Into the Forest discussion

50 views
General > Request for Recommendations: Dragons

Comments Showing 1-47 of 47 (47 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Leah (last edited May 05, 2015 06:04AM) (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments My daughter (16) has been playing a new video game called Dragon Age: Inquisition which has really sparked her interest in dragons. She asked me for book suggestions featuring dragons. Her only stipulation was they should NOT be like Eragon. And she does not enjoy love triangles, melodramatic romance, etc.

Sadly, I've read very little fantasy with dragons. The only three that came to mind were: Dealing with Dragons, Here There Be Dragons, and Tooth and Claw - none of which I've actually read myself; they're on my to-read shelf. She liked the first two but said the third (Tooth and Claw) did not pique her interest. Oh yeah, when she was 13 she read The Hobbit and she loved it.

Does anyone have any recommendations I could share with her?

P.S. She's been in a reading funk lately. Nothing excites her, nothing holds her attention. Even the books selected in the local teen book club she's reviewed as "meh". She's homeschooled, and I think I may've pushed too many classics on her last year. Ivanhoe, which I think she'd really enjoy, is on her school reading list for 2014-2015 but I haven't been able to convince her to give it a shot; that it's not like Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre.

So I want to make sure she gets some books in her hands that'll reignite her passion for reading. She used to read 90-100 books a year; this year she's read 31 to date. Hopefully these recommendations will help her.


message 2: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3667 comments Mod
I loved dragons at 16 (still do, though I read less dragon fiction now) and I'll list the ones I remember enjoying the most. However, I'd like to add that several of these might not be that well written! When I was a teen, I wanted a good story first. I enjoyed good writing too--I loved Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre--but in my fantasy I definitely trended toward D&D.

So here are some suggestions:

Joust by Mercedes Lackey
Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

These are the ones I remember reading and loving. I never read any Anne McCaffrey, but I imagine I would've loved her.

I read How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell as an adult and loved it, but it's middle grade.

These are some books that have been recommended to me but I haven't read yet:
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen
and anything by Patricia C. Wrede

Hope this helps! This makes me want to read more dragon fiction myself:)


message 4: by Jalilah (last edited May 05, 2015 08:43AM) (new)

Jalilah | 4439 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "My daughter (16) has been playing a new video game called Dragon Age: Inquisition which has really sparked her interest in dragons. She asked me for book suggestions featuring dragons. Her only sti..."

I also have not read many books on Dragons. It looks like Margaret gave you some great suggestions and I am hoping others will chime in.

The Painted Boy is a modern day dragon themed YA novel by Charles de Lint. I quite liked it.


message 5: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Tooth and Claw is an adaptation of the late 1800's Victorian era novels. I've been told that Trollope is the closest equivalent though I haven't read anything by him. So, sort of like a "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies" sort of thing, but dragons instead of zombies. And not a lot of action. Not sure that's something that would interest someone who's burnt out on classics.

What about Robin McKinley? The Hero and the Crown is wonderful.

Has she tried The Dragonriders of Pern? I was really into that series at her age. I started with these: Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums.

Let's see... I liked Mercedes Lackey as a teen, and she has Joust & sequels. And there's The Elvenbane & sequels.

I just read A Natural History of Dragons which I really enjoyed. This might be a bit too Victorianish for her, but I thought it was a lot of fun. Less serious and more action than Tooth and Claw so she might find it more appealing. Not at all stuffy.


His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik is worth a mention, though she might not like it... It's a fantasy rip-off of the Horatio Hornblower novels, but with a dragon air force.

Patricia Briggs (author of the Mercy Thompson series) has a duology that has a dragon in it. Not as good as her Mercy books, but it's decent: Dragon Bones

Hm.. For something a bit different, there's Dragon Champion by E.E. Knight. I've only read the first, but there's nothing in it I'd hesitate to allow a teen to read. The dragon is the main character.



Okay, I think that's enough for now... If one of these really interests her (or one really disinterests her) I'll try to think up more suggestions along those lines.


message 6: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
I see Margaret beat me to some of these suggestions. Boo. I need to ponder faster.


message 7: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3667 comments Mod
Melanti wrote: "I see Margaret beat me to some of these suggestions. Boo. I need to ponder faster."

Haha, I should've pondered some more because I keep thinking of new ones!

