Back in 2014, Nathan Barnhart created a weekly feature called ‘Tough Travels’, which he hosted over on Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones – a tongue-in-cheek parody of the fantasy genre – it would spotlight a different trope every week, and invite other bloggers to compile their own lists of examples. Despite being put to rest eighty-three (83!) weeks later, ‘Tough Travels’ was widely successful, with over fifty blogs participating at one time or another. On April 1, 2017, Fantasy-Faction received Nathan’s permission to revive Tough Travels once more…

This week the topic is dragons!

The Tough Guide advises that Dragons are ‘very large scaly beings with wings and long spiky tails, capable of breathing fire through their mouths. They can be almost any colour or combination of colours, though green, red and black are preferred. They are always very old. Most of them seem to have flown to Fantasyland aeons ago across the void. This migration was almost certainly to get away from our world, where people would insist that they were dangerous monsters that had to be exterminated. Dragons, as all Fantasyland knows, are no such thing.’ Or are they?

Dragons are some of my favorite fantastic creatures and I love reading about them, no matter if they’re evil or good, sentient or mindless monsters, or animals which need to be controlled. It would take far too long to list them all but here are some of my favorites:

Temeraire and his friends by Naomi Novik
The Temeraire books are set during the Napoleonic wars. Temeraire and his friends are huge dragons. They each have their own personality.

Smaug by J. R. R. Tolkien
The evil, gold hoarding dragon was wonderfully brought to life in the Hobbit movies.

Silvara from the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman
One of the few good dragons in the series.

Mnementh by Anne McCaffrey
The bronze dragon which has bonded with F’lar. McCaffrey has lot of interesting dragons and their riders.

The Dragons of Order by Genevieve Cogman
There are quite a few dragons in Secret Library series. One of them is my favorite but I’m not going to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t read the series.

Swamp dragons in Discworld
Poor little swamp dragons are often in danger of exploding because of their fire producing anatomy.

Lockheed in the Marvel Universe
Kitty Pryde has a great pet dragon!

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