Obsessed with Dragons20th March 2023
We all know the sweet agony of finishing a new book in a series and then realising we'll have to wait a year until the next one is published... Well, for me the book that I've been waiting for is A Day of Fallen Night, and it finally published last week! It's been in my diary to look out for it since I was blown away by the first in the series The Priory of the Orange Tree, an 800+ page epic fantasy novel that centres around the thing that I've always been most obsessed with... Dragons!
Dragons have always been a fascinating subject for me. I love to get lost in the fantasy worlds and have been travelling to these realms since I was a child. Everyone thought I would grow out of my obsession with these fantasy worlds and that it was just a phase; which is partly true because I have evolved from the ‘vampires and werewolves' phase of my life. But dragons have always stayed at the forefront of my mind.
I’ve researched dragons and they have always been a big deal, making appearances in myths and folklore since the time of the ancient Sumerians. But nobody can really pinpoint where or when they came from. Some think they were an attempt to explain early whale or dinosaur bones. Some think that lizards or crocodiles may have been mistaken for them. Others believe that they simply represent our fear of great predators. But for many dragons satisfy our fascination with power. Who wouldn’t want to see a huge flying beast release a torrent of flames, or manipulate other elements with their magical and ancient powers?
Below are some of my favourite dragon tales that I have read through the years that have kept my inner dragon fire alight, and I’m sure will ignite that fire within you too!
That's not my dragon--
For ages: 1+
I didn’t have this read to me as a child as it was only published in 2011, however I have had the pleasure of reading this out loud to my nephew who is just over 2 years old now and these are a great start to get them appreciating books.
The dragon is less scary and more cuddly for the younger eyes and the fact that they are touchy-feely books really helps them engage and keeps their attention on the shapes and colours. You can still make the dragon noises if you wish, but that is more to entertain yourself!More Details
For ages: 4+
Not really your conventional dragon but it was good enough for me when I was growing up. The poems are ones that get stuck in your head, with fun new nonsensical words to learn. Lewis Carroll gives great details about the appearance of this monster, but it feels like something is missing - like he is holding on to that last piece of the puzzle so our imaginations can fill in the gaps.
Just writing about Jabberwocky makes me feel so nostalgic for this iconic introduction to dragons and monsters and I cannot wait to read this to my nephew in the coming years.More Details
How to train your dragon
For ages: 8+
With amazing illustrations to bring this book to life you can really start to understand what the fascination is with these amazing creatures. (Warning: the illustrations are nothing like the DreamWorks film animations!)
How to Train Your Dragon would be a great start to show how misunderstood Dragons can be from their frightful exteriors and fiery attributes. As for the human characters, it is refreshing to have a hero who uses his wits instead of relying on brute strength during his new adventures – which goes against most hero stereotypes.More Details
For ages: 11+
Time to throw yourself into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. When you think your life is as normal as it could be… bam, here is a dragon egg! I must admit I did do this the wrong way round and watched the film first, I can tell you that the book is so much better. The world that Paolini has created is a magical escape from reality and lucky for us he carried on the series, which are all as good as this first adventure.
Brimming with twists and turns and the characters pulling at your emotions, what more could you want from a book?
Harry Potter and the goblet of fire
Rowling, J. K.
For ages: 11+
The fourth adventure in the spellbinding Harry Potter saga, how could I not love this one the most, it has dragons, magic, Death Eaters and Merpeople! It does say 11+ years but even now as an adult I love to get lost in this magical world, it will never grow old on me and there is a whole Potterverse out there of people who think alike. I feel like this is the book where Harry steps up and becomes a man with with the trials he must face (here are the dragons!), and the ending in the graveyard (no spoilers!). It all really pushes him to think for himself without his trusted best friends beside him like they have been for the duration of the series so far.More Details
The hobbit, or, There and back again
Tolkien, J. R. R.
For ages: 12+
One of my personal favourites and a timeless classic that I could read over and over again, each time feeling the same rollercoaster of emotions as I travel across middle earth with the brave band of Dwarves. I feel like this book will never go out of style having first been published in 1937 and winning awards from the get-go, it will always be cherished. The age rating for the book (and films) is 12, however this is a treat for children and adults alike. Reading this will expand your horizons and your vocabulary, and there is plenty more adventure as you progress to the Lord of the Rings.More Details
For ages: 13+
Dragons and romance, what could possibly go wrong? I read this when I was a teenager, yet the storyline has stayed with me. I haven’t yet read the next books in the series, but they are on my wish list! As a teenager restricted by rules and desperately wanting to be free of them, the main character, Ember, was so relatable, (apart from the whole turning into a dragon part). The romance side of this book evokes a modern twisted version of Romeo and Juliet both from warring sides, and swoon-worthy moments. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series to see which magical direction Julie Kagawa will take these characters in the remaining books.More Details
A game of thrones
Martin, George R.R.
For ages: Adult
I was hooked in a few pages, and could not wait to get my hands on the full series, A Song of Ice and Fire. I made it a mission to read all the books before embarking on the TV series, which I am glad I did as the series can be very confusing to get your head around at first with the timescales and the different countries. The writing style is not to everyone's taste, but George RR Martin is a magician with his words and makes the dragons seem like they could really be alive with all the detail and the intricate history of their existence. This series may span thousands of pages in total, but I’ll never regret the time I invested in these!More Details
The priory of the orange tree
For ages: Adult
This is the latest book that I have had the pleasure of reading, I had put it off because it looks so daunting with its 800+ pages! The cover art drew me in, and it was read within 3 days. I always take it with a pinch of salt when people say that they couldn’t put their book down, but this was definitely true here. The way that Samantha Shannon writes about the characters and the dragons has them flying off the pages. It is a typical good vs evil battle but with romance and royals thrown into the mix. As I said at the beginning of this blog, I can't wait to read the second novel in the series which has just published, A Day of Fallen Night - I hope I’ll fall in love with this, just as I have in the first book.More Details
If you have any dragon related titles that you would like to share back with me, please send in an email or interact on social media and I will gladly give them a read!
Jess – Content Selection Team (and Dragon Obsessive)