Read The Dragon Book: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy by Jack Dann Gardner Dozois Cecelia Holland Naomi Novik Jonathan Stroud Kage Baker Jane Yolen Adam Stemple Online

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Never before published stories by "New York Times" bestselling authors Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, and others. 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. InNever before published stories by "New York Times" bestselling authors Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, and others. 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. ...

Title : The Dragon Book: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441017645
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 433 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dragon Book: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy Reviews

  • Jamie
    2019-03-31 20:46

    This is an anthology. I will forewarn all readers now so that my review and rating is better understood.I think Jack Dann did a fair enough job picking out stories to put together for this book Some I liked better than others so I will be rating and reviewing (briefly) each story individually.1) Dragon's Keep- by Cecilia HollandThis story is about a young woman named Perla who grew up in a fishing village. One day a fishing expedition goes wrong when a dragon attacks. When Perla tries to escape, she only ends up finding herself trapped. However instead of eating her as she feared the dragon offers her safety in return for stories. After she finally escapes to return home she feels more trapped than ever as she learns from the stories she told of princes and dragons.Over all, not a bad story. A bit drab at times but still decent. 3.5/5 stars.2)Vici- by Naomi NovikThis book takes place in ancient Rome. Some known names you will find: Cato, Marcus Antonius and Caius Julius (Caesar). This, right off, made me smile. So for the story, Antony is in heavy with debts and is sent to kill a dragon as reimbursement. No one, including himself, expect him to live. Yet he does and returns home with a special souvenir. A dragon egg. Adventures await once the dragon hatches and starts to grow. This book was well-written. I wish the author showed a bit more of the Roman life, but you can only convey so much in 15 pages. Still, nice characterization. 4/5 stars3)Bob Choi's Last Job-by Jonathan Stroud.First off, I was excited when i saw who wrote this. I loved his series, starting with The Amulet of Samarkand. This book takes place in a bit more modern time. Bob Choi is assigned the task to kill a dragon. Dragons in this story, are able to hide and pass themselves off as humans but Bob Choi shows us how he tracks them down. Sadly, our hero has bit off more than he can chew when he finds himself up against 2 dragons instead. This story also touches briefly on humanity, and what is considered murder. A very short read of about 10 pages. While the story was okay, it seemed too short and lacked much of an ending. So, while I love the authors novels, I can only give this a 3/5.4)Are you Afflicted with Dragons?-by Kage BakerThe Smith family runs a hotel that is quickly becomes a hotspot for dragons. This, in turn, is causing problems for their patrons. So the owner sets out to find a way to get rid of the dragons. After taking the advice of a local company and failing to get rid of them, he hires a man who claimed he could get them off his property with a guarantee of one year without their return. In return: he gets to keep anything in the nests that he finds...This was a really fun read. I like the authors writing style. It was a good length and great plot. I had never read anything by Kage Baker before this but I now look forward to reading some of his other works. 4. 5/55) The Tsar's Dragons- by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple.This book takes place is Russia and involves more popular characters, including Rasputin. This book revolves around the Revolution of Russia. Both the Tsar and the revolutionist have dragons they are secretly raising for a future power hold. Plus Rasputin has his own agenda and does not like dragons at all. I was kinda bored with this story. Proof of that is this terrible summary. The book didn't even stick. The writing seemed dry which surprised my since I remember reading something by Jane Yolen before and liked it. Maybe is was the author combination or just bad plot choice. I dont know. 2/5 stars is all I can give this.6)The Dragon of Direfell-by Liz WilliamsA mage named Cygne is hired in by a Lord to rid the land of a dragon, however he finds the lands true danger is different that what the people think and it involves the Lord's wife. This was well written. I honestly cannot say too much about this story or I will give something away. IT twists and turns a bit, all the way to the last page. 4/5 stars for keeping me guessing7)Oakland Dragon Blues-by Peter S BeagleA city police officer comes across a new situation when on traffic duty. A dragon in the middle of an intersection who stubbornly refuses to move. This is a modern time story so dragons should not exist and the officer has a hard time rationalizing to himself and others what is going on. He finally finds out what the dragon is doing here to learn the dragon was originally from an unfinished story and that he was looking for the author. This is their adventure and conversations. I love the dragon in this story. Fun story! 5/58)Humane Killer- by Diana Gabaldon and Samuel SykesToo be honest I did not finish this at all. I read the first couple pages but just could not follow or get into it AT ALL. The pace is very story, lots of conversations that seems like it should be in the middle of a full length book. I think this was also the longest story in the book but it needed more at the beginning. So 1/5 stars since I couldn't even read halfway through (literally tried twice and fell asleep)9)Stop!-by Garth Nix A man is seen entering a military area, heading toward their bomb. They even try firing at him, to no avail. One lone officer follows the man to the bomb to see what is going on.This did not seem like a dragon book until the end. In fact, with the first couple pages I was wondering if they through a zombie at us! Fear not, the dragon references are there at the end. This is a very short story but well written. 4/5 stars for a great flowing idea.10)Ungentle fire-by Sean WilliamsA man is sent out to slay a dragon under his masters orders. A standard story, right? Well what if the dragon is not what he seems? What if the man questions slaying him? If he doesn't slay the dragon, then he will not be free of him master. But who is his master anyways?All these questions and more are in this story. This book has the main character doing a lot of question of himself and those around him. Nice concepts, well written scenes- 4/5 stars11)A stark and Wormy Knight-by Tad WilliamsThis story has a mother dragon telling he youngling a bedtime story about his grandfather and the knight he faced.This story has left me very unsure what to think of it. I liked some of the humor and the whimsical, made-up words these dragons use but on the same token I hated it too. I went nuts at times wanting to say, "That's not how you say it" or "That's not how it is spelled." So I would be a bit irritated and laugh at the same time. But it is still a light-hearted quick read so 3.5/5 stars12)None So Blind- by Harry TurtledoveA mixed group of natives and explorers set out to hopefully find the mysterious dragons. What the do find is a vampire, unicorns and more creatures, all while wondering if dragons exist.This book was alright. Interesting at parts and boring in others, 3/5 stars13)JoBoy-Diana Wynne JonesA young man named JoBoy has wondered for years about his fathers unnatural death. Until the day he falls ill. After six months he is sent home since the doctors are unsure why is wrong that has left him so weak. He gets the idea to reshape himself, literally, and it works, and his health improves but so do other things, starting with what he sees in the mirror...Without giving anything more away I invite you to read for yourselves. Enjoy, as it is a fun story. 4/5 stars14)Puz_le- by Gregory MaguireA young girl is bored and starts on a puzzle she finds. A dragon puzzle. As she completes more of the puzzle, the dragon seems to come more to life.This was an interesting read. Quite short but worth it. Only thing is i wish the book spent just a bit more time explaining things at the end but oh well, 4/514)After the third Kiss-Bruce CovilleA Princess is turned into a dragon by her stepmother and the only way to be turned back is for her brother to kiss her 3 times. He does but this scars his lips. The confront the stepmother who turns into a toad and escapes. The prince takes over the kingdom but finds he is unable to father children so he tries to marry off his sister, the princess. She is missing her dragon side and is unsure of herself.Self-discovery, fantasy kingdoms...this stroy was nicely done. The princess was a bit frustrating in her though process at times but still good, 4/5 stars.15)The War that Winter Is-by Tanith LeeWintering villages have been plagued by an ice dragon who can freeze them and everything else with a single breath. A shaman finds a frozen pregnant woman and somehow the child inside her is still alive! He raises the child, a boy he calls Anlut. He is silvery-white skinned with white hair to match the cold. The shaman declares him the hero and 16 years later sends him to slay the dragon. This story was well done and has my craving more by this author, Solid 4/5 stars.16) The Dragon's Tale-by Tamora PierceA young dragon travels with her adoptive human parents and finds a woman the villagers call a witch, she follows her to a cave where she is raising her son. She tries to help the woman with food and is assisted by a friend. This dragon is adorable and precious! I love how she gestures and sounds her thoughts. The chirps and claw movements, etc. SO CUTE! I wanted to take her out of the story and keep her to myself. Alas, I must share her with my fellow readers. 5/5 stars for great writing, story and one of the best dragons ever!This was my favorite story in this book by far.17)Dragon Storm-Mary RosenblumA young girl named Tahlia is an outcast in the island grove she lives in. She is considered bad luck because of her eye color. Not to mention she can call on the aid of the local surf dragons. While out with her friend Kir, when they come across a nest of eggs. they start to hatch but shortly after are attacked by ketrals. Tahlia saves one and they escape. She learns what she has is a Sea dragon and that it can communicate with her. But what trouble will this now bring her?A great story. Another new author discovered! This story could easily expand into a full novel (maybe more) by continuing the story. Nicely done 5/518)The Dragaman's Bride- by Andy DuncanTeenagers are disappearing but later return hope with simply being okay, but they are now unable to have children. Since they come home, the locals don't worry too much. Until one, Allie, doesn't return...I was utterly bored by this story.it was too jumpy and very dry in my opinion. 2/5 stars.

