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Dragons in Literature

Lists | Tolkien | Eragon | Jo Walton, "Tooth and Claw" | Jane Yolen's young-adult fiction | Dragonlance series | Self-published | Web fiction

Lists

Wikipedia: List of dragons in fantasy fiction. A useful list.

Draco's Lair Book Reviews. Reviews various dragon-themed novels.

Mini reviews of recomended dragon fictions from Amanda and Donna Quinn's excellent Sommerland: On Dragons. The selection is personal.

Fiction Dragon List a sort of prosopography (multiple biography) to the dragons in fiction, from Polenth Blake's Dragon Stone. See also her Pern Dragon List .

Tolkien

Wikipedia: Middle Earth Dragon. A lot of industry has clearly gone into this page and its relatives, which include pages on every named dragon, eg. Smaug.

Encyclopedia of Arda: Dragons, with links to individual dragons, Smaug . The Encyclopedia of Arda is described as A Reference Guide to the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Page on dragons and other creatures in Tolkien, with many images, from the Valar Guild Tolkien Encyclopedia.

Eragon

Amazon. Eragon by Christopher Paolini, now termed the first book in the "Inheritance trilogy." Official Amazon review calls it "a comfy old sweater," "you can pull over your head … and disappear into for a whole weekend." Together with the expected raves, there are some interesting negative reviews, such as "Ivy's" devestating (and enormous) review:

"There was absolutely nothing new or 'unexpected' in this book (though the author claims there are 'revelations'), and if a reader is excited by this book it is because he or she has never been exposed to the dozens of fantasy and science fiction epics from which this author pulled his influences. My feeling was that this book was nothing special because, if I may be so blunt, 'it's been done,' and it's been done better."

Book site, set up by the publisher, Random House. Attractive site includes an excerpt, an exploration of the world, Alagaesia, and a pronunciation guide ("the last word").

Author profile (not a review), "Teenager's fantasy dragon burns up the bestseller list" by Lawrence Donegan (October 12, 2003). Also here.

New York Times review by Liz Rosenberg (Nov. 16, 2003), positive.

"The plot stumbles and jerks along, with gaps in logic and characters dropped, then suddenly remembered, or new ones invented at the last minute. And yet, as Beatrix Potter wrote, ''Genius -- like murder -- will out.'' ''Eragon,'' for all its flaws, is an authentic work of great talent. The story is gripping; it may move awkwardly, but it moves with force. The power of ''Eragon'' lies in its overall effects -- in the sweep of the story and the conviction of its storyteller. Here, Paolini is leagues ahead of most writers, and it is exactly here that his youth is on his side."

About.com review by Chris Lawrence. Essentially positive review, with some negatives:

"his mimicry of Tolkien's proper names ('Mithrim,' 'Farthen-Dur,' 'Beor Mountains,' and 'Urgals') is a bit distracting at times."

Shur'tugal.com, an Eragon fansite run by four 15-year-olds, headed by Mike.Eragon Encyclopedia, a big collection of fan art , and a helpful section on "Eragon for parents."

Jo Walton, "Tooth and Claw"

Amazon. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton, "A tale of contention over love and money—among dragons"

Jo Walton's website, with the first chapter online and FAQs.

Review by David Soyka, who finds it a "delightful read." Strange Horizons (June 21, 2004 )

Positive review by Rachel Broome , SF Crowsnest.

"All of this is set against an almost Victorian background of a changing society: new, dirty, industrial money infiltrating the established land-owning aristocracy, all of whom are sitting atop the massed poor."

Positive review by James Schellenberg, Challenging Destiny. Schellenberg calls Walton's pseudo-Victorian dragon-characters "an approach that has to prove itself to the wary reader every step of the way, and the surprise of Walton's writing is that she far exceeds expectations.

Review starting "I love this book" by Jessica Paige. Authors must love reviews like this&emdash;intelligent, detailed and a near love-note. As Paige puts it, "I'll try to be fair and balanced in this review, but you've been fairly warned about my leanings toward 'gush.'"

Positive review by David Dyer-Bennet, "This is one of those books that isn't all that much like other books."

Reviewed by David Roy for Curled Up With a Good Book. Positive.

Sherwood Smith, SF Site: "finishing this book, a reader might very well wish to seek out Trollope's novel-and then come back to read Tooth and Claw again."

Clew's reviews calls it a "romp."

Jane Yolen's young-adult fiction

Amazon. Here There be Dragons Short stories and poems about dragons (Ages 9-12). Described, with review material on Jane Yolen's website.

Jane Yolen's "The Pit Dragon Trilogy":

  1. Amazon. Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen. Described, with review material on Jane Yolen's website.
  2. Amazon. Heart's Blood by Jane Yolen. Described, with review material on Jane Yolen's website.
  3. Amazon. A Sending of Dragons by Jane Yolen. Described, with review material on Jane Yolen's website.

Amazon. Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen (Young Adult). Described, with review material on Jane Yolen's website. American Library Association describes it as "An entrancing addition to the Arthurian canon and bound to please its many fans."

Dragonlance series

D&D's "Dragonlance" series (fantasy novels with training wheels). There's a lot here, not otherwise sorted into this website.

Self-published

Amazon. The Curse of the Dragonslayer by Keith A. Shaw.

Reviewed by Karri Watson, Curled Up With a Good Book. Non-specific positive review.

"Shaw publishes The Curse of the Dragonslayer'" by Sarah PartipiloCentral Michigan Life (June 25, 2003)

Web fiction

Note: I didn't actively look for this material. Perhaps some day...

"Yet Another Interlude: The Tale of St George's Dragon" by "St George's Dragon." Ultima fan-fiction from Dragonpress.

Draco's Lair Dragon Stories short stories, apparently most by young writers.

If you enjoy this site you may like this other site by me:

Mermaids on the Web. Similar site, with over 1,320 pictures .

Angels on the Web. Images and other web resources on angels in Western culture, religion and art.

Griffins in Art and on the Web. Like this site, but Griffins.