12 Perfect Dragon Books to Read During the Year of the Dragon


It’s the Year of the Dragon! Fantasy books (and sometimes other genres, too) are filled with dragons, from classics like The Hobbit to genre-bending sci-fi like Phoenix Extravagant to swoon-worthy romantasy like Fourth Wing. We talk a lot about dragon books at Book Riot, both as their own lists and incorporated into other roundups. In fact, we’ve recommended dragon books so many times that it felt like reinventing the wheel to make a recommendations post just for the Year of the Dragon, so I’ve curated a list of dragon book recs pulled from a bunch of previous Book Riot posts, linked to the source.

These recommendations range from epic fantasy to romantasy to graphic novels to picture books, so there’s something for everyone! It seemed fitting to pick 12, one for every month of the Year of the Dragon, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg (tip of the scale?) when it comes to excellent dragon books to check out, so I recommend checking out more of the linked lists to make your hoard of dragon’s books grow exponentially.

Without any further ado, here are 12 dragon books perfect to read during the Year of the Dragon!

cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon; illustration of a white castle tower with a blue dragon wrapped around it

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Sometimes you just feel in the mood to sink your teeth into an 800+ page epic fantasy. If that’s your inclination right now, I’d suggest The Priory of the Orange Tree. It’s a truly sweeping tale of political intrigue, dragonriders, and assassination plots that’ll truly have you forgetting it’s the size of two regular-sized books. —Mya Nunnally

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho Book Cover

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

An acclaimed novel, Sorcerer to the Crown mixes magic and the British elite inside its pages. It tells the story of Zacharias, magician and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, and how he met a woman with immense power. Their meeting will alter the threads of the world…

Dragons in Regency England. What more could you ask for? —Silvana Reyes Lopez

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros Book Cover

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Fourth Wing is definitely at the front and center of the romantasy genre right now. A New York Times Best Seller, Fourth Wing has taken the world by storm.

The story follows Violet, a young woman who wants a quiet life. This soon changes when her mother forces her to join the hundreds of cadets striving to become dragon riders, upsetting her life in a way she never saw coming. There, she’ll try her hardest to survive alongside the best of the best. —Silvana Reyes Lopez

To Shape a Dragon's Breath cover

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose

Dragon academies, but make them queer and anticolonial! In this novel, Anequs lives on a remote island. There, she finds a dragon egg and bonds with the hatchling. Despite the initial objections of the conquering people, she is allowed to attend a colonizer-run dragon academy. There, she is determined to learn how to help her dragon thrive while also taking down the system that’s oppressing her and her people. This might sound heavy, but this story has quick wit, ratcheting suspense, and even a dash of queer romance. —Isabelle Popp

cover of When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill; illustration of green foliage with purple flowers and the hint of a dragon

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

It’s 1955 and a percentage of the population of women have turned into dragons in the Mass Dragoning — are you jealous? Alex Green is conflicted when the aunt she loves turns and takes to the skies, and confused when her mother does not. And in the aftermath of the Mass Dragoning, which no one is allowed to speak about, she will have to work out her complicated feelings about the events and what she wants for her own life. —Liberty Hardy

Book cover of A Natural History of Dragons

The Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

This is the start to a really cool series about dragons that is set up like a dragon naturalist is keeping scientific journals in the Victorian Age. It is Lady Trent’s fascination with the creatures that brings about a modern understanding of them and changes science forever. —Liberty Hardy

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee Cover

Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee

Phoenix Extravagant is one of my all-time favorite SFF novels and “genre-defying” is maybe the best way to describe this book that blends together science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction into one incredible story. When a painter is blackmailed into working for the occupying government, they soon realize their skill with pigments will be put to use attempting to bring a giant mechanical war machine [in the form of a dragon] back under control. But doing so means helping a group targeting their loved ones — including their older sister. —Rachel Brittain

The Dragon's Betrothed by Meguru Hinohara cover

The Dragon’s Betrothed by Meguru Hinohara

Perfect for fans of romance with fantasy elements, The Dragon’s Betrothed is a supernatural yaoi series with charming characters and beautiful art. Chiharu Izunome is a writer suffering from a lack of inspiration, and returns to his rural hometown in hopes of refreshing his mind. Instead, he gets caught up in an old divine promise, and finds himself engaged to marry Rin, a water dragon god. Will the protective Rin be able to successfully win over Chiharu? —Patricia Thang

the cover of So Let Them Burn

So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole

This YA fantasy inspired by Jamaican mythology with sapphic and ace representation is sure to take you on an unforgettable ride. Seventeen-year-old Faron utilized the power of the gods to save her island from dragon-riding colonizers five years ago. But when Faron’s older sister unexpectedly bonds with an enemy dragon, Faron is forced to choose between protecting her homeland or her beloved sister. The choices she makes lead her to uncover a dark secret that could change everything. —Susie Dumond

the cover of Dealing with Dragons

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Princess Cimorene lives in the pleasant and exceedingly ordinary kingdom of Linderwall and has everything a young girl could possibly want. But there are two problems: she’s bored out her mind and refuses to be proper. Cimorene doesn’t fit in with her beautiful sisters and insists on learning inappropriate things, such as magic and fencing. But her parents abruptly stop the lessons, and she is sent off to visit the golden-haired, blue-eyed prince she has to marry. Any other girl would have been delighted to be betrothed to the handsome prince, but he’s boring.

With no other option, Cimorene takes the advice of a frog and seeks out Kazul, a powerful dragon. Kazul agrees to have her as his princess-in-residence, and Cimorene’s education enables her to catalogue his treasures. Despite her newly found happiness, Cimorene has to deal with a constant stream of irritating Knights and Princes who insist on saving her without actually asking what she wants. —Neha Patel

cover of Tea Dragon Box Set

The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill

This graphic novel introduces readers to Greta, an apprentice blacksmith, who rescues a little dragon from the marketplace. When Greta goes to return the dragon to its owners, Hesekiel and Erik, she becomes immersed in the world of tea dragons. Greta soon joins the tea dragon society, alongside Hesekiel, Erik, and a young girl called Minette, taking care of the tiny dragons that grow herbs alongside their horns, which are then used to make tea. —Nadia Ali

the cover of The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

No list of books about dragons is complete without this classic picture book. A princess is kidnapped by a dragon, and her beloved prince is on the way to save her. But as she’ll learn, sometimes it is best just to rescue yourself. —Liberty Hardy

Looking for even more dragon reads? Check out 20 Must-Read Dragon Books and 20 Dragon Shifter Romances.

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