  • Yasamin Seifaee
    2019-04-03 15:04

    خب راستش... :/ این یه مجموعه از داستان کوتاهه، و قبول دارم نوشتن داستان کوتاه سخته، ولی با خوندن اولین داستان دیگه واقعا علاقه ای به ادامه ش ندارم. چون بعید میدونم داستان های بعدیش بهتر از اولی باشن :/نثر نویسنده اوکی بود و تنها چیزی که باهاش مشکل داشتم موضوع داستان بود که خیلی تکراری بود :|

  • Stefan Yates
    2019-04-12 14:06

    Overall, this was a decent collection of fantasy stories all centered around that favorite of fantasy beasts, the Dragon. As usual, with a collection of this sort, there are some really good tales and some really not-so-good ones. But overall I was impressed with the diversity and range amongst the stories and enjoyed reading stories by some fairly big name fantasy authors who to this point I had not yet read any of their other more well known fare.If you enjoy short story collections in general, I'd rate this one as slightly above average. There was a really nice variety of styles and types of stories included in the collection. Not all of the stories are set in what most would consider to be the typical fantasy setting. As a matter of fact, most of the tales manage to have a twist or two that put them firmly outside of the box of the ordinary. In many cases this worked great, but in several it was just plain odd.All in all, I don't feel that I wasted my time on The Dragon Book and would recommend it to others who,like myself, enjoy a collection of short stories to shake things up a bit.

  • Katie
    2019-04-10 12:51

    This book took me FOREVER to get through. It's a collection of short stories about dragons (and what people have perceived them to be across time) and some of the stories are quite good, while other ones are a waste of paper. Since each story varies in quality, I figured I'd do a quick review of each story individually.Dragon's Deep - This was a good classic Dragon Story for the most part. a little strange in places, but overall, what one would expect from a good dragon story. Good thing they started the book with this story, if they had started with one of the more odd ones I'd have probably given up on the book right away.Vici - A decent story, oddly abrupt ending. But I felt like the Dragon should have ate the main character (along with the lion) when she hatched. Not one of my favorites.Bob Choi's Last Job - Okay, this one was just weird. It felt like there was not enough background info to fully tell what in the world was going on. I didn't like it.Are you afflicted with Dragons? - This one was good, well written, interesting, and I actually laughed at the ending I didn't see coming.The Tsar's Dragons - Kind of a boring story, but moderately interesting to see the authors' points of view about how dragon's helped bring about the fall of the Russian Empire. Rather odd though. Didn't really care for it.The Dragon of Direfell - This one was pretty good. The story was kind of confusing til it was all cleared up at the end, but I liked it.Oakland Dragon Blues - This one was a cute story. I liked this one. I wanted to hug the Dragon, even if he was kinda whiny at the beginning.Humane Killer - This was a pretty good. The ending didn't make a lot of sense (too many loose ends), but clear up til then, the story was captivating.Stop! - This one was just weird (not your run-of-the-mill dragon story), but I was riveted, nonetheless.Ungentle Fire - weird. this one wasn't worth the read.A Stark and Wormy Night - Hilariously funny! I loved this one!None so Blind - This one was odd too, not sure if I liked it or not.JoBoy - This one was okay. The concept was interesting at least.Puz_le - This one seemed good up until the end. The last two or three paragraphs made no sense, and I have no idea what the author was going for. The story had potential, but ended up stinking in the end.After the Third Kiss - This one was pretty good. A bit odd, but alright. It had good "fairy tale flavor"The War that Winter Is - This one seemed pretty interesting while I read it, but overall the story wasn't that great.The Dragon's Tale - I liked this one a lot. Great characters, well thought out plot. And the ending actually made sense, which is apparetnly a plus with this book.Dragon Storm - This one was really good too. Great sense of place, and likeable/hateable characters. Good ending too.The Dragaman's Bride - This one was just strange. Not sure if I liked it or not.

  • K. O'Bibliophile
    2019-04-13 20:08

    As with all anthologies, there are some gems, some trash, and some middling stories. I feel the middling and gems outweigh the trash, but the middling stories are prevalent. It's a good book and I'd recommend it to any fantasy lover, but whether it's bookshelf-worthy you'll have to judge for yourself. Personally, I'd go the library route with this one.It didn't start off well. Dragon's Deep is the first story, a bore about an uninteresting girl, an uninteresting dragon, and a bunch of jerks who the girl formerly liked. Based on this story I would shy away from author Cecelia Holland's other work.A lot of the middling works didn't have bad writing, but I dislike the feeling of being dropped in a world that the author doesn't properly explain, particularly when it pertains to the plot. The Dragon of Direfell (Liz Williams), Humane Killer (Diana Gabaldon/Samuel Sykes), None So Blind (Harry Turtledove), and Ungentle Fire (Sean Williams) were prime examples of these. Some of the stories let you understand the world, but just didn't seem to have a good reason for reading, like Vici (Naomi Novic) and The Tsar's Dragons (Jane Yolen/Adam Stemple). Some were complete stories that were just a bit depressing--you can decide for yourself if that's good or bad, look for JoBoy (Diana Wynne Jones), After the Third Kiss Bruce (Coville), and Stop! (Garth Nix)The worst story of the lot was Puz_le (Gregory Maguire). It's as if this was the start of a book he never finished. There's no real conclusion to [small, boring] events. But the gems...oh, yum. Dragon Storm (Mary Rosenblum), The War That Winter Is (Tanith Lee), Bob Choi's Last Job (Jonathan Stroud), and Are You Afflicted With Dragons ? (Kage Baker) were all good and made me want to look up more by the authors. Stroud's and Rosenblum's stories made me wish that the authors had written books about these worlds, so interesting they were. The Dragaman's Bride (Andy Duncan), Oakland Dragon Blues (Peter S. Beagle), A Stark and Wormy Knight (Tad Williams) were all distinctly written, and the last one was one of only two stories told from a dragon's perspective. It was especially fun because Williams had develope an understandable but distinct speech pattern for his dragons, one that added flavor to the story.My favorite was The Dragon's Tale (Tamora Pierce). I was already acquainted with Pierce's work, but studying the story I noticed that she did do a good job of explaining everything--why the dragon was with the humans, who the humans were, the setting, etc--and she did so without dumping everything on the reader. Bonus: for those who liked it, Pierce actually *has* written books that contain these same characters so unlike many other stories, readers looking for more can actually find some.

  • Dian Achdiani
    2019-03-31 18:59

    ...dibaca dari Oktober tahun lalu, baru selesai sekarang xD soalnya *mencari alasan* baca kumcer bisa dibaca satu-satu, simpan dulu, baca lagi cerita berikutnya. Ngga seperti buku yang ceritanya satu utuh, susah disimpen kalau belum sampai tamat xDKumpulan cerita tentang naga, dan penulisnya, waaaah! Ada Jonathan Stroud, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, Tamora Pierce, ada Naomi Novik! Ada Diana Wynne Jones juga!Biasanya kumcer berbagai seleranya, jadi memang ada cerita yang... 'yah, begitulah'. Tapi ada juga cerita yang: 'Waaaaaah, kok kepikir yaaaa? Cakep banget ceritanya!'Saat ini saya paling suka 'The War That Winter Is'-nya Talitha Lee. Juga 'Vici'-nya Naomi Novik; dan 'Bob Choi's Last Job'-nya kakang Stroud. Ehehe, tapi biasanya beda saat baca, bakal beda juga favoritnya. Baca kumcer emang gitu xPBaca-baca komen buku ini, ternyata sempet diterjemahkan sama mbak Poppy ya? Sempet diterbitkan engga ya, soalnya rasanya belum pernah lihat buku bahasa Indonesianya...Buku ini juga diikutsertakan dalam Reading Challenge FSFD-nya bang Raapi, dan begitu lihat jumlah halaman, masukin kategori Crunchy Pillow ah xDD

