15 Gripping Epic Fantasy Books With Dragons You Must See

Epic fantasy books are known for their awe-inspiring scale, daring feats and more. What better fantasy creatures to include in such tales than dragons?

Whether the dragons in their pages are protagonists, antagonists or allies, the stories on this list have something for everyone.

Here are 15 epic fantasy books with dragons to read:

I’ve included book descriptions, readers’ ratings and summaries of positive and negative comments for each book. 

On the other hand, if you’d like a quick summary, here’s a comparison chart.

Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton


Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished — and wary — when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him?

And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden.

Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead. 

Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Dragonslayer. This fantasy novel entertained readers with its action-packed and intrigue-filled plot.

Surprises abound, not to mention fast-pacing and betrayals. Fans were delighted, saying that this kept the book twisting and turning, capturing their attention and making them eager to know what would happen next.

Aside from that, fans praised Dragonslayer for featuring both the dragon slayer’s point of view as well as the dragon’s. While the dragon slayer’s story involved a touching tale of redemption, the dragon’s perspective intrigued them.

Fantasy books might have fantasy creatures, but its story is typically told through a human’s eyes. Not so in Dragonslayerwhere readers were treated to a view of the world from a scaled, flying and last-of-their-kind dragon. Moreover, since both were sympathetic characters, it created a bittersweet ending not often seen in ‘slaying’ stories. 

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Dragonslayerthey generally said that it was because the book came across to them as over-familiar. Critics said that the overall plot and characters didn’t deviate much from what they expected from the prototypical dragon-slaying story.

In particular, these readers focused on the characters, saying that because they were standard character types, it was difficult to get attached to them.  

Ice Dragon by D. K. Holmberg


When a mysterious stranger brings word of a dragon, Jason’s whole world changes.

The northern mountain village offers protection from the threat of dragons, but is a difficult place, especially for a misfit like Jason Dreshen.

His days are spent hunting for food for his family, praying for warmth, and trying to hide his strange silver eye that grants him dragon sight.

When a stranger visits during the local Freedom Festival searching for a different kind of dragon, everything changes. 

Forced down the mountainside, Jason learns the truth of powers he’d only heard about in rumors. While running from deadly Dragon Souls, he finds he might have more of a connection to magic than only dragon sight.

In order to save himself and stop the Dragon Souls, he must learn a truth about himself that leads him closer to the one thing he fears above all others: dragons. 

Somehow, he might be the only one able to protect them from the Dragon Souls, but how can he protect what he hates?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.38

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Ice Dragon is second on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons. Fans of this action-packed fantasy tale praised the story overall, saying it was electrified with suspense, intrigue and – of course! – dragons. 

These readers often said that this book is a treat for dragon-lovers. Aside from Ice Dragon‘s adventure plot, the characters won fans over. Their motivations and who they were shone through. Readers often said that the more they read, the more they came to know and like the characters.

Negative Comments

What did critics of Ice Dragon say? They had two main comments.

First was that the book’s beginning was slow. The second was that they had the sense that the characters held back information. This meant that critics either felt that the story’s world could have been explained more, or that the supporting character cast seemed flat.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini


One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter.

But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power.

With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?

The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Eragon is third on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons. This novel earned fame for taking beloved fantasy elements and turning them into a swashbuckling, dragon-filled adventure.

Fans appreciated that much of what they loved seeing in fantasy books featured in this epic: supernatural abilities, sword-fighting, dragon riders, prophecies, elves, hidden realms and of course, the hero pitted against a seemingly invincible empire.

Readers said that Eragon swept them away into the world of Alagaësia and its many interesting characters. They often commented that fans of The Lord of the Rings would find elements to this story that they’d enjoy.

Negative Comments

Unfortunately, the same reason that fans loved this fantasy book was the same reason that critics didn’t: the familiar tropes.

Its similarities to The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars frustrated critics. Whereas ‘The Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars with dragons’ delighted fans, these readers thought that Eragon was too predictable for their taste.

Because of this, several commented that the book might be better suited for first-time fantasy readers.

Legends of the Dragonrealm by Richard A. Knaak


An omnibus of the first three novels in New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak’s epic fantasy series Dragonrealm – collected for the first time in one incredible volume.

