Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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All dragons all the time

From Book Riot, a post by Silvana Reyes Lopez: 15 OF THE BEST DRAGON BOOK SERIES

I will say first: Pern’s missing from this list.

I grew up with Pern, I am still quite fond of Pern, I never believed in the time travel aspects of the series, but whatever. Plus Michael Whelan’s wonderful covers!

So, well, anyway, if you made a list of The Top 15 Dragon Series, not sure Pern would be on there, but if you made a list of The Top 15 Dragon Series Covers, then certainly.

Later I liked the Harper Hall trilogy best, but moving on, what are some great series featuring dragons? Let’s see what’s on this list from Book Riot first:

Ah, here’s Temeraire. Good choice. For me the series went kinda like this:

But I’m pretty sure some of you all commented that the series improved again later? I never read the last two books, and I sort of think I remember people saying I really should. I didn’t much like the Australian book. Let’s spend the entire book traveling across Australia! And back! With no progress in the larger plot! 

And the book after that, the South American one, was worse.  I did not like it AT ALL and remember practically nothing about it other than the fact I didn’t like it and the vivid fact that I just loathed the female fire-breathing dragon, what’s her name? Selfish, stupid, short-sighted creature. Maybe she improved eventually.  Or was killed. Or shuffled off to an unimportant subplot somewhere, whatever.

Fine, moving on, what’s another series on this list I’ve read at least part of? Let me see …

Sorcerer and the Crown, Zen Cho,, I have the first one on my TBR pile. Dragons? I don’t remember anyone mentioning dragons. I read the first bit and it didn’t really grab me and I went on to something else, but I know lots of people loved this one so I should try it … someday …

Heartstone series, Elle Katherine White, I have the first one on my TBR pile. Pride and Prejudice, everyone says, with dragons. Not always wowed by things in the style of P&P because, really, it’s not that easy to compete with Jane Austen.

Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman, I’ve heard a lot of thumbs-up reactions to that one.

Chronicles of Elantra, my my, there Michelle Saraga / West is again with her Elantra series. I vote for this being the most likely new-to-me series for me to actually try in 2019. Fourteen books out in this series, wow.

Various series I haven’t read, moving on …

Oh, here we go:

Lady Trent by of course Marie Brennan. I vote for this being the most likely series on this list for me to actually finish in 2019. I’ve got the more recent couple on the shelf downstairs but haven’t actually read them. I love the naturalist take on dragons that Brennan has going in this series and really, I am curious about how she wound up the series. No spoilers, please, but if you’ve read the whole thing, thumbs up or thumbs down on the resolution?

Then some more series I haven’t read . . . let me see, what besides Pern is missing? Well, how about these:

Granted, the Book Riot post didn’t include MG stories, but hey. I loved the original Dragonet Prophecy five-book series! Great MG series, one of my all-time favorites in the MG category. Looks like all five of the Jade Mountain quintilogy is out now, too. Well, this may be the most likely dragon series for me to go on with in 2019, bumping both the adult series down a notch.

Other dragon series … let me see, how about this one?

Patricia Wrede did some great work here. I do seem to be biasing my picks toward MG/YA, but still, Talking to Dragons surely belongs on any list of great-fantasy-series-with-dragons.

Oh, here’s an adult series I liked a lot:

Robin Hobb is not my very favorite epic fantasy author, but I liked this series quite a bit. The dragons themselves were not that likable, which is one thing I kinda liked about them. Definitely not bred for docility, like some. Also just a lot of characters I liked and relatively few I disliked, not always the case for Hobb. Pacing: slow, but compared to the Assassin series, super super fast. Wow, was Fool’s Assassin slow. DNF for me, not because of the pacing. I had other issues with that series.

Anyway, I did like the Dragon series a mile better than anything else of hers I’ve read. 

One more, not a series:

OKAY FINE so it technically is the first book of a series. I just sooooo do not recommend that anybody treat it that way. Dragonshadow, no. Knight of the Demon Queen, no no no. Dragonstar, sure, that one is finally not as grimly horrible, but it’s not worth it. 

Dragonsbane yes. A wonderful dragon story. The rest of the series, no.

Okay! What have I missed? Throw a great dragon story, series or not, in the comments.

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11 Comments All dragons all the time

  1. Mary Beth

    I mean, HOUSE OF SHADOWS has a pretty excellent dragon…

    Also:
    R. A. MacAVOY, TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON
    Aliette de Bodard, IN THE VANISHERS’ PALACE (Beauty & the Beast, where Beauty is a Vietnamese scholar and the Beast is a dragon)
    Jo Walton, TOOTH AND CLAW (comedy of manners with dragons?)
    Rachel Aaron, NICE DRAGONS FINISH LAST (urban fantasy with dragons)
    Tanya Huff, ENCHANTER’S EMPORIUM (more urban fantasy with dragons!)
    Melanie Rawn, DRAGON PRINCE (soooo soap opera, but I loved ’em)
    Lauren Esker, DRAGON’S LUCK (yet another urban fantasy with dragons…)

    Shape-shifting dragons seem to be pretty popular in urban fantasy these days. I guess they’ve migrated over from epic.

