Tag: Red

The Top Ten Best Dragon Books in Fantasy Literature!

They’re big and terrible. They’re small and cute. They’re at once terrifying and majestic. Dragons have been an enduring fixation of literature pretty much ever since storytelling was invented. They can take many forms in narrative, from simple monsters to evil but intelligent villains to helpful allies to god-like divine beings. But one thing is clear: dragons are awesome and they’re extremely fun to read about. Here are the top 10 best books featuring these fire-breathing behemoths, showcasing dragons of every shape and size in all their glory for your viewing pleasure.

10. ‘Tea with the Black Dragon’ by R.A. MacAvoy

 

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Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy is a Hugo nominated fantasy novel that has a classic premise: girl meets boy and boy turns about to be a dragon. Martha’s daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble in San Francisco and Martha hurries into the strange city to help her missing child. But when she arrives, the only person who knows where Elizabeth might be is the mysterious stranger Mayland Long. Did we mention Mr. Long can transform into a dragon? Its up to these two to find Elizabeth, even as Martha begins to feel romantic feelings for her newfound dragon companion.

 

9. ‘Three hearts and three lions’ by Poul Anderson

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Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson tells of a man transported into a world of fantasy. Holger Carlsten is a Resistance fighter fighting against the Nazis during World War II but when he’s wounded in battle, the luckless engineer finds himself transported to another world. Against a medieval backdrop, he finds himself in a battle where the forces of Law fight against Chaos. Monsters abound this land, including werewolves, giants, trolls, faeries, and yes: dragons. Revered as a Champion, Holger must take up arms and join the brave knights, ready to slay some dragons (alongside other fearsome beasts) as the leader of the forces of Law.

8. ‘His Majesty’s Dragon’ by Naomi Novik 

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His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik tells a historically accurate account of the Napoleonic Wars, with an added twist: dragons! Yes, this is an alternate history novel where dragons are used as the main force of combat, adding a thrilling new element to the tides of war sweeping Europe. When Captain Will Laurence finds an unhatched dragon egg, his life is turned upside down when the dragon hatches and imprints on him. Joining the Aerial Corps, Laurence and his dragon, Temeraine, must take to the skies to defend Britain from France’s own dragon armies.

 

7. ‘The Great Zoo of China’ by Matthew Reilly 

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The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly is basically Jurassic Park but with dragons! For years, China has been keeping the existence of live dragons a secret but is preparing to unveil them to the world is the first ever dragon zoo. A small group of V.I.P.s are brought into the zoo to see the beasts first hand and inspect the safety of the place. Because, surely, nothing can go wrong? Right? Just kidding. Get ready for tons of action and lots of dragon destruction when things spiral out of control.

6. ‘Tooth and Claw’ by Jo Walton

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Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton is a unique twist on dragon literature. Told from the point of view of dragons themselves, this is a world of politics, family, and relationships but instead of humans, everyone is a dragon. In a society where the weak are literally eaten and the strong thrive as tyrants, this is a story like no other, as it showcases what the reality of a dragon’s world is truly like.

 

5. ‘The Hero and the crown’ by Robin McKinely 

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The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinely is a rich young adult novel full of feminist themes and a terrifying dragon as the main antagonist. Aerin is an outcast in her own kingdom, a woman looked down upon for being rumored to be the spawn of a witch. Determined to earn her birthright, she decides to slay a dragon but modern dragons are a far cry from the terrible beasts of old. They’re just vermin and although certainly formidable, they’re nothing but pests. Until the day a knight rides into the castle and reports the return of a great dragon from the old days. Maur, said to be as big as a mountain, has returned and is ransacking the kingdom. Seeing her chance, Aerin rides off with only her horse as a companion to face Maur and slay him.

 

4. ‘Dragonsbane’ by Barbara Hambly 

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Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly focuses on a young prince who must join forces with a retired dragon slayer and a witch who can’t use her magic quite right. Joining forces to form a ragtag dragon slaying “crew”, the trio must journey forth to slay the terrible beast or die trying.

