ten of the ACTUAL best dragons in literature

in protest against this post (has this guy actually ever read a book with a dragon in it?!) i give you (in no particular order) ten of the ACTUAL best dragons in literature:

1. Smaug, THE HOBBIT (Tolkien) (and the only one The Guardian got right): the grand-daddy of all bad-ass dragons in fantasy for all time. ’nuff said.

2. Temeraire, of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire Series: this dragon manages to be FUSSY and PRIM, in addition to giant and deadly. what’s not to love?!

3. Kalessin, THE OTHER WIND (Le Guin): if you haven’t read Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels, i am sad for you. the original trilogy is wonderful, but the Tehanu books (TEHANU and OTHER WIND) are far and above my favorites. go forth and read them.

4. Eustace, VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER (Lewis): poor kid. if you leave out all the lit-crit that usually accompanies talk of the Chronicles of Narnia, Eustace’s misadventure is something straight out of an honest-to-god fairy-tale — vaguely lesson-ee, but mostly just creepy as all get out.

5. Snow Tiger, NAAMAH’S KISS (Carey): i love me some Jacqueline Carey, and i feel safe in declaring that i like the Moirin books better than the Phedre books. like Eustace, Snow Tiger is an unfortunate human caught in the grips of the supernatural — but way sexier, not to mention bad-ass.

6. Falkor, NEVER-ENDING STORY (Ende): seriously? i have to explain this one? i think not.

7. Mayland Long, TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON (MacAvoy): no one else, as far as i know, has ever read this book. and yet, it is one of my all-time favorites. short, intense, well-written, a fantastic present-day fantasy that i cannot even compare to anything else in the genre. pure unadulterated story-telling. READ IT.

8. Norbert, HARRY POTTER & THE SORCEROR’S STONE (Rowling): see Falkor.

9. Alamarana, ELVENBANE (Lackey): not only is she a dragon with an excellent internal life, but she is a shaman who can call LIGHTNING. how cool is that?

10. Heart’s Blood, Jane Yolen’s The Pit Dragon Trilogy: this whole series is ridiculously good. and the tear-jerker of the second book, HEART’S BLOOD? oh my.

alright, let’s hear it. who did i miss?

ten of the ACTUAL best dragons in literature

10 thoughts on “ten of the ACTUAL best dragons in literature

  1. Glossaria says:

    Drat you to heck. Wasn’t my to-be-read stack tall ENOUGH???

    Okay, here goes: A strong seconding to Pat Wrede’s dragons. 🙂

    Morkeleb, in Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane.

    Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series at least needs a *mention* here, doesn’t it? (Brown Canth is my favorite.)

    Maur, the black dragon in Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown. (Scarier than Smaug.)

    Long Danzi, the last dragon in Carole Wilkinson’s Dragonkeeper.

    …there’s one more I’d really like to add, but I can’t remember author or title, sadly. It’s a short story (included in an anthology of dragon stories, IIRC) about the last remaining dragons meeting together, and the tiniest dragon who proposes the solution to save them. Bah. Not coming to me. Perhaps later.

  2. Rich says:

    Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody/Symphony of the Ages series is full of dragon-human cross breeds. The result is some of the more unusual dragon characters in fantasy.

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