Monday, September 21, 2020

Here Be Dragons


“That’s the thing about destiny: It can’t be predicted, and it’s usually pretty odd.”

~ from Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer

One of the most famous dragons in literature will come to life on the big screen this December in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. If you can’t get enough of dragons (and you’re tired of re-reading Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle), check out the fiery, reptilian fantasies on this list.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Fantasy. In his whimsical YA debut, the bestselling author of the Thursday Next series introduces 16-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange. Jennifer runs Kazam, a combination boarding house and employment agency for sorcerers in a world where magic is fading away. But when magicians all over the Ununited Kingdoms start having visions about the death of the world’s last dragon, Jennifer learns that she has a much greater responsibility than finding suitable jobs for washed-up wizards: she is the Last Dragonslayer. Often silly but also highly entertaining, this 1st in a planned series is a good bet for fans of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Fantasy. In the fascinating, Chinese- and Japanese-inspired world created in this book, supernatural “energy dragons” control all of Earth’s energies. Young men compete for the honor of being apprenticed to one of the Dragoneyes, powerful men who communicate and bargain with the dragons on behalf of the people. Sixteen-year-old Eon has been training hard, but, due to an old injury and the fact that “he” is really a girl in disguise, is the least likely to be chosen. This spellbinding story of adventure, honor, and political intrigue features a strong heroine and a wonderfully complex plot that will keep readers guessing to the very end.

Eon by Alison Goodman

Fantasy. Just before the 40th anniversary of the peace treaty between humans and dragons in Goredd, the human Prince Rufus is murdered. Suspicion immediately falls on the dragons (who are able to take human form), forcing court musician Seraphina to be more careful than ever about concealing her half-human, half-dragon heritage.  But when Prince Lucian Kiggs asks for her help investigating the murder, Seraphina find it increasingly difficult to hide her family history…or her inconvenient feelings for Kiggs. With its rich world-building and refreshingly prickly heroine, fantasy fans will love this unique take on dragon mythology, and eagerly await the next volume in the series.