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The Book of Dragons

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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 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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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 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.

30 review for The Book of Dragons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sahitya

    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 stori 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: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Taken as a whole, this is one of the best anthologies I've read. Most collections are mixed, and this one does have a few stories I didn't care for, but those were the clear exception to what is, for the most part, an excellent anthology. "What Heroism Tells Us" by Jane Yolen (No Rating) - Since I am not someone who reads or appreciates poetry, I won't be rating most of the poems in this anthology. "Matriculation" by Elle Katharine White  4.5/5 - I loved this one. My sole complaint is that it rea Taken as a whole, this is one of the best anthologies I've read. Most collections are mixed, and this one does have a few stories I didn't care for, but those were the clear exception to what is, for the most part, an excellent anthology. "What Heroism Tells Us" by Jane Yolen (No Rating) - Since I am not someone who reads or appreciates poetry, I won't be rating most of the poems in this anthology. "Matriculation" by Elle Katharine White  4.5/5 - I loved this one. My sole complaint is that it reads like the opening chapter to a novel, which I want to read but can't get! White packs an amazing peek into a world of magical science and the supernatural. I haven't read anything else by her, but this is making me want to give Heartstone a try. "Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage" by Zen Cho  4/5 - An amusing and modern feeling piece with dragons as the main actors and examining the pull of family and tradition."You couldn't be a prince and a bodhisattva, which was Sri Bujang had left home. Being a king would be even more of an obstacle to liberation." "Yuli" by Daniel Abraham 4/5 - Great writing and buildup of tension in this tale featuring a metaphorical dragon. "His gun roars. The sound is like fire: a brightness of yellow and red." "A Whisper of Blue" by  Ken Liu 4/5 - In a world powered by dragon energy, Liu presents a unique theory on the ultimate source dragons use to create energy for fire. It's a very interesting piece, and brings up all kinds of moral and practical questions for debate. "Nidhog" by Jo Walton (no rating) - more poetry. "Where the River Turns to Concrete" by Brooke Bolander  4.5/5 - A great story written with wonderful imagery that felt full of life and texture. "He turned the key and the engine roared snowmelt and flash flood. It was like someone saying his name. His real name. The thought swirled by and was gone, inexplicable, a dead tree headed for the ocean." "Habitat" by K.J. Parker 3/5 - Not bad; told with a dry sense of humour. There was an interesting germ of an idea about whether war makes you a dragon or literal infection does, but it wasn't explored, just added on at the end. "Pox" by Ellen Klages 4/5 - An engaging and adorable story about a nine year old girl experiencing the magic of San Francisco's Chinatown for the first time. "The Nine Curves River" by R.F. Kuang 3/5 - A melancholy lament and farewell filled with regret from one sister to another. "We take your gifts but still we will cast you out, because you terrify us...We demand and take everything from you and attribute our ingratitude to fear." "Lucky's Dragon" by Kelly Barnhill 4.5/5 - magical, funny, and rich in its exploration of human emotion and neuro-diversity. The other book by Barnhill I have read is The Girl Who Drank the Moon, which I absolutely loved. It didn't have the same humour as this short story, but there is a certain depth of feeling and imagination in both works that really appeals to me. "I Make Myself a Dragon" by Beth Cato (no rating) - another poem. "The Exile" by JY Yang 2/5 - Meh; not much to say about this one except that I didn't much care for it. I don't normally find non-standard pronouns confusing, but in this case I did, and I'm sure that affected my enjoyment of the story. "Except on Saturdays" by Peter S. Beagle 3/5 - A history teacher has a somewhat memorable encounter with Melusine. "Immortals always end up in California, sooner or later, quite often as bedtime stories. You would be amazed at whom I have seen in Palo Alto alone, never mind Berkeley." "La Vitesse" by Kelly Robson  4/5 - Being Canadian I always appreciate when Canadian authors actually use this country as their setting rather than the standard London/New York/Los Angeles settings. This one ticks Canadian boxes hard: Parkas and touques, worries about hitting a moose on the gravel Forestry Trunk Road, about kids being mauled by bears or cougars while waiting for La Vitesse - and apparently dragons are a worry too. "Bea gave up. He was from Toronto. What did he know? Nothing." Oh burn! The Westcoaster in me approves. "A Final Knight to Her Love and Foe" by Amal El-Mohtar (no rating) - more poetry. "The Long Walk" by Kate Elliott  4/5 - A nice idea and well executed. I liked the self-exploration by the main character and her decision to undertake a journey of self-discovery without being sure of the ultimate destination - death, or something else? "Sister, you have always had wings. They were stolen from you long ago. Now they wait here with us, when you are ready." "Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz" by Garth Nix  3/5 - A knight and an ensorcelled puppet locate and deal with extra-dimensional dragons as agents of the Council of the Treaty for the Safety of the World; they are essentially pair of Medieval MIBs. Great premise, but failed to deliver much substance after the initial setup. "Hoard" by Seanan McGuire 4.5/5 - Clever and thoroughly enjoyable! Imagine if a dragon was a foster parent and children the object of her hoard. Think of how well a dragon cares for her hoard. "[I]t's not as if love is a limited resource. Not if spent wildly. The only time I've known love to be limited is when people place limits on it." "The Wyrm of Lirr" by C.S.E. Cooney  (no rating) - poetry "The Last Hunt" by Aliette de Bodard 3/5 - As always, I enjoy de Bodard's lush prose, but sometimes (as here) I find the story itself a bit elusive. "We Continue" by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky 3/5 - Interesting idea switching back and forth between the dragon and human POV. I'm not sure I believe two apparently sentient intelligence could live together so closely for so long and not understand each other better. "Small Bird's Plea" by Todd McCaffrey 2.5/5 - Meh. Not for me. "The Dragons" by Theodora Goss 4/5 - A poem I liked! Free verse poem/story about a woman who adopts a clutch of dragons. "Dragon Slayer" by Michael Swanwick 3/5 - Meh. The writing was a bit stilted and the dragon part of this story was pretty minimal. "Camouflage" by Patricia McKillip 3/5 -  A student mage takes a final exam that sends back into the past to bring knowledge into the future. I liked the premise and the writing, but the story just didn't come together for me. "We Don't Talk About the Dragon" by Sarah Gailey 4/5 -  Nicely told story about a girl's progression from childhood to adulthood,  feeding a dragon that she isn't supposed to talk about, and learning the silent, hungry creature that lives in the barn and also inside of her. "Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It" by Scott Lynch 4/5 - Although I'm familiar with Lynch I've never actually read anything by him. This was a great introduction. The story is a wonderfully written one that focuses on the characters as they adapt to the world changing around them. It was complete, but I also still wanted to know what happened next. "A Nice Cuppa" by Jane Yolen (no rating) - A sweet poem to end the collection.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I love short story anthologies. I’m hardly one to shy away from big, sprawling epics, but it’s great having things that can be started and finished over breakfast. I love getting bite-sized stories from favorite authors. I love getting to sample stories from authors I’m curious about but never quite got around to picking up. I love reading stories from writers I’ve never heard of but am certainly going to look into now. I also love dragons, as all right-thinking people do. Accusations of them bei I love short story anthologies. I’m hardly one to shy away from big, sprawling epics, but it’s great having things that can be started and finished over breakfast. I love getting bite-sized stories from favorite authors. I love getting to sample stories from authors I’m curious about but never quite got around to picking up. I love reading stories from writers I’ve never heard of but am certainly going to look into now. I also love dragons, as all right-thinking people do. Accusations of them being cliched make no sense: there is simply too much variety packed into the idea of dragons for it to *ever* be cliched. This book has Western, fire-breathers stealing livestock, and Eastern water-dwellers bestowing blessings. It’s got steam-powered dragons, and dragon beehives, and dragon foster moms, and dragon lawyers, and dragons who are cranky about their commute. It’s got intelligent dragons and it’s got animalistic dragons. It’s got good dragons and evil dragons. It’s got riddling dragons, it’s got imaginary dragons, it’s got metaphorical dragons, and it’s got Dungeons & Dragons. And they’re all great. The contributing authors include some very well-known names, as well as some up-and-comers. In no particular order, they are: Daniel Abraham, Kelly Barnhill, Peter Beagle, Brooke Bolander, Zeb Cho, Aliette de Bodard, Kate Elliot, Sarah Gailey, Ellen Klage, R.F. Kuang, Ann Leckie, Scott Lynch, Ken Liu, Todd McCaffrey, Seanan McGuire, Patricia A. McKillip, Garth Nix, K.J. Parker (a.k.a. Tom Holt), Kelly Robson, Michael Swanwick, Rachel Swirsky, Ella Katherine White, and J.Y. Yang. Unusually, this book also features a number of poems, with entries from Beth Cato, C.S.E. Cooney, Amal El-Mohtar, Theodora Goss, Jo Walton, and Jane Yolen. I’m not an expert on poetry, but I enjoyed these quite a bit. Some of my favorite authors are in here, and I wasn’t surprised to love their stories. **Daniel Abraham** (*The Dagger & The Coin, The Long Price Quartet, the Expanse*) gets metaphorical with the story of a former mercenary determined to protect his hoard of ill-gotten gold. **R.F. Kuang** (*The Poppy Wars*) tells us about a girl willingly sacrificing herself to a dragon to end a drought. **Peter S. Beagle** (*The Last Unicorn*), true to form, tell a sad, sweet story of a professor meeting a dragon in the form of a human woman while riding the bus. **Aliette de Bodard** (*The Dominion of the Fallen, Obsidian & Blood*) give us a prequel to her excellent short novel *In the Vanishers’ Palace*. And **Scott Lynch** (*The Gentlemen Bastards*) gives us a story of a Wyoming sheriff trying to keep people safe from an invasion of dragons, with scant help from the government. There were other stories I loved, from authors I either hadn’t heard of or had heard of but never read. **Ellen Klages** tells the story of a girl, stuck bored at her relatives’ house, being taken by her aunt to San Francisco’s Chinatown with promises that there will be lots and lots of dragons. **Ella Katherine White** tells of a girl agonizing over whether or not to sell her beloved steam-powered flying dragon to pay for her education. **Kelly Robson** tells an exciting story of a dragon chasing down a school bus full of kids and the bus drivers’ heroic effort to keep her charge safe. **Seanan McGuire** tells us about a dragon in human form who, instead of hoarding gold, hoards foster children who need a loving home. From **Brooke Bolander** we hear about an amnesiac dragon in human form, working as a mob enforcer. **Kelly Barnhill** tells us about a girl who accidentally made a dragon in a science class lab experiment gone very wrong (or very right, as far as the girl is concerned). **Michael Swanwick** gives us a Jack Vance-esque story involving a girl, bandits, mages, deserts, time travel, and (of course) a dragon. **Kate Elliott** gives a powerfully feminist story of a society where women without husbands or fathers are sent as sacrifices to dragons (reading this story really pissed me off, in a good way). And **Sarah Gailey** gives what might have been my favorite of the anthology, a deep and moving story of abuse and escape and a dragon in the barn that no one talks about. I know I didn’t talk about all the stories, but though they of course can’t *all* be favorites, I enjoyed every single one of them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mel (Epic Reading)

