Best Book Ever: Dragons

Welcome to Best Book Ever!  Each week a group of authors, bloggers, and book lovers come together to give a shout out to their favorite books based on a specific theme.  This week our theme is:
Week 15: Dragons

My friend introduced me to the Anne McCaffrey “Dragonridersof Pern” dragon series last year and I TORE through those books! I love the idea of the planet they live on, all of the history and back story that McCaffrey came up with. It’s brilliant. Basically, it’s a mashup of fantasy and sci-fi. (I know there are people out there that argue one way or the other. I think it’s both.) Dragons and their human riders share a telepathic link (I think this might be where the “Eragon” series gets the idea). This is definitely more of an adult book because there are a few, sudden…bedroom scenes. (I was surprised by those!) A different sense of morality among the various people in Pern. There is action, intrigue, a bit of romance.

Thankfully, my friend owes many of the books in the various series that McCaffrey created. I’ve read the original trilogy: Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon. I then moved on to the Harper Hall series: Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums. I’ve read The Masterharper of Pern, and All the Weyrs of Pern.  I look forward to reading more books in this series.

I am a fan of Gail Carson Levine's stories, and so my choice for dragon week is The Two Princesses of Bamarre. It's an engrossing tale of two sisters - princesses, of course - and the strength of sisterly love. Skittish Addie is faced with an impossible-to-her task of braving up to save her sister Meryl's life. But she has help in the dashing wizard Rhys (sa-woon, people!), and surprises herself by actually being able to face all kinds of scary things - including an extended visit with the dragon Vollys. I loved this book when I first read, and through subsequent rereadings love it even more: it has adventure, romance, strange creatures, and just the barest hint of mystery.
Rebecca @ A Word's Worth

If you asked me two years ago to read a book about Dragons, I would have laughed in your face. To me it was just so weird to read a about a male or female who turns into a Dragon. I didn't think it can be sexy, and I sure didn't think it would be interesting to read about. Well, thanks to the amazing Sophie Jordan, and Meagan Hatfield (Who's series isn't YA) I am now a fan of Dragons in books. I love Firelight and it's one of my all time favorite series. I haven't read many books about Dragon's, but Sophie Jordan's Firelight, and Meagan Hatfield's Shadow Of The Vampire are my top picks. They are action packed, full of romance, and very suspenseful. I highly recommend these two books. Shadow of The Vampire isn't YA, but for those who are mothers and wives like me, and enjoy a good romance once in a while, this one is for you.  

A number of years ago, I read Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon. It was one of the first fantasy novels I really got into. It has action, adventure, romance, and dragons. The first of a series, I immediately fell in love with the main character. The world is complex with history and culture and languages, and the dragon lore is simply amazing. I was never really interested in dragons until I read this book.
Elizabeth Norris, author of Unraveling (2012, Baltzer and Bra
Cartographers in the days of old used to scrawl “Here be dragons” on maps to indicate uncharted territory. (Not much incentive to go explore them, if you ask me. Maybe they did it for job security.) When I pick up a new fantasy, I always look for the map first, and when I encountered J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit around twenty years ago (ugh), I was delighted to find Thror’s map at the front. Unlike many maps of fantasy worlds, this one is integral to the plot — it’s essentially a reproduced artifact from the book. I was instantly intrigued by a tiny drawing in the lower left of a snakelike dragon accompanied by the words, “For to the North are the Grey Mountains of the Withered hearts whence came the Great Worms.” This is in the map, folks, and it already grabs you, doesn’t it? If you slide your eyes over to the right, you’ll see a larger area with a lot of ancient markings in another language, simply labeled “The Desolation of Smaug.” Hmm. Seems like a great vacation spot. Let’s go there! (And hopefully back again.) Here’s a spoiler, if you haven’t read it yet: Yes, Bilbo, there is a dragon. His name is Smaug. He talks. And he is very unpleasant.

The Hobbit is very different from its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, but in some ways it may be a better book, or at least a lot more fun to read, and this is where the whole saga began. (Well, technically it all begins with The Silmarillion, and pages and pages of scribbled notes, but you know what I mean.) Just go read it! And oh yeah, this map has one other little note of interest, almost fine print really… “There are Spiders.”
E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012 Prometheus Books)
Apparently I need to stop by this week's post and write down some dragon titles to add to my TBR list. This was a hard one for me to come up with -- but you can't go wrong with Harry Potter and dragons do play a part in Harry's adventures when his name is mysteriously entered into the Tri-Wizard Tournament and he must face a series of dangerous challenges. (Hint -- one of these challenges involves mythical creatures who can fly and breathe fire).
Tiffany Schmidt, debut author of Send Me a Sign (2012 by Walker- Bloomsbury) 
This week's BBE is pretty easy for me to choose. My favorite Dragon book is Sophie Jordan's Firelight series. I honestly don't think you can find another dragon book like hers in the YA market. Firelight and Vanish are fantastic, I'm excited and sad to read the final installment in the series Hidden. Sophie has created such a unique world that her Draki live in, you are completely mesmerized while reading the story. Plus you not only get one swoon-worth guy, you get two. When I read these books I want to be Jacinda soaring in the clouds!
I don't think this list would be complete without Christopher Paolini's epic adventure Eragon.  I went into this book not being very crazy about dragons and was convinced by the end that dragons were the coolest magical creature out there.  I was shocked that the author wrote this book as a teen.  It made me want my own dragon to be friends with and battle evil! This was a fantastic journey and a great series!
So what do you think about our picks?  Leave your answers in the comments below!

Next week..... Male Main Characters!

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