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The Book of Dragons

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  363 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Kate Elliott, Ken Liu, Todd McCaffrey, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, and other modern masters of fantasy and science fiction put their unique spin on the greatest of mythical beasts — the dragon — in never-before-seen works written exclusively for this fantasy anthology compiled by award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan and with art by Rovina Cai!

Hardcover, First US Edition, 576 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Harper Voyager (first published June 25th 2020)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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There were actually two reasons I added this anthology to my tbr - the first being obviously dragons, I’m obsessed with these fantasy creatures and reading so many stories featuring them was exciting; the second reason being R. F. Kuang was going to write a short story for it.

I was thrilled when I got approved for the ARC. But when I started reading it, I wasn’t as enamored because so many of the stories in the first half just felt okay. But as the book went on, I really came to enjoy the stori
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Taken as a whole, this is one of the best anthologies I've read. Most collections are mixed, and this one does have a few stories I didn't care for, but those were the clear exception to what is, for the most part, an excellent anthology.

"What Heroism Tells Us" by Jane Yolen (No Rating) -
Since I am not someone who reads or appreciates poetry, I won't be rating most of the poems in this anthology.

"Matriculation" by Elle Katharine White  4.5/5 - I loved this one. My sole complaint is that it rea
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love short story anthologies. I’m hardly one to shy away from big, sprawling epics, but it’s great having things that can be started and finished over breakfast. I love getting bite-sized stories from favorite authors. I love getting to sample stories from authors I’m curious about but never quite got around to picking up. I love reading stories from writers I’ve never heard of but am certainly going to look into now.

I also love dragons, as all right-thinking people do. Accusations of them bei
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
John Strahan never let me down with anthologies, and I had high expectations for this one featuring dragons. All 23 stories spread over 550 pages were original for the anthology, and the author lineup is exceptional - my expectation went through the roof when I saw some favorite authors like Ken Liu, K.J. Parker, Michael Swanwick, Patricia A. McKillip, and Scott Lynch. Just look at that list, and you’ll find surely some of your first rate authors, as well. 
Other than the usual anthology which gi
Mel (Epic Reading)
Feb 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
Illustrated!! I love anthologies, and tend to get them in hardcover (I rarely buy HC) so that if one day I meet any of the amazing authors I can get them to sign it. Only got 7 anthologies in HC and 0 signatures. That’s pretty good right? 😂
This sounds wonderful!!
Caidyn (he/him/his)
I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!


Overall, a pretty average collection. I felt as if there were more meh ones than ones I loved. There was also a lot of poetry which, as you'll find, is not for me. I'm not big on poetry at all. My favorite stories were the ones by R.F. Kuang, Sarah Gailey, Seanan McGuire, Ellen Klages, and Scott Lynch!

🐉 What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen

This was an interesting way to start the collection since it's a very short poem. Beau
Jan 08, 2020 marked it as to-read
You just live your life and then a bomb gets dropped and it’s this anthology. I still can’t believe this is happening and I’m excited 🤯
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Aliens, demons, witches and DRAGONS! Dragons everywhere! What else do you want?!
These are my ratings for each story or poem:

“What Heroism Tells Us,” Jane Yolen: 3 stars
“Matriculation,” Elle Katharine White: 3.5 stars
“Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage,” Zen Cho: I couldn't finish it: DNF
“Yuli,” Daniel Abraham: 4 stars
“A Whisper of Blue,” Ken Liu: 4.5
“Nidhog,” Jo Walton: 4
“Where the River Turns to Concrete,” Brooke Bolander: 4.5
“Habitat,” K. J. Parker: 3.5
“Pox,” Ellen Klages: 2.5
A fantastic anthology, with many strong stories:

-“What Heroism Tells Us,” Jane Yolen: Poetry mostly leaves me cold, so nothing really to say about this.

-“Matriculation,” Elle Katharine White: 4.5 stars. I loved this world and would love to see more of it. And that dragon! Part mechanical, part alchemical, totally wonderful!

-“Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage,” Zen Cho: 4 stars. Amusing, and a little irreverent. And I loved how neatly Sri Kemboja maneuvered around her older brothe
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
*3.5 stars*

⁣"The Book of Dragons" is an anthology of stories and poems from so many wonderful authors. Each author took the topic of dragons and made it their own, with varied descriptions, themes, and writing styles. I don’t read much fantasy anymore so this was a treat since I got to experience so many different authors. I loved the little drawings throughout the novel and I’m definitely obsessed with that cover too! As most anthologies or collections are, this one is a mixed bag with some tha
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
Jan 30, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maraya21 by: Mark
Shelves: _added-in-2020
When your favourite BØÏ Mark recs you something personally, how can you not read it?! ♥♥♥
(Also D R A G O N S 😂)
Blodeuedd Finland
As all anthologies, there are bad ones, there are good ones, there are meh ones. Sadly most fell in the meh or bad ones.

Some stories just felt like the began and ended and was a part of something bigger, and not in a good way. The good one got the short story format right.

Poetry, yeah not in audio. Def not

Favorites were Pox by Ellen Klages, Nine Curves river by RF Kuang, Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill,Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle, The Long Walk by Kate Elliott, Hoard by Seanan McGui
Violet Stone
I will be updating this review as I finish each short story and rate them individually. The only ones I will not be reviewing are the poems.

The poems:
1) What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen
2) Nidhog by Jo Walton


1) Matriculation by Elle Katharine White - 2.5/5 Stars
- Well, that was depressing*see spoiler
It didn't really feel like a dragon story. Yes, there was a metal steampunk "dragon" but it didn't feel like the story was about it. Not really. It was about Melee, trying to get into sch
The Nerd Daily
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Anuska G

Whether it’s imagining yourself charging into battle astride a mighty beast or daydreaming about flying through the clouds on the back of a peaceful one, who hasn’t wished to befriend a dragon? The Book of Dragons, edited by Jonathan Strahan, is a dragon lover’s dream.