    Illustrated!! I love anthologies, and tend to get them in hardcover (I rarely buy HC) so that if one day I meet any of the amazing authors I can get them to sign it. Only got 7 anthologies in HC and 0 signatures. That’s pretty good right? 😂 This sounds wonderful!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

    John Strahan never let me down with anthologies, and I had high expectations for this one featuring dragons. All 23 stories spread over 550 pages were original for the anthology, and the author lineup is exceptional - my expectation went through the roof when I saw some favorite authors like Ken Liu, K.J. Parker, Michael Swanwick, Patricia A. McKillip, and Scott Lynch. Just look at that list, and you’ll find surely some of your first rate authors, as well.  Other than the usual anthology which gi John Strahan never let me down with anthologies, and I had high expectations for this one featuring dragons. All 23 stories spread over 550 pages were original for the anthology, and the author lineup is exceptional - my expectation went through the roof when I saw some favorite authors like Ken Liu, K.J. Parker, Michael Swanwick, Patricia A. McKillip, and Scott Lynch. Just look at that list, and you’ll find surely some of your first rate authors, as well.  Other than the usual anthology which gives story after story, this one is a work of art, and you should consider grabbing the hardcover edition. It has lots of lovely interior illustrations by Rovina Cai spread over the whole pages, and features not only short stories, but also six poems, and look at that cover! The stories cover a broad range of Fantasy subgenres, and most of them bring a new angles on the beloved topic instead of trampling on the classic „plated knight against the beast“. There are just a few stories stretching the given topic somewhat, and you‘ll see lots of „real“ dragons.  Exceptional were the stories by Elliott, McKillip, and Lynch, and if you don‘t want to read the whole thing, give at least those three a try! And there were a lot of other great stories. Others didn’t hit my taste, but that is often just my personal aversion of YA. The average value of the stories is at 3.5 stars. As this work is a piece of art, adding to the overall enjoyment, I‘ll add an additional star and end with 4.5 stars.  You can find some more information about the anthology’s background at a Reddit AMA. As usual, I‘ve posted reviews for the stories in their own blog entries, linked in the list below. I’m not a poem-man, so I didn’t have to say much about those. Just check out the entries, because you might be disappointed if your favorite author didn’t give a story but „only“ a poem. Contents: What Heroism Tells Us • poem by Jane Yolen • ★★★★☆ • Matriculation • 2020 • Urban Fantasy short fiction by Elle Katharine White • an owner of a mechanical dragon has to buy tutoring books for college • review  • ★★★☆☆ • Hikaya Sri Bujang, or The Tale of the Naga Sage • 2020 • Fantasy short fiction by Zen Cho • the coming of age of a Naga prince • review • ★★★★☆ • Yuli • 2020 • Fantasy short story by Daniel Abraham • A Russian tries to survive his prosecutors and a D&D team fights a dragon • review • ★★★★☆ • A Whisper of Blue • 2020 • Fantasy novelette by Ken Liu • Tamed dragons produce energy instead of oil and coal • review • ★★☆☆☆ • Nidhog • 2020 • Mythological poem by Jo Walton • the Norse serpent wants to get free • review • ★★★☆☆ • Where the River Turns to Concrete • 2020 • Fantasy short story by Brooke Bolander • a water elemental gets turned into a mafia killer • review • ★★★★☆ • Habitat • 2020 • Fantasy short story by  K. J. Parker • a dragon hunt and musings about reproduction • review • ★★★☆☆ • Pox • 2020 • Magical realism short story by Ellen Klages • a girl gets a tour of San Francisco's Chinatown • review • ★★★★☆ • The Nine Curves River • 2020 • Fantasy short story by R. F. Kuang • a girl offers herself as a victom to a dragon to safe her country from a draught • review • ★★☆☆☆ • Lucky's Dragon • 2020 • Midgrade Fantasy novelette by Kelly Barnhill • a girl creates a dragon • review I Make Myself a Dragon • poem by Beth Cato • fits perfectly to the previous story where a dragon is created by a little girl • ★★☆☆☆ • The Exile • 2020 • Science Fantasy short story by JY Yang • a dragon god is exiled to terraform a planet • review • ★★★+☆☆ • Except on Saturdays • Urban Fantasy short story by Peter S. Beagle • Melusina appears in Berkeley • review • ★★★☆☆ • La Vitesse • 2020 •  Fantasy short story by Kelly Robson • school bus vs dragon in Alberta • review A Final Knight to her Love and Foe • poem by Amal El-Mohtar • a knight's praise for the beloved and hatred dragon • ★★★★★ • The Long Walk • 2020 • High Fantasy novelette by Kate Elliott • widows take the long walk to sacrifice themselves to the dragons • review • ★★★+☆☆ • Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz • 2020 • Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz short story by Garth Nix • the knight and the magic puppet track down a dragon •  review • ★★☆☆☆ • Hoard • 2020 • Fantasy short story by Seanan McGuire • a disguised dragon raises teenagers • review The Worm of Lirr • poem by C. S. E. Cooney • ★★☆☆☆ • The Last Hunt • 2020 • Post-apocalyptic short story by Aliette de Bodard • Dragons about to leave Earth they've devastated and the genmodded human preys • review • ★★★+☆☆ • We Continue • 2020 • Fantasy short story by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky • a hive’s collector dragon fosters a boy • review • ★★+☆☆☆ • Small Bird's Plea • 2020 • YA Science Fantasy short story by Todd McCaffrey • a little girl travels to a Mahican cave to ask for help against the demons  • review • ★★★☆☆ • The Dragons • Flash Fiction by Theodora Goss • cute story about raising seven dragons in Oregon • ★★★☆☆ • Dragon Slayer • 2020 • Time Travel Fantasy short story by Michael Swanwick • a merchant is chased by a monster from his past • review • ★★★★+☆ • Camouflage • 2020 • Time Travel Fantasy short story by Patricia A. McKillip • a magic apprentice is taken back to Hannibal‘s ride over the Alps as a final test • review We Don't Talk About the Dragon • 2020 • YA short fiction by Sarah Gailey • skipped, too YAish for my taste • ★★★★★ • Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It • 2020 • Fantasy novelette by Scott Lynch • a dragon invasion binds hunting deputies after WWII • review A Nice Cuppa • poem by Jane Yolen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lukasz

    Dragons. This anthology is all about the dragons. Not sold yet? Look at the list of the authors. The stories show a remarkable range both in ideas and in tone. The Book of Dragons is a well-balanced collection of serious and lighthearted, introspective and explosive, realistic and uncanny. Featured stories and poems draw from different myths and cultures and show many faces (snouts?) of dragons. Above all, though, they entertain. There were, of course, a few that did not appeal to me or that I fl Dragons. This anthology is all about the dragons. Not sold yet? Look at the list of the authors. The stories show a remarkable range both in ideas and in tone. The Book of Dragons is a well-balanced collection of serious and lighthearted, introspective and explosive, realistic and uncanny. Featured stories and poems draw from different myths and cultures and show many faces (snouts?) of dragons. Above all, though, they entertain. There were, of course, a few that did not appeal to me or that I flatly disliked. With almost 30 stories, there’s zero chance of a reader loving everything, though. Stories that stood out for me include Where the River Turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander, which blends climate fiction, crime story, and a love story (of sorts). Plus, Bolander’s take on dragons awed me. Michael Swanwick's Dragon Slayer is absurd but wildly entertaining. It throws dragons, wizards, fallen heroes, and time travel into the mix and the end-result is insane. Kudos for the clever use of gender-switching and darkly humorous use of time-travel. As a die-hard fan of K.J. Parker, I enjoyed Habitat. With his usual dry humor, he proves that all heroic deeds need some dirty work to happen. It made me laugh and appreciate the satisfying ending. We Continue, by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky set on a planet where dragons live in hives and human colonists struggle to survive gut-punched me in a good way. While heartbreaking and sad, it shows that when we lose those we love, we have to continue and move on. Such is the cycle of life and death. My favorite story, Matriculation by Ellen Klages, blends humor, imaginative worldbuilding, and personal drama. Melee, a future student of magitech, needs expensive books to study. The story follows her haggles with pawnshop owners believing education should have a steep price. I loved the characters, the tone, and the setting (including mechanical dragons). And I want more. As for the weaker stories, The Exile by JY Yang didn’t click with me. I liked the idea and the mix of sci-fi and fantasy, but not the execution or story-telling. I felt the gender topic (both the dragon and its caretaker are non-binary and addressed as xir/they) was more important than the story itself. Other than this one? I love Seanan McGuire’s writing, but I found her story, Hoard, predictable and disappointing. Her name sells books so I understand why the anthology features her story, though. Strahan's choices provide a diversity of voice, subject, and form and a balance between fresh and established voices. I recommend The Book of Dragons to all speculative fiction readers. In addition to the richly varied stories, it provides a fascinating perspective on dragons across cultures. 7.5/10