  • Nicola Mansfield
    2019-04-23 20:03

    Comments: This collection of 19 never previously published short stories by mostly well-known authors is written for an "all ages" audience, meaning for adults but an acceptable cross-over for older teens. The book is entirely language and s*x free, though the themes keep the book form being suitable for anyone younger. There were a couple of stories I didn't appreciate but for the most part I rated the others 4s or 5s. I really enjoyed that this book of short stories contained one longer almost novella sized story along with several lengthy 30 page stories along with the shorter short stories, making for a wide range of reading, with the longer stories letting the reader become quite involved in the story. I certainly had my appetite whetted for some of the others here I hadn't read before, which was shamefully quite a few. Of the 19 authors, I had heard of 12 (even owning books by most of them), of those 12, alas, I had read only 8. A very engaging collection of stories with an amazing array of dragons: good, bad, those who fly and those who swim, with wings and without, those who breath fire, those who breathe ice. Plus the stories are told from all sorts of points of view including that of the dragon itself. A very enjoyable collection of stories. Recommended!1. Dragon's Deep by Cecelia Holland - I really enjoyed this story of a fishing village that the Duke visits one day and tells them their taxes are now doubled. Not knowing what else to do they venture into the dangerous waters called "Dragon's Deep" to fish where they are attacked by a dragon and one girl, Perla, is accidentally taken away by the dragon. The story shows that a beast can learn to love through human tenderness and that humans can turn to beasts when they forget human tenderness. 4/52. Vici by Naomi Novik - An enjoyable and funny story with a quirky ending set in Ancient Rome of a man presumably sentenced to death when his punishment is to single handedly kill a dragon. Pure luck makes him successful and he comes home rich with the dragon's hoard and an egg, presumably is dead. When the egg hatches the man's life takes a turn for adventure and will never be the same again. Quite humorous while rather violent at the same time. 4/53. Bob Choi's Last Job by Jonathan Stroud - A dragon hunter goes out on a hunt has an encounter with a couple of dragons. Didn't really get this one. Well, I "got" it but wasn't that entertained. 2/54. Are You Afflicted with Dragons? by Kage Baker - This was a fun, clever romp of a man who owns a seaside hotel and has a bunch of small dragons come to roost on his roof. After trying the usual pest control measure for ridding oneself of these wyrmin pests he encounters a man who specializes in the job and promises to rid him of his troubles forever. A clever, humorous tale. 4/55. The Tsar's Dragons by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple - Much longer than the other stories at 35 pages this is the story of the beginnings of the Russian Revolution and the repeated attempts to kill Rasputin. Dragon's are in the story but don't really come into play until the end, when the Tsar's black and the revolutionaries red dragons are leashed upon the world. The dragons have a more metaphorical place in this story of empire vs communism. 3/56. The Dragon of Direfell by Liz Williams - I really enjoyed this story of a mage who has been hired by a small Dukedom to rid itself of a worm-like dragon wrapped around a mountain. The mage undertakes what should be a routine job and finds more than he expected. Deeper magic is at work and as he tries to expose the hidden dark mage things are even more complicated than they had appeared. 4/57. Oakland Dragon Blues by Peter S. Beagle - A Police Officer gets called to a traffic hold-up to find an old, sad-looking dragon sitting in the middle of the intersection. Not wanting to deal with all the hoopla that capturing a dragon is going to cause him he convinces the dragon to move out of the way and out of sight where the officer will see if he can fix his problems for him. Turns out the dragon is a remnant from an unfinished story and he wants to find the author, to have his revenge. Absolutely loved this one. Very humorous and we get to see a dragon's life from his point of view. 5/58. Humane Killer by Diana Gabaldon and Samuel Sykes - at 55 pages this started to feel more like a novella than a short story and contained a lot of plot. I really enjoyed it though very much. Two pairs both set off to kill the fierce dragon unbeknownst to each other. One pair is the weakling son of a recently deceased valiant hero who must return with his father's mace to prove himself and joins up with a heartless warrior woman wearing a full body leather thong. The other pair is a half heathen girl, therefore a sorceress, but a nice girl who has reanimated a dead soldier to be her protection and strength as she needs to kill the dragon to rescue a precious spell book. Obviously they meet up and the story is quite hilarious. But it was confusing when it first started with the jumping back and forth between these people without the reader knowing who they were or what was going on. 4/59. Stop! by Garth Nix - A short, interesting story that doesn't seem to have anything to do about dragons until the strange ending. 3.5/510. Ungentle Fire by Sean Williams - The author has written ten books set in the same world and this short story is also set in that world. A young man is bound to apprentice a warrior until he is deemed fit to go on a quest for his master. After five years his master sends him off to find and slay a dragon plus to bring back proof of the dragon's death, then he will set the man free to return to his homeland and marry his intended. The story starts on the 23rd day of that quest. I really, really enjoyed this story! I've never heard of this author before and this is the first story in this book that makes me want to read more by a new-to-me author. 5/511. A Stark and Wormy Knight by Tad Williams - A funny story in which a mother dragon tells her children a bedtime story of the days of old when there were big bad knights who slayed dragons and relates a time when their great great great grandpap pulled one over on such a knight. Humorous story, told with lots of word play in the vein of "Jabberwocky" with Williams creating his own fun words but also adding a "snicker", "beamish" and "uffish" here and there. 4/512. None So Blind by Harry Turtledove - Set in some time and world of an explorer's age with magic, a group of explorer's and sorcerers set out to explore a part of the map that has always been labeled "Here Be Dragons". The go to find if these dragons are real and also to find any other unusual flora and fauna. An ok story but I figured out the surprise ending and just didn't enjoy this more than ok. 2.5/513. JoBoy by Diana Wynne Jones - DWJ is one of my fav. authors and I loved this one! Can't really tell much without giving anything away but it's about a boy who experiences adolescence with both joyful and painful revelations. 5/514. Puz_le by Gregory Maguire - One rainy afternoon, a boy works on an old jigsaw puzzle picked up at a garage sale with strange results. Can't say much as this is short and has a twisty ending. Really enjoyed it! 4/515. After the Third Kiss by Bruce Coville - May Margaret is cursed and turned into a dragon by her wicked stepmother and only three kisses from her sea adventuring brother will return her to her rightful form. He unexpectedly does arrive home after hearing his homeland is threatened by a dragon. May Margaret gets her three kisses and the stepmother is punished and you would thing all would be well. But this is just the first few pages! No, this fairy tale-like story has much more to it and May Margaret finds that though she no longer breathes fire, there is a yearning fire burning in her blood. I loved this one! 5/516. The War that Winter Is by Tanith Lee - In a land where winter lasts 9 months of the year, and may well last longer as time goes by, the tribes have learnt to cope in this harsh land but one thing they have no control over is the dragon, Ulkioket, who can blast a village with it's breath of of ice and freeze everything and everyone glass-like ice that will shatter. Until one day, a small group of scavengers find a frozen city with a pregnant women near the edge, when they touch her she shatters and a live baby is born, one with pale skin and white hair. This, they believe is the hero who has come to rid them of the dragon. At 29 pages, this short story has a lot of space for a well developed story that I just loved. I've only read a few books and stories by Lee but I've never been disappointed yet. 5/517. The Dragon's Tale by Tamora Pierce -This story is set in Pierce's fictional universe of Tortall, which I haven't read before. At 39 pages, this one felt like a novella and really had plenty of time to be a well-developed tale. Told through the point of view of a young dragon who is on a trip with an entourage visiting the Emperor's villages, he gets bored and watches a group of boys through stones at a lady scrounging in the garbage who then runs away. Feeling magic in the air, the dragon follows her and discovers magic and a whole lot more. He keeps his secret and comes up with a plan to keep him occupied with big results. I loved, loved, loved this story!! 5/518. Dragon Storm by Mary Rosenblum - Tahlia's eyes are different from every one else in the grove and the other children call her "bad-luck eyes". But she does have a special closeness to the surf dragons and one day when she finds a dragon egg a bit different than usual and it hatches, the dragon does not appear to be a surf dragon. In fact it starts to grow at an alarming rate, protects her against any harm, talks to her and reveals the truth that has been kept secret from her for so long. Another fabulous story that I just loved, just shy of 30 pages making it long enough to really develop some character along with the plot. 5/519. The Dragaman's Bride by Andy Duncan - It's the 1930s, in the Virginia mountains and every so often when the sheriff's men are around a few of the adolescents will go missing. At first this caused great concern but they all eventually came back after 6 weeks with tales of a hospital, being treated well, and fed well. The girls all had small scars as they'd had to have their appendix out. The boys, well, they had tiny scars a bit lower down, but after finding out everything worked fine they had no complaints. That is until Allie Harrell goes missing for 3 months causing the mountain folks to rile up against the sheriff and his men. Then one day Pearl Sunday follows an old Fire Dragaman down a hole and discovers a lot of answers. Another longer story just shy of 30 pages that combines some historical fiction with a shapeshifting giant/dragon that reads a lot like a folk tale. Really enjoyed this as well 5/5