In addition to writing one of the bestselling Warcraft novels of all time, Day of the Dragon, Richard A. Knaak is the author of the legendary fantasy series Dragonrealm.

Now available for the first time in one fantastic collection, the first three novels from this riveting series include:


In the ultimate war between humans and fiery shape-shifting beings, Duke Toma has unleashed every conceivable evil upon the world of the Dragon Kings.

Only one dares to challenge him: Cabe Bedlam, a youth with a magical sword that promises its bearer total mastery over man and beast alike.


Pitting his magic sword against the glittering scaled armor of the Dragon Kings, young Cabe Bedlam drove the shape-shifters back to their origins.

But from the Northern Wastes, the merciless Ice Dragon implements a lethal scheme to sweep mankind into oblivion. Now Cabe must embark on a perilous journey toward an epic confrontation.


The Death of the Dragon Emperor leaves both the Dragonrealms and human kingdom in ruins. Tomorrow’s hope – the Emperor’s hatchlings – live, protected by the human warrior Cabe Bedlam.

But the future teeters on the brink of disaster, and only Cabe and his good friend, the Gryohon, can save the dragons from losing their magic forever.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Legends of the DragonrealmThis novel takes classic fantasy tropes and uses them to dazzle readers: an European-inspired world; elves, dwarves and dragons; and a grand, dragon-slaying quest to save a nation.

These ‘old favorite’ tropes also had enough of a twist that readers commented how interesting them found the world, the cast and the different creatures.

They also said that the story starts off with a bang, immediately got them invested in Cabe and his story, and kept a satisfying pace throughout.

Negative Comments

Some readers didn’t think that Legends of the Dragonrealm was the right book for them. These readers often described the book as riddled with world-building inconsistencies. The book would set up a rule but then break it. This was often true when the rule involved the main characters.

Other readers, however, said that they couldn’t connect with the characters. As such, they weren’t invested in them or their stories. Some mentioned that the main characters came across as stereotypical fantasy protagonists. Cabe, they said, is a standard brave and decent sword-wielding hero.

On the other hand, Gwen is the standard impossibly beautiful love interest who consistently needs rescuing. In her case, readers said this grated on them because she’s established as having far more experience and skill than Cabe.

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan


Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes.

Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them – known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly.

The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend.

Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory.

And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is The Waking Fire.

Readers who enjoyed this book eagerly reported that it was a definitively dragon-focused fantasy. Unlike other stories where dragons hover on the periphery, the dragons in The Waking Fire are a key feature of Anthony Ryan’s tale.

In addition, readers praised the book for its great characters. They had different reasons for this. Some said they related to and connected with them. Others said that while they didn’t relate to the characters per se, they found them fascinating and exciting to read about.

Negative Comments

So what about this dragon-centric fantasy didn’t readers enjoy? Generally, readers commented that the story confused them. The story is told from three different characters’ perspectives and frequently shifts from point-of-view to point-of view.

On top of that, the story features a host of concepts, story lines and characters. This was a plus to fans, but also reasons critics struggled to understand what was happening.

Other readers said that the story’s actions scenes didn’t grab them. They reported that the battles seemed to happen at random. Particularly because the story has so much action, the battles started to drag rather than make these readers’ hearts pound. After a while, they even came across as repetitive.

The Dragonstone by Dennis L. McKiernan


For as long as she can remember, the Elven Lady Arin has been besieged by visions from the past — or the future.

But none has ever left her so shaken as the one that foretells the fall of Mithgar: images of raging dragons and brutal legions laying waste to everything in their path signifying a devastating war that will threaten the land.

There is more to the prophecy than a warning — riddles within the vision that Arin must decipher if she is to prevent the forthcoming destruction.

And it will take a journey across countless leagues — connected to a relic of immense power known as the Dragonstone — to find the answers to Mithgar’s salvation…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is The Dragonstone. This novel features many of the aspects of classic fantasy that fans loved: elves, dragons and mages, as well as epic quests.

Fans consistently highlighted the character cast as one of their favorite parts of the story, describing both the main and supporting characters as easy to enjoy and delightful to follow. These readers praised the book for its heartwarming friendships, romances and adventure.

Others mentioned that they appreciated that The Dragonstone is free of graphic content, and generally would make a good read for teen readers or those newer to the fantasy genre.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Dragonstone, they generally focused on the romantic pairings.