  7. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    Total average rating for the following stories only: “Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage”, by Zen Cho *** Unique take of a modern dragon but this did not draw me in as most of her stories. “Yuli”, by Daniel Abraham. * DNF “A Whisper of Blue”, by Ken Liu ***** Fantastic! Well written, rich worldbuilding, I can't find any fault. It's going to be in my Hugo ballot for sure. “Where the River Turns to Concrete”, by Brooke Bolander ***1/2 It is actually very good but I had to rewind some parts Total average rating for the following stories only: “Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage”, by Zen Cho *** Unique take of a modern dragon but this did not draw me in as most of her stories. “Yuli”, by Daniel Abraham. * DNF “A Whisper of Blue”, by Ken Liu ***** Fantastic! Well written, rich worldbuilding, I can't find any fault. It's going to be in my Hugo ballot for sure. “Where the River Turns to Concrete”, by Brooke Bolander ***1/2 It is actually very good but I had to rewind some parts - the climax - because somehow I felt there's something missing. Probably just me. “The Nine Curves River”, by R. F. Kuang **** Beautifully written. It is not the main story (which was about sisterhood), but the mention of the White Snake Legend kinda shook me since I'm rather familiar with it thanks to my regular dose of c-drama when I was little. I remember not liking the snake at that time so this story makes me look at it in another way. “Lucky's Dragon”, by Kelly Barnhill.*** Nice idea but a bit too cutesy for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! 3.3/5 Overall, a pretty average collection. I felt as if there were more meh ones than ones I loved. There was also a lot of poetry which, as you'll find, is not for me. I'm not big on poetry at all. My favorite stories were the ones by R.F. Kuang, Sarah Gailey, Seanan McGuire, Ellen Klages, and Scott Lynch! 🐉 What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen This was an interesting way to start the collection since it's a very short poem. Beau I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! 3.3/5 Overall, a pretty average collection. I felt as if there were more meh ones than ones I loved. There was also a lot of poetry which, as you'll find, is not for me. I'm not big on poetry at all. My favorite stories were the ones by R.F. Kuang, Sarah Gailey, Seanan McGuire, Ellen Klages, and Scott Lynch! 🐉 What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen This was an interesting way to start the collection since it's a very short poem. Beautiful prose. But, I'm not one for poetry. - 3/5 🐉 Matriculation by Elle Katharine White 🐉 CW: parental loss Okay, that was damn sad. But a very good story about grief and having to make sacrifices to keep going forward with ones life. - 4/5 🐉Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho Very intricate, but I found it hard to follow in the end. - 2.5/5 🐉 Yuli by Daniel Abraham An interesting story, but I wasn't able to get into it as much as I wanted to. - 3.5/5 🐉 A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu 🐉 CW: enslavement, drug use, overdose I really liked this one! It was very unique with how the story was told, almost as if it was a screenplay. - 4/5 🐉Nidhong by Jo Walton Pretty prose but, again, I'm not that into poetry. - 3/5 🐉 Where the River turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander Another imaginative, heartfelt story. I really liked reading this, even though I predicted some things. - 4/5 🐉 Habitat by K. J. Parker Fun, medieval-y story! I liked that this felt like an old-fashioned quest in some ways. Definitely would read a full novel that branches this story more! - 4/5 🐉 Pox by Ellen Klages This was a super cute story. Just a lot of fun. i like how the dragon part was almost a minor thing. Understated, yet there. - 4.5/5 🐉 The Nine Curves River by R.F. Kuang Not surprised at all that I rated Kuang's story five stars! I loved the second-person telling and the way the mythology teemed in the story, yet it wasn't too overwhelming to follow. - 5/5 🐉 Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill This was a fun read that was done very well. I could grasp the world easily without it being too much. I could definitely read more about it, but it had great pacing. - 4/5 🐉I Make Myself a Dragon by Beth Cato Again, not big on poetry, but I liked this one and the idea of becoming a dragon. - 3.5/5 🐉 The Exile by JY Yang This was one I couldn't get into as much as I wanted. Well written, but I couldn't immerse myself into the world as much as I wanted to. - 2/5 🐉 Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle I liked this one for the disability rep but I didn't get into it as much as I'd have liked. Maybe if it was a little longer! - 3/5 🐉 La Vitesse by Kelly Robson Eh, it was fine. I didn't love it (obviously) but it wasn't bad. Just couldn't get into it. - 2.5/5 🐉 A Final Knight to Her Love and Foe by Amal El-Mohtar Again, not into poetry. - 2/5 🐉 The Long Walk by Kate Elliott Enjoyable and immersive, but I still couldn't get into it as I wanted. Definitely a story I could reread, though! - 3/5 🐉 Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix It was fine, but way too short for the world that it was attached to. - 3/5 🐉 Hoard by Seanan McGuire A good short story, but I wanted a longer one. It was ripe for a longer story, really. A hoard can be many things, after all. - 4/5 🐉 The Wyrm of Lirr by C. S. E. Cooney Yet again, poetry isn't for me. - 2/5 🐉 The Last Hunt by Aliette de Bodard Simply put, I couldn't get into it. - 2/5 🐉 We Continue by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky It started out good, but then I lost interest in what was going on. - 2/5 🐉 Small Bird's Plea by Todd McCaffrey Eh. I didn't like this one. It just didn't capture by attention. - 1/5 🐉 The Dragons by Theodora Goss Cute and a short little story! Not much to say other than that. - 3/5 🐉 Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick I would have given three stars but I wasn't a fan of the world. Far to sexist and patriarchal. - 2.5/5 🐉 Camouflage by Patricia A. McKillip This was such a good one. Very unique and interesting and I totally want a novel. - 4/5 🐉 We Don't Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey Loved this story! I loved how developed it was, that it had a familiar refrain with growth along the way. - 5/5 🐉 Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch A fun alternate history by Scott Lynch. I liked the world and would totally read a novel about this. It kind of reminded me of Burn by Patrick Ness. - 4.5/5 🐉 A Nice Cuppa by Jane Yolen Enjoyable and short. I liked how it was based off a Night Circus quote. But this felt more like an intro than a story. - 4/5

  9. 5 out of 5

    hillary ☾ ⋆*・゚:⋆

    You just live your life and then a bomb gets dropped and it’s this anthology. I still can’t believe this is happening and I’m excited 🤯