Another great one is Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. I was about her age when I discovered and fell in love with Pratchett, though the first one I read was Witches Abroad. But the Watch books have a dragon sanctuary.


message 8: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Thank you for all the wonderful leads! I knew I could count on this group, and keep 'em coming. It may be a game of hit or miss while I try to help her out of this reading slump.

I did suggest The Dragonriders of Pern (only Pern I've read from my small collection on owned TBR shelf) but she only skimmed the jacket blurb and shrugged.

She did read about 80 pages of A Game of Thrones last year then stopped. I asked her why she stopped (because that was before I'd started reading the series and wondered if her reasons would be reasons I would not want to read it) and she said it was the amount of people - family histories, genealogies, etc. - to remember on top of how long it is. I think mainly the size intimidated her, knowing it's a series and each book is like 800+ pages. Up till then the longest book she'd read was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is around 800 pages in hardcover we have.

Thank you again! I'll report back once she reads through recs and makes her picks. She did request Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede and Here There Be Dragons by Jane Yolen from the library. *crosses fingers*


message 9: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "I did suggest The Dragonriders of Pern (only Pern I've read from my small collection on owned TBR shelf) but she only skimmed the jacket blurb and shrugged..."

You still might suggest the Harper Hall Trilogy about Menolly. Dragonsong is the first. That might be more appealing to her than other books in the series. The first two, at least, can be read as a stand-alone books. Slightly less on the third which is about a different character.

Jane Yolen has another dragon series. The Pit Dragon Chronicles But those are aimed at a middle-grade audience and might be a bit too young for her.

I also enjoyed Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy but it might be a bit "old" for her, considering the main character is in her 60s.


message 10: by Lacey (new)

Lacey Louwagie | 236 comments I love dragon books, too, but I finally had to admit that I didn't really like the Pern series -- made me feel like a failure as a fantasy fan! I really loved Jane Yolen's "Pit Dragon Trilogy," though, which began with Heart's Blood. For something more recent and more on the urban side, she could check out The Story of Owen. I think the sequel is out now, too.


message 11: by Lacey (new)

Lacey Louwagie | 236 comments Oh, also Glint, which has a couple intersecting stories, one of which features dragons if I'm remembering correctly.


message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 903 comments Margaret wrote: "Also, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin."

Seconded.


message 13: by Michele (new)

Michele | 520 comments Several people have mentioned Anne McCaffrey; I'd suggest starting with Dragonflight as being the most "dragony" entry point to the series.

The Brothers Lionheart features two brothers and an evil dragon.

They're not about dragons, but she might like these:
Unicorns in the Rain (dystopian setting with interesting twist)
The Riddle-Master of Hed (has lots of other amazing creatures, riddles, transformations, etc.)
The Dark is Rising (links the Arthurian legends with present day)

For cure of general reading funk I'd suggest Sheri Tepper's The Gate to Women's Country or Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others :)


message 14: by Julia (new)

Julia | 214 comments After she reads Here There Be Dragons by Jane Yolen, I predict she may go on a Jane Yolen kick.

I think Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton, may be perfect, because there are stuffy and less stuffy Victorians, but they are all dragons.

His Majesty's Dragon I found delightful, it's not all dragons, but a lot of dragons, and class stuff, as seen through the Napoleonic Wars, which Americans, when we think of them, call it the War of 1812.

Here's an UF novel series set in a small made- up Colorado city by Sarah A. Hoyt Draw One in the Dark, Second Edition. The titles are odd, because they refer to the slang that people who work in diners call diner food.

Strongly second The Painted Boy, it's also UF and a restaurant is involved...


message 15: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (pocketmermaid) | 12 comments Jessica Day George has a dragon series, the first one is Dragon Slippers.

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine is a Puss in Boots retelling, but features an awesome dragon detective.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan is the first in a YA series featuring a main character who is a draki - a girl who can turn into a dragon. However, there is teen romance melodrama here (she falls for a dragon hunter.)

The Neverending Story has Falkor, the luck dragon. :)

I know there are fans here of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, so I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned. Though A-Through-L is a wyvern, not a dragon. But I love him.


message 16: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
I'd thought of rec'ing Levine and George, but decided against it since those particular books are aimed at the preteen (or younger) market. They might be a bit too immature for a 16 year old.