The collection contains twenty nine stories and poems by some of the greatest modern fantasy authors, featuring dragons from different myths and cultures around the world,
Nov 14, 2019 marked it as to-read
"nearly thirty stories and poems" about dragons "and illustrated" with dragons omg guys this is everything I always knew I needed

and the lineup of authors?? excellent

this is going to be so good I'm SO EXCITED
Meg Pontecorvo
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Many of these stories are so “creative” about how dragons are portrayed that some readers may feel cheated (and find themselves, even three-quarters of the way through a story, wondering “where is the dragon?” or at least feeling a strong sense of anticlimax about how the author reinterpreted the convention). Thus, the strongest stories here are, oddly, the ones that hew closest to the convention. The Kate Elliott and Michael Swanwick stories are especially fine and inventive (without having to ...more
Beth Cato
Feb 28, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Not a review. Includes my poem "I Make Myself a Dragon." ...more
Mini Rather Random Reviews™️

Matriculation by Elle Katharine White: 2 ⭐️
Ridiculously short synopsis: A new school year is about to start. It is time to go look for the various textbooks. And the price will be bloody.
TW: blood, grief
Ridiculously short personal comment: Listen, I ain’t gonna lie. This first short story in an anthology that should be centered around dragons, surely did not have enough dragons. There were vampires and there was grief and there was mess and there was confusion. Bu
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The beings commonly called dragons are a peculiar cross dimensional entity. They can a variety of physical forms, given sufficient raw material to do so, including the classical winged reptileian, but also that of a man or woman,"

When you think of the fantasy genre the first thing that comes to mind I'm sure are mythical creatures i.e. dragons! The legend and myth of Dragons have captured our imagination since the beginning of time. They have been embedded into cultures all across the world fro
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy for review - you certainly get bang for buck in this huge compilation of dragon tales.

Let me start by lauding the absolutely rad diversity in these stories - the representation amongst writers AND plotwise. There are plenty of female authors, and there's even a queer nonbinary writer from Singapore in here. It was awesome, and made for even more creatively-varied stories. The diversity even came with some inclusions in poem form. There are feminist st
April Sarah
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy
*ARC received from Netgalley in return for an honest review*
This is such an interesting collection of stories and poems all about dragons. Each piece follows it's own take on dragon lore which made the pace of this read quick and enjoyable. Sometimes dragons were mere beast, sometimes they had a wisdom and intelligence man can only dream of. They took place in the past, in the present, and in the future. All of the stories left you wondering about a little part of humanity and how we treat and v
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Anthologies aren't really my thing, and dragons aren't really my thing. So why pick up The Book of Dragons, you ask? Simple, fantasy is my thing, and this book includes short stories written by some of my favorite fantasy authors - R.F. Kuang and Garth Nix among them. In the process of making my way through the anthology, I discovered a lot of familiar names whose books I've yet to read - but whose writing hooked me and made me want longer stories (including Seanan McGuire and Sarah Gailey).

Jan 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: dragons

Then note, "ILLUSTRATED"

If this book is not now on your tbr GET OUTTA HERE
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

Overall this is a great collection of stories. What most impressed me about the collection as a whole was the sheer variety of genres, styles, and dragon types collected here. Usually when you have a genre/theme based anthology you get at least two or three stories similar enough that they are a little hard to distinguish between after you put the book down. No two dragons are quite alike, either, across the 23 stor
Micah Hall
Nov 26, 2020 rated it liked it

As with a lot of anthologies, you run the risk of a mixed bag. This was definitely the case for this collection, full of highs and lows; don't get me wrong, I feel all of the authors in this collection are talented in terms of prose, it's more the plot of the story or the characters of interest were variable.

Favorites include stories by Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Sarah Gailey, Scott Lynch, Kate Elliott, Garth Nix, and, of course, KJ Parker (my favorite of the collection). Fun stuff.
Jul 15, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
I've tried about four of the stories and none I liked and/or pulled me in enough to finish them, so I'm cutting my losses and DNF'ing this. Perhaps anthologies just aren't my thing? Normally I read each individual story and give them separate ratings and average them out for the overall rating. But the fact that I haven't liked a single story yet and only managed to get through one fully without wanting to give up on it (and ended up not even liking that one, either) means that I'm just not inte ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this one: great lineup and diverse stories and rememberable stories about one of my favourite mythical animals: the dragon.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
You can see all my reviews here: Books Are The New Black

I want to thank Harper Voyager for providing me with an e-ARC, via Netgalley. All of these thoughts and opinions are my own.

I saw someone talk about this as an upcoming book they couldn’t wait for. I needed to read this because DRAGONS! Also, I saw that R.F. Kuang had a story included. I requested a copy but didn’t think I would be approved because it released within a week. I did though and I’m so glad that I did!

I don’t typically read ant
Zarah Larsson
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.75 stars. close to 3 stars. i love dragons, everyone who knows me knows that. this was a good read but i didnt love every story which is why it got a low rating. some stories were good and i enjoyed them but others i didnt really connect with or care about. this book was different from what i expected it to be.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"What do all of these great and mighty dragons have in common? Perhaps that they reflect some aspect of ourselves back to us through story."

The Book of Dragons is an amazing anthology full of poems and short stories about the greatest mythological creature: the dragon. It is such a gorgeous book, and I just loved so many of the stories. If you like dragons, you should definitely give this one a go - you are sure to find a story for you!

"What Heroism Tells Us" by Jane Yolen
A very short poem descr
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