The Dragons of 2010

To celebrate the last day of 2010, here's a list of all the Middle Grade and Young Adult dragon books from 2010! There are lots here I haven't read (which, since all I seem to have done in 2010 is read, baffles me more than somewhat). The blurbs in quotation marks, therefore, are lifted from the publishers' descriptions.

Ancient, Strange, and Lovely: the Dragon Chronicles by Susan Fletcher. "In a new dragon novel by Susan Fletcher, Bryn must save a dracling from a dangerous modern world that seems to have no place for an ancient dragon."

Attack of the Ninja Frogs and Curse of the Were-Wiener by Ursula Vernon. 2010 was a happy year--two new Dragonbreath books! I do so adore these stories, part elementary chapter books, part graphic novels. They are laugh out loud funny. Danny Dragonbreath is an utterly engaging draconic hero, and his adventures are utterly delightful. Here's my review of Ninja Frogs, here's my review of Were-Wiener.

The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse. A beautiful historical fantasy that re-tells the story of Beowulf versus the Dragon from the point of view of Rune, a young boy who must stand up beside the king he loves against a horrible evil. I highly recommend it--here's my review.

The Dragon in the Library: Dragon Keepers by Kate Klimo. "Dragon keepers Jesse and Daisy need help! Emmy, their rapidly growing dragon, has become a real grouch, saying she's missing "something," and the cousins don't have a clue what that something is. Jesse and Daisy go online to ask Professor Andersson, their favorite dragon expert, for help and end up seeing him being kidnapped! The kidnapper is none other than Sadie Huffington, the girlfriend of their enemy, St. George the Dragon Slayer. She has hatched a wicked scheme to use the professor to both find St. George and capture Emmy. Now the dragon keepers and their dragon must storm Sadie's castle and rescue the professor from the witch and her pack of vicious dog-men!"

Dragon Games: The Books of Umber by P. W. Catanese. Sequel to Happentance Found. I'm not sure that the baby dragons actually play enough of a role in this one to justify its inclusion, but I'm a fan of this series, which tells of the fantastical adventures of a young boy (Happenstance) and his mysterious guardian, Lord Umber (who reminds me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones' Howl). Lots of adventure of the wildly creative sort, and characters I care about. And some bonus baby dragons toward the end.

Elspeth: Shadow of the Dragon by Kate O'Hearn. “Kira and Elspeth have already broken First Law many times over. Now outlawed and running for their lives, they are determined to stand amongst the men and fight the unjust First Law that binds the kingdom. But cruel Lord Dorcon still stands in their way and the heat of his chase is stronger than ever. A prophecy to fulfill, a cruel monarchy to upend.”

The Final Quest: Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott "An immortal dragon. A long hidden secret. The kingdom of Droon is at the brink of war. . . The situation in Droon has never been more desperate. The wizard Galen is missing. Eric has been forced undercover with Gethwing, the all-powerful Moon Dragon. And millions of beasts are assembling outside Jaffa City, ready to attack Droon's capital. Eric, Keeah, Neal, and Julie will do whatever it takes to save their beloved kingdom. But to defeat the Moon Dragon, they'll need to uncover the greatest secret in all of Droon. . . ."

Found: The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas. Trouble is, once again, hot on young Conn's heels. In this third book of the Magic Thief series, he finds himself exiled from his city. Searching for his locus magicalus, a stone that would focus his powers of magic, he finds a dragon instead...I am awfully fond of young Conn, and happy to see him return to his old form in this third book of the series after a rather somber second book. Eminently readable--I found myself very reluctant to put it down when looking at it again this morning....and might well have to finish re-reading it later today!

Gauge: The Dragons of Wayward Crescent by Chris D'Lacey. "The town council wants to demolish the old clock and replace it with a fancy modern one. Lucy's mother is determined to stop it -- with the help of a timing dragon named Gauge. Will Gauge, Lucy and the ghost Sir Rufus Trenchchomb be able to outsmart Councilman Roger Trustable before time runs out?"

Gold Dragon Codex: The Dragon Codices by R.D. Henham. "When the blue dragon Lazuli threatens to destroy Sandon's village of Hartfall, Sandon vows to locate the legendary gold dragon, once Hartfall's sworn protector, and convince it to return. Sandon finds the gold dragon's lair--only to stumble on a secret that throws everything he thought he knew about his home and his family into question. Filled with everything readers love about dragons--power, action, and intrigue--this tale shows what one boy can accomplish when he finds the strength of a dragon lies within himself."

How to Ride a Dragon's Storm by Cressida Cowell. "Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, everyone's favorite reluctant Viking hero, has three months, five days and six hours to discover America, get back to Berk, save his father, battle Polarserpents and win the annual Inter-Tribal Friendly Swimming Race. Can he do it?"

Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore. Ivy doesn't want to marry Romil, Prince Charming dude who showed up to claim her, and her kingdom. He's a jerk. So she joins forces with an undersized dragon to thwart his evil plans...it's a lighthearted adventure, that should be pleasing to those who enjoy fun riffs on fairy tale conventions. (my review).

Knights of the Ruby Wand: Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott. "Oh no! The secret of Droon is a secret no longer. Eric's mother knows about the rainbow staircase . . . and what's worse, so does Gethwing. The Moon Dragon has sent his minions to the Upper World to search for a magical object that could give him power over all of Droon. Now no place is safe from Gethwing's dark magic. . ."

The Last Hunt, by Bruce Coville. In this fourth volume of the Unicorn Chronicles, the land of Luster is in turmoil. Young Cara, half girl, half unicorn, must set off on a quest to find a dragon...or the unicorns will be hunted and killed. This was one I read for the Cybils, and I've not read the first three books, so the various maelstroms of danger and action into which I was plunged (lots of characters, lots of different story lines) made for a dizzying experience....I think I need to play catch-up to appreciate this one...

No Such Thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve. Ansel's new master is taking him high into the snowy mountains, to find a dragon, and slay it. That's what professional dragon slayers do, after all. But though this man knows there's no such thing as dragons, there is something waiting for them up in the snow...something very much like a dragon. Not a friendly one. This is exiting historical fantasy, scary and gripping as all get out (my review).

A Practical Guide to Dragon Magic by Susan Morris. "Do you wish you could fly on wings of your own? Breathe fire? Cast spells in the blink of an eye? These are the secrets only dragon magic can teach you. In this next edition in the Practical Guide family of fantasy essentials, dragon expert Sindri Suncatcher opens up his notebooks one last time to give readers an insider's look into the Darastrix Academy, a place where young wizards and dragon hatchlings live side-by-side mastering the powerful magic that makes dragons so special. For every fantasy fan who loves dragons and wants to know everything about these enigmatic creatures, this book reveals the greatest dragon secrets of all."

Shadow: Dragon Orb by Mark Robson "Pell and his night dragon Shadow must find the dark orb to help save the Oracle, leader of all dragonkind. But Segun, a power-hungry tyrant, stands in their way. Pell must use his flying skills, bravery, and resourcefulness to the limit, as Segun is determined to get the orb—even if it means killing the opposition."

Ultimate Magic: Merlin's Dragon by T. A. Barron. This is third book of a series, and I read it expecting to be confused. But instead, when I found myself plunged into a great battle, with a great dragon named Basil leading the defenders of Avalon against various bad guys, I found myself drawn into the story....and I was happy to follow Basil, and sundry other characters, off in their subsequent quest to defeat the evil mastermind behind it all, Doomraga. Basil is perhaps the most Heroic dragon of all those published in 2010...

The Wyverns' Treaure: Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist by R. L. LaFevers. This third book about young Nathaniel is my favorite of the series to date, in large part due to LaFevers wonderful way with wyverns. Nathaniel and Aunt Phil are off to Wales in this book, where the wyverns are in an uproar. Someone has intruded into their territory, and the truce keeping them from pillaging the Welsh countryside is in jeopardy...never have Nathaniel's Beastologist skills been put to so fraught a test! With this book, I began to feel as though I were at last travelling toward answers to the larger mystery of the series--the fate of Nathaniel's missing parents--and this made the story more spacious and meaningful. The simple yet satisfying prose, numerous illustrations, and light touches of comic relief that characterize this series make it perfect for many an upper elementary reader. And the wyverns in this particular book are great.

Young Adult

Dragons are holding their own in books for teenagers quite nicely! I knew there were lots of mg dragons, but there are plenty for older readers as well.

The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson "Jack is the chosen one, the Radiant Boy the Magus needs in order to perfect the alchemy that will transform London of the 1600s into a golden city. But Jack isn’t the kind of boy who will do what he is told by an evil genius, and soon he’s battling to save London in an epic and nail-biting adventure featuring dragons, knights and Queen Elizabeth I."

Has anyone read this? It sounds good.

The Dragon's Apprentice: the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen. "Seven years after the events of The Shadow Dragons, John, Jack and Charles are finally able to return to their beloved Archipelago of Dreams. But even as their return is celebrated by old friends, new concerns shadow the reunion: the threat of Ecthroi, primordial Shadow. And perhaps even worse, the apparent splintering of Time itself. Now, the Caretakers must fight against their most fearsome enemy ever and attempt to restore Time. They must journey through a forgotten Door from the destroyed Keep of Time in order to seek out the Dragon's Apprentice. If they fail, it will mean the end of both of the worlds. But success will carry its own price--a price that may be too high even for the Caretakers to bear."

Dragons of Darkness by Antonia Michaelis. Two boys, Jumar, an invisible prince of Nepal, the other Christopher, a German boy searching for his kidnapped brother, join forces in an incredible journey through the mountains. There they see the havoc wrought by the beautiful but deadly color dragons, who steal all that is good and beautiful wherever their shadows pass. The grey rice in the fields has no sustenance, and worse still, any person touched by a dragon's shadow becomes a bronze statue. The suffering of the mountain people is exacerbated by the war between the Maoists and the Royalists. The rebel cause becomes real to the boys in the person of Nayu, a girl their age who is recruiting for the Maoists. She is brave, she is beautiful, and both boys fall hard for her... Jumar, Nayu and Christopher must journey bravely through mountains where death--in the beauty of a dragon's wing, in the muzzle of a gun, in the land itself-- could lie around every corner. And it would be a lot easier if they were sure what they were looking for...(my full review)

The Dragons of Noor by Janet Lee Carey "A dreamwalker who has lost her way. A shape shifter who fears his own dark power. A fire herd punished for his magic. Can these three teens keep the human world of Noor and the magical world of Oth from splitting apart? The ancient trees of Noor are dying. If the blight kills the last azure trees whose deep roots bind the worlds, the bridge between Noor and Oth will split apart forever. Already as Hanna, Miles, and Taunier sail to the source of the blight, the rent between the worlds is widening, and magic is going out of Noor. The quest deepens when a strange wind blows across Noor stealing young children, and Hanna is powerless to protect her younger brother from the stealing wind. The Three journey east to the azure forests of Jarrosh. East to the dragon lands. East to the place where the wind-stolen children were taken. In Jarrosh, among dragons, the Three will be challenged to discover their hidden powers. Each of them must break beyond the boundaries of self to discover the ancient magic joining all to all."

Choke: Pillage by Obert Skye. "Choke....continues the eccentric adventures of Beck Phillips, who seems to have a knack for causing mischief in the secluded village of Kingsplot. In book one, Beck used his unique gift to unexpectedly hatch several dragon eggs. Thankfully, the dragons were destroyed . . . or were they? In Choke, a stranger has discovered that Beck Phillips is the key to finding and hatching a lost dragon s egg a task that will bring the riches and fortune that Beck s family was destined to have. Beck learns that outward appearances can be deceiving and that grown-ups really do have valuable lessons to offer. Readers will laugh out loud at Beck s antics and sit on the edge of their seats while Beck and his friends confront Liz, the largest, most ferocious dragon Beck has ever seen!"

Firelight by Sophie Jordan. "Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy."

Heartless, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. "Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon marry. She dreams of a charming prince, but when her first suitor arrives, he's not what she'd hoped. Prince Aethelbald of mysterious Farthestshore has travelled a great distance to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be on the hunt and blazing a path of terror.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his cautions with dire consequences. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in his sights. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil."

Starlighter: Dragons of Starlight by Bryan Davis. "Dragons are enslaving humankind and a black egg signals the end of the world. Jason Masters must journey to another realm and join forces with a slave girl named Koren to rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction. What if the Legends Are True? Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons' realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered."

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn. Here's what I said in my review: "a rather unusual fantasy, in that it combines contemporary YA-ness--the heroine's best girl friend who is putting the pressure on her to grow up, the developing relationship with the cute boy-- with Dragons. And the result is a rather fun, rather interesting, and more than somewhat memorable story. " In an alternate modern world, there's human territory, and dragon territory, and the two stay seperate. But Kay breakes the rules...and becomes friends with a dragon. Will their friendship bring peace, or will it exacerbate the existing tensions and lead to war? I'm looking forward to the sequel (my full review).

Wings of Fire, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Marianne S. Jablon. A rich anthology of dragon stories both old (Ursula Le Guin's The Rule of Names) and new (included are two never before published stories by Holly Black and Margo Langevin). Other big names include George R.R. Martin, Naomi Novick, and Charles De Lint. The editors set out to gather together the best dragon stories the could, and the result is a hefty book with much to enjoy-- some stories delight, and others disturb...


  1. My goddaughter used to love reading about dragons. I wonder if she still does? If so, this would be a great resource for her!

  2. Wow, looking at this list, I realize we are on a serious dragon tear in publishing. Huh. I love it, though. Can't wait for the sequel to the Carrie Vaughn novel, either.

  3. This is my kind of list; thanks!

  4. Ah Charlotte, what would we do without you? Thanks for this, there are some on here I missed seeing before.

  5. thank you all!

    There are a lot of them, aren't there.

  6. This is an encyclopedia...I did not read it before...any book of the world knows that will not be passed...VivA Charlotte!

  7. I love the Cressida Cowell books! And if you can get the audiobooks narrated by David Tennant then you're in for a treat - I don't know if they've been re-recorded for the US audience (I'm in the UK) but Tennant does a *brilliant* job.

  8. I would like the David Tennant version lots, I think! Thanks for the recommendation.


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