Dragons. Are. So. Cool. Perhaps the most ubiquitous creature in mythological folklore, dragons are present throughout various ancient civilizations’ historical recordings, including numerous countries in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Ancient Greece. No one can say for certain where the idea of a flying, fire-breathing lizard came from, but we’re glad it came from somewhere! Seriously, consider the second most common magical creature – probably the unicorn, wouldn’t you agree? – which is basically just a horse with a sparkly horn on its head. Like, whoaaaaa. Pretty mind-blowing!!! Except NOT.

univorn versus dragon

That's right - maybe your shiny horn will distract him.

What makes dragons even more awesome is that they’re also super intelligent animals, and they’re even capable of human speech in many popular works of fiction, like The Hobbit. This means that they’re wicked smart and all the more dangerous for it – which makes them even awesomer! And of course everyone knows that dragons love hording treasure. Dragon hordes, if you happen to stumble across one that isn’t being guarded properly, are sources of immense wealth. Stories also claim that a dragon’s avarice is so strong that it often creates a stone of pure magical energy inside its skull or somewhere near its heart, depending on which of the stories you believe. Whoever holds this stone will become an unstoppable force of nature. (This info is all coming straight from memory – that’s how awesome I am.)

smaug

I have no words for this.

It’s also worth pointing out that not all dragons are the same. The dragon of European folklore is distinct from the dragon of Chinese mythology, which is most often associated with the element of fire. But dragons can also be found in caves (although if it lives primarily underground then it’s technically a wyrm) and in various bodies of water. Again, compare the dragon – of which there are countless species and sub-varieties – to the unicorn, of which there is only one. I can appreciate pretty much any magical creature, but you have to admit – unicorns are lame.

January 16th is Appreciate a Dragon Day, and to celebrate this momentous occasion I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite books that feature one or more dragons. Hopefully there are a few new titles here for everyone to enjoy. Feel free to chime in with any other suggestions!

A Song of Ice & Fire series by George R. R. Martin

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Hero & the Crown by Robin McKinley

Buried Fire by Jonathan Stroud

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

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So, what do you think?