  • Shali
    2019-04-05 18:46

    Did not finish, I tried the first 2 stories and couldn't finish either of them, so I have given up entirely on this; while I understand that each story is written by a different author, they were all chosen by the same person to be part of the book, thus I find I can't trust the other stories to be appropriate.Dragon's Deep by Cecelia Holland: Mention of rape. Dragon violates the main character by licking under her dress. Um, gross. I was gagging so bad. Disgusting. I bailed so hard.Vici by Naomi Novik:Swearing, and talk about not having a chance to buy a night with a "whore." Did not finish.

  • An Odd1
    2019-04-11 18:47

    "The Dragon Book" editors Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois varies whether dragons good, bad, both, settings, styles, tremendously, so something for many tastes. My faves are funny: 4 Afflicted 7 Oakland 14 Puz_le and read before 17 Tamora Pierce's Kitten.1 Dragon's Deep by Cecelia Holland is the rarely-fished area dared by Perla and villagers impoverished by a greedy Duke, but only she survives when a gentle-tongued male dragon attacks. Creepy, makes human males all horrid abusive turncoats. Sexuality in Holland's work always creeps me out.2 Vici by Naomi Novik is from Julius Caesar's "Veni, vidi vici", Latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered", the name chosen by a newly-hatched amusingly tempermental dragon attaching to (Marc) Antony after the dissolute gambler was sentenced to slay the old guardian beast, rewriting Roman history. Amusing. 3 Bob Choi's Last Job by Jonathan Stroud is the final fight of a tired lonely supernatural warrior against an old Chinese dragon-human shape-shifter hidden in a top fourth floor apartment. Tired, sad.4 Are You Afflicted with Dragons? by Kage Baker is the motto of Etterin Crankhandle who traps a horde of small dragons infesting the Smiths' hotel roof in exchange for the sparklies hidden beneath the tiles, aided by stuttering young Arvin and his hungry pet dragon especially fond of the bait. Funny, dragons out-smart nasty.5 The Tsar's Dragons by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple tries to rewrite Russian revolution with separate narrative threads focussing on crazy sorcerer monk Rasputin and Communist conspirators. Muddly, tries too hard.6 The Dragon of Direfell by Liz Williams ate cattle so Duke Richard Porthlois called narrator Lord Cygne, who is puzzled by the lack of warding, three carefree blonde daughters, and the bloated stepmother confined to her bed. Tricksy mystery, confusingly complex extra details in backstory and jargon, resolves cleverly. 7 Oakland Dragon Blues by Peter S. Beagle Police Officer (man in blue) Guerra meets a dragon who causes a traffic jam in modern day U.S. Funny, sweet, predictable end when problem revealed.8 Humane Killer by Samuel Sykes and Diana Gabaldon Two threads, young female tied-to-burning-stake witch Armecia who has enthralled zombie knight Sir Leonard with marijuana predictably entwines with brainy fumbling wizard Nitz and large eye-patched Amazonian Maddy to vanquish humongous dragon too big and smart for anyone. Annoying, silly, original, complicated surprise funny ending encourages sequels, prequels. 9 Stop! by Garth Nix. Army bullets cannot stop a hooded red radioactive stranger from approaching 1950s American desert test site where a bomb will soon explode, so uranium-contaminated doomed-anyway scientist Weiss, confronts him for an explanation. Horrid, sad, imaginative.10 Ungentle Fire by Sean Williams, Apprentice Ros, ambiguous about commitment to girl Adi, is sent to kill dragon by Master Pukje, another dragon. The interior conflict for the first is confusingly aligned with the exterior battle. One is enough, but dust and fire seem tangible. 11 A Stark and Wormy Knight by Tad Williams. Scaly forebearer, in unique dialect, encouraged by "grizzled in the gut and wiggly in the wings" eggling to "tail us a tell of Ye Elder Days", "sightful but sleepable" how "wisdominical great-grandpap" stumbles on a bony and brainless royal hairless" moonbathing for "smoothering skin", and the confrontation that follows. Highlariously guffawable, specially the trick beheading, bestest vocabulary.12 None So Blind by Harry Turtledove. Snob Baron Toivo leads mage Kyosto in Mussalmi Empire expedition for dragon, finds wonders, tigers, unicorns, while denigrating native bearers and their beliefs. Almost classic boy's jungle adventure including culture prejudices. Guess who is right about smoking volcanoes called Dragon's Nostrils.13 JoBoy by Diana Wynne Jones Jon Patek learns why father's corpse was dried husk, we know is dragon spirit related. Sad. Awkward sentence constructions. Hidden hate-your-mother = destroy-yourself lesson?14 Puz_le by Gregory Maguire To avoid her divorced mother Eleni's drunken complaints trapped in a rainy-day cottage, young Martha starts assembling a dragon puzzle, who starts coming to life. But where is the last piece? Reminiscent of possible real life plus major twist. 15 After the Third Kiss by Bruce Coville from her brother, valiant knight (Childe grown) Wynde burns his face changing his sister back from a dragon. Evil stepmother into huge toad should be the end if traditional, but despite the siblings benificent rule, the moral turns upside down that children of evil parents should be punished. Don't like, don't agree, distressed.16 The War That Winter Is by Tanith Lee Icy land shaman Kulvok follows dragon whose breath freezes all, raises unusually cold baby Anlut (a person of the Lut people), born from frozen corpse. When 16, Anlut destined to kill monster. Again starts traditional then goes totally off-key puzzling.17 The Dragon's Tale by Tamora Pierce (read before) Baby dragon Kitten cannot speak, narrates her trip with adopted parents, rulers of kingdom, where she and horse Spot rescue a teen mother with magic powers from angry villagers, except the ground starts to erupt. Bullying made right, imagine you couldn't talk, happy all over. 18 Dragon Storm by Mary Rosenblum. Tahlia's bad-luck golden eyes draw murderous bully and show genetic ability to speak with long-gone species of dragons who used to protect grove dwellers from slave raiding magical Kark. Vicious ketrel birds destroy all other hatchlings but Xin. First Tahlia refuses to leave boy Kir, then she sends away Xin, who could cause a storm that would wash away enemies. Okay but confusing. 19 The Dragaman's Bride by Andy Duncan. Based on real American legislation that permitted sterilization of feeble-minded, North Carolina Appalachian Sheriff kidnaps truckloads of hillbilly youths to local hospitals for operations (supposed appendectomies with old-fashioned long scars), but narrating witch Pearleen Sunday, 60ish looks 16, finds missing Allie Hartell underground happy with giant man-dragon shapeshifter, who invites her to dinner with miner ghosts, imps, and the devil's brother-in-law Petey Wheatstraw. Again starts traditional-sounding and then somersaults hither about. Spoilers:1 Perla escapes, but her admired brother Marcos calls the dragon attack a giant storm, leads the rest in robbing travellers, and gives her to cruel rapist Ercule, so she flees with the injured dragon when he comes for her. 2 Closing paragraphs rewrite the meeting of Antony with Julius Caesar.3 Beautiful (as human and dragon) young Chinese grand-daughter intervenes, denouncing Bob's lack of family and poisonous gloved hands unable to touch another perpetuating his solitary separateness from humanity. What does the end mean "his hand was still bare when he at last went back inside" p514 Arvin returns without his master, whose secret to wealth was the special bait that grew the dragons greatly in size, so the hoards they hid (and Crankhandle followed to steal) were also huge. Arvin wraps up with - the bait "makes them s-smarter, too." p65 5 Recreates minutae of stories told about Rasputin shot, knifed, drowned like sister, while trying to mesh red dragons with Red bolsheviks (known for uniforms opposite of aristocratic Whites) to detriment of momentum.6 The eldest daughter turned evil at puberty (common time of power revelation), trapped the step-mother, and Cygne has to trick her out to be caught. Too tangled in magical unknowns for reader to solve. 7 Guerra finds the author who wrote dragon into life (and publisher abandoned in present-day) and convinces him to write him back into a happy land. 8 Nitz bribes dragon to give up his tail, accept a fortune in exchange, regurgitate Maddy, and allow the four to walk into the sunset toward more adventures "a blob of shadows, indistinguishable from the night." p191 9 Centuries ago in reign of Heraclitus, simple soldier found dying alien, prevented full conversion to lizard form, but could not die or have a life, so walked from Turkey, sets bomb off early, killing Weiss too.10 The attack wakes six other dragons, the fire one entangles the fire wizard Ros, so all scorch Pukje black yet satisfied by result. Thus (how?) Ros is assured the road ahead includes Adi. 11 An ailing extra head was tucked under a wing, so grand-double-dad survived and got revenge by blocking Sir Libogran's chimney, so "the cave soon grew fulfilled with the thumberous rundle of wormsnore". 12 Fine, twist on noble mythical legends eaten by selfish aristocrats.13 Jo sickens, rebuilds cells with power from running tap water and bunsen burner fire until dragon spirit flies free at night, follows girlish voice to girl dragon. Kent (for location) sees thread draining his energy leads to shrivelled supressed dragon inside his mother Lydia. Jo kills it but Lydia dies too, and Kent stops him from razing more than a bit of SW England. 14 When Eleni suddenly springs in as hero, wow, childhood wish fulfillment come true. 15 Makes no sense that stepmother is right and free, especially when end says siblings protect country even after punished horribly.16 Agan, starts traditional, until dragon leads icy white boy to settlement of similarly changed humans and animals. Is this about belonging? about transforming expectations? 17 Ancient dragon mother ward protection for young mother and woken by baby dragon who can talk after given adult's scale to eat. Tamora always makes talking animals friendly for better lives.18 When Xin left, she dove down, so Tahlia finds her again by diving down, and brings her back so she saves everyone, even the murdering villagers.19 Among other conjurations, verses, and exclamations, Pearl heals the sheriff, who resigns, and the new deputy stops the sterilization practices thereabouts (not elsewhere). Odd.

