Ask the grumpies: Recommendations for books with dragons (and other fantasy creatures) in them

Steph asks:

I found Marie Brennan’s “Natural History of Dragons” series through your recs, and I’m also 3 books into the Temeraire series – both of them are super fun! Do you have any other favorite or recommended books with dragons? Do either of you have a favorite fantasy creature?

We’re so glad you asked!

I’m partial to griffins myself.  And werewolves.

Herewith an incomplete list of dragon books I’ve read.  These are only the ones I definitely recommend (there are more, but not as good).

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.  The first in a series, and the best one.  (The second is fine too, but the third and fourth go into dumb tropes.)

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series (my mom and I are both on book five!)

Dragons Love Tacos

Jhereg by Steven Brust (can be read as a standalone or as the first in the series)

The Book of Dragons by Edith Nesbit (so cute!)

The Lotus War trilogy by Jay Kristoff.  Starts with Stormdancer.  Strong female protagonist in a Japan-like dystopian steampunk setting.

I read Havemercy by Jaida Jones so long ago that I don’t remember it.  Ditto for Bitterwood by James Maxey.  Sorry not a lot of details here.

You should (re)read The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.

Readers, what else ya got for Steph’s question?



17 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Recommendations for books with dragons (and other fantasy creatures) in them”

  1. Guinevere Says:

    The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. It has dragons, an orphan who works at a magical retirement home and it is absolutely funny

  2. Steph Says:

    These all look delightful! I am so buying Dragons Love Tacos for my niece and nephew. I’ve read Dealing with Dragons a few years ago and it was cute. I don’t know which of the others I want to read first!

  3. Grace Says:

    Dragonhaven, by Robin McKinley.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Pondering this one – I could swear I knew a lot more dragon books but I can’t remember any off the top of my head right now.

    I didn’t like Dragons Love Tacos on the first four readings but it grew on me. It’s a big hit with the kids.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #2 (who has kids) hasn’t read it. One of our nephews had it on his list last Christmas but we didn’t get it for him because it didn’t show up until after we’d already bought gifts. Maybe next year if it’s still on there.

  5. chacha1 Says:

    A space fantasy I read recently is ‘Cici and the Curator’ by S.J. Wynde. I enjoyed it. It’s kind of a spoiler to recommend that in response to this query but, ya know. :-)

  6. Lisa Says:

    My kids love the “Wings of Fire” series, though I haven’t read them. The Hobbit features a prominent dragon. I believe that the Fablehaven series features fantasy creatures though I haven’t read them, either. I would highly recommend “The girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making” and the series, which features a dragon-like creature and is absolutely amazing (I heard about the series here!). One of my other absolute favorites, which features many fantasy and folklore-derived creatures, is “Summerland” by Michael Chabon. I’ve read the Hobbit and the last two with my kids and it’s striking how lovely the language and imagery is when read aloud.

  7. grrlpup Says:

    It’s out of print but affordable online– Peter Dickinson’s The Flight of Dragons. It’s mock-nonfiction about how exactly dragons fly, breathe fire, etc.

    Also Laurence Yep’s four-book series starting with Dragon of the Lost Sea. Chinese dragons are the best dragons!

  8. Grace Says:

    Oh, and there’s also at least a few books with dragons in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series. I know that Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-Light Special, and Chaos Choreography have them. I don’t especially remember dragons in Half-Off Ragnarok and Pocket Apocalypse, but did enjoy both of those books, too.

    Magic for Nothing and the ones that have come after… there could be dragons in them. I was so put off by the main character’s animosity in Magic for Nothing that I quit reading it before I got very far in, and haven’t read the remaining books in the series. But others may not be as put off as I was, or the main character may change past the point at which I quit.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Lady dragons show up in Antimony’s storyline too.

      I had been looking forward to Antimony a lot, but she’s really not that different from her sister in terms of internal dialogue even though our view of her from her siblings is different. I liked the one where she works at an amusement park. You could tell Seanan McGuire had lots of Disney experience. :)

  9. natalieinne Says:

    A really sweet graphic novel with dragons is the Tea Dragon Society. I love tea and dragons, and I want a tea dragon after reading that book.

    Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals series is full of mythological creatures including a dragon named Kitten. The first book in the series is Wild Magic.

  10. teresa Says:

    Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. It’s a pride & prejudice retelling, but clever-er than most and perfectly enjoyable without being familiar with pride and prejudice. The sequel (Dragonshadow) is also decent and has nothing to do with Austen.

  11. accm Says:

    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and its sequel, Shadowscale. (I haven’t read Tess of the Road yet, but it is supposed to be darker.)

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