  2. Pete Mack

    I did not like Heartstone much. I felt that amarguerite’s Temeraire fan fiction was vastly better. Unfortunately, it is now gone from a03 as she is trying to get her story of Jane Austen redone as Olympic figure skating, “Pyongyang and Prejudice” published. I have to say, her story “A Monstrous Regiment” set in Temeraire’s world, but having a cast entirely from Jame Austen is my current favorite.

  3. kootch

    Oh, yes, do get into Chronicles of Elantra next year – despite some pretty dark doings Kaylin’s interactions with the different races, not just dragons, gave me quite a few lol moments.
    Robin Hobb – I liked the Rain Wild Chronicles and its prequel, The Liveship Traders but I absolutely HATED the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. She should have stopped with Fitz’s happy ending.
    Also, I suggest you read the last Temeraire book; quite a novel resolution to the fate of the English dragons and their friends.

  4. Mary Catelli

    Second Invisible Library

    Also Heartstrikers which begins with Nice Dragons Finish Last

    A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner, if you can get your hands on it.

  5. SarahZ

    I haven’t finished Sorcerer to the Crown yet, but I’m pretty far into it, and no dragons, just what I’m starting to realize is a cinderella retelling that hadn’t been advertised as such, so it took me by surprise. (Who knows when I’ll finish it – new baby is home now, so no time to read)

    It seems weird to have something by Rachel Hartman on the list that isn’t Seraphina. That’s definitely a dragon series.

    Dragons become pretty important starting in book 2 of Wen Spencer’s Tinker series.

    There’s a couple good dragons on the periphery of Kate Daniels, but I think not enough to qualify?

  6. Maria

    Apart from Temeraire and Pern I really liked Mercedes Lackey’s Alta series, more than most of her Valdemar books actually.

  7. Allan Shampine

    Michael Whelan is one of the great fantasy artists of our generation, IMO, and one of my personal favorites.

  8. Kristina

    Like you, I never finished Temeraire. The first book was brilliant, but my enjoyment dropped with each successive book until the amnesia subplot in the seventh killed the series for me. I barely got through it, and didn’t read the eighth. Thumbs up on the Lady Trent series, though. The last book went in a different direction than I expected, but thinking back I can see how the author was leading up to it all along. In fact, it’s one of the series I want to reread now that I know how it ends (which is happy, by the way). Plus Lady Trent has such a unique and delightful voice. I also highly recommend the second Wings of Fire arc. I love Moonwatcher so much. I did enjoy Heartless, but I’m probably the only reader in the world who did not like Sorcerer and the Crown. (I thought one of the main characters was bland, the other was selfish, and I didn’t buy the attraction between them at all. A couple of the secondary characters were fun, though. I kept wishing the book had been about them instead.)

  9. Kristina

    Oops – I meant Heartstone, of course. I thought it was clever, but have no pressing need to move on with the series. Plus be aware the griffins are the villains. ;)

  10. Rachel

    OH WELL IF THE GRIFFINS ARE BAD GUYS…

    No, I’d be okay with that, so if I happen to be in the mood for a P & P sort of story, well, it is right here on my shelves.

    Glad to see you give Lady Trent a thumb’s up. I do look forward to finishing that series. Maybe I should start back from the top. Thanks for your take on the Sorcerer and the Crown.

    Allan, pretty sure if you asked 100 people who are kinda into cover art, 99 of them would agree with you about Michael Whelan.

    One day I probably will finish the Temeraire books, probably. I wouldn’t mind seeing how the rather dimwitted English eventually deal with their dragons.

    Mary Beth, lots of good suggestions, and thanks! Yes, the dragon reappears on stage in the sequel as well.

    Here are a couple of others:

    The Cygnet and the Firebird. Love, love, love the dragon in that one.

    And Patricia Briggs’ duology, what was it, right, the Hurog duology. That’s even a series (if a very short series).

  11. Elaine T

    I’m having trouble getting the Book Riot page to load, so just commenting on your post –
    amazed they forgot Pern. Michael Whelen is an amazing artist. His work is not only gorgeous, it sells books. Not all gorgeous art does.

    Suggestions:

    Basil Broketail by Christopher Rowley, which I never got through but the Teen & husband enjoyed them a lot. (7 book series.) Different human/dragon relations than I’ve seen elsewhere.
    Liked book 1 of Temeraire, skimmed a lot of #2, started #3 and dropped it and the series.
    Invisible Library didn’t make it past sample status – just not interesting along with (what I remember as) character pressing ‘stupid’ buttons.
    Heartstone’s blurb makes me yawn, and the Teen glanced over and started ranting negatively about the cover art, but I’ve got the sample downloaded.

    Kristina, I didn’t like Sorceror and Crown either. I don’t think I finished it.

    Second mcKillip’s Cygnet and Firebird
    Book Dragon by Don Kushner

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