  • Phoenixfalls
    2019-04-24 20:43

    This was an almost uniformly bland collection, which disappointed me, because I quite enjoyed the previous anthology in this series, Wizards. There weren't any stories that I hated, or even particularly disliked, but there were also precious few that had any spark whatsoever; I finished the anthology yesterday, but can't recall more than four of the nineteen stories without consulting the table of contents. And even the best stories were still significantly flawed. Part of the problem, I suspect, lies in how little creativity the authors approached the subject of dragons with -- all of the dragons but two were of the typical European fire-breathing variety (the two holdouts were an ice dragon and a sea dragon), and most were presented as monsters and the thrust of the story was in finding that they are intelligent and not intrinsically inimical to humanity. There was one story that took the full-fledged companion animal fantasy route, but even that treatment brought nothing new to the table. So overall I was a tad bored throughout, and can't recommend this collection unless you are a completist about either dragons or one of the authors included herein."Dragon's Deep," by Cecelia Holland: This story was one of the most moving of the collection. It presented dragons in a very classical feudal European setting, and the plot was entirely predictable, but the feudalism was presented realistically rather than with the usual benign Disney-fied fairy tale atmosphere, and the protagonist's conflict of loyalties in the climax had the potential to be wrenching -- if it hadn't felt rushed. The story could have blossomed at novella-length, but the ending was just too abrupt to work."Vici," by Naomi Novik: This story will likely be of interest to fans of Novik's Temeraire series, as it details how the Roman military first came to use dragons in combat, setting the groundwork for the English dragon corps; unfortunately, that's all the story does. It's cute, and has one or two slyly humorous moments, but doesn't really go anywhere."Bob Choi's Last Job," by Jonathan Stroud: This is one presenting dragons in a modern setting, and it does have a Chinese dragon in it, but that felt like window dressing -- it was totally irrelevant to the story. But then, the whole story felt kind of irrelevant -- it might make sense in the larger scale of some novel by Stroud, but without that background I didn't get the point. I didn't understand how the world worked, nor did I care; I predicted the decision the protagonist made at the end, but never understood why, or again, why I should care."Are You Afflicted with Dragons?" by Kage Baker: This story is the reason I bought the anthology; Baker's short story in Wizards was absolutely brilliant, and made me go out and buy all of her novels, and they did not disappoint. So I had high expectations for another short story set in the same fantasy world, and while this story didn't meet those expectations, it wasn't bad. It returns to some characters from The Anvil of the World and shows how they deal with a minor dragon infestation of their hotel; it has enough of Baker's wry humor to be enjoyable, and the ending twist is well set-up and executed, but it was overall fairly lightweight."The Tsar's Dragons," by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple: I wanted this story, which adds dragons to the Russian Revolution, to come to more than it did. It was dragged down by too much literalness, and far too surface-oriented a reading of history. There was no atmosphere, no sense of desperation, and the villains managed to be neither villainy (which might have worked here) nor well-rounded human beings (which I think is what the authors were going for). Too ambitious, I suspect -- all the story made me want was someone else to do it better."The Dragon of Direfell," by Liz Williams: This was probably the most unique treatment of the dragon; it also had the feel of a well-developed alternate world behind it, enough to make me wonder if it's set in the same world as one of Williams' novels. Unfortunately, neither the characters nor the plot was interesting, and other than earning a snort for a line in the closing paragraph it left no impact."Oakland Dragon Blues," by Peter S. Beagle: This story is probably the strongest technically in the collection; Beagle was clearly in complete control and the story delivers everything it should. It's another that places a dragon in a modern setting, and it has some humor and a nice metafictional twist. If the collection had been more interesting I would have quite liked it. Unfortunately, it was just too slight a story to carry over 400 pages of "meh.""Human Killer," by Diana Gabaldon & Samuel Sykes: This story spends a very long time doing very little, then has the climax occur entirely off-screen. It is probably the story I liked least, simply because I felt I invested quite a lot of reading time for very little payoff. It's another straight-forward medieval dragon & world, and the characters were all loaded down with too much backstory that never came to anything."Stop!" by Garth Nix: This is the second short story I've read by Nix, and both struck me as ugly and pointless. It's very short, and places its dragon in what appears to be a nuclear test zone during WWII, but there were too few details for me to be sure -- about the setting, or any of the characters, or why on earth I was bothering to read it. It also uses "f--ing" a lot, and that isn't my ellision, which annoyed the hell out of me. If it's a YA story and you don't believe you can use "fuck" in a YA story, then don't use it; the dashes are a copout that simply draws attention to your hypocrisy."Ungentle Fire," by Sean Williams: This story had the potential to be brilliant, but needed a firm editorial hand. It was set in a steampunk alternate Australia, and there were some beautiful images and beautiful character moments. Unfortunately, the ending was a total clunker, because Williams felt the need to spell out all the stuff he implied so gently just moments before. If it had ended one page earlier I would have loved it, but lines like "He was aware now that the emotional pitfalls he had been skirting during his quest. . ." really dragged it down."A Stark and Wormy Knight," by Tad Williams: This wasn't a bad story, but it kept reminding me of a blog post by John Scalzi in which he talks about the difference between clever and good. This was merely clever, unfortunately it didn't make me laugh, so it didn't work for me. The title is a very good sample of what the whole story is, so if you like the title you'll probably like the story, and if the title leaves you cold, well, there's a lot more of that coming."None So Blind," by Harry Turtledove: This is a Milieu story if ever I've seen one; I suspect it's set in one of Turtledove's alternate histories, but haven't read any of them so I can't be sure. It never ends up being more than a travelogue, and the constant repetition that in this world the tropical savages are blonde and the colonial oppressors are dark(er) get really obnoxious, mostly because there's never any reason given for WHY the tropical people would be light-skinned and the people from the cold-climate would be dark-skinned. It also hammers the titular point home, which I did not need."JoBoy," by Diana Wynne Jones: This story felt like it was aimed very young. The setting is barely established at all (I believe it's a modern English city) and the characters get only slightly more treatment; the whole story revolves around a very simple mystery and then stops."Puz_le," by Gregory Maguire: This was one of the few stories that managed to develop an interesting atmosphere; the dragon and the magic creepy and intriguing. Unfortunately, it read like chapter 1 of some novel or, worse, a treatment for a novel. The instant that the tension was at its highest, another character came in, broke it, and basically said "I have so much to tell you!" The end. It made me want to read more, but simultaneously resent Maguire and therefore want to swear him off forever."After the Third Kiss," by Bruce Coville: This very heavily fairy tale influenced story was doing moderately interesting things that looked rather like Robin McKinley's brilliant Deerskin -- until it said outright "no, that isn't happening here," at which point I got bored and started paying less attention. Then (possibly because I was paying less attention, but maybe not) the ending came out of nowhere, and was heavy-handed to boot."The War That Winter Is," by Tanith Lee: This is my favorite story of the collection. It is lyrical and epic and (unusual for this collection) exactly the right length. It feels rather like a Norse Saga (this is the one with the ice dragon) and if it weren't for a slight stumble on the dismount I would have loved it unreservedly; as it is, it too fell into the trap of spelling things out just the slightest bit too clearly at the end."The Dragon's Tale," by Tamora Pierce: Like Jones' story, this one felt aimed just a little too young for my taste; it has a first-person dragon narrator that veers a bit closer to precious than I would have liked. Other than that, it works well enough; I assume it's set in one of her established worlds (maybe even with already established characters?) and so I felt I was missing some of the references, and the resolution is too easy for the amount of jeopardy the characters were placed in, but it's a decent enough example of a short story for pre-teen readers."Dragon Storm," by Mary Rosenblum: This is the story with the sea dragon, and the only one that does the full companion animal fantasy treatment; it suffered from being entirely predictible and having an ending that was too easy for the jeopardy set up just before."The Dragaman's Bride," by Andy Duncan: This final story ended the collection on a strong note. It was set in Appalachia in the 1930s and felt authentically Southern -- the Dragaman was not a European dragon transplanted wholesale, but rather what a dragon myth might have evolved into in a new environment (I know little about Southern folktales; maybe it *is* authentic) -- and the mix of fantasy and history was perfectly balanced. (Also perfectly horrifying.) I didn't love the voice, and the villains got off incredibly easily, but this was a good story, and one of the few that got me interested in seeking out the author's other work.

