The beautiful beast is considered by many to be an omen, and the realm’s political players are all hoping to use it to advance their own agendas.
Dragonflight, volume one of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, introduces her beautifully realized world of Pern, the alien threat that might destroy it, and the psychically linked dragonriders who stand between them. Combining science fiction and fantasy, Dragonflight is a testament to the unique vision of its late author, and a must for every dragon lover.
English naval captain Will Laurence trades the seas for the skies after bonding with a young dragon, the ultimate weapon in this alternative history tale of the Napoleonic Wars. Drafted into the elite ranks of the Aerial Corps, he and the dragon Temeraire will be expected to prove themselves in the fiery, high altitude world of mounted dragon combat.
Red, green, blue, or black. No matter what a dragon’s color, its blood can be harvested and used by the Blood-Blessed: people with wondrous powers fueled by this rarest of commodities. The dragons are getting weaker, though, and unless a new supply is found, the era of the Blood-Blessed will soon be over. Fearing the political instability that could erupt in its absence, the powers-that-be send an agent into the wilds in search of a replacement.
In a world of warlords and dragon slayers, newly crowned Prince Rohan is neither. His hope is to bring a permanent peace to his realm, and preserve the lives of its last remaining dragons — goals that are not entirely in alignment with those around him. But he knows something they don’t: Their fates, and that of the dragons, are intertwined. Sioned, the witch fated to marry Rohan, knows this and much more besides, but will that prevent war from engulfing their land?
300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History)
George R. R. Martin
As exciting as it is, George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is the tail-end of a story that began centuries ago. Long before the Lannisters took the throne, a dynasty of dragon lords clutched it tight with an iron grip. The Targaryens were the only family to survive the Doom of Valyria, and their arrival on the shores of Westeros would leave it forever changed. Fire and Blood is a deep dive into the history of the Targaryens, their dragons, and their ancient homeland. (Release Date: 11/20/2018)