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sepidaar

    Aliens, demons, witches and DRAGONS! Dragons everywhere! What else do you want?! These are my ratings for each story or poem: “What Heroism Tells Us,” Jane Yolen: 3 stars “Matriculation,” Elle Katharine White: 3.5 stars “Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage,” Zen Cho: I couldn't finish it: DNF “Yuli,” Daniel Abraham: 4 stars “A Whisper of Blue,” Ken Liu: 4.5 “Nidhog,” Jo Walton: 4 “Where the River Turns to Concrete,” Brooke Bolander: 4.5 “Habitat,” K. J. Parker: 3.5 “Pox,” Ellen Klages: 2.5 “T Aliens, demons, witches and DRAGONS! Dragons everywhere! What else do you want?! These are my ratings for each story or poem: “What Heroism Tells Us,” Jane Yolen: 3 stars “Matriculation,” Elle Katharine White: 3.5 stars “Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage,” Zen Cho: I couldn't finish it: DNF “Yuli,” Daniel Abraham: 4 stars “A Whisper of Blue,” Ken Liu: 4.5 “Nidhog,” Jo Walton: 4 “Where the River Turns to Concrete,” Brooke Bolander: 4.5 “Habitat,” K. J. Parker: 3.5 “Pox,” Ellen Klages: 2.5 “The Nine Curves River,” R. F. Kuang: 4 “Lucky’s Dragon,” Kelly Barnhill: 4 “I Make Myself a Dragon,” Beth Cato: 3 “The Exile,” JY Yang: 3.5 “Except on Saturdays,” Peter S. Beagle: 2.5 “La Vitesse,” Kelly Robson: 4.5 “A Final Knight to Her Love and Foe,” Amal El-Mohtar: 4 “The Long Walk,” Kate Elliott: 4.5 “Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz,” Garth Nix: 2 “Hoard,” Seanan McGuire: 4 “The Wyrm of Lirr,” C. S. E. Cooney: DNF “The Last Hunt,” Aliette de Bodard: DNF “We Continue,” Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky: 4 “Small Bird’s Plea,” Todd McCaffrey: 3 “The Dragons,” Theodora Goss: 4 “Dragon Slayer,” Michael Swanwick: 2 “Camouflage,” Patricia A. McKillip: 3 “We Don’t Talk About the Dragon,” Sarah Gailey: 3.5 “Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It,” Scott Lynch: 4 “A Nice Cuppa,” Jane Yolen: 2 "So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings." - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Anuska G Whether it’s imagining yourself charging into battle astride a mighty beast or daydreaming about flying through the clouds on the back of a peaceful one, who hasn’t wished to befriend a dragon? The Book of Dragons, edited by Jonathan Strahan, is a dragon lover’s dream. The collection contains twenty nine stories and poems by some of the greatest modern fantasy authors, featuring dragons from different myths and cultures around the world, Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Anuska G Whether it’s imagining yourself charging into battle astride a mighty beast or daydreaming about flying through the clouds on the back of a peaceful one, who hasn’t wished to befriend a dragon? The Book of Dragons, edited by Jonathan Strahan, is a dragon lover’s dream. The collection contains twenty nine stories and poems by some of the greatest modern fantasy authors, featuring dragons from different myths and cultures around the world, as well as mechanical and metaphorical ones. As with all anthologies, this one too is a mishmash of stories that might strike a chord with you, and stories you may not about. Along with fantasy, some of these tales also overlap with several other genres such as sci-fi, crime fiction, and urban fantasy. The dragons range from the more usual shape-shifting, gold-hoarding kind to terrifying and heroic beasts to cute, small ones who slowly steal pieces of your soul to grow, and each one of them will keep you engaged. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I don't have a 'becoming a genius' plan, like the wonderous emma (check out part 1 of her project here), but I do want to read more short stories! What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen 3 stars I didn't expect a poem to start us off, especially since I was hoping for a story from Jane Yolen. But it's not a bad poem. I just don't care for poetry, personally. Matriculation by Elle Katharine White 2 stars This story would have done well in a novel on it's own. I think the idea behind it was interesting but I don't have a 'becoming a genius' plan, like the wonderous emma (check out part 1 of her project here), but I do want to read more short stories! What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen 3 stars I didn't expect a poem to start us off, especially since I was hoping for a story from Jane Yolen. But it's not a bad poem. I just don't care for poetry, personally. Matriculation by Elle Katharine White 2 stars This story would have done well in a novel on it's own. I think the idea behind it was interesting but this snippet wasn't enough. I don't understand this world or it's rules. I don't understand the incident that rejected her scholarship. I don't understand what the "dragon" is and it annoyed me that it wasn't even a minor character in this thing. Overall, the writing is nice, but this brought up way more questions than answers and so it's overall forgettable. Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, the Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho 4 stars This one felt like an entire novel in one short story. I really liked this version of dragons, or naga, and I liked the relationship between siblings. I thought it was cute that Sri Kemboja moonlighted as a human and even had a crush. Overall, a nice well-rounded story that I would love to read more of! Yuli by Daniel Abraham 4 stars Another one where the dragon isn’t a main character or even a minor character but I was engrossed. ‘Yuli’ follows Yuli, an ex-mercenary sort who learns he has a grandson and consequently takes care of him. We get somewhat alternating perspectives as Yuli learns of an old threat and as his grandson plays D&D. I really liked this one! A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu 3.5 stars Written in a screenplay format, I expected less chunks of text, but it’s full of chunks of text. Regardless, I found this little story/documentary interesting! I really liked Zoe’s character and I found Alexander an interesting character too. I liked it, but expected less walls of text since it’s in an alternate format. Nidhog by Jo Walton 4 stars Another poem. This one is more imaginative and sounds like a dragon folklore. I thought it was cute and fun (if not a little ominous)! Where the River Turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander 5 stars Did I ever think I'd rate a mobster dragon story 5 stars? No, but here we are. A beautifully written piece about a river god befriending a single mom and her son while he works for, essentially, the mob. Loved it! Habitat by K.J. Parker 4 stars (Hello, I am back) This was fun, but also boring. This one made me set the book aside for a week or so, but it wasn't terrible. A fun story about a poor knight's son who kills a dragon with his bare hands as a kid, then must capture a dragon for the prince as an adult. I liked it, especially the different little "facts" about these dragons. Pox by Ellen Klages 5 stars I believe this is a sort of memoir story about the author’s trip to San Francisco. I absolutely loved it. I’ve been to Chinatown in San Francisco and it was one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to. I’d love to live in San Francisco if it wasn’t super expensive. This really brought that magic back to me. The Nine Curves River by R.F. Kuang 5 stars The second person tense was weird to get into but this was such a magical story. I really liked it even though I want so much more. I want to know what really happened. And the aftermath in the town. Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill 4.5 stars A little confusing to get into (also aliens??? In a book about DRAGONS? Awesome but unexpected) but a very fun story about a girl who discovers a dragon who lived inside of her. It was interesting to see this one play out. I found it both funny and compelling. I'm glad Lucky and her mother end up with a happily ever after.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    A fantastic anthology, with many strong stories: -“What Heroism Tells Us,” Jane Yolen: Poetry mostly leaves me cold, so nothing really to say about this. -“Matriculation,” Elle Katharine White: 4.5 stars. I loved this world and would love to see more of it. And that dragon! Part mechanical, part alchemical, totally wonderful! -“Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage,” Zen Cho: 4 stars. Amusing, and a little irreverent. And I loved how neatly Sri Kemboja maneuvered around her older brothe A fantastic anthology, with many strong stories: -“What Heroism Tells Us,” Jane Yolen: Poetry mostly leaves me cold, so nothing really to say about this. -“Matriculation,” Elle Katharine White: 4.5 stars. I loved this world and would love to see more of it. And that dragon! Part mechanical, part alchemical, totally wonderful! -“Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage,” Zen Cho: 4 stars. Amusing, and a little irreverent. And I loved how neatly Sri Kemboja maneuvered around her older brother, the soon to be King naga. -“Yuli,” Daniel Abraham: 3.5 stars. -“A Whisper of Blue,” Ken Liu: 4 stars. I liked the documentary feel of this alt-historical story where dragons’ breaths are power sources. -“Nidhog,” Jo Walton: 4 stars. Just waiting for Ragnarok… -“Where the River Turns to Concrete,” Brooke Bolander: 4 stars. Loved the imagery and the writing, in general. And the idea of a captive spirit getting well and truly pissed off. -“Habitat,” K. J. Parker: 4 stars. This made me laugh. The tone is wry, and angry. And the alt-world France (I think) felt real. -“Pox,” Ellen Klages: 4.5 stars. Thoroughly enjoyed this, and how m7ch was was discussed around young Ellen between Polly and Franny with Ellen not grasping the meaning. Mostly straight fiction, with a wisp of fantasy. -“The Nine Curves River,” R. F. Kuang: 4.5 stars. Just rip my heart out, R.F. Kuang! -“Lucky’s Dragon,” Kelly Barnhill: 4.5 stars. Awwwww! This was sweet, and a nice metaphor for dealing with one’s emotions. -“I Make Myself a Dragon,” Beth Cato: 4.5 stars. Oddly similar in a way to Lucky’s Dragon, in that the speaker “becomes” a dragon to gain self-confidence and strength. -“The Exile,” JY Yang: 4 stars. Lovely and cold and hard, like the crystals and the planet and its new dragon god. -“Except on Saturdays,” Peter S. Beagle: 3.5 stars. Beagle writes with an ease that I admire. This tale feels wistful but contented, at the same time. An interesting balance. -“La Vitesse,” Kelly Robson: 4.5 stars. Wonderfully Canadian (toques, poutine, etc.), scary and violent, while also showing some of the nastiness underlying our politeness, in the way people are racist to Bea and her family because she and her family are indigenous. -“A Final Knight to Her Love and Foe,” Amal El-Mohtar: 4 stars. I liked this, especially the sharp end. -“The Long Walk,” Kate Elliott: 4 stars. I kind of knew where this was going before it got there, but I still enjoyed this story a lot. And wanted to fly with the dragons afterwards. -“Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz,” Garth Nix: 4 stars. I loved how sneaky the plan was to locate a dragon. The interplay between Hereward and Fitz was amusing, and I’d like to read more of their no doubt violent adventures. -“Hoard,” Seanan McGuire: 4 stars. Interesting idea that a dragon's hoard need not necessarily be golden..... -“The Wyrm of Lirr,” C. S. E. Cooney: Poem, so nothing much to say about it. -“The Last Hunt,” Aliette de Bodard: 3.5 stars. Lots of strange imagery and gene-modding, and captives modified and submitted to a test to determine weaknesses. -“We Continue,” Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky: 4 stars. Dragons as hive creatures, life cycle, and what happens after one adopts an abandoned human child. -“Small Bird’s Plea,” Todd McCaffrey: 4 stars. -“The Dragons,” Theodora Goss 4 stars. -“Dragon Slayer,” Michael Swanwick:m 4 stars. -“Camouflage,” Patricia A. McKillip: 2.5 stars. -“We Don’t Talk About the Dragon,” Sarah Gailey: 4 stars. -“Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It,” Scott Lynch: 4 stars. This has a Stephen King feel to it. It’s wry and folksy, even as the world is ending. -“A Nice Cuppa,” Jane Yolen: 4 stars. This reminded me of Tea with a Black Dragon.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    *3.5 stars* ⁣"The Book of Dragons" is an anthology of stories and poems from so many wonderful authors. Each author took the topic of dragons and made it their own, with varied descriptions, themes, and writing styles. I don’t read much fantasy anymore so this was a treat since I got to experience so many different authors. I loved the little drawings throughout the novel and I’m definitely obsessed with that cover too! As most anthologies or collections are, this one is a mixed bag with some tha *3.5 stars* ⁣"The Book of Dragons" is an anthology of stories and poems from so many wonderful authors. Each author took the topic of dragons and made it their own, with varied descriptions, themes, and writing styles. I don’t read much fantasy anymore so this was a treat since I got to experience so many different authors. I loved the little drawings throughout the novel and I’m definitely obsessed with that cover too! As most anthologies or collections are, this one is a mixed bag with some that are truly unique while others were just pages to turn past. Overall, if you enjoy the topic of dragons and want some quick fantasy short stories, I would recommend ⁣"The Book of Dragons." ⁣ Thank you so much to Harper Voyager and TLC Book Tours for my gifted copy in exchange for an honest review!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)

    When your favourite BØÏ Mark recs you something personally, how can you not read it?! ♥♥♥ (Also D R A G O N S 😂) When your favourite BØÏ Mark recs you something personally, how can you not read it?! ♥♥♥ (Also D R A G O N S 😂)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Violet Stone