Critics often commented that they struck them as unconvincing. However, since several couples formed throughout the book, it later began to seem overly convenient or outright forced.

Other critics focused on the book’s similarity to The Lord of the Rings, and thought it was too standard a fantasy tale.

The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb


Too much time has passed since the powerful dragon Tintaglia helped the people of the Trader cities stave off an invasion of their enemies.

The Traders have forgotten their promises, weary of the labor and expense of tending earthbound dragons who were hatched weak and deformed by a river turned toxic.

If neglected, the creatures will rampage – or die – so it is decreed that they must move farther upriver toward Kelsingra, the mythical homeland whose location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories.

Thymara, an unschooled forest girl, and Alise, wife of an unloving and wealthy Trader, are among the disparate group entrusted with escorting the dragons to their new home.

And on an extraordinary odyssey with no promise of return, many lessons will be learned–as dragons and tenders alike experience hardships, betrayals . . . and joys beyond their wildest imaginings.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. This book launches a series that can serve as a standalone as well as an expansion to Hobb’s previously written Liveship Trader’s trilogy.

Readers familiar with the trilogy described The Dragon Keeper as a counterpoint to the cheerier ending in Liveship TradersWhile Liveship Traders ended on a high, this series deals with the aftermath and begins on a low.

The dragons in The Dragon Keeper struggled to find a way to outgrown their serpent form in the Liveship Trader’s trilogy, but find now that their success had the horrible downside of killing most of them in the process.

Because of that, fans said that it’s easy to sympathize with the dragons of this tale who, far from their frequent majestic and mighty portrayal in other books, are frail and sickly. Their struggle to survive and thrive struck fans of the book as engaging and inspirational.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy the novel, what did they say? These readers focused on the fact that story itself has little thrills and action. The book’s premise is simple and sports a no-frills plot: The Dragon Keeper isn’t a story bristling with twists and turns.

In particular, readers mentioned that this first book in the series struck them as a step up for future books. Alone, it resonates with readers based on how much they enjoy character-driven stories. Even readers who didn’t enjoy the story overall acknowledged that the characterization was strong.

These readers said that the book picks up toward the end. However, before that, they felt that nothing much seemed to happen.

Dragon Champion by E.E Knight


High in the mountains, deep in the safety of a cave, a brood of dragons is born. The four young ones are among the last of a dying breed — the last hope for dragons’ survival.

But hope shatters when a murderous group of slave-trader dwarves breaks into the cave, leaving a wake of death and destruction…

Only young Auron, a rare, defenseless gray dragon, manages to escape. Armed with nothing but his claws and a boundless determination to survive, he sets off in search of his kind.

But to find other dragons — or, at least, find out who’s killing them off — Auron will have to search a world of mercenary elves, vicious humans, and dangers of all kinds.

Finding allies in the strangest places — and finding himself along the way — Auron is about to make the trek of a lifetime.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.98

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Dragon Champion, a coming of age tale told from the perspective of a dragon. While this story includes elves, the main focus is definitely on Auron, Dragon Champion‘s scaled protagonist.

Readers characterized this as an action-filled story that adult fantasy readers and young adult readers would find delightful. They praised the story’s portrayal of Auron’s point of view, which several described as fascinating.

Unlike stories where the non-human characters come across as human in all but name, Auron has a perspective that comes across as inhuman.

Negative Comments

On the other hand, readers who didn’t enjoy Dragon Champion cited the on-going violence as a negative. Several of these readers felt there was too much brutality overall, but others focused on how much of it came from the hands of the protagonist.

For instance, the first chapter features the protagonist hatching – and then killing his siblings. Readers described the rest of the story’s tone as the same. It made the story’s antagonists disconcertingly justified and Auron seem like a cold-blooded killer.

Other readers, though, said that the fight scenes were so frequent that they lost their impact. Instead of inspiring excitement, the action-oriented moments lulled them into apathy.

Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory


Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, bestselling authors individually and together, return to the world of their New York Times and USA Today bestselling Obsidian and Enduring Flame Trilogies with Crown of Vengeance.

Here, readers will learn the truth about the Elven Queen Vielissiar Faricarnon, who was the first to face the Endarkened in battle and the first to bond with a dragon. She worked some of the greatest magics her world has ever known, and paid the greatest Price.