  • Jessica Strider
    2019-03-30 21:01

    The author line-up in The Dragon Book is a bit unusual for a collection by "the masters of modern fantasy", especially considering that some of the authors in the book would likely not appreciate their works being classified as fantasy. The stories themselves are diverse and entertaining, with some completely unexpected takes on the mythos of dragons. Most of the stories are alternate histories, where dragons exist in the real world. A few at the end of the book have fantasy world settings. (My review code is as follows ^ = thumbs up, ^^ = 2 thumbs up, v = thumb down)v "Dragon's Deep" - Cecelia Holland (I liked the beginning of the story, about a village whose taxes have been raised and what the villagers must do in order to survive, but an ... unpleasant event occurs part way through that made the ending less plausible - and palatable - for me.)^ "Vici" - Naomi Novik (I haven't read her novels, but if this story, set in ancient Rome, is an example, then I'll definitely be picking them up.)^ "Bob Choi's Last Job" - Jonathan Stroud (An interesting detective story where dragons can cloak themselves to look like humans.)^ "Are You Afflicted with Dragons?" - Kage Baker (Loved the premise, that dragons are small pests, kind of like pigeons, and need to be dealt with. However, I found the ending too abrupt.)^ "The Tsar's Dragons" - Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple (Taking place just before the Russian Revolution, both Rasputin and Leon Trotsky make appearances.)^ "The Dragon of Direfell" - Liz Williams (This story, about a magician called in to deal with a dragon, was cleverly written and had a great ending.)^^ "Oakland Dragon Blues" - Peter S. Beagle (Another great story, a cop's called in to move a dragon who's obstructing traffic, not that he'd later admit that's what it was. Shows how reality is shaped by belief.)v "Humane Killer" - Diana Gabaldon & Samuel Sykes (Two stories that intersect, one half tells of a magician and her knight protector, the other half tells of a knight in training and his scarred sister companion. Neither group is what they appear and both are sent to kill the same dragon. I found the story rather long and boring with rather unsympathetic characters.)^^ "Stop!" - Garth Nix (A man walks onto an US army a-bomb test site. Sounds odd but the story works and is one of the best in the collection.)^ "Ungentle Fire" - Sean Williams (A coming of age story where a boy is sent to slay a dragon, but is unsure whether following his master is still the correct course of action.)^^ "A Stark and Wormy Knight" - Tad Williams (A fantastic tale of a dragon telling her son a bed time story. It uses dialect, but the tale itself is fun, not the least for being from the dragon's POV.)^ "None So Blind" - Harry Turtledove (Colonial soldiers examine a mountain range inhabited by savages concerning rumours of dragons.)^ "JoBoy" - Diana Wynne Jones (A strange but interesting story of a man whose father mysteriously dies and who, himself, falls prey to an undiagnosable illness.)^ "Puz-le" = Gregory Maguire (Ellen's so bored from being stuck in the cottage due to rain that she decides to do a puzzle. Only the picture keeps changing. The character's aren't that likable, but Maguire writes them so well you don't really care.)^^ "After the Third Kiss" - Bruce Coville (This story has the feel of a fairytale in that it's bizarre, has an evil step-mother and a relatively happy ending. There are some great twists in the tale of a girl changed into a dragon who needs her brothers kisses in order to become human again. It was another one of my favourites.)^ "The War That Winter Is" - Tanith Lee (An ice dragon terrorizes those living in northern climes, freezing whole villages with his breath, until a hero is born. A tale about discovering your own purpose in life rather than doing what others want you to do.)^ "The Dragon's Tale" - Tamora Pierce (A second story told from a dragon's POV, this time a young dragon who wants to help a woman and her child.)^^ "Dragon Storm" - Mary Rosenblum (Tahlia of the 'bad-luck eyes' has a way with dragons, but a bully from the grove where she lives threatens her life, and the role she might play in keeping the groves safe from the Kark. A highly enjoyable story, with interesting characters.)^ "The Dragaman's Bride" - Andy Duncan (Mountain youths are disappearing and Pearl, a magician stumbles onto the reason for the mystery.)The book has, in my opinion, 5 exceptional stories and 2 bad to mediocre stories. The others were fun reads and did show originality in dealing with dragons. Ultimately, this is a great collection for anyone who loves dragons or who wants to know more about them.

  • Ashton
    2019-03-30 21:10

    “Dragon’s Deep” by Cecelia Holland ★★★☆☆This one was kind of strange…(view spoiler)[She almost got tongue raped by a dragon. (Or maybe she really did? o.e) (hide spoiler)] Anyway... I liked the ending.“Vici” by Naomi NovikThis one was very strange. It reminded me continually of “Fear and Loathing in Lalanna" by Nick O Donohoe from Firebirds Soaring. I don’t even know if I liked it or not.“Bob Choi’s Last Job” by Jonathan Stroud ★★☆☆☆A modern-day (or maybe futuristic?) city much like any other. One difference though. Dragons exist and glamour themselves as humans. It’s up to Bob Choi to find and put an end to yet another killer in disguise. Sort of like a vampire hunter. Perhaps this one’s only fault was that I’m not really into Urban Fantasy.“Are You Afflicted with Dragons?” by Kage Baker ★★★☆☆“The Tsar’s Dragons” by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple ★★★☆☆An Alternative History, taking place in the final years of the Romanov Empire. If you know your history not much will surprise you, but it was still a good read.“The Dragon of Direfell” by Liz Williams ★★★☆☆This one’s ending really snuck up on me.“Oakland Dragon Blues” by Peter S. Beagle ★★★★☆Strangely enough, even though I don’t normally like Urban Fantasy (as mentioned before) I still really liked this one. “Humane Killer” by Diana Gabaldon and Samuel Skyes ★★★★☆Another weird one. Very hilarious.“Stop!” by Garth Nix ★★★☆☆Having recently read most of Nix’s Abhorsen/Old Kingdom series and loved it, I must admit I didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as I had hoped I would.“Ungentle Fire” by Sean Williams ★★★☆☆This filled my head with spectacular scenery and colors as I read. It makes me want to become a painter. (But maybe that's just me.)“A Stark and Wormy Knight” by Tad Williams ★★★☆☆I did not enjoy this one at all at first, the style grated on my nerves. Just read it if you want to know what I mean by that, it’s hard to miss… But anyway, once I got used to that, I found it to be a very humorous and enjoyable read. “None so Blind” by Harry Turtledove ★★★☆☆“JoBoy” by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★☆☆Diana Wynne Jones. Need I say more?“Puz_le” by Gregory Maguire ★★★☆☆First things first, I love jigsaw puzzles. Aside from that, I didn't like how it ended very much, it felt like the first few pages of a multi-hundred page story… but you don’t get a multi-hundred page story.“After the Third Kiss” by Bruce Coville ★★★★☆This one was my favorite of the whole anthology, it’s like a fairy tale, but it was more shades-of-gray instead of the usual black-and-white.“The War that Winter Is” by Tanith Lee ★★★☆☆“The Dragon’s Tale” by Tamora Peirce ★★★★☆Is this really Tamora Pierce? The same Tamora Pierce who wrote “Huntress” from Firebirds Rising? I hated that story. But I feel very relived now after reading this one, because I heard about the Song of the Lioness series and it sounded so good… But I felt very hesitant about giving her another chance after Huntress. Now I can do so without so much fear of wasting my time. “Dragon Storm” by Mary Rosenblum ★★★★☆This one kept making me think of The Inheritance Cycle, but without that nerdy feeling. “The Dragaman’s Bride” by Andy Duncan ★★☆☆☆

  • Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
    2019-03-30 16:56

    Dragon's Deep - Cecelia Holland - Four of five starsA good start to an anthology. Didn't want to put it down and had a stable ending that didn't feel too quick or too slow. Vici - Naomi Novik - Three of five starsAmusing but not very memorable. Decently written. Problem is, I'm writing the review a week after reading and it didn't really stick in my mind. Bob Choi's Last Job - Jonathan Stroud - Three of five starsTook me ages to finish, but then I wished it were longer.Are You Afflicted with Dragons? - Kage Baker - Four of Five StarsVery good. Cute ending - would have preferred something stronger, but the ending was still good :)The Tsar's Dragons - Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple - Two of Five StarsWasn't able to finish this, as the characters weren't easy to keep straight and it jumped around a lot. A pity, because I loved studying him in school.The Dragon of Direfell - Liz Williams - Four of Five starsVery enjoyable to read. Slight twist ending which makes you want to read it again :)Oakland Dragon Blues - Peter S. Beagle - Five of Five StarsUtterly awesome. You could really see this happening in the TV Show "Castle". I think a writer always loves stories tht slightly break the fourth wall, especially when it involves another writer. Humane Killer - Diana Gabaldon and Samuel Sykes - Two of Five StarsAs soon as this one switched to the different POV I lost interest, sadly enough. I enjoyed the beginning but couldn't finish it.Stop! - Garth Nix - Three of Five StarsQuite interesting, an enjoyable read.Ungentle Fire - Sean WilliamsSaving this one until last - so I haven't read it yet - as he's the reason I bought this :)Okay, now I've read it and as always, Sean never fails to impress. I can't wait to read more of his books :)A Stark and wormy Knight - Tad Williams - Five of Five StarsIt's not often someone can write accents and do it well, adding to the story. Tad managed this fantastically. I can't wait to read more by him.None So Blind - Harry Turtledove - One of Five starsCouldn't get into this at all :(JoBoy - Diana Wynne Jones - Four of Five StarsVery enjoyable. Liked this one quite a bit.Puz_le - Gregory Maguire - Three of Five StarsGood enough, but lacked the zing my other favourites in this so far.After the Third Kiss - Bruce Coville - Five of Five StarsReally very good, lovely ending, couldn't put it down.The War that Winter Is - Tanith Lee - Two of Five StarsCouldn't get into this one either.The Dragon's Tale - Tamora Pierce - Three of Five StarsI think my problem was that I read her when I was younger, so I was expecting too much. There's nothing wrong with this short story, but it also didn't interest me as much as I thought it would/should.Dragon Storm - Mary Rosenblum - Two of Five StarsCouldn't get into it.The Dragaman's Bride - Andy Duncan - Two of Five StarsCouldn't get into it.

  • Sally
    2019-04-21 14:58

    The first story was quite possibly the dumbest thing I have ever read. But I forged on, picked a story from the middle, and that was much more rewarding. 1 star: "Dragon's Deep," Cecelia Holland just horrible!5 stars: "Vici," Naomi Novik I was not interested in the Temeraire books based on the story, but Novik's voice was so delightful, I'll have to check those books out.didn't read: "Bob Choi's Last Job," Jonathan Stroud Started it; too dark.4 stars: "Are You Afflicted with DRAGONS?" Kage Baker Fundidn't read: "The Tsar's Dragons," Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple another darkish one4 stars: "The Dragon of Direfell," Liz Williams strange ending, but tied up nicelyhaven't read yet: "Oakland Dragon Blues," Peter S. Beagle"Humane Killer," Diana Gabaldon and Samuel Sykes"Stop!" Garth Nix 2 words: "creepy" and "suspensful" not my cup of tea"Ungentle Fire," Sean Williams

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-15 20:52

    A wonderful compendium of 19 short stories, written by some of the biggest names in fantasy writing, including Peter S. Beagle, Tad Williams, Gregory Maguire, and Tanith Lee, some of my personal favorites- and all centering around dragons of all types. From lands of fantasy to present day, from evil dragons slain by the classic hero archetype to the noble, magical beings of lore, there are stories to satisfy all lovers of the draconic and fans of the fantasy genre.Not all of the stories were worth the time spent reading them, in my opinion, but the extreme diversity of these tales ensure there are at least a handful of stories that every reader will enjoy. The diversity also allows the reader to experience these classic beasts in some settings and situations in which they otherwise may not have been included in, creating a fascinating plethora of new experiences for readers.Story List & Ratings:"Dragon's Deep" - Jonathan Holland (4 of 5)"Vici" - Naomi Novik (2 of 5)"Bob Choi's Last Job" - Jonathan Stroud (3 of 5)"Are You Afflicted With Dragons?" - Kage Baker (5 of 5)"The Tsar's Dragons" - Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple (4 of 5)"The Dragon of Direfell" - Liz Williams (3 of 5)"Oakland Dragon Blues" - Peter S. Beagle (5 of 5)"Humane Killer" - Diana Gabaldon & Samuel Sykes (3 of 5)"Stop!" - "Ungentle Fire" - Sean Williams (2 of 5)"A Stark and Wormy Knight" - Tad Williams (4 of 5)"None So Blind" - Harry Turtledove (5 of 5)"JoBoy" - Diana Wynne Jones (3 of 5)"Puz_le" - Gregory Maguire (4 of 5)"After the Third Kiss" - Bruce Coville (5 of 5)"The War That Winter Is" - Tanith Lee (3 of 5)"The Dragon's Tale" - Tamora Pierce (5 of 5)"Dragon Storm" - Mary Rosenblum (3 of 5)"The Dragaman's Bride" by Andy Duncan (5 of 5)

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-04-19 20:45

    This is the first collection I've read in a long while that is all good or better. There isn't a stinker in the bunch! My favorites were:Jonathan Stroud's "Bob Choi's Last Job": Bob Choi goes after a dragon who is hiding in human form, eating humans, and stacking their bones neatly in the alley. Dark and really fascinating. Naomi Novik's "Vici": debauched Roman Antony is charged with murder. His sentence: to slay a full grown dragon by himself (which means certain death). But Antony is sly and clever, and things don't procede precisely as planned. A fun prelude to the Temeraire series (though reading that series is wholly unnecessary to enjoying this tale). Cecelia Holland's "Dragon's Deep": Perla is a young woman in a medieval fishing village. After the local Duke takes all their supplies, Perla and a few of the bravest fishermen go in search of more fish. But instead, they find a dragon. Perla is the dragon's prisoner for some time, trading stories for fish and her life. At last, she finds people again--but discovers that dragons and humans are not so unalike.Good" Tad Williams's "A Stark and Wormy Knight": A darkly funny bedtime tale as told by a dragon. Marvelous use of language and kennings.Andy Duncan's "The Dragaman's Bride": a wizard is traveling through the mountains in Virginia when she comes across a dragon who invites her to dine. At his dinner table, she meets ghostly miners, imps, the devil's son-in-law, and a girl who went missing rather than be forcibly sterilized. The style is unique and took me a couple pages to get used to, but then I loved it. I want more of this world!

