Fantasy Friday 2 - Dragons!
This is a meme hosted by Rinn Reads where anyone can join in and talk about anything Fantasy!
This week I thought I'd talk about dragons.
I've read a lot of books that involve dragons, and it's always cool to see how they are portrayed. Here's the rundown on different types of dragons and where to find them!
- Saphira The Inheritance series - this world is really similar to that of Lord of the Rings (and a lot of other high fantasy) since it involves dwarves, elves, and an evil mysterious king. But what makes this world awesome is how important dragons are. The dragons have a pact with the humans and elves to form a partnership known as the Riders. The dragons choose someone to bond with, and spend the rest of their lives together. I loved how dragons were portrayed as both magical and mysterious yet playful at the same time. Saphira managed to turn things into diamond without even trying, and yet she acts like a little kid in a candy shop on other occasions. Even if there aren't many dragons in the series, the few that are there were incredibly majestic and beautiful creatures.
- Vollys from Gail Carson Levine's The Two Princesses of Bamarre - This is a lesser known book by the author of Ella Enchanted, but I read and loved it as a kid. In this book, Vollys is this huge creature who likes nothing more than roasting people alive and eating them. But let no one say she doesn't give you a fair chance - she'll keep you around as long as you keep her amused . The catch is that it isn't very easy to amuse a dragon who's lived for hundreds of years...
Both breath-taking and terrifying, Vollys is one of my favorite literary dragons.
- Smaug! This dragon shouldn't require much explanation, especially since the new Hobbit movie came out recently. Smaug, I think, is more terrifying on screen than in the book, but he is still a formidable force in both instances. I thought it was both funny and a little freaky how attuned Smaug is to his cavernous wealth. He has so much, but can still smell when a single gold coin is out of place.
- Seraphina - This is one of the most original adaptations of dragons that I have ever seen. In this world, dragons can take on human shapes at will. Dragons - even in their human form - are incredibly calculating and logical; it's hard to imagine they have any emotion at all. Their notorious intelligence and lack of emotion obviously leads to tension between dragons and humans, which tears poor Seraphina apart since she is half-dragon and half-human. I really loved the mythology of this book - I've never read anything quite like it before or since.
- Eon(a) - In this world, there are 12 dragons as well as a Mirror dragon. Each one is tied to a dragonlord by a pearl, and they are summoned when their dragonlords are in need of power. This series blended more Eastern folklore involving dragons than other books I've read, which was refreshing.
- Daenerys' dragons - these dragons haven't had the chance to do much yet other than fly around and fry the occasional sheep (or person...). I thought it was interesting how there was an entire dynasty who had "the blood of the dragon" and could tame these incredibly volatile creatures. Unlike the other books mentioned above, the dragons don't really have much character - they're just there to look scary. I'm hoping this will change later on!
- Earthsea - I have only read one of Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books (the horror! I know, I'm planning on reading more), and it didn't feature dragons too heavily. Dragons are still a big part of the world though, and are said to have shared a common ancestor with humans. The dragons have wisdom and knowledge that no one else does. One of them, Tehanu, is one of the most incredible characters - she has taken on a human form, but sustains burns to half her body from her dragon form.
- Icefire - this was one of my favorite series as a kid, and involves a line of sybils who make clay dragons that can come to life. There are also evil witches, dark matter and alien creatures, and shaman polar bears, but dragons are really the focus of this world. It is said that the dragons are made from the earth, so when they die they turn back into clay after shedding their "fire tear". This fire tear has incredible magical properties, which the above mentioned evil witch and alien creatures want to exploit while the polar bears try to protect it. I realize how ridiculous I have made this series sound, but I promise it's not as random as it seems, and is in fact very thought-provoking and well-written!