“Dragon Fantasy”: (def) Fantasy novels which contain a dragon/s as a main protagonist or major element in the plot.
Dragons have long appeared in fantasy writing. Often they are awe-inspiring, mythical, greedy, carnivorous beasts to be feared ‘lest they eat you alive’ or background players in a larger plot (Hello Smaug!). But novels where dragons take centre stage are on the rise, and we have selected a few where you can really appreciate the intelligence, and in some cases, cunning, of our scaly friends:
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and dragons who fold themselves into a human form. The uneasy peace between the two races is threatened when a member of the royal family is murdered, and a dragon appears to be responsible.
Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace in Goredd for good, finds herself caught desperately in the middle of the tension.
For Seraphina hides a secret – the secret behind her musical gift – and if she is found out, her life is in serious danger . . .
Other books in the Seraphina series: Shadowscale
Talon by Julie Kagawa: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragonslayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Other books in the Talon series: Rogue
Eragon by Christopher Paolini: When Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands…
Other books in the Inheritance series (in order): Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance
The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb: Long ago the powerful blue dragon Tintaglia aided the people of the Trader cities, staving off an invasion by their enemies, bringing other dragons to their ancient cocooning grounds in the Rain Wilds. The people are fascinated by the return of the dragons: it is as if they symbolise the return of hope to their war-torn world. However the new hatchlings are born weak and flightless, deformed by a river turned toxic. If neglected, the creatures will die and so an epic journey begins to the legendary Elderling city of Kelsingra – a place the dragons can call home.
But they cannot get there on their own: a band of dragon keepers, hunters and chroniclers must attend them.
To be a dragon keeper is a dangerous job: their charges are vicious and unpredictable, and there are many unknown perils: none are expected to return, or even survive…
Other books in the Rain Wilds Chronicles (in order): Dragon Haven, City of Dragons, Blood of Dragons
Eon by Alison Goodman: Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, candidate Eon is training to become a Dragoneye – a powerful lord able to master wind and water to protect the land. But Eon also harbours a desperate secret – Eon is, in fact, Eona, a young woman who has endured years of disguise as a boy for the chance to practise the Dragoneye’s art. In a world where women are only hidden wives or servants, Eona’s dangerous deception is punishable by death.
Still in disguise, Eona’s unprecedented talent thrusts her into the centre of a lethal struggle for the Imperial throne. Summoned by the Emperor to the opulent and teacherous court, Eona must learn to trust her power and find the strength to face a vicious enemy who would seize her magic and her life.
Other books in the Eon series: Eona
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik: When the HMS Reliant captures a French ship and its priceless cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, Captain Will Laurence is swept into an unexpected kinship with an extraordinary creature and joins the elite Aerial Corps as a master of the dragon Temaraire, in which role he must match wits with the powerful dragon-borne forces of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Other books in the Temeraire series (in order): Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, Blood of Tyrants
Know of a great Dragon Fantasy series, or novel, that we haven’t listed here? Let us know in the comments!