  • Julia
    2019-04-01 17:43

    An anthology of dragon short stories, the first I really liked was “Vici” by Naomi Novik is about how Marc Anthony came to control a war dragon in Gaul. “The Tsar’s Dragon’s” by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple is about Jews, Rasputin and Revolutionaries fighting the Tsar and his army of dragons with their own dragons. “Oakland Dragon Blues” by Peter S. Beagle begins on Telegraph Ave and 51st Street, where a dragon appears and snarls traffic. It seems a writer conjured him up and never unconjured him, so he has no place. “The Dragon’s Tale” by Tamora Pierce is about a baby dragon without speech, but who is quite sentient, thank you, who helps a young mage and her baby. It’s from Pierce’s Tortall universe, which I have not read yet. “We’re all little kids telling lies, writers are, hoping we can keep the lies straight and get away with them. And nobody lasts very long in this game who isn’t prepared to lie his way out of trouble…The magic’s not in the books, not in the publishing – it’s in the telling, always. In the old, old telling.” (page 135, Beagle)

  • Charlotte English
    2019-03-31 20:50

    These stories all centrally feature dragons, and yet they could hardly be more different. There's space here for the serious and the comic, sad endings and uplifting endings, and a host of fascinating portrayals of draconic nature and what happens when dragons and humans collide. Highlights for me included Kage Baker's delightfully funny tale of the problems caused by dragon-pests - fans of her novel 'The Anvil of the World' will appreciate the chance to spend another half-hour with Smith at his seaside hotel - and Tad Williams' whimsical bedtime tale told by a mother dragon to her hatchlings. Another favourite was 'Humane Killer' by Diana Gabaldon and Samuel Sykes: a slightly longer, comic tale about the intersection of two unlikely partnerships. There isn't a poor story in here, and there's room for several repeat readings. It's perfect entertainment for a busy week - if you don't have time to sink into a novel, this is a book that will amuse in manageable doses. I'd love to see another collection just like it.

  • Nesa Sivagnanam
    2019-04-08 18:47

    Nineteen distinctly different, atmospheric tales by modern-day fantasy writers, the likes of Garth Nix, Harry Turtledove, Bruce Coville, Tanith Lee, and Mary Rosenblum, make this a treasure trove for fantasy fans, especially dragon lovers. Cecelia Holland weighs in with a heroine reminiscent of Scheherazade, but here, it’s a dragon demanding the stories. In Jonathan Stroud’s “Bob Choi’s Last Job,” a dragon hunter comes up against a voracious shape-shifter. Liz Williams offers a mannered story in which a mage, summoned to vanquish a worm, encounters the unexpected. Nix depicts a radioactive man/dragon. In case you’re wondering what a police officer is to do when a large dragon plops down in a busy Oakland intersection, Peter S. Beagle has the answer. Tad Williams’ dragon tells her children the story of how in days of yore, when dragon-slayers existed, a “stark and wormy knight” came to slay her ancestor and rescue a damsel. All in all, an enticing collection for genre fans.

  • Wendy
    2019-04-17 14:45

    I picked this up in my hunt for more Tamora Pierce. Her "The Dragon's Tale" turned out to be one of my favourites in the book, along with Tad Williams' "A Stark and Wormy Knight," both of which are told from the POV of the dragons themselves.As with any anthology, some stories are a hit while others are a miss and some just get by. Not that any were bad. Some just weren't to my taste, but as a whole, I got a glimpse of the styles of many different fantasy authors, many of whom I had not read before but am now interested (or not) in.I did appreciate the varying approaches to the theme. From dragon hostage negotiations, to infestations to a mama dragon telling her dragonling a bedtime story. It was fascinating to see how different each approach was to the theme, with none being alike. Each one had a unique origin and purpose for its dragons, which is surprising, considering how many stories about dragons already exist.

  • Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
    2019-04-25 15:44

    This caught my eye mostly because of the Kage Baker and Naomi Novik short stories. Well, the Novik story was okay. The Baker story was all right for what happened, but it made me sad because Smith and Mrs. Smith (characters from her novel The Anvil of the World) had none of their interesting nuances here.Probably the best story here was the one by Peter Beagle. I know, I'm going out on a limb there. While there were certain elements of cliché about it, and while writing about a writer is easy to do poorly and/or boringly, it had a feature I am coming to prefer: it was an adventure story without being Mindlessly Epic, i.e. all the adventure swoops in from nowhere. The adventure developed naturally out of the character's normal daily existence, without that A Wizard Did It/It Happened Because A Writer Said So feeling.

  • Tracy
    2019-03-30 15:08

    Readers don't have to be avid fans of fantasy to enjoy the diverse stories in this anthology wherein the idea of writing about dragons is stretched far beyond the stereotype. Especially wonderful tales are Tad William's "A Stark and Wormy Night" where a dragon tells her son a bedtime story about those awful knights who the dragons outsmarted--superb creative writing both in form and content; Mary Rosenblaum's "Dragon Storm" with a female protagonist who could rival Katniss; and the wonderfully contemporary noir of Jonathan Stroud's "Bob Choi's Last Job" is yet another tale that carries this anthology far beyond something that could merely be a niche for fantasy fans. Other tales to treasure include "Ungentle Fire" by Sean Williams; "None So Blind" by Harry Turtledove; "The Tsar's Dragons" by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple; and for humor don't miss Kage Baker's "Are You Afflicted with Dragons?" and Tamora Pierce's "The Dragon's Tale."

  • Raine Rucker
    2019-04-25 14:10

    I absolutely love this book. It is a must read for all dragon lovers.It contains nineteen short stories, each by different authors. They're all fantasy, and they all contain at least one dragon. But of course each author has their own voice and a different story to tell, so there is a story for everyone in this book.You'll find everything in these pages -- from a dragon appearing in our every day world who would like to have it out with a writer who cut him from a short story ("Oakland Dragon Blues" by Peter S. Beagle), to a hotel owner who calls in an exterminator to deal with an infestation of dragons ("Are You Afflicted with Dragons?" by Kage Baker).

  • Lavonne
    2019-04-13 16:12

    This book was just fun. Being short stories, I read some familiar authors and some authors that deserver further reading. I don't honestly think there was a bad story in the bunch, which is unusual for a short story collection. Some were classic fantasy, some "laugh out loud" funny, but the ones I enjoyed the most were the historical fantasies, where real life events were attributed to these other worldly creatures. It's interesting to see all the different directions the many authors took with the one common element - dragons.

  • Susan
    2019-04-12 16:55

    New Naomi Novik! New Kage Baker! This is a must-read just for those two stories.Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Garth Nix, and Adam Duncan all wrote great stories too. I think it's kind of interesting and odd that I liked the stories set in real-ish worlds better than I liked the ones that were more traditional fantasy. What is more traditionally fantastic than a dragon and yet I like them better when they're unexpected or strange.

  • Hester
    2019-03-28 14:43

    There is something wrong with Cecelia Holland. In 24 pages, first the heroine's sister is gang-raped, then the heroine is raped by a dragon, then she runs away from the dragon only to be repeatedly raped by a local thug(who has her brother's permission), and then dreams about running away back to the dragon. WTF?!!?The short stories by Naomi Novik and Kage Baker are delights. Returned to the library.

  • Lauren
    2019-04-20 17:51

    While I'm still technically "currently reading" this one... i tend to read anthologies sporadically to break up my normal reading... i thought i'd chuck in a review anyway. Of the five-or-so stories I've read so far I'd have to give them all 5 stars. Absolute gems. So different and so exciting, well constructed and captivating. The rest of the stories would have to be quite bad for me to take away a star so if you like dragons this a a book to buy.

  • Pilars Scott
    2019-04-12 18:46

    Some great stories. I loved how different all of them were from each other. I'll definitely be checking out some of the authors I hadn't read before and I was happy to read some new stories from old favorites like Naomi Novik and Peter S Beagle.

  • Thara
    2019-04-24 13:50

    A nice cross-section of stories from a variety of authors, including some that I have passed up in the past. My absolute favorites: the heartbreaking "After the third kiss" by Bruce Coville and the captivating "The Dragaman's bride" by Andy Duncan

  • Kendell
    2019-03-31 19:57

    Some of my favorite fantasy authors, Dianna Wynn Jones, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, are in this book containing never before published short stories about dragons. I also found some new authors with great writing style.