You're right about the Fairyland books. A-Through-L would probably appeal, even though he's a Wyverary (half Wyvern, Half library).


message 17: by Michele (new)

Michele | 520 comments Ooh, how about The Reluctant Dragon?


message 18: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Another ginormous THANK YOU for all these wonderful recommendations. Currently my daughter has Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede and Here There Be Dragons by Jane Yolen checked out from the library and she seems equally excited about both. She just finished The Graveyard Book, which she gave 3 stars, so she's starting the dragon books next.


message 19: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3667 comments Mod
Book Riot posted an article today about awesome YA novels with dragons: http://bookriot.com/2015/05/21/awesom...


message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 903 comments My favorite dragon book is A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner, but it's rather odd -- and I'm not sure it's in print.


message 21: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Oh, I've read that, Mary! It was really cute - though odd, as you say.

I wonder if I still have my copy floating around somewhere?


message 22: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (pocketmermaid) | 12 comments Melanti wrote: "I'd thought of rec'ing Levine and George, but decided against it since those particular books are aimed at the preteen (or younger) market. They might be a bit too immature for a 16 year old."

This makes sense to me -- when I was 16, all I wanted to read were "adult" books. Now that I'm in my 30s, all I want to read are middle grade and young adult books!

Melanti wrote:"You're right about the Fairyland books. A-Through-L would probably appeal, even though he's a Wyverary (half Wyvern, Half library)."

This was the most enchanting part of the story to me, so I didn't want to "spoil" it. ;)

Has anyone read Uprooted yet? It's about dragons .... or a character named Dragon? I don't know, I haven't read it yet, but I just bought the audiobook yesterday. It's got wonderful reviews and praise from people I respect and admire, so I'm pretty excited about it. I plan to start it as soon as I finish my current audio.


message 23: by Katy (last edited May 29, 2015 10:07AM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 852 comments Loved Uprooted, but the Dragon is not a dragon.


message 24: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (pocketmermaid) | 12 comments Figures!


message 25: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 852 comments Jenna wrote: "Figures!"

You should read it anyway. One of the best I've read lately.


message 26: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (pocketmermaid) | 12 comments This doesn't change my plans to read it next, don't worry. :)


message 27: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments Definitely Seraphina!! Fabulously written; very charming, and with dragons not quite like any I've seen so far.


message 28: by Lacey (new)

Lacey Louwagie | 236 comments I've got "Uprooted" on my Kindle in my "high priority" collection, but since I read my ebooks slower than any other of my books, it may be 6 months or more till I get to it. High priority is relative on a device with 1,000 books. :p (The reality is that probably stuff that's NOT in my "high priority" shelf will never get read, unless I lose all my physical books in a fire ::shudder::).


message 29: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 852 comments Molly wrote: "Definitely Seraphina!! Fabulously written; very charming, and with dragons not quite like any I've seen so far."

I've liked this series too so far.


message 30: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Jenna wrote: "Has anyone read Uprooted yet? It's about dragons .... or a character named Dragon? I don't know, I haven't read it yet, but I just bought the audiobook yesterday. It's got wonderful reviews and praise from people I respect and admire, so I'm pretty excited about it. I plan to start it as soon as I finish my current audio."

I have Uprooted (print version) in my TBR stack from the library. I've read mixed reviews - some friends love it (5 stars), others like it (3 stars) - so crossing fingers.

P.S. My daughter is loving Here There Be Dragons by Jane Yolen - yay!


message 31: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 852 comments Okay, I've got to read that book now! Here There Be Dragons


message 32: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ (last edited Jun 02, 2015 11:44AM) (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ I thought Uprooted was an amazing book, but I put a big ol' caveat in my review: things get pretty grim and bloody in the last third of the book, and it's not for the faint of heart. But the ending is more uplifting, and it's really well written, with some great world-building. I loved the Polish folk tale flavor of it.

ETA: no actual dragons, just a wizard called the Dragon. But plenty of other monsters and magical goings on.


message 33: by Serena (new)

Serena | 19 comments Dragon and Thief it's a science fiction/adventure by Timothy Zahn. The first of a six-part series, concluded in 2008, following the adventures of a reformed juvenile thief alongside a draconoid 'symbiont'.

A humorous series by Robert Lynn Asprin has a dragon in it later on, Another Fine Myth.

Marjorie B. Kellogg's The Book of Earth has a girl and dragon in it, I have not yet finished the third and fourth books. But the elements Earth, Air, Water, and Fire are all dragons.

Mary Brown wrote the The Unexpected Dragon series and The Unlikely Ones, part of the Pig's Don't Fly series.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan Chapek | 217 comments Kathy wrote: "Loved Uprooted, but the Dragon is not a dragon."

And I just downloaded the Kindle sample.


message 35: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ (last edited Jun 06, 2015 09:40AM) (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Leah, I strongly recommend Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown (dragons, and one of the best horse characters ever), and also her books The Blue Sword (no dragons, but another wonderful horse and a very large cat) and Beauty (another great horse). I can't tell you how much I loved those books when I was younger. I also have a GR bookshelf called "here there be dragons" if you want to check it out.


message 36: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Regarding Uprooted, I just saw this posted in another group.

Apparently Ellen DeGeneres is going to be in a movie version: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat...


message 37: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 903 comments Castle Hangnail is great fun. With the dragons entering in an unusual manner.


message 38: by Lori (new)

Lori | 6 comments I would agree with The Hero and The Crown. I read that when I was 13 and it sparked my love of fantasy and dragons in particular forever. When I was in high school I lived and breathed the Dragonlance books. What about Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon? It's a very different type of book than his horror stories and would appeal to a teenager (that's when I read it). Also Stephen King's The Talisman really captured me in high school. Hope she finds some books she's into!


message 39: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Lori wrote: "What about Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon?"

Lori, that's my all-time favorite Stephen King book! I re-read it so often I went through two paperbacks in ten years falling apart before I finally bought a hardcover. It was so fun to discover that story. I was around 14 and, having read just about everything else of his I could get my hands on at the time, I picked up Eyes. Over the years I've discovered a lot of people overlook it because of King's usual "horror" label.

But yes, I've recommended it to my daughter, over and over and over ;)

She LOVED Wrede's Dealing with Dragons. Her favorite part was "the fact that the main character didn't want to get married in the beginning and she remained true to that throughout the book. OH, and Cimorene lived with a dragon!" My daughter even recommended it to her favorite librarian who has since read and also LOVED it. My daughter's reading the second one in the series now.

Next I believe she's going to check out more Yolen as well as the McKinley recommendation, The Hero and the Crown.


message 40: by Lori (new)

Lori | 6 comments Wonderful! I'm glad she is finding fantasy books that she loves. To my teenage self, there was nothing better than a fantasy book I could get lost in.


message 41: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 10 comments I'm a little late to the party but enjoyed reading through all these recommendations. I have to add Dragon Rider. It may be a bit young but I enjoyed it as an adult.


message 42: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4439 comments Mod
Patricia wrote: "I'm a little late to the party but enjoyed reading through all these recommendations. I have to add Dragon Rider. It may be a bit young but I enjoyed it as an adult."

It's never too late to reply to any of our threads!
Thanks for the recommendation Patricia!


message 43: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Patricia wrote: "I'm a little late to the party but enjoyed reading through all these recommendations. I have to add Dragon Rider. It may be a bit young but I enjoyed it as an adult."

I second the "thanks", Patricia! Definitely never too late to share. I for one have gone back through several old threads in this group to check out recommendations and discussions.


message 44: by Shereen (new)

Shereen Vedam | 145 comments Love all the suggestions below, will have to try some of them.

I've got a dragon short story romance she could try :
Daughter of the Sorcerer King
Daughter of the Sorcerer King by Shereen Vedam

Here's a review that mentions the dragons in this short story:
Daughter of the Sorcerer King Review
The Long And The Short Of It
Reviewed by: Peony
Sensuality rating: Sweet

I was captivated by the first lines of "Daughter of the Sorcerer King." With an opening of mysticism and intrigue, and set in a wonderful castle, this story drew this reader in and held my interest until the last dragon had been taken care of. And I say that loosely, because the author is very clever about taking care of dragons in this story!

longandshortreviews.com/LASR/0808/Dau...


message 45: by Lori (new)

Lori | 6 comments Shereen, we have something in common - we are both dragon writers! :) The Dragon's Message by Lori J. Fitzgerald


message 46: by Mary (last edited Sep 28, 2015 07:17PM) (new)

Mary Catelli | 903 comments "Dragons, for instance, have the right of safe conduct anywhere in Faërie. A reader may not like to read stories about dragons, she may be morally offended or aesthetically uninterested or simply sick of the subject; but at any rate she will not complain that the author has cheated by bringing in a dragon, because dragons belong in fantasy." Tom Simon

I have written a few dragon tales myself.


message 47: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Here's another one I found and recommended to my daughter, and it might interest others here in our group:

Swordplay, dragon magic--and a hero with a desperate secret
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

and I've heard tell there's NO romance.


back to top