 

3. ‘Dragon Keeper’ by Robin Hobb


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Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb tells of a resurgence of dragons into a world that hates and fears them, yet might need them to save it. Telling of a young boy who travels up river to find a dragon egg in order to breed more dragons to defend his land, they find a set of newly hatched but injured baby dragons. With the help of quirky companions, the boy must ferry these dragons their new home across the wilds, with no hope of return but everything riding on his journey back.

 

2. ‘Earthsea’ by Ursula K. Le Guin 

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Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin needs no introduction. Some of the most acclaimed works in fantasy literature, the world of Earthsea features a unique setting (an island archipelago) and people of color as the protagonists. Dragons are a huge component of the setting, from fearsome Western style monsters to more refined, almost Eastern style of creatures. This is one series that is a classic for a reason and you should dig into for certain, especially as a dragon lover.

1. ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien 

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien began many a person’s love of dragons and fantasy. Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who enjoys a comfortable life when he finds himself yanked from his sleepy little town by the wizard Gandalf and a group of dwarves. Together, they set across Middle-earth to seal the great dragon Smaug’s treasure from his lair in the Lonely Mountain. Smaug himself is an inspired creation and the highlight of the book but the rest is a classic adventure tale and one that will surely please any fantasy lover even today!

Featured Image Via LOTR Wiki 

The Other Books You Need to Read This Summer

By now, we have seen a plethora of Summer reading lists, including my own right here on Bookstr.  As I have perused the round-ups of print and larger publications, I am struck once again how the same books are recommended or mentioned on Today and Good Morning America.

Trust me, I could not be happier to see such amazing female writers soaring to the top of the charts. The Female Author Dream Team this Summer is clearly: Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green, Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Kay Andrews, Dorothea Benton Frank, Beatriz Williams, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mary Beth Keane, Sarah Blake, Martha Hall Kelly, Laura Lippman and Sally Rooney. I have read most of their books, and I can safely say each has earned/reached an even higher level of fabulous this year.

 

 

Yet even these unbelievable hardcover books will have to compete for spots on the NYT Best Seller List with the likes of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and books by the ever-prolific James Patterson, David Balducci, John Sanford and George RR Martin not to mention the latest Danielle Steel. And on the paperback side, Lisa Wingate, Celeste Ng, Heather Morris, E.L James, Gail Honeyman, Ruth Ware, Kate Morton and Pam Jenoff all wrote amazing novels that rightly deserve their places atop lists with wonderful books that deserve their praise.

But what about the other books of Summer? The ones that came out in May and earlier June that weren’t on every list, but still linger with readers. Plus, it is only June 11th.  So many more great books are forthcoming but have yet to make “the” lists.  Let’s look at some titles that I believe easily deserve their place in the sun and for months to come. I am hoping you agree and propel these titles to join the ranks of the books listed above.

 

Incredible Thrillers

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

 

 

Each of these should be atop all the lists.  You will want to read each in one-sitting. In Dear Wife, I assure you that you will gasp out loud at one point and then marvel at Belle’s brilliance. Girls Like Us and The Arrangement are both page-turners that show the struggles of young women fighting to survive in New York. Both are believable yet shocking and so well-written.

 

Summer Greatness

Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner

The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland.

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

 

 

While I have seen a few comments from esteemed authors lately about Summer books being categorized as light fluffy women’s fiction, I disagree. Any book can be a beach read or Summer Read. See my Female Author Summer Dream Team above as Exhibits A-Z on this subject. There is everything to be said about books set on vacation or in Summertime. These three are prime examples of Summer greatness.

In the vein of Elin Hilderbrand, Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner takes us to Sag Harbor and The American Hotel. Brenner delves into the mother daughter relationship and examines what makes a family. Brenner again delivers a cast of characters , some we love, some we don’t but all we will remember. In The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland, an extended family takes a cruise. And who cannot relate to a dysfunctional family vacation? Friedland does a masterful job creating a large cast of characters. Her writing soars in this novel. The Summer Country by Lauren Willig takes us to 1854 Barbados in a  sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados. No one can create a setting quite like Willig.