Crown of Vengeance is an exciting fantasy adventure that will appeal to fans of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. No previous knowledge of Lackey and Mallory’s collaborations is necessary to enjoy this fast-paced, action-packed novel, but returning readers will be excited to discover this amazing story.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Crown of Vengeance by authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Readers delighted by this book called it a vast epic, covering a large cast of characters over a great length of time.

These readers praised the story’s complexity, realism and its well fleshed-out characters. When the circumstances of the story turned against their favorite characters, these fans found themselves feeling for their loses as well as rooting for their comebacks.

Negative Comments

If Crown of Vengeance wasn’t a reader’s cup of tea, what did they say?

For those you searching for a book that puts dragons front and center, it doesn’t seem like that’s the main focus of the novel. While readers didn’t mention this as a detractor, they also didn’t mention the dragons at all.

In addition, readers who didn’t enjoy this novel were frustrated by its several over-familiar story elements. For instance, the book features a ‘chosen one’ that’s the subject of a prophecy, a special school for the gifted, and a ‘bonded mate’ romance sub-plot.

Other readers said that the book had plenty of battle scenes – too much, in fact. Crown of Vengeance is action-packed, but the action won’t necessarily have the amount of tension, suspense or stakes to keep readers on the edge of their seats. After a while, these readers found themselves lulled into indifference.

Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans


Arlian had never left his home village in the Obsidian Mountains. The green hills, white peaks, and black glass were all he had ever known of life, and though he dreamed of travel and adventure, he knew deep in his heart that he would probably never leave.

Until the dragon weather came. Incredible heat, oppressive humidity, dark and angry clouds . . . and dragons. Dragons with no feelings, no empathy, no use for humans; dragons who destroyed his entire village and everyone in it. Everyone, that is, except Arlian.

Orphaned and alone, Arlian the child is captured by looters and sold as a mining slave. Seven years later Arlian the man escapes, fueled by years of hatred for the dragons, bandits, and slavers that took his youth away – and a personal vow to exact retribution from those who have wronged him.

As Arlian makes his way through life, he is obsessed with the concept of justice, and that obsession informs every task, every decision.

Even Black, the man he befriends and grows to love as a brother, has little influence against Arlian’s obsession. His entire life has one purpose, and one purpose only: to mete out justice.

But can one righteous man change the entire world for the better? Or is he doomed by his own actions to become as unjust as those he seeks to destroy?

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.00

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next up on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Dragon Weathera novel readers praised for its exhilarating action and break-neck pacing. The story is a tale of Arlian’s quest for vengeance and his growth along the way.

As such, readers appreciated the book’s honest and ugly portrayal of combat. The battles were intense and brutal, even bloodcurdling. Those who enjoyed grittier and darker fantasies thought this was a great aspect of the novel.

Moreover, Arlian’s character growth into a more mature and gracious individual was insightful enough to make these readers think about issues of justice and revenge while not coming across as preachy.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Dragon Weather though, it was for the same reason many of the book’s fans loved it: the brutality.

Dragon Weather takes no prisoners with its portrayal of violence and cruelty. Readers mentioned, for instance, that characters have their hands and feet chopped off. Others said that the frequently sexual assault and abuse the women in the story faced particularly upset them.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart.

They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then.

Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.

No one expected them to be heroes.

Least of all, them.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.99

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Dragons of Autumn Twilight. This book is considered a fantasy classic and many readers warmly recalled how much it drew them into the fantasy genre in their childhood.

Readers who reviewed it positively often said that Dragons of Autumn Twilight is the best of traditional fantasy done right. Every traditional trope readers loved – whether in plot, character type or setting – was here in great form. A common thread in their comments was how attached they grew to the characters, who all had different aspects for these readers to connect to them.

Fans also praised Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for creating an uplifting, hope-filled and clean fantasy. Many current fantasy books lean toward a cast of anti-hero protagonists, grim tone and detailed violence. As such, these readers appreciated the different angle the story took.

Negative Comments

Readers overwhelmingly gave Dragons of Autumn Twilight a 5 star rating. Given that, what dragged readers’ overall rating down to a 3.99?