    I will be updating this review as I finish each short story and rate them individually. The only ones I will not be reviewing are the poems. The poems: 1) What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen 2) Nidhog by Jo Walton 3) I Make Myself a Dragon by Beth Cato Reviews: 1) Matriculation by Elle Katharine White - 2.5/5 Stars - Well, that was depressing*see spoiler It didn't really feel like a dragon story. Yes, there was a metal steampunk "dragon" but it didn't feel like the story was about it. Not really. It w I will be updating this review as I finish each short story and rate them individually. The only ones I will not be reviewing are the poems. The poems: 1) What Heroism Tells Us by Jane Yolen 2) Nidhog by Jo Walton 3) I Make Myself a Dragon by Beth Cato Reviews: 1) Matriculation by Elle Katharine White - 2.5/5 Stars - Well, that was depressing*see spoiler It didn't really feel like a dragon story. Yes, there was a metal steampunk "dragon" but it didn't feel like the story was about it. Not really. It was about Melee, trying to get into school, and she spends a lot of time in a vampire's shop, which I thought was the most interesting part. It was just alright I didn't like it nor dislike it. (view spoiler)[The story was really sad. She couldn't get into school, find out her dad is dead, and in the end has to sell her metal dragon. (hide spoiler)] 2) Hikayat Sri Bujang, Or, The Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho - 2/5 Stars - I think my biggest complaint this entire story was the lack of description. I've read so many dragon stories that I don't go in assuming they actually look like dragons. The nagas are never really described and it took me awhile to realize they were actually dragons. It follows a naga training to become a sage. He wants nothing to do with his family and wants to peacefully live on his mountain. When he learns his father is sick he travels home and ends up staying to take over. I didn't care for the ending of this story, nor the progress. It was mostly boring and there was the constant uses of everyone's names. So much, that one name would be used multiple times within a few sentences. 3) Yuli by Daniel Abraham - 2.5/5 Stars - This really didn't make any sense. I followed the D&D portions of the story better than the "real" story. I see what the author was trying to do, pull the two together. But it just wasn't good. The writing felt rushed and chaotic. 4) A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu - 2.5/5 Stars - Just ok. Dragons are their source of energy but a lot of people think they are dangerous. A lot of the story went over my head with the physics and such. 5) Where the River Turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander - 3.5/5 Stars - I want a whole book of this story right here. This one has been my favorite by far. Didn't care for the timeline jumping around but I followed easily. The romance and betrayal. All of it was really good. 6) Habitat by K. J Parker - 1.5/5 Stars - This one was really boring. The main character talked on and on about stuff that didn't seem to have anything to do with the story. Then it ends rather abruptly. 7) Pox by Ellen Klages - 3/5 Stars - This is one of the better written stories so far...to bad there weren't any dragons actually in it. 8) The Nine Curves River by R. F. Kuang - 3/5 Stars - This was also a really great story. Again, didn't really have any dragons in it. And it was far too short and obscure to get any satisfaction from it. 9) Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill - 3.5/5 Stars - I really enjoyed this one. Felt like a complete story that was fun and interesting. It actually had dragons in it, so that was nice. This feels like it could have easily been turned into a children's story and lengthened a bit more. 10) The Exile by JY Yang - Currently Reading

  17. 5 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    As all anthologies, there are bad ones, there are good ones, there are meh ones. Sadly most fell in the meh or bad ones. Some stories just felt like the began and ended and was a part of something bigger, and not in a good way. The good one got the short story format right. Poetry, yeah not in audio. Def not Favorites were Pox by Ellen Klages, Nine Curves river by RF Kuang, Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill,Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle, The Long Walk by Kate Elliott, Hoard by Seanan McGui As all anthologies, there are bad ones, there are good ones, there are meh ones. Sadly most fell in the meh or bad ones. Some stories just felt like the began and ended and was a part of something bigger, and not in a good way. The good one got the short story format right. Poetry, yeah not in audio. Def not Favorites were Pox by Ellen Klages, Nine Curves river by RF Kuang, Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill,Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle, The Long Walk by Kate Elliott, Hoard by Seanan McGuire, Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch That is 7 stories out of 29! Yeah, not an anthology I recommend What heroism tells us by Jane Yolen What? Oh, poem Meh Matriculation by Elle Katherine White Rather boring. She needs money to study. She has a mechanical dragon. The end The tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho I felt like it should have been longer, i mean was there even a ending? Yuli by Daniel Abraham I eh, what is going on? I could not keep my focus on this for a second A whisper of blue by Ken Liu I felt it had a good premise, and could have worked as a real story. Now it just felt short. Nidhong by Jo Walton I am not a poetry person Where the river runs to concrete by Brooke Bolander Good bones, could have been a good UF book. But now, jumpy and confusing at times Habitat by K. J. Parker It had its merits, but that ending was so abrupt Pox by Ellen Klages A story with no dragons and I liked it the most so far. Ha, weird The Nine Curves River by R.F. Kuang I liked this one. It was also sad Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill I liked this one and the humour within I Make Myself a Dragon by Beth Cato Another poem 😭 The Exile by JY Yang Interesting premise. Not much story Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle I liked this one. Easy to follow. Felt like rhe short story it should be La vitesse I could not focus. Didn't get the flashbacks A Final Knight to Her Love and Foe by Amal El-Mohtar Poetry. Meh The Long Walk by Kate Elliott It started a bit meh, it finished great. Loved the concept Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix Boring Hoard by Seanan McGuire Exactly like a short story should be The Wyrm of Lirr by C. S. E. Cooney I sm just not a poetry person. Esp not in audio The Last Hunt by Aliette de Bodard I have had this problem with her books before. I can't focus in audio. Interesting premise We Continue by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky I felt again it did not work as a short story. More questions than answers Small Bird's Plea by Todd McCaffrey I feel this should have been read instead The Dragons by Theodora Goss Very short. Nothing happened Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick I can't remember anything. I finished 15 min ago. Camouflage by Patricia A. McKillip Again. Remember nothing We Don't Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey A bit too repetitive. Also why all that work fir nothing? Made no sense Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch First no, then it turned out good A Nice Cuppa by Jane Yolen poem, nope

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mora

    "nearly thirty stories and poems" about dragons "and illustrated" with dragons omg guys this is everything I always knew I needed and the lineup of authors?? excellent this is going to be so good I'm SO EXCITED "nearly thirty stories and poems" about dragons "and illustrated" with dragons omg guys this is everything I always knew I needed and the lineup of authors?? excellent this is going to be so good I'm SO EXCITED

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    I've tried about four of the stories and none I liked and/or pulled me in enough to finish them, so I'm cutting my losses and DNF'ing this. Perhaps anthologies just aren't my thing? Normally I read each individual story and give them separate ratings and average them out for the overall rating. But the fact that I haven't liked a single story yet and only managed to get through one fully without wanting to give up on it (and ended up not even liking that one, either) means that I'm just not inte I've tried about four of the stories and none I liked and/or pulled me in enough to finish them, so I'm cutting my losses and DNF'ing this. Perhaps anthologies just aren't my thing? Normally I read each individual story and give them separate ratings and average them out for the overall rating. But the fact that I haven't liked a single story yet and only managed to get through one fully without wanting to give up on it (and ended up not even liking that one, either) means that I'm just not interested in reading any of the stories that follow these. Maybe the stories at the beginning are the weakest and DNF'ing is a mistake.... but I doubt it. I also am not someone who feels guilty for DNF'ing NetGalley books, because if I wouldn't finish it even if I paid for it, why would I finish it if I got it for free? I think the fact that I don't want to finish it is in itself an honest part of reviewing and feedback so. I don't have a lot to say except that like.... I'm not going to spend my time on something I'm not enjoying. --- An e-ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meg Pontecorvo

    Many of these stories are so “creative” about how dragons are portrayed that some readers may feel cheated (and find themselves, even three-quarters of the way through a story, wondering “where is the dragon?” or at least feeling a strong sense of anticlimax about how the author reinterpreted the convention). Thus, the strongest stories here are, oddly, the ones that hew closest to the convention. The Kate Elliott and Michael Swanwick stories are especially fine and inventive (without having to Many of these stories are so “creative” about how dragons are portrayed that some readers may feel cheated (and find themselves, even three-quarters of the way through a story, wondering “where is the dragon?” or at least feeling a strong sense of anticlimax about how the author reinterpreted the convention). Thus, the strongest stories here are, oddly, the ones that hew closest to the convention. The Kate Elliott and Michael Swanwick stories are especially fine and inventive (without having to strain to “reinvent” what a dragon is).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    Not a review. Includes my poem "I Make Myself a Dragon." Not a review. Includes my poem "I Make Myself a Dragon."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Giulia

    Mini Rather Random Reviews™️ Matriculation by Elle Katharine White: 2 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A new school year is about to start. It is time to go look for the various textbooks. And the price will be bloody. TW: blood, grief Ridiculously short personal comment: Listen, I ain’t gonna lie. This first short story in an anthology that should be centered around dragons, surely did not have enough dragons. There were vampires and there was grief and there was mess and there was confusion. Bu Mini Rather Random Reviews™️ Matriculation by Elle Katharine White: 2 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A new school year is about to start. It is time to go look for the various textbooks. And the price will be bloody. TW: blood, grief Ridiculously short personal comment: Listen, I ain’t gonna lie. This first short story in an anthology that should be centered around dragons, surely did not have enough dragons. There were vampires and there was grief and there was mess and there was confusion. But there were nearly no dragons. Just a passing mention. And I did not particularly like that. The story was messy and not clear, and I very plainly was not a fan. Needless to say, this was not a promising start. Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho: 2 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A dying dragon-father-king calls back his dragon-son-prince from his sacred mountain. Things escalate. Ridiculously short personal comment: The only aspect I liked about this short story was the whole dragons-gods-kingdom deal. Otherwise I was not a fan of the writing style (confusing), the characters (underdeveloped, in my opinion) and the plot (messy and convoluted). It was simply too hard to follow and not interesting. Yuli by Daniel Abraham: 1 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: The evolution (or is it?) of a man and a D&D campaign. TW: PTSD, war, violence, fat-phobia Ridiculously short personal comment: What the fuck have I just read? What the hell was this? I did not like one (1) thing about this story, wow. The main character was unbearable, the plot was alienating and the writing style was bamboozling. This story did not make sense, and I strongly, wholeheartedly disliked it. Also, I personally thought the dragon aspect was incredibly and disappointingly lacking. A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu: 2.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: In a society where dragon’s breath is used as energy, what could go wrong? Everything, apparently. Ridiculously short personal comment: I liked the idea of this, but I was not a fan of the execution. I liked how differently it was told – since it was somewhat like a play/screenplay – but I cannot say I overall enjoyed this short story. Where the River Turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander: 2.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Dragon water spirit seeks friends. Ridiculously short personal comment: Again, the idea was interesting in concept but I was not particularly engaged or captivated by the actual story. It was too jumpy and confusing. Habitat by K.J. Parker: 3 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Let’s go dragon hunting. And hopefully survive it. Ridiculously short personal comment: Now this was interesting. The narrating voice was somewhat sarcastic and the story was engaging. Pox by Ellen Klages: 1.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Every day can be magical, if you live it as an adventure. Ridiculously short personal comment: No dragons to be seen. Am I a joke to you? I mean…the story itself might have been somewhat enjoyable but in an anthology supposedly centered around dragons, this was lackluster and out of place. The Nine Curves River by R.F. Kuang: 5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: The brief day of two sisters before one is given as a tribute to a dragon. Ridiculously short personal comment: Yaaaass Queen. Madame Kuang never lets me down. This was sad, engaging, thrilling, interesting, wonderfully written. Magnificent. I would have loved a full-length book following these characters and their relationship. Lucky’s Dragon by Kelly Barnhill: 3 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Accidentally creating a dragon during science at school can definitely bring some unexpected developments. Ridiculously short personal comment: Strange but intriguing. I enjoyed this one. But I was not over the moon in love with it. The Exile by JY Yang: 1.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: *error system failure* I have no clue what the plot of this story was. Ridiculously short personal comment: Wow, I sure as hell did not care in the slightest, huh? Only thing I somewhat appreciated was the commentary offered on how humans conquer other lands without even taking into account the natives and original inhabitants. Apart from that, though, I was not a fan. Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle: 2.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Retelling of the myth of Melusine (and yes, to fully understand what or who the hell was that, I had to google it. I would love to thank not only the Internet but Wikipedia specifically). Ridiculously short personal comment: An interesting twist, but nothing remarkable. La Vitesse by Kelly Robson: 4 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A mother and her daughter are driving a bus full of kids that is being chased by a dragon. What to do, what to do? Ridiculously short personal comment: This was actually not bad at all. The plot was interesting and suspenseful, the characters were well depicted and the writing style enjoyable. Nice! The Long Walk by Kate Elliott: 3 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: In a society where a woman is considered useless when her husband dies, what happens? Well, she is forced to take the long walk as a sacrifice. Warning, there might be dragons there. Ridiculously short personal comment: The concept was fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed the execution. But I found it a tad bit too long. All in all, though, impressive story. Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix: 3.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A scholar and his teacher have to go dragon hunting. Things develop. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was fun and enjoyable. Definitely predictable and nothing to write home about, but the banter was nice and the writing style flowed effortlessly. Hoard by Seanan McGuire: 3.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A loving woman takes care and adopts children. But there is more than meets the eye. TW: mentions of abuse Ridiculously short personal comment: I actually liked it quite a lot. Again, though, I was not blown away. And that was mainly because it felt as if the story was divided in two; there was a too drastic shift and in such a short story such as this one was, I did not particularly appreciate it. All in all, this was a good one. The Last Hunt by Aliette de Bodard: 1.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A woman is running from a dangerous threat – the Masters. Ridiculously short personal comment: The confusion was real and just too prominent in this one to actually enjoy this short story. It seems as if this story was a prequel to the author’s other novella In the Vanishers’ Place, hence my bamboozlement was understandable and expected. Nonetheless, I just simply did not enjoy this one. We Continue by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky: 2.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: My aunt is cooler than your aunt. And you know why? Because my aunt is a dragon. All dragons die when a new Queen is born, and it seems as if auntie is acting a bit strange lately. Ridiculously short personal comment: This one was okay. I liked the depicted relationship between humans and dragons. Apart from that, nothing groundbreaking. Small Bird’s Plea by Todd McCaffrey: 3 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: A young girl leaves her village to save it by asking the Masters for help fighting against the demons. But are they really demons if they weed you when you’re hungry and offer you a safe place to rest when you are tired? Ridiculously short personal comment: This was nice. Liked the overall message that all species should live freely and how everybody is dependent on each other to survive. It was also at times funny. Not bad. The Dragons by Theodora Goss: 4 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: How to grow your dragons and live a happy life. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was unexpectedly lovely! I appreciated the simplicity and the shortness. Super cute and just left me with a smile on my face. Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick: 3 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Fun Fantasy adventure! Ridiculously short personal comment: Again, a nice short story. I really liked the characters (mainly the female lead) and the writing style was enjoyable. Camouflage by Patricia A. McKillip: 3 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: Magic, war, dragons and school. What would you want more? Ridiculously short personal comment: Simple yet enjoyable. Again, though, truly nothing to write home about :/ We Don’t Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey: 4 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: The title says it all. TW: abuse Ridiculously short personal comment: Now this was actually very good! I liked the writing style and the way in which the story was told. Through glimpses of the main character’s childhood we got to see how the relationship between herself and the dragon. Nice and heartwarming. Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch: 3.5 ⭐️ Ridiculously short synopsis: World War II has ended, but not everything is sunshines and rainbows. As a matter of fact, dragons are the new and very dangerous threat. Ridiculously short personal comment: I just live for Scott Lynch’s humour and writing style. But the plot and story themselves did not fascinate me, unfortunately. Overall Rating: 2.8 ⭐️ This anthology, to put it simply, was a snooze fest. I could not wait for this book to be over. It dragged so much I wanted to cry, and that was because I was not a fan of the great majority of the stories. There were some pearls in here, but they were so few and far between that I found myself uninspired to pick this book up. I had to actively and aggressively force myself to continue reading. And I was not expecting that. This is a short story collection, how is it possible that I wanted to DNF the majority of these stories? I am both ashamed and mad. Also because I love dragons with every fiber of my useless body. So I was expecting to unquestionably adore this collection. Joke’s on me, I guess. This was boring, unremarkable, forgettable, underwhelming. The fact that some stories even BARELY had dragons in them – in an anthology advertised as a book about freaking dragons – completely baffled me. The title is fucking The Book of Dragons, mate. Where the hell were they at? Fucking brunch?! Anyhow. This book also had some lovely illustrations peppered in and there were also poems (I decided not to comment on the poetry, by the way. Just seemed right) among the short stories. Nice touches, really. Unfortunately, and sadly, I did not enjoy the reading experience of this anthology. The last stories were definitely more interesting, but the great majority of the stories were underwhelming, lukewarm and lackluster. Nothing blew me out of the water and I gotta say that, by the end, I was just bored. What a bummer :( But the real reason behind my rating is another one. As you might have noticed, my overall rating averages incredibly close to a three (3) stars, but I refused to round it up. The fact that there were short stories in here that did not even have dragons in them went beyond my comprehension. The fact that there were short stories in here, an anthology that has as a synopsis “Here there be dragons…”, without the dragons being actually present went beyond my comprehension. The fact that there were short stories in here, in an anthology that is literally called The Book of Dragons, completely lacking dragons went beyond my comprehension and irritated me indescribably. That was a deal breaker for me. And maybe it’s because I am a piece of trash, maybe it’s because I am annoyingly strict, maybe it’s because I am unbearably precise. I do not care what the reason is; I still think this should not have happened. Since, you know, that was the whole point of the anthology. Every single story should have had dragons. Not the majority, not all but one. Every. Single. One. The fact that that was not the case was bewildering and maddening. Not a fan.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adeel

    "The beings commonly called dragons are a peculiar cross dimensional entity. They can a variety of physical forms, given sufficient raw material to do so, including the classical winged reptileian, but also that of a man or woman," When you think of the fantasy genre the first thing that comes to mind I'm sure are mythical creatures i.e. dragons! The legend and myth of Dragons have captured our imagination since the beginning of time. They have been embedded into cultures all across the world fro "The beings commonly called dragons are a peculiar cross dimensional entity. They can a variety of physical forms, given sufficient raw material to do so, including the classical winged reptileian, but also that of a man or woman," When you think of the fantasy genre the first thing that comes to mind I'm sure are mythical creatures i.e. dragons! The legend and myth of Dragons have captured our imagination since the beginning of time. They have been embedded into cultures all across the world from South East Asia, to Africa, and Europe. I still remember as a child watching movies such as Dragon Heart, Mulan, The Never Ending Story, and the Lord of the Rings movies. Each of them depicted dragons in different forms with their own unique personalities They can be rampaging beasts that want to destroy the world (Reign of Dragons) or even mentors who have a thing or two to teach us humans (Mulan and Dragon Heart). The Book of Dragons anthology brings together 20+ short stories and poems by modern day fantasy and sci-fi authors. Some of them I've heard of and read books by such as R.F. Kuang, Ken Liu, and Amal El-Mohtar. Whereas many are very much new to me such as Garth Nix, Zen Cho, Elle Katherine White, Ellen Klages, and many more. The illustrations and doodles in the book are also done by the talented Ravina Cai What I thought was really cool was that the concept of dragons didn't stick to your traditional scary winged beast. In fact, stories consisted of small dragons, big dragons, demon dragons, and even shape shifting dragons in human form. I thought that was really cool and different to anything I've come across. Not saying dragons in the traditional sense are boring, but it was good to see a new take on what we already know about dragons and switching it up. Now in terms of the stories, overall they were good. Some I must admit did drag on a fair deal and there were also some i just couldn't fully connect with. But they were still engaging enough to keep reading on. I loved how diverse the stories were and was really happy that many interpretations took in different cultures, particularly South East Asian culture. There were many stories i loved but the ones that did fully grab me were all 5 stars for me. So rather than discuss every single story, below are some that really captured my imagination. The Nine Curves River by Rebecca F Kuang First and foremost my favourite story was most definitely The Nine Curves River by Rebecca F Kuang. I already knew this was going to be amazing because Rebecca is such a fantastic author. Her Poppy War series is one of the best fantasy series I've ever read. The Nine Curves River tells the tale of a dragon living in a grotto near the Nine Curves River. Every year a human sacrifice must be given to the dragon to prevent the drought However, that person must be willing to sacrifice themselves due to their own accord. We therefore follow two sisters one of whom willingly wants to sacrifice herself for the greater good. As always, Rebecca Kuang packs a punch at hitting you in the feels and this time in a very short space of time. It was was such an emotional and deep story about a sister looking back at her relationship with her sister and her regrets at not being there for her more. Rebecca Kuang knows how to break your heart. "You take two steps toward the grotto, then glance back over your shoulder. "You've been a good sister. The very best." Then you smile, and I want to weep." Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix. I had actually never heard of Garth Nix until recently. I am so gutted that I hadn't heard of him sooner because this story was so much fun! It basically tells the story of a hunter called Sir Hereward and his puppet Mister Fitz as they travel to Nikandros to hunt down a dragon. The catch is the dragon has shapeshifted into a human so it could be anyone. Both must therefore investigate who the dragon really is before killing it. I thoroughly enjoyed this and even though it is short i really loved the way Garth Nix captured the setting of Nikandros. Hoard by Seanan McGuire Now when we thinking of dragons hoarding objects I'm sure we think of gold and jewels. Seasnan McGuire switches it up by manifesting the hoarding traits of dragons into something completely unexpected and different. I can't say what because that would be spoiling it. But man it was so well done and executed perfectly. "The gold thing was a bit of a red her ring, I'll admit. You see, dragons hoard. Every dragon collects something. Gold and jewels were easy before humans developed a concept of money" Pox by Ellen Klages The story of Pox takes place in 1969 and focuses on a girl who along with her family travel across the country to San Francisco for a wee vacation. However, their trip is prolonged when the girl and her siblings catch the Pox. Once recovered and bored from staying at home, the girl joins her aunt Polly on an adventure to Chinatown in San Francisco. There she also makes acquaintance with her aunts best friend, Franny. They discuss the myths and legends of dragons while enjoying Southeast Asian Cuisine. "Well, nearly every culture has a dragon myth or legend. There are too many stories" Matriculation by Elle Katherine White Matriculation was the very first story in the book and really kicks things off. It tells the story of a girl called Melee who sets off to Pawn Row in order to buy a book for her studies at the University of Uncommon Arts and Sciences. The store she goes into is owned by Carl a vampire. However, a situation occurs that requires her to consider selling her mechanical dragon in order to fund her education. I thought this was a really great story to settle into and get an idea of what was to come. I found the ending to be pretty heart-breaking because it so should have been longer! Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick This story was absolutely f****** wild to say the least. It had everything from wizards, to dragons, and even time travelling! The story focuses on the character of Olav an alcoholic womaniser who is sort of on the run from an evil entity that is chasing after him. On his journey he meets Nahal who is after revenge against something that killed his family. Olav trains Nahal how to use a sword and prepare himself for the battles ahead. However, upon arriving in the city of Kheshem, the evil entity finds Olav and prepares to kill him once an for all. Rather than leave Olav decides to stay at which point a time travelling wizard appears out of nowhere with secrets of his own. So yeah this story was exceptional and i loved every moment of it. For a short story it had so many great twists and turns. La Vitesse by Kelly Robson Now this brought back memories of movies like Jurassic Park and Reign of Fire. It kept me glued to the edge of my seat because of how intense it was. The story for the most part takes place on a school bus driven by Bea who brings along her daughter, Rosie. As soon as the story begins Bea gets straight to the point and tells her that a dragon is on their tail. Bea and Rosie must work together to drive away from the dragon while also trying to calm down the school children who are also on the bus. We also see flashbacks of Rosie who explains the trouble she has been getting herself into and Bea considers her regrets at the way she raised Rosie. We Don't Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey This was a story about a girl called Cecily who comes from an abusive household. She ends up forming a strong bond with a dragon that lives in her families barn. Over time, Cecily begins talking to the dragon about her issues, feelings, and everyday life. The dragon doesn't talk back but reciprocates in its own way with grunts and sighs I thought this story was really powerful and seeing the character develop overtime had me glued. The ending is both powerful and empowering. It made me so happy to see Cecily rise above the abuse she had been receiving from a very young age. "She's never been able to talk to anyone about the things, and now she can, and they rise up in her like a shiver racing up a spine. Here is someone who will not get angry at her for feeling afraid or alone." Overall, there were many fantastic stories written by a wide range of authors. Each story is totally different to the previous and gives a fresh take on what we think when we think about dragons. What awaits you are a wide range of diverse stories that gives your brain a refresher on what you think you know about dragons. But while also reminding you why you love them so much. I think that this book is full of short stories for everyone and people will be able to enjoy. Even though there were some stories that just didn't hit the spot for me, the uniqueness of the stories kept me reading on. Also, although I am not really a fan of poetry either but i did enjoy ones such as "A Nice Cuppa" and "What Heroism Is" both by Jane Yolen. Many of the poems were beautifully written and engaging. So yeah if you're looking to read a fresh take on the legend and myths of dragons while also enjoying what we already know and love about them, then i definitely recommend this. I have discovered a lot of new authors by reading this who i am looking forward to reading more of! Finally thank you so much to @HarperVoyagerUS and Holly for sending me a copy! I am so so grateful :D

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bon

    Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy for review - you certainly get bang for buck in this huge compilation of dragon tales. Let me start by lauding the absolutely rad diversity in these stories - the representation amongst writers AND plotwise. There are plenty of female authors, and there's even a queer nonbinary writer from Singapore in here. It was awesome, and made for even more creatively-varied stories. The diversity even came with some inclusions in poem form. There are feminist st Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy for review - you certainly get bang for buck in this huge compilation of dragon tales. Let me start by lauding the absolutely rad diversity in these stories - the representation amongst writers AND plotwise. There are plenty of female authors, and there's even a queer nonbinary writer from Singapore in here. It was awesome, and made for even more creatively-varied stories. The diversity even came with some inclusions in poem form. There are feminist stories in this, and there are some pretty gritty stories, and some humourously slice of life stories. In one, there's an aspect that was reminiscent of zombie or werewolf lore, really unique in a dragon story. In another, a knight is trolling through tax records looking for someone inordinately wealthy who could be a dragon in disguise, hilarious. I enjoyed that it wasn't just a straightforward knight taking on a dragon in every story. So then, I love the various takes on "dragons" in this. In one tale veering towards urban fantasy, the dragons are not what you'd expect, and the existence of vampires and talking gargoyles in that world make it even cooler. The dragons in this book are sometimes much more metaphorical than winged reptiles flying around or sitting on a hoard of gold in this anthology - and YET, the gold aspect is interpreted really differently from story to story. The creativity was just...awesome. Of course some stories do go the sword and shield route, which, well, is one of my favorite routes anyways, as well as the asian lore presented in several stories. I was delighted to see some favorite authors in here - R.F. Kuang of The Poppy War fame, and Garth Nix of the Sabriel saga! Their stories were incredibly enjoyable. Kuang's "The Nine Curves River" was an emotional tale of two sisters, and Nix's "Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz" was comedic and a nice reprieve from some of the heavier stories. But I think my favorite of all was Pox, by Ellen Klages, in which a young girl from a boring, eastern state is brought to San Francisco's Chinatown, and her world is turned upside down with a multicultural injection of food and sights. That one was incredible - and not just for the mentions of dim sum, which I love. This book is very long, and I think would have been more digestible if read over a longer period than I allowed myself, but there is much to enjoy here for fantasy and dragon lovers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    April Sarah

    *ARC received from Netgalley in return for an honest review* This is such an interesting collection of stories and poems all about dragons. Each piece follows it's own take on dragon lore which made the pace of this read quick and enjoyable. Sometimes dragons were mere beast, sometimes they had a wisdom and intelligence man can only dream of. They took place in the past, in the present, and in the future. All of the stories left you wondering about a little part of humanity and how we treat and v *ARC received from Netgalley in return for an honest review* This is such an interesting collection of stories and poems all about dragons. Each piece follows it's own take on dragon lore which made the pace of this read quick and enjoyable. Sometimes dragons were mere beast, sometimes they had a wisdom and intelligence man can only dream of. They took place in the past, in the present, and in the future. All of the stories left you wondering about a little part of humanity and how we treat and view the world around us. I wholly recommend this read for anyone who loves dragon lore, wants a good fantasy read, and enjoys science fiction.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Anthologies aren't really my thing, and dragons aren't really my thing. So why pick up The Book of Dragons, you ask? Simple, fantasy is my thing, and this book includes short stories written by some of my favorite fantasy authors - R.F. Kuang and Garth Nix among them. In the process of making my way through the anthology, I discovered a lot of familiar names whose books I've yet to read - but whose writing hooked me and made me want longer stories (including Seanan McGuire and Sarah Gailey). The Anthologies aren't really my thing, and dragons aren't really my thing. So why pick up The Book of Dragons, you ask? Simple, fantasy is my thing, and this book includes short stories written by some of my favorite fantasy authors - R.F. Kuang and Garth Nix among them. In the process of making my way through the anthology, I discovered a lot of familiar names whose books I've yet to read - but whose writing hooked me and made me want longer stories (including Seanan McGuire and Sarah Gailey). The anthology is wonderfully diverse in both authors and stories - you aren't going to find over 20 different versions of Smaug from The Hobbit here (not hating on Smaug, that's just the dragon that seems to have captured my imagination in childhood). You will get dragons that are mechanical, imaginary, manifestations of emotions, threats to society, shapeshifters, and more. You will get stories that are heartfelt, scary, unnerving, ethereal, adventurous, and challenging. There was only one story that I found myself having a really hard time getting through - "Yuli" by Daniel Abraham, which did not have a clear storyline, and centered on a war vet that was itchy for a new fight. Here are the stories that were highlights for me: --"A Whisper of Blue," Ken Liu (The story centers around dragons that make or break community success based on how many of them there are - their breath produces energy) --"Pox," by Ellen Klages (A super cute story regarding a girl wandering through Chinatown in San Francisco, eating food, making some magical purchases, and thinking a lot about Ursula Le Guin!) --"The Nine Curves River," by R. F. Kuang (Not directly related to The Poppy War trilogy, this is still an instantly engaging read about two sisters trying to navigate their relationship in the midst of an unknown and doomed future for one of them) --"Lucky’s Dragon," by Kelly Barnhill (This story had me on edge! A girl makes a dragon in science class and her neighbor that nobody else seems to see takes an interest and reaches out to help) --"La Vitesse," Kelly Robson (Fast paced and super fun, a dragon is chasing a school bus full of children and the driver tries to figure out how to outrun her regrets and the dragon) --The Long Walk," Kate Elliot (Women are exiled to a land of dragons after their husbands die, effectively becoming "ghosts" themselves. On the journey, cooks to help her fellow women survive and seeks to learn what else is beyond her small world) --"We Don’t Talk About the Dragon," by Sarah Gailey (A girl is sent to feed metal to a dragon in the barn each week, providing a temporary escape from the harsh realities of her home life) If you are looking to get a taste of the writing by some of the biggest names in fantasy and are willing to give dragons a shot, this is a great book to gift or pick up! I'm excited to see what illustration are included in the final copy. Thank you to NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Evy

    PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THAT LIST OF AUTHORS Then note, "ILLUSTRATED" If this book is not now on your tbr GET OUTTA HERE PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THAT LIST OF AUTHORS Then note, "ILLUSTRATED" If this book is not now on your tbr GET OUTTA HERE

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review. Overall this is a great collection of stories. What most impressed me about the collection as a whole was the sheer variety of genres, styles, and dragon types collected here. Usually when you have a genre/theme based anthology you get at least two or three stories similar enough that they are a little hard to distinguish between after you put the book down. No two dragons are quite alike, either, across the 23 stor Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review. Overall this is a great collection of stories. What most impressed me about the collection as a whole was the sheer variety of genres, styles, and dragon types collected here. Usually when you have a genre/theme based anthology you get at least two or three stories similar enough that they are a little hard to distinguish between after you put the book down. No two dragons are quite alike, either, across the 23 stories presented here. Last, there was not a single piece I gave 1 star to, which is a first for me in anthology reviews. In addition to evaluating the usual factors such as idea, plot, characters, pacing, and language use, I also considered how well dragons were used in the story and how well the story stood on its own. Note: I did not review the poetry pieces in the book. I don't read that much poetry so my rating for each was based purely on how much I did or did not enjoy it. I also cannot speak to the illustrations in this book as, sadly, my review copy did not include them. 🐉 Matriculation by Elle Katharine White - 3 - A well written, interesting story with a pretty cool setting. Unfortunately, it reads like the prologue of a novel so there is little satisfaction in reaching the end. 🐉 Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of the Naga Sage by Zen Cho - 3 - This story had good imagery and the plot wasn't bad, but the main characters could have really been any creatures (including humans with powers) with little to no change in the story. 🐉 Yuli by Daniel Abraham - 4 - A really interesting use of metaphor here and the switching back and forth between real life and a game did a great job of creating the magical realism aspect of the story. 🐉 A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu - 5 - Fascinating. The themes of memory and forgiveness combined with the world building style create a poignant, beautiful, and utterly believable of tale of modern day dragons. 🐉 Where the River turns to Concrete by Brooke Bolander - 4 - The rarer dragon use and good pacing made for a really interesting story that felt like a real myth. The only downside is that I think the switching between time periods detracted slightly from the climax of the tale. Still one of my favorites, with a strong ending. 🐉 Habitat by K. J. Parker - 3 - A unique take on dragon reproduction will keep this a memorable story. However, the slight choppiness to the writing and a mildly generic main character keep this one at 3 stars for me. 🐉 Pox by Ellen Klages - 3 - I liked the imagery and magical realism aspects of this story. However, I don't know how well this was will do for every reader as some of the best parts of the story rely on you having already read A Wizard of Earthsea. 🐉 The Nine Curves River by R.F. Kuang - 5 - Beautiful. The use of the 2nd person felt very natural within the context of the story, which was well-paced with memorable characters. The poignant ending was what made this really stand out for me. 🐉 Lucky's Dragon by Kelly Barnhill - 3 - This is a cute story that would make a great middle grade read. Unfortunately in short story form the 2nd half of the tale is executed and wrapped up far too quickly. 🐉 The Exile by JY Yang - 3 - The concept and the unique dragon abilities are what I liked most about this tale, and what keep it memorable. However, the personal part of the story and the main human character were both a little generic for me to give this four stars. 🐉 Except on Saturdays by Peter S. Beagle - 2 - "Stunning, ancient and/or powerful creature is, for some inexplicably reason, interested in some generic, middle aged man. Cue waxing poetic and an obligatory "made love" scene." While the language use and pacing are both adequate (which is why I don't give it 1 star), its easily the most generic piece in the collection. 🐉 La Vitesse by Kelly Robson - 4 - Robson does a good job with keeping you on the edge of your seat for this one, even when she's flashing back to previous events. The action was smoothly written and easy to visualize while reading. 🐉 The Long Walk by Kate Elliott - 5 - This is the 2nd anthology this year I've read where Elliott has been a stand out. She has a real talent for natural world building and memorable characters in such a short amount of space. 🐉 Cut Me Another Quill, Mister Fitz by Garth Nix - 2 - Everything about this story makes it feel like you are reading a single, random chapter in a book. It begins, slowly, by one character reminding another character of the "who, what, where, when, and why" of what the are doing, which read like a summary of a previous story or chapters. Then once the action does start, all of the "twists" are pretty obvious. Finally, the words end with the story completely unfinished. 🐉 Hoard by Seanan McGuire - 3 - This one is a unique take on the idea of dragon hoarding with a believable modern day setting. I keep it at 3 stars though, because the writing, characters, actual plot, and pacing are all simply fine. 🐉 The Last Hunt by Aliette de Bodard - 2 - de Bodard is probably my favorite new author so far this year, so I was pretty disappointed that I could not get into this tale. The combination of nonstop action and kind of confusing, vague "explanation" of why that action was happening made the story or characters difficult to become invested in. 🐉 We Continue by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky - 4.5 - This is probably the most unique of all of the stories here. It was a setting that not in a million years would I have ever thought "This - but dragons!" Having two writers to write the separate species point-of-views really helped make them distinct and accentuated the disconnect the two characters were having in a powerful way. This was a complete story that I was satisfied with at the ending, but also made me interested in reading more about the world. 🐉 Small Bird's Plea by Todd McCaffrey - 2 - This one had some really interesting character concepts, but I felt like it was trying to do too much at once. The story doesn't actually really explain anything and I left it with more questions than answers. Finally, I don't think this is a good example of a dragon story, since the end is just "oh by the way here is a dragon for no real reason - could literally be any flying animal with no affect on the story." Maybe this was supposed to be a dragon creation tale? I don't know. 🐉 The Dragons by Theodora Goss - 3 - I know this one is technically poetry, but it read more like a story and the style added to the overall whimsical feeling of the tale. This one is probably the most feel good of all of the pieces. 🐉 Dragon Slayer by Michael Swanwick - 3 - This is the other story where I thought "okay we're kind of pushing what is or is not a dragon story here." I could even argue there is no dragon in this story, just a human who looks like one for a scant handful of lines. The story itself is not bad, but I honestly don't know why this particular one was chosen for a dragon anthology, especially when Swanwick has a variety of dragon shorts to choose from. 🐉 Camouflage by Patricia A. McKillip - 3 - An interesting story (and dragon concept) that is hindered slightly by its messy, unclear ending. 🐉 We Don't Talk About the Dragon by Sarah Gailey - 3 - An interesting concept, but the repetitive nature of the writing style chosen here, even though it serves a purpose, keeps this one from being one of the better tales. 🐉 Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch - 3 - I don't normally like Lynch's writing, but this was a pretty neat story. The modern day setting was easily believable and the ending is a good example of an open-ended short story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Micah Hall

    3.5/5 As with a lot of anthologies, you run the risk of a mixed bag. This was definitely the case for this collection, full of highs and lows; don't get me wrong, I feel all of the authors in this collection are talented in terms of prose, it's more the plot of the story or the characters of interest were variable. Favorites include stories by Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Sarah Gailey, Scott Lynch, Kate Elliott, Garth Nix, and, of course, KJ Parker (my favorite of the collection). Fun stuff. 3.5/5 As with a lot of anthologies, you run the risk of a mixed bag. This was definitely the case for this collection, full of highs and lows; don't get me wrong, I feel all of the authors in this collection are talented in terms of prose, it's more the plot of the story or the characters of interest were variable. Favorites include stories by Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Sarah Gailey, Scott Lynch, Kate Elliott, Garth Nix, and, of course, KJ Parker (my favorite of the collection). Fun stuff.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nighteye

    Really liked this one: great lineup and diverse stories and rememberable stories about one of my favourite mythical animals: the dragon.

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