 

A Swoon Worthy Romance

 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston hit the NYT list for one week. I would argue that this book should be a very long-term occupant there. I love a world where a gay romance novel between the fictional first son and the Prince of Wales immediately soars to best seller status.  Even if you say, “I don’t read romance.” Trust me, read this book.

 

ANDREA PESKIND KATZ IS AN AVID READER, A BOOK REVIEWER, AND FOUNDER OF THE BOOK BLOG GREAT THOUGHTS AND GREAT THOUGHT’S GREAT READERS BOOK SALON ON FACEBOOK.

 

 

This Week’s Top Genre Picks: Romance

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent romance books for your recommendation pleasure. Romance offers a look into the lives of couples, dealing with love and all the trials it offers. Let’s fall in love with the couples of these books and the worlds they create!

 

5. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

 

A rug as the text of the image showcasing images of peacocks on a stylized image

Image via Amazon

Described as a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Unmarriageable tells the story of the Binat family, whose reputation have been destroyed by vicious rumors and scandals. Alys, a daughter of the Binat family, has found a happy life teaching English to teachers. She’s pulled back into the world of her family when a huge wedding comes to their small town and her mother arranges for her daughters to attend in order to catch the eye of eligible bachelors. At the party, Alys’s sister catches the eye of a man called Bungles, whose friend Valentine Darsee has a snobbish opinion of the family. Alys dismisses Valentine but as her sister makes arrangements to marry Bungles, she finds herself attracted to Darsee as she realizes he’s a different man that her opinion. This a charming update of the classic Jane Austen novel told with plenty of charm, wit, and lovely prose.

 

4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

 

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Meet Cute begins how it sounds: Kailyn Flowers literally crashes into her former crush, an actor called Daxton Hughes. What could be an embarrassment for them both brings them together and they start a relationship…until Daxton betrays Kailyn! After years apart, the two come together again and Daxton needs Kailyn’s help! This is a fun romance comedy filled with cringe and presents two interesting characters with a fractured relationship trying to make an awkward romance truly work.

 

3. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

 

A young woman sits at a desk of papers as a plane flies in the background

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A matchmaking tale, this novel tells the story of Khan, an autistic man who believes he has no feelings. His family wants to help and they fly him to Vietnam to help him find a bride. Another woman enters the picture, a girl called Esme who falls for Khan and Khan has to struggle in order to try to love her, overcoming his condition to show her that he loves her as much as she does him. This is a heartbreaking novel about an unlikely couple finding love and showcasing that conditions shouldn’t hold you back from happiness.

 

2. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

 

Two well dressed young men stand side by side

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Red, White & Royal Blue tells the story of a young couple from either side of the Atlantic, the son of the President and the royal Prince. Alex Cameron-Diaz is the son of his mother, the current President and Prince Henry of Britain. During a public relations meeting, the two have a beef and went the tabloids get hold of it, disaster could be spelled for diplomacy. To simmer tensions, the two are arranged to be in a fake friendship that’s documented before the world. Soon, their friendship becomes real and deeper than either could have imagined. Alex begins a secret romance with Henry, trying to keep their relationship on the down low as he finds he truly loves the young prince. This same-sex romance chronicles an unlikely love between two young men is a must read for anyone, truly getting you invested on both sides of the secret romance.

 

 

1. Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich 

 

A bag flopped on the table

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Under The Table tells of a sexy, steam romance, centering on a woman called Zoey who has escaped her failing marriage and finds a new challenge with a rich gentleman called Tristan Malloy. He’s a computer programmer but very shy and she decides to give him a makeover to fit her image. As she begins to work him over, she begins to find him irresistible and who follows is a romance for the ages. Funny and steamy, this romance is a great beach read.

 

 

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