Wow . . . so this may be the shortest list ever!
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein
I think this is the first time I encountered a dragon in literature. Or at least the first time I had an idea of how significantly the dragon was going to influence me. Smaug, as I mentioned last week, is my idea of how dragons should be. He’s mean, grumpy and greedy with a raging narcissism that makes Narcissus himself look like the most humble man alive. I love that he wears the gold he’s stolen and how he baits Bilbo so terribly while they speak. I know eventually the story gets one up on him, but I enjoy Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug even more than his meeting with Gollum.
A Song Of Ice And Fire – George RR Martin
This seems like a little of a cop out since the series isn’t finished yet and these (three) dragons don’t talk. But it isn’t just Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal I’m talking about here. I have no idea were Mr Martin is taking his story (I have suspicions, but that’s for another day) but Daenerys herself must be part dragon, right? I love the way the Targaryen family is so tied up with ‘the blood of the dragon’ and how it is engrained in the very fabric of their identity.
The Deverry Series – Katherine Kerr
I thought I had finished this series only to discover a couple of weeks ago that there are another six books. WOOOOOOOOOOO! So pleased to realise there is more to go, but for the purposes of this list, I’m talking about ‘Act Two’ of the Deverry Cycle (A Time of Exile, A Time of Omens, A Time of War and A Time of Justice—I believe the last two have different names in the USA). Characters we have met and know well from ‘Act One’ of the series reappear further along in the timeline and work together in various wars while hunting for dragons that most folk believe aren’t real.
And that’s it!
I know, three books (or series)?
It’s only through putting together this list that I realise how few dragon books I’ve actually read. I mean . . . I started Eragon, but stopped very soon when I became too enraged to see straight (more on that another time). I’ve had the Dragon Lance books shoved at me time and time again and just never got around to opening one. Similarly, if one more person mentions the Dragonriders of Pern I might just have to punch someone. I know, people! I’ll get to them eventually!
But I’ll readily admit: I’ve been so focused on vampires for so many years, that I’ve missed so many other wonderful fantasy creatures. Maybe next year I’ll set myself a challenge of reading up on different creatures?
Who knows . . .