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Okay, the end of the Game of Thrones T.V. series was disappointing, and George R.R. Martin’s fans are still waiting for him to finally finish book six. But that doesn’t mean that readers can’t have their dragon fix.
Bring your fire extinguisher and check out this list of books featuring dragons, which might make you want to want to take a dragon home as a pet — or run away wearing an asbestos suit!
Adopt: The Dragonets from The Dragonet Prophecy
Who wouldn’t want to ride a dragon? But would you want to be one? I love that The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland is told from the point of view of a dragon. Humans are only a sidebar. The characters in this story are intelligent dragons who have their own societies, wars, and prejudices.
In this popular middle-grade book, the seven dragon tribes are locked in an endless battle. The Talons of Peace hope to end the war with the help of a prophecy. Five dragonets are taken by the Talons of Peace to fulfill the prophecy. They are hidden in a cave and trained for the day they will accomplish their destiny.
But not all dragonets want that destiny. When they escape their captors and attempt to return to the lands of their birth, the dragonets discover more than they bargained for.
The dragons in this story are generally the kind you would expect — fierce, fire-breathing, and obsessed with treasure. In contrast, the dragonets are true heroes — they risk their lives for one another and form a bond that makes them a true family.
The dragonets are brave, care about each other, and make for engaging characters. These are the kind of dragons you would want to have behind you.
Avoid: Smaug from The Hobbit
When a dragon’s last words are “I am fire. I am death,” they probably aren’t a dragon you would want to take home as a pet. But if you like classical dragons, Smaug from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien is your guy.
Smaug is the dragon that we all think of when we think “dragon,” he is devious and clever, full of pride and greed. When the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins tries to steal his gold, Smaug shows how scary a dragon can be.
He is a true fairy tale villain, and so he belongs in any list of the meanest dragons. Don’t wake this one up!
Avoid: Norbert from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
While most people wouldn’t think of dragons when they think of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, but dragons are a prominent part of the wizarding world. They appear in the tri-wizard tournament, and Charlie, Ron’s older brother, works with dragons in Romania.
There are 10 known species of dragons in the Harry Potter universe. The Dragons in the Harry Potter universe are beautiful, fierce, fire-breathing, and impossible to domesticate. You should probably not try to tame one (unless you are a dragonologist!)
Hagrid finds out the hard way that a dragon does not make a good pet when he receives a Norweigan Ridgeback egg in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry sees the destruction firsthand as the dragon, whom Hagrid names Norbert, destroys his cottage and causes mayhem.
Hagrid tries his best to raise Norbert as a pet, but even he must finally accept that Norbert needs to go. Good try Hagrid!
Adopt: Saphira from Eragon
When Eragon finds a dragon egg and bonds with it, a partnership develops that makes me wish for a dragon of my own. Unlike most dragons in literature, Saphira in Eragon by Christopher Paolini is a female!
Eragon raises her, and the two become almost like one person. She is a ferocious fighter, and her main goal is to keep Eragon safe. Saphira is loyal and would do anything for Eragon.
Their bond is so strong that they even finish each other’s sentences! How cool would it be to have a dragon like that on your side?
Now here is a dragon that you could take home with you. What is most impressive is that Christopher Paolini wrote this acclaimed novel when he was only 15 years old.
Adopt: Ruth from The White Dragon
Okay, I am going for several classics here, but Ruth from The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey really deserves a place on the list of dragons you would like to bond with.
Ruth is the only white dragon mentioned in any of the Pern novels and is smaller than the average dragon. As a dragonet, they weren’t sure if he would live, but Ruth survives and is strong in all the ways that count.
Jaxom, a young lord, accidentally bonds — “impresses” — with Ruth. This coming-of-age story follows their adventures. As Jaxom and Ruth grow up, Jaxon must deal with his own teen angst and balance the responsibilities of being both a Lord and a dragon rider.
The two train in secret to fight the burning threads from the Red Planet that threaten to destroy the planet of Pern. Most of the people of Pern think Ruth is a runt who will never amount to anything, Jaxom knows that Ruth is special.
Ruth can fly back and forth through time, for one thing. And how handy would it be to have a friend who could breathe fire to make campfire smores? Ruth is also intelligent and wise. Who can resist a dragon from another world that can travel through time?
Avoid: Sintara from The Dragon Keeper
The interesting thing about the dragons in the Dragon Keeper series by Robin Hobb is that they are born as sea serpents and spin cocoons before emerging as what most people would think of as dragons. Like dragons in many works of fantasy literature, these dragons can create a bond with humans, but watch out!
Dragons will use that bond to their own advantage. They can coerce people and are not just blindly devoted to their keepers. They are unique individuals with their own personalities.
Sintara, a female blue dragon, like others hatched in the Rainwilds, has some physical deformities. Yet, she is exceptionally vain, even for a dragon.
While she appreciates the attention of her keeper, Thymara, she considers humans beneath her dignity. Sintara continually prods Thymara to behave in ways that are not necessarily healthy or in line with what Thymara might want for herself.
This dragon is not one you would choose for a friend.
Ashley Herbert is a fantasy writer, avid reader, and mother of two. She writes freelance articles and is working on her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Finder. Visit her Facebook page to read some of her short stories, as well as excerpts from her new novel, and updates.