As you might expect, the ‘traditional fantasy’ aspect was exactly what grated on critics. Dragons of Autumn Twilight was written 1984, where the traditional fantasy tropes the book uses were fresh. By now though, the same character types, plot lines and world are prolific in the fantasy genre. All of these elements were painfully familiar to these readers.

Even details that would normally flesh out the characters and give them surprising depth are by now common. As such, these readers perceived the characters as bland stereotypes and just couldn’t grow attached to them.

In the end, these readers recommended the book for younger readers who would be unfamiliar with the fantasy genre.

The Dragons by Douglas Niles


“When dragons make war, Krynn can only tremble in the shadow of angry wings.” – Astinus Lorekeeper 

Aurican and Darlantan, mighty serpents of gold and silver, have been nurtured in a world of wisdom, meditation, and sublime faith.

On the other side of Ansalon, Crematia, a dragon of red, inherits the Dark Queen’s legacy of betrayal, violence, conquest, and plunder. 

The advent of a worldwide war sweeps these powerful beings and many more into desperate strife. Battles rage over Krynn with a fury that threatens to annilhilate nations and whole races – even dragonkind.

As campaigns ebb and flow, generations of lesser mortals come and go, and the great serpents are left to determine the fate of the world.

Their triumphs may create a destiny of all-encompassing light or cast the world beneath the shadow of ultimate darkness. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is The Dragons, a story that’s main cast consists entirely of dragons in brutal, epic wars against each other.

While the novel is sixth in the Dragonlance franchise’s The Lost Histories series, readers reported that this book works as a great standalone as well. Familiarity with the Dragonlance universe isn’t necessary either, but a bonus.

So what did fans say? First, readers said that dragon-lovers have a treat in this book. The story covers several generations of dragons, magnifying the tale to one of epic proportions.

Moreover, fans said that this vast scope didn’t come with a trade-off in character development: each dragon has its own distinct personality, perspective and gave readers a reason to love or hate them.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t think The Dragons was the right story for them, what did they say?

Several critics said that while the story was epic in scope and action, it ultimately lacked tension. Instead of suspenseful or dramatic, the battles felt rote and identical. As a result, the book struck them as slower than they’d expected.

Other readers said that the story’s timescale came at the cost of its characterization. In contrast to fans, these critics either said that the dragons didn’t seem multidimensional or that their characterization wasn’t conveyed through demonstration. Instead, the book informed readers of the dragons’ characteristics.

The Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak


“To the West Huma rode, to the High Clerist’s Tower, on the back of the Silver Dragon and the path of their flight crossed over a desolate country where the dead walked only, mouthing the names of dragons.”

For the first time in the best-selling Dragonlance® Saga, here is The Legend of Huma, fabled Hero of the Lance: his mysterious origins and his Oath to the Measure; treachery among the Knights of Solamnia; his love for the Silver Dragon; the fated showdown between the Queen of Darkness and the forces of Paladine.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.03

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another story on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is The Legend of Huma. This action-packed tale tantalized readers with its admirable heroes and mysterious but cruel villains. The Legend of Huma uses classic characterization and plots but adds just enough of a twist to make them refreshing.

In addition, readers said that while this made the story straightforward, it was done in such a way that Huma’s convictions and sense of honor were inspiring and uplifting. Huma is a fleshed-out and convincing version of a ‘knight in shining armor’, an archetype that is notoriously difficult to get right.

Several readers commented on how much the story’s themes of heroism and standing up for one’s principles touched and spoke to them on a deep level, even as they were excited and fascinated by the story’s world.

Negative Comments

Readers predominately awarded The Legend of Huma 5 stars, but not all of them had such warm praise for the book. Critics had two objections, which mainly stemmed from the general premise of the novel: a ‘knight in shining armor’ main character and a classic fantasy story line.

Several readers who preferred principled protagonists nevertheless said that Huma came across as too stereotypical. While these readers knew Huma would be archetypal, they still wanted more differentiation from the standard ‘knight in shining armor’.

Other said that they wished the story was less predictable, even if it emulated a traditional fantasy tale. To them, the story didn’t have enough original aspects to it in addition to the ‘old favorite’ tropes.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik


Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature.

Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle.

For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is His Majesty’s Dragon. This character-driven tale twists the dragon rider concept by transforming the lone warrior into a fleet.

Readers said that the team-like atmosphere, camaraderie and moving bonds between dