18 Best Dragon Books

Best Dragon Books

From wise and benevolent beings to fierce and formidable adversaries, dragons embody a sense of mystery, power, and wonder. 

If you’re intrigued by these majestic creatures and want to delve deeper into their lore and legends, exploring the realm of dragon-themed literature is an adventure worth embarking upon. 

Here are some of the best books on dragons that will transport you to fantastical worlds where these mythical beasts reign supreme, igniting your imagination and fueling your fascination with these legendary creatures.

Best Dragon Books

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit,” written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is a timeless adventure that sets the stage for the epic saga of Middle Earth, later fully explored in “The Lord of the Rings.” 

It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable and unambitious life until he is whisked away by the wizard Gandalf and a group of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their home from the dragon Smaug. 

Throughout the journey, Bilbo faces trolls, goblins, and other fantastical creatures, ultimately encountering the fearsome dragon itself. Smaug is depicted as a cunning and formidable adversary, embodying the quintessential dragon with his immense hoard of treasure and fiery breath.

What makes it amazing?

“The Hobbit” is celebrated for its rich storytelling, memorable characters, and the depth of its created world. Tolkien’s ability to weave a tale that feels both intimate and epic in scope makes it a foundational piece of modern fantasy literature. 

The depiction of Smaug has influenced countless representations of dragons in media, setting a standard for the creature’s intelligence, greed, and power. 

Tolkien’s language, imbued with poetry and lore, creates a narrative that’s as enchanting for adults as it is for children, making “The Hobbit” a beloved classic across generations.

2. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series is a sprawling epic of political intrigue, war, and the struggle for power in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. 

Among its vast cast of characters, Daenerys Targaryen’s journey from a dispossessed princess to a powerful leader with three dragons is particularly compelling. 

The dragons, believed extinct, are a symbol of Daenerys’s birthright and power, growing from vulnerable hatchlings to formidable beasts. The presence of dragons in the series reintroduces magic and wonder into a world that had long been losing its mystical aspects.

What makes it amazing?

The series is renowned for its complex characters, intricate plot lines, and the moral ambiguity of its characters’ actions. Martin’s willingness to subvert traditional fantasy tropes, particularly regarding the invincibility of heroes, keeps readers on edge. 

The dragons are not just mythical creatures; they are central to the plot’s development, influencing political dynamics and warfare strategies. Their growth parallels Daenerys’s own evolution, underscoring themes of power, responsibility, and identity. 

This interweaving of human and dragon narratives sets “A Song of Ice and Fire” apart as a masterpiece of fantasy literature.

3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon,” the debut novel of Christopher Paolini, marks the beginning of the Inheritance Cycle, a series that delves into the life of a young farm boy who discovers a mysterious stone that turns out to be a dragon egg. 

Eragon’s life is forever changed as he bonds with the dragon Saphira, becoming one of the last Dragon Riders, a group thought to be extinct. Together, they embark on a quest to overthrow the tyrannical ruler of the Empire. 

The relationship between Eragon and Saphira is central to the story, exploring themes of friendship, destiny, and the struggle between good and evil.

What makes it amazing?

What sets “Eragon” apart is the depth of the bond between Eragon and Saphira, offering a detailed exploration of their growing understanding and friendship. 

Paolini, who began writing the novel at the age of fifteen, creates a richly detailed world filled with new languages, cultures, and history. The novel resonates with the classic hero’s journey, yet it refreshes the narrative with its young protagonist’s unique challenges and growth. 

The detailed depiction of dragon lore and the dynamics of dragon and rider relationships add a compelling layer to the fantasy genre, making “Eragon” a standout story for readers of all ages.

4. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

“Dragonflight” is the first novel in Anne McCaffrey’s groundbreaking Dragonriders of Pern series. 

The story is set on the planet Pern, which faces a deadly threat from the skies: the Thread, a spore that devours all organic material it touches. The inhabitants of Pern rely on dragonriders, who bond with telepathic dragons, to fight this menace. 

The novel follows Lessa, the last survivor of her family’s hold, who becomes the rider of the queen dragon Ramoth, and F’lar, a dragonrider who believes that the ancient traditions of dragonriding must evolve if Pern is to survive.

What makes it amazing?

“Dragonflight” blends science fiction and fantasy in a unique way, exploring the socio-political dynamics of Pern alongside the awe-inspiring partnership between dragons and their riders. 

McCaffrey’s creation of the dragons, especially their telepathic bond with their riders, adds depth to the narrative, allowing for a complex exploration of human and dragon psychology. The novel stands out for its strong female protagonist, who challenges and ultimately changes the patriarchal society she lives in. 

McCaffrey’s vivid world-building, including the dragon’s life cycle and the ecological balance of Pern, makes “Dragonflight” a seminal work in the genre, offering readers a compelling escape into a world where dragons soar.

5. The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

“The Dragonbone Chair” is the first volume in Tad Williams’s epic fantasy series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. It introduces readers to the young kitchen boy, Simon, who becomes embroiled in a complex web of magic, power, and prophecy in the land of Osten Ard. 

As ancient threats reawaken, Simon’s journey takes him from the safety of the castle kitchens to the heart of a battle that could determine the fate of the world. 

The narrative weaves together the fates of humans, Sithi (an elf-like race), and dragons, the last of which are shrouded in mystery and awe.

What makes it amazing?

Tad Williams’s mastery lies in his ability to create a richly detailed world, filled with complex characters, intricate politics, and a deep, layered history. 

“The Dragonbone Chair” excels in its slow-burn storytelling, gradually revealing the depth of its world and the significance of its characters’ roles in the unfolding drama. 

The presence of dragons, while not as central as in other works on this list, adds a layer of majesty and ancient power to the narrative. 

Williams’s exploration of themes such as the loss of innocence, the burden of destiny, and the complexity of moral choices makes this novel, and the series as a whole, a profound contribution to the fantasy genre.

6. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

“His Majesty’s Dragon,” the first book in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, introduces an alternate version of the Napoleonic Wars, where air power consists not of planes but of dragons, manned by crews and aviators. 

The story begins when Captain Will Laurence of the British Navy captures a French ship carrying a precious dragon egg. When the egg hatches, Laurence forms an unexpected bond with the dragon, Temeraire, and joins the Aerial Corps. 

Together, they embark on thrilling adventures and face the challenges of aerial combat, forming a deep and complex bond.

What makes it amazing?

Naomi Novik’s fusion of historical fiction with fantasy creates a richly imagined world that is both familiar and wonderfully novel. 

The relationship between Laurence and Temeraire is beautifully developed, offering a fresh perspective on the dragon-rider bond that emphasizes mutual respect and affection. 

The meticulous attention to historical detail, combined with the imaginative inclusion of dragons in military strategy, provides a compelling narrative that appeals to fans of both genres. 

“His Majesty’s Dragon” stands out for its innovative premise, engaging storytelling, and the depth of its character development, making it a distinctive and beloved addition to the dragon literature canon.

7. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

“Seraphina” introduces a richly textured world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy peace, thanks to a treaty that has lasted for decades. 

The story centers on Seraphina Dombegh, a gifted musician who harbors a secret that could ignite conflict between dragons and humans. As a half-dragon, half-human, Seraphina’s existence is a symbol of both the potential for harmony and the danger of their worlds colliding. 

Her journey of self-discovery, set against the backdrop of political intrigue and societal tensions, explores themes of identity, prejudice, and acceptance.

What makes it amazing?

Rachel Hartman’s “Seraphina” is notable for its intricate world-building and the depth of its protagonist’s internal struggle. 

The novel challenges traditional fantasy narratives by presenting dragons not as mere beasts but as sophisticated beings capable of logical thought and transforming into human form. 

Hartman’s exploration of the complexities of human-dragon relations, combined with a compelling mystery and a rich cast of characters, makes “Seraphina” a standout in YA fantasy. 

It’s a thought-provoking tale that encourages readers to reconsider the nature of intelligence, emotion, and the barriers we construct between ‘us’ and ‘them.’

8. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

In a departure from his renowned horror works, Stephen King’s “The Eyes of the Dragon” takes readers into the realm of fantasy. 

Set in the kingdom of Delain, the story revolves around a malicious wizard’s plot to overthrow the royal family, leading to the wrongful imprisonment of Prince Peter for the murder of his father, the king. 

The narrative weaves through themes of betrayal, magic, and the battle for the throne, with a formidable dragon lurking in the background, integral to the wizard’s dark schemes.

What makes it amazing? 

Stephen King’s foray into fantasy showcases his versatility as a storyteller. “The Eyes of the Dragon” is celebrated for its engaging narrative, which, while simpler than King’s typical fare, is rich with character development and a suspenseful plot that captivates readers of all ages. 

The novel’s portrayal of the dragon adds a classic element of fantasy that is both familiar and revitalized through King’s imaginative storytelling. 

This book offers a unique experience within King’s oeuvre, providing a fantasy tale that is accessible to a younger audience while retaining the depth that longtime fans of King appreciate.

9. Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

“Dragon Keeper” marks the beginning of Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles, set in the same world as her acclaimed Liveship Traders trilogy. 

This series focuses on a group of deformed dragons and their human keepers who embark on a perilous journey to find the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra. 

The dragons, weakened and unable to fend for themselves, form deep bonds with their human keepers, revealing the complexities of their personalities and the shared struggle for survival and identity.

What makes it amazing? 

Robin Hobb’s talent for character development and world-building shines in “Dragon Keeper.” 

The novel explores themes of marginalization, environmentalism, and the search for belonging through the eyes of its richly drawn characters, both human and dragon. 

Hobb’s portrayal of the dragons is particularly notable for its depth and nuance, challenging traditional perceptions of dragons as mere monsters or symbols of power. 

The evolving relationships between dragons and keepers provide a heartfelt examination of dependence, growth, and the meaning of humanity.

10. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

“The Priory of the Orange Tree” is a standalone epic fantasy novel that spans continents and cultures, weaving together stories of queens, mages, knights, and dragons in a world facing the return of a deadly threat. 

The narrative is split between the East, where dragons are revered, and the West, where they are feared and hunted. 

At the heart of the story is the legend of The Nameless One, a draconic force of destruction bound for centuries but now stirring once again. 

Through the lives of its diverse cast, the novel explores themes of faith, courage, and the complexities of power.

What makes it amazing? 

Samantha Shannon’s ambitious world-building and intricate plot make “The Priory of the Orange Tree” a remarkable achievement in fantasy literature. 

The novel stands out for its feminist perspective, featuring strong female characters who defy conventions and shape their destinies. Shannon’s reimagining of dragon lore, integrating both Eastern and Western myths, enriches the narrative, offering a fresh take on the dragon fantasy genre. 

The breadth of the story, combined with its detailed exploration of politics, religion, and history, provides a satisfying and thought-provoking read that challenges and entertains in equal measure.

11. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

“The Tea Dragon Society” is a heartwarming graphic novel that introduces readers to a magical world where tea dragons—small dragons that grow tea leaves on their bodies—are cared for and cherished. 

The story follows Greta, a young blacksmith apprentice who discovers the ancient art of tea dragon care-taking. 

Through her encounters with the tea dragons and their owners, Greta learns valuable lessons about friendship, tradition, and the importance of preserving old crafts.

What makes it amazing? 

Katie O’Neill’s enchanting illustrations and gentle storytelling make “The Tea Dragon Society” a delight for readers of all ages. 

The novel’s unique concept of tea dragons combines fantasy with a deep appreciation for the simple joys of life and the connections between people and nature. 

O’Neill’s portrayal of diverse characters and relationships, along with the inclusive and accepting world she creates, offers a refreshing and uplifting experience. 

The book’s themes of memory, heritage, and finding one’s place in the world are woven together with charm and grace, making it a poignant and memorable read.

12. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

“Dealing with Dragons” is the first book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, offering a humorous and unconventional twist on fairy tale tropes. 

The story follows Princess Cimorene, who is bored with traditional princess duties and conventions. In search of adventure, she voluntarily becomes the “captive” of a dragon named Kazul and discovers life with the dragons to be far more fulfilling. 

Cimorene’s efforts to thwart the plans of a group of evil wizards who pose a threat to her new home form the crux of the narrative.

What makes it amazing? 

Patricia C. Wrede’s “Dealing with Dragons” is celebrated for its witty dialogue, strong female protagonist, and playful subversion of fantasy clichés. 

The novel’s appeal lies in its clever inversion of the damsel-in-distress narrative, presenting a heroine who is resourceful, intelligent, and perfectly capable of handling herself in a world of magic and monsters. 

The interactions between Cimorene and the dragons, especially Kazul, are filled with humor and mutual respect, showcasing a refreshing dynamic rarely seen in dragon lore. This book is a must-read for those who enjoy their fantasy with a side of romance, satire and empowerment.

13. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

“Dragons of Autumn Twilight” is the opening chapter of the Dragonlance Chronicles, introducing readers to the fantastical world of Krynn, where gods play with the fates of mortals, and dragons have returned to the land. 

The story follows a diverse group of friends – a knight, a wizard, a half-elf, and others – as they embark on a quest to find the truth behind the disappearance of the gods and the return of the dragons. 

Their journey is fraught with magic, danger, and discovery, setting the stage for an epic battle between good and evil.

What makes it amazing?

This novel stands out for its richly developed characters, intricate plot, and the vividly imagined world of Krynn. 

The interplay between the characters, each with their unique backgrounds and motivations, adds depth to the narrative, making their adventures and conflicts compelling. The introduction of dragons, both malevolent and benevolent, adds a layer of complexity and awe to the story. 

“Dragons of Autumn Twilight” is celebrated for revitalizing the fantasy genre, blending traditional elements with innovative storytelling that has captivated millions of readers worldwide.

14. Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley

In “Dragonhaven,” Robin McKinley transports readers to Smokehill National Park, a sanctuary for the few remaining dragons in the world. 

The story is told from the perspective of Jake Mendoza, who grows up in the park. His life changes forever when he discovers a dying dragon mother and her newborn baby, which he decides to raise in secret. 

The novel explores the challenges and joys of caring for a creature considered dangerous and the profound bond that forms between Jake and his dragon, Lois.

What makes it amazing?

McKinley’s portrayal of the relationship between human and dragon challenges the conventional wisdom about these mythical creatures, presenting them as sentient beings capable of forming deep emotional connections with humans. 

The narrative delves into themes of conservation, responsibility, and the ethics of coexistence between humans and mythical creatures. 

“Dragonhaven” is notable for its unique voice and perspective, offering a touching and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to live alongside beings vastly different from ourselves.

15. The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay

“The Last Dragon” combines the storytelling prowess of Jane Yolen with the stunning artwork of Rebecca Guay to create a graphic novel that transcends age boundaries. 

The tale is set in a world where dragons are believed to be extinct until the discovery of a dragon threatens a peaceful village. 

The young heroine, Tansy, must embark on a quest to defeat the dragon and save her home. The narrative is a blend of adventure, courage, and the power of storytelling itself.

What makes it amazing?

Yolen’s evocative writing and Guay’s breathtaking illustrations work in harmony to bring the story of “The Last Dragon” to life. 

This graphic novel is celebrated for its strong female protagonist, who relies on her wits and courage rather than brute force to confront challenges. 

The artwork adds a layer of depth and emotion to the narrative, making the world and its characters leap off the page. “The Last Dragon” is a testament to the enduring appeal of dragon tales and the ways they can inspire us to face our own dragons.

16. Dragon’s Blood by Jane Yolen

“Dragon’s Blood,” the first entry in the Pit Dragon Chronicles, introduces readers to the harsh desert planet of Austar IV, where dragons are bred and trained to fight in the pits for the entertainment of the colonists. 

The story centers on Jakkin Stewart, a young bond servant who dreams of stealing a dragon egg to train his own dragon and win his freedom. 

The novel explores themes of survival, friendship, and the bond between Jakkin and his dragon, Heart’s Blood, as they navigate the dangers of pit fights and the struggle for independence.

What makes it amazing?

Jane Yolen crafts a compelling narrative that combines the excitement of dragon battles with a deep exploration of the characters’ inner lives. The novel’s setting, a blend of science fiction and fantasy elements, provides a unique backdrop for the story.

Yolen’s portrayal of the dragons as creatures with their own personalities and the complex relationship between Jakkin and Heart’s Blood adds emotional depth to the action-packed tale. “Dragon’s Blood” is a gripping story of ambition, loyalty, and the quest for freedom, making it a standout in the genre.

17. The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan’s “The Dragons of Eden” is a fascinating journey through the evolution of human intelligence, drawing connections between our ancient ancestors’ fears and myths about dragons and the development of the human brain. 

Sagan uses the dragon myth as a metaphor to explore various aspects of cognition, memory, and evolution, blending science, philosophy, and mythology to illuminate the complexities of the human mind.

What makes it amazing?

This book stands out for its innovative approach to discussing scientific concepts through the lens of mythology and storytelling. Sagan’s engaging narrative style makes complex topics accessible and compelling, encouraging readers to consider the ways in which our evolutionary past shapes our present thoughts, fears, and dreams. 

“The Dragons of Eden” is a testament to Sagan’s ability to bridge the gap between science and the humanities, offering insights into our intelligence and consciousness through an examination of the dragon myth.

18. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

“Tooth and Claw” is a novel that reimagines Victorian society with dragons as the protagonists, complete with a social structure that mirrors the period’s strict class system and social mores. 

The story follows a family of dragons dealing with inheritance issues, social standing, and marital prospects, all while grappling with their natural instincts. 

Walton’s clever use of dragons to explore themes of social injustice, family dynamics, and the struggle for survival makes for a unique and engaging narrative.

What makes it amazing?

Jo Walton’s inventive concept of a dragon society with Victorian-era values is executed with wit and insight. 

The novel’s exploration of social issues through the lives of its dragon characters allows for a fresh and intriguing commentary on human behavior and societal norms. 

“Tooth and Claw” is celebrated for its originality, the depth of its world-building, and its ability to entertain while provoking thought about the nature of civilization and morality. 

The juxtaposition of dragonkind’s ferocity with the genteel veneer of Victorian manners creates a novel that is both amusing and profound, offering a delightful twist on the fantasy genre.

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