Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Dragon Book

Whether portrayed as fire-breathing reptilian beasts at war with humanity or as noble creatures capable of speech and mystically bonded to the warriors who ride them, dragons have been found in nearly every culture's mythology. In modern times, they can be found far from their medieval settings in locales as mundane as suburbia or as barren as post-apocalyptic landscapes-and in The Dragon Book, today's greatest fantasists reignite the fire with legendary tales that will consume readers' imaginations.

With original stories by New York Times bestselling authors Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, Tamora Pierce, Harry Turtledove, Sean Williams, and Tad Williams as well as tales by Naomi Novik, Peter Beagle, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Cecelia Holland, Kage Baker, Samuel Sykes, Diana Wynne Jones, Mary Rosenblum, Tanith Lee, Andy Duncan, and Bruce Coville.

Beth says 4 Stars...
So, I know this isn't strictly YA, but there are a few heavyweights with stories in this anthology. Reading a short story collection is a completely different monster than dealing with a novel. The theme of dragons was taken in a multitude of different ways, some were very classical and others less so. The worlds were all as diverse as the writers who created them.

Now, to move onto the stories themselves. There were a few authors who disappointed me. I expected a great deal from Garth Nix, and while his story wasn't bad, it certainly wasn't good. Jane Yolen's story was really really long, and just didn't capture my attention. At times I really wasn't clear on the point of the story, and it was a flat out drag. The final story by an author I knew that let me down was Jonathan Stroud's. It was just strange, and not in a good way. However, the good outweighed the bad. My favorite by far was Tamora Pierce's story, which centered on Kitten, a familiar young dragon. It was so interesting to hear things from her point of view. There were also cameos by characters that I love; Spots, Daine, and Numair all play a part. This made picking up the book worth it, but it wasn't the only good one. Dianna Wynne Jones and Gregory Maguire both had fun stories.

Overall, the anthology is fun. There are some good, some not so good, and a whole lot of dragon stories. This is a great read for any lover of fantasy!
book from library


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