The Book of Dragons, by Jonathan Strahan

jessiebwriting's review against another edition

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LOVE this book! An amazing, magical collection of stories and poems about a fantasy creature that's always been a favorite. Some of the authors I've read before and some I've heard of but not yet read. And there were many others that I haven't read nor heard of before. I loved how diverse these stories were - good dragons, bad (or natural predator) dragons, magical explanations, science explanations, Eastern dragons, Western dragons, etc. Each story was unique and wonderful in it's own way. So many fantastic stories and plenty of authors that I NEED to check out now. Also, the illustrations were beautiful and this cover is just gorgeous!

ericaloulou's review against another edition

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adventurous funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


This was a mix of some really great stories and some not so great stories. In particular I really enjoyed the story by Kate Elliot! This was a good resource for discovering new authors 

milointhewoods's review against another edition

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what heroism tells us: two stars
matriculation: four stars
hikayat sri bujang: four stars
yuli: three stars
a whisper of blue: five stars
nidhog: three stars
where the river turns to concrete: five stars
habitat: five stars
pox: five stars
the nine curves river: five stars
lucky’s dragon: five stars
i make myself a dragon: two stars
the exile: four stars (i cannot get this out of my head)
except on saturdays: five stars (chronically male)
la vitesse: four stars
a final knight to her love and foe: four stars
the long walk: kate elliot
cut me another quill, mr fitz: five stars
hoard: five stars (wish this one was longer)
the wyrm of lirr: four stars
the last hunt: five stars
we continue: three stars
small bird’s plea: four stars
the dragons: five stars
dragon slayer: two stars
camouflage: three stars (didn’t really understand this one ngl)
we don’t talk about the dragon: four stars
maybe just go up there and talk to it: three stars
a nice cuppa: four stars

on the whole, i thought the poetry in this was very mediocre and i wasn’t that impressed by it. but the short stories were overall successful for me! there were only two or three that i actively disliked, and i really enjoyed the rest. this was a really well crafted anthology, with some amazing illustrations by rovina cai who is an artist that i admire so much! standout stories to me were ken liu’s ‘a whisper of blue’, k. j. parker’s ‘habitat’ and ‘pox’ by ellen klages. i also really enjoyed ‘hoard’ by seanan mcguire but i desperately wish that it was longer, and ‘the exile’ by j. y. yang has been living in my brain rent free even thought it wasn’t my favourite when i first read it.

alliej's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional inspiring mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


readingnookreviews's review against another edition

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*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!

fodder's review against another edition

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4 stars is the maximum, not the average.

bookishrabbit's review against another edition

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Most of these stories are EXTREMELY loose interpretations of dragons. Many of them don't have an actual dragon in them. Majority are also modern day, with dragons that intermingle with humans or live blandly human lives.

I admit I am pretty old school when it comes to dragons, and prefer them classic, like Tolkien (ironically this book starts and ends with a Tolkien quote. And the stories within are nothing similar).

If you are looking for adventure and flames and blood and gold, this one isn't for you. I found a couple stories I still enjoyed, especially at the end, that met more of my expectations. But 90% of these aren't memorable in any way. Glad I got this one from the library.

Side note, the illustrations are gorgeous and the book is physically beautiful.

meganly823's review against another edition

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I'm so excited to start reading this once I receive it!

lanid's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes


ejpass's review against another edition

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4/5 stars
Recommended for people who like:
anthologies, dragons, short stories

This isn't a bad anthology, in fact, I liked pretty much every story I read from it. It is, however, a large anthology, clocking in at over 500 pages and each story is dedicated to one subject: dragons. I think if the anthology were shorter or had a more ambiguous theme (i.e., death, the end of the world, fairytales, etc.) I would've been able to finish it, but as it is I did start to get bored dealing with dragons about halfway through. Also, some of the short stories are quite long for an anthology.

I might come back to this some day, but I think for now I have to DNF it.

What Heroism Tells Us: Jane Yolen
4/5 stars

Yolen gives us a nice poem to start the anthology. I like how it offers different ideas of heroism.

Matriculation:: Elle Katherine White
4/5 stars

I liked the steampunk-fantasy elements of the story. The world was interesting and I liked how much the magic was entrenched into everything. The ending was kind of sad.

Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, the Tale of the Naga Sage: Zen Cho
4/5 stars

I thought this one was kind of funny. I liked the image of a dragon sage commuting to and from home and his spiritual mountain. I wasn't really a fan of the rest of his family, but I suppose Sri Bujang was fairly in his own head as well, so it balances out.

Yuli: Daniel Abraham
4/5 stars

Abraham did something interesting with this one by switching between a hardened mercenary and the dialogue of boys playing DnD. I liked how the two mirrored each other and, despite having the two storylines, I couldn't predict the ending.

A Whisper of Blue: Ken Liu
5/5 stars

Liu has a way of writing that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I liked the little dragons and how the story focuses on how different people perceive them. The ending was bittersweet and a little bit like dull horror, but it fits.

Nidhog: Jo Walton
4/5 stars

The rhyme was good, but I'm not sure what the rhythm was supposed to be and that threw me off.

Where the River Turns to Concrete: Brooke Bolander
5/5 stars

This one is similar to Yuli. I liked the switch between past and present. Joe's story definitely kept me on my toes and the ending felt right for the story, but also like there was still plenty of potential for more.

Habitat: K.J. Parker
5/5 stars

This story is fairly humorous, all things considered. The narrator has a light and easy way of looking at things, even when they would otherwise be grim. I also love Parker's take on how dragons reproduce/repopulate. It's an interesting idea and one I haven't seen before.

Pox: Ellen Klages
5/5 stars

This was a very sweet story where a young girl gets to go adventuring in San Francisco with her aunt and her aunt's friend (possibly girlfriend). The little girl is obsessed with dragons and the story goes to describe the different 'dragons' you can see in the city. I also liked the hints of magic that we get.

The Nine Curves River: R.F. Kuang
5/5 stars

This story offers an interesting look at sisterhood and monsters. It talks around the main event for a bit before getting into it. There's a good twinge of regret and rage along with introspection.

Lucky's Dragon: Kelly Barnhill
5/5 stars

This one was pretty funny. I liked Mrs. Hollins a lot, and the other scientists. The science teacher was a bit intense, but it meshed well with the story. Barnhill's foreshadowing was good too. The ending reminded me a bit of Liu's story.

Make Myself a Dragon: Beth Cato
4/5 stars

Good poem, went a direction I wasn't expecting.

The Exile: J.Y. Yang
4/5 stars

Another one that went a direction I wasn't expecting. I liked the sci-fi nature of this one and the focus on terraforming and what constitutes life. The story also makes a good statement on choice and government and free will.

Except on Saturdays: Peter S. Beagle
3.5/5 stars

This was well-written, but it was kind of weird in a way I don't really like. It was an interesting dragon myth though.