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The Book of Dragons: An Anthology

by Jonathan Strahan (Editor)

Other authors: Daniel Abraham (Contributor), Kelly Barnhill (Contributor), Peter S. Beagle (Contributor), Brooke Bolander (Contributor), Beth Cato (Contributor)22 more, Zen Cho (Contributor), C.S.E. Cooney (Contributor), Aliette de Bodard (Contributor), Kate Elliott (Contributor), Sarah Gailey (Contributor), Theodora Goss (Contributor), Ellen Klages (Contributor), R.F. Kuang (Contributor), Ann Leckie (Contributor), Ken Liu (Contributor), Scott Lynch (Contributor), Todd McCaffrey (Contributor), Patricia A. McKillip (Contributor), Garth Nix (Contributor), KJ Parker (Contributor), Kelly Robson (Contributor), Michael Swanwick (Contributor), Rachel Swirsky (Contributor), Jo Walton (Contributor), Elle Katharine White (Contributor), JY Yang (Contributor), Jane Yolen (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
1576150,081 (3.7)None
HERE BE DRAGONS... A unique collection of stories by the greatest fantasy writers working today. Sparking myths and legends from Asia to Europe, Africa to North America, dragons are the most universal and awe-inspiring of magical creatures. Whether they are fearsome, rampaging monsters or benevolent sages with much to teach humanity, dragons bring creation, destruction, and adventure in stories told all around the globe. In this landmark collection, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan combines nearly thirty never-before-seen short stories and poems, written by modern masters of science fiction and fantasy, and illustrations by acclaimed artist Rovina Cai. Featuring stories from Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Garth Nix, Ken Liu, Kate Elliott, and many more, THE BOOK OF DRAGONS breathes fresh life and fire into the greatest magical beasts of all.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
There were actually two reasons I added this anthology to my tbr - the first being obviously dragons, I’m obsessed with these fantasy creatures and reading so many stories featuring them was exciting; the second reason being R. F. Kuang was going to write a short story for it.

I was thrilled when I got approved for the ARC. But when I started reading it, I wasn’t as enamored because so many of the stories in the first half just felt okay. But as the book went on, I really came to enjoy the stories a lot more and I think this is an interesting collection to read for any fans of speculative fiction and dragons.

Below are my individual reviews:

What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen

I’m not someone who understands poetry much so I don’t wanna rate or comment on this one.

Matriculation by Elle Katharine White

This one has a mechanical dragon that responds to symbols and I found it very interesting. But the story is more about how a young magitechnician has to find the funds to pay for her education and I found it so relatable to our real life issues.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho

The story of a naga sage who has choose between his self enlightenment or family duties, this was fun and interesting and I loved the way everything is described.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Yuli by Daniel Abraham

There seem to be two parallel stories going on here but I can’t say I understood the point of either of them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu

An alternate world in which everything is powered by dragon breath and the number of dragons at a location determines its prosperity, I felt completely immersed in this story. It’s also a story of loss and grief while also being a commentary on the cons of exploiting resources, and I thought the author managed to balance everything very well.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Nidhog by Jo Walton

An interesting poem about a dragon waiting to rise and free all its kind.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Where the River turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander

The dragon in this story being a water spirit and forming a connection with a human family was told beautifully and the way it ended only makes me want its continuation.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Habitat by K. J. Parker

Told in dual timelines, this is a story of endless war, cruelty and greed and how it all only destroys and nothing good will come of it. Very well written and for such a serious story, the end was pretty funny.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Pox by Ellen Klages

The story of a young girl who loves Le Guin’s Wizard of the Earthsea, wishes dragons were real and goes on a little adventure in Chinatown in SFO, this was a fun story and I particularly loved the mouthwatering descriptions of the various food items.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Nine Curves River by R. F. Kuang

Told in second person, a story of two sisters, jealousy, and sacrifice for the sake of greater good, this was so beautiful and poignant and sad, but also hopeful in some way. And the point about monsters being lonely and we humans not understanding them was quite interesting to think about.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lucky’s Dragon by Kelly Barnhill

A story about soul splitting and dragons, I loved the idea behind this tale as well as the deep affection between the main character and her dragon. Overall this turned out to be quite thrilling as well as cute.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I Make Myself a Dragon by Beth Cato

This was an absolutely beautiful poem about a human being who has been shunned by the world trying to reclaim their life by awakening the dragon within, and pledging to be a protector for others like them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Exile by JY Neon Yang

I’m not sure I can describe what this was about effectively but it was full of beautiful melancholy, heartbreak and acceptance. But also included was a bit of meta commentary on the ills of human desire to conquer other lands without any care for the original inhabitants. An overall wonderful story and gorgeous writing.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle

A spin on the myth of Melusine, this story was full of loss and longing, but also about cherishing the experiences we get to have, even if they never happen again.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

La Vitesse by Kelly Robson

To be honest, this thrilling story reminded me a lot of the movie Speed with its bus full of children being chased by a dragon, and a mother and daughter trying to outrun it. Very interesting writing.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Final Knight to her Love and Foe by Amal El-Mohtar

I thought it was a wonderful love poem until that very unexpected last line. Very cool poetry though.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

The Long Walk by Kate Elliot

Set in a world where a woman is considered dead when her husband dies, this is the story of a widow in a similar predicament who chooses to finally do what her heart desires because she is free of all her responsibilities. And what a wonderful story it is of empowerment and solidarity and taking back one’s life.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix

The story of a dragon and dragon hunting knight and puppet duo, this was an entertaining story but it also felt a bit incomplete towards the end.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Hoard by Seanan McGuire

Wow. I didn’t expect that a dragon’s hoarding habits could also manifest in this form. This was both a fascinating/terrifying story as well as a commentary on the flawed foster care system.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

The Wyrm of Lirr by C. S. E. Cooney

This poem seemed nice enough and even though I didn’t understand it completely, I liked its idea of some humans petitioning to free indentured dragons.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Last Hunt by Aliette de Bodard

Set prior to the events in the author’s acclaimed novella In the Vanisher’s Palace, this story gives a bit of background into what actually happened in the world just before the masters disappeared and I liked getting to know this. It’s still only a small glimpse but I’m glad that we got it.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

We Continue by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky

A metaphor for the cycle of life and death, this story was heartbreaking but also had the important message that when we lose the ones we love, we have to find the hope and courage to move on.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Small Bird’s Plea by Todd McCaffrey

A young human girl and a young demon boy set out to save their people from each other’s destructive ways and they decide to band together - it confused me a bit in the beginning but it was also sweet, funny and had a subtle message about all species being interdependent on each other for survival.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

The Dragons by Theodora Goss

A poem about a woman who can’t let go of the dragons who show up on her porch one day, all little and vulnerable, this was very heartwarming and lovely.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick

This story had dragons, wizards and time travel and it was so much fun. And I loved how the woman are pragmatic warriors but still have to appease the men to keep the peace.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Camouflage by Patricia A. McKillip

This almost felt a bit like a young would be wizard taking his OWLS exam at Hogwarts and then traveling back in time. But I loved the whole world and the vivid imagery the author created, and the concept dealing with the importance of knowledge was very well written.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We Don’t Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey

This is the story of a young girl from an abusive home who forms a bond with a dragon, and I really loved how she felt she could share all her feelings only with the dragon and the beast seemed to reciprocate in its own way. And that ending was beautiful and powerful.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch

To be honest, this was just batshit crazy but also absolutely wonderful towards the end. However, the author also managed to show some very harsh political realities that I think could happen in real life America too. Very well thought and written.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Nice Cuppa by Jane Yolen

This was a nice way to end the book, almost like with a cup of tea.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
The Book of Dragons is an anthology containing diverse short stories and poems about dragons, depicting them in a wide variety of fearsome and remarkable mythical creatures. My favorite stories were Matriculation by Elle Katharine White, picturing dragons as some sort of magical technical invention and the poem The Wyrm of Lirr by C. S. E. Cooney about the release of a captive dragon. I especially liked the diversity of the included stories and their different views on dragons.

These are my ratings for every short story (on a scale of one to five stars):
What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen (3/5)
Matriculation by Elle Katharine White (5/5)
Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho (4/5)
Yuli by Daniel Abraham (3.5/5)
A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu (4.5/5)
Nidhog by Jo Walton (2.5/5)
Where the River Turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander (4/5)
Habitat by K. J. Parker (3/5)
Pox by Ellen Klages (4/5)
The Nine Curves River by R. F. Kuang (4.5/5)
Lucky’s Dragon by Kelly Barnhill (4.5/5)
I Make Myself a Dragon by Beth Cato (2.5/5)
The Exile by JY Yang (3.5)
Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle (3.5)
La Vitesse by Kelly Robson (3)
A Final Knight to Her Love and Foe by Amal El-Mohtar (3.5)
The Long Walk by Kate Elliott (3.5/5)
Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix (3.5/5)
Hoard by Seanan McGuire (4/5)
The Wyrm of Lirr by C. S. E. Cooney (5/5)
The Last Hunt by Aliette de Bodard (2.5/5)
We Continue by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky (3/5)
Small Bird’s Plea by Todd McCaffrey (2.5/5)
The Dragons by Theodora Goss (3.5/5)
Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick (3/5)
Camouflage by Patricia A. McKillip (4.5/5)
We Don’t Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey (4.5/5)
Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch (3/5)
A Nice Cuppa by Jane Yolen (3/5) ( )
  Dariah | Jan 25, 2021 |
A large number of interesting well told stories, full of imagination, many very good and no bad ones. The poetry could be worse. Unless you met variants I missed during the deluge of dragon books of first decade of the 21st century, you may find some unique and delightful depictions in these stories, and where the dragons are closer to tradition, well the dragon hunters show variations as well as the circumstances of the encounters. A dragon poses two riddles in the last story and I'm only satisfied with my answer to one of them - afaik no answers are given. ( )
  quondame | Jan 17, 2021 |
Anthologies are just not something that I seem to enjoy. I nabbed this as an audiobook.

While I appreciate the diversity of stories and types of dragons, overall I was just really bored. Each story is about an hour or shorter and if you can’t pull me into your story within 5-15 minutes, then I’m not gonna finish it. I skipped over quite a few stories and out of the ones I did listen to fully I only really enjoyed “Where the River Turns to Concrete” by Brooke Bolander, as well as most of the poems.

Pretty lack luster overall for me though, which is rough for me to admit as I love dragons, these just didn’t do it for me. ( )
  SweetKokoro | Jul 31, 2020 |
There were only four or five stories I found just okay or worse--most of those were in the last 150 pages or so, weirdly--and the rest were more than good enough to make up for the occasional dip in quality. Wow! I don't read many anthologies, but I sure do love dragons, and this book does them justice. I had a great few days reading it. I'm so glad I gave it a chance. ( )
  livmae | Jul 17, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Strahan, JonathanEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abraham, DanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnhill, KellyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolander, BrookeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cato, BethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cho, ZenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cooney, C.S.E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Bodard, AlietteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elliott, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gailey, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goss, TheodoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klages, EllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuang, R.F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leckie, AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Liu, KenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lynch, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCaffrey, ToddContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKillip, Patricia A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, KJContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robson, KellyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swanwick, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swirsky, RachelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walton, JoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, Elle KatharineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yang, JYContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yolen, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennett, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cai, RovinaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cai, RovinaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cartozian Wilson, MWNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caudill, EleanorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chang, MimiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chin,FeodorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waterson, MatthewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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HERE BE DRAGONS... A unique collection of stories by the greatest fantasy writers working today. Sparking myths and legends from Asia to Europe, Africa to North America, dragons are the most universal and awe-inspiring of magical creatures. Whether they are fearsome, rampaging monsters or benevolent sages with much to teach humanity, dragons bring creation, destruction, and adventure in stories told all around the globe. In this landmark collection, award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan combines nearly thirty never-before-seen short stories and poems, written by modern masters of science fiction and fantasy, and illustrations by acclaimed artist Rovina Cai. Featuring stories from Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Garth Nix, Ken Liu, Kate Elliott, and many more, THE BOOK OF DRAGONS breathes fresh life and fire into the greatest magical beasts of all.

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Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Kate Elliott, Ken Liu, Todd McCaffrey, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, and other modern masters of fantasy and science fiction put their unique spin on the greatest of mythical beasts—the dragon—in never-before-seen works written exclusively for this fantasy anthology compiled by award-winning editor Jonathan Strahan and with art by Rovina Cai!Here there be dragons . . . From China to Europe, Africa to North America, dragons have long captured our imagination in myth and legend. Whether they are rampaging beasts awaiting a brave hero to slay or benevolent sages who have much to teach humanity, dragons are intrinsically connected to stories of creation, adventure, and struggle beloved for generations. Bringing together nearly thirty stories and poems from some of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers working today— Garth Nix, Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Ann Leckie & Rachel Swirsky, Daniel Abraham, Peter S. Beagle, Beth Cato, Zen Cho, C. S. E Cooney, Aliette de Bodard, Kate Elliott, Theodora Goss, Ellen Klages, Ken Liu, Patricia A McKillip, K. J. Parker, Kelly Robson, Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, Elle Katharine White, Jane Yolen, Kelly Barnhill, Brooke Bolander, Sarah Gailey, and J. Y. Yang—and illustrated by award-nominated artist Rovina Cai with black-and-white line drawings specific to each entry throughout, this extraordinary collection vividly breathes fire and life into one of our most captivating and feared magical creatures as never before and is sure to become a treasured keepsake for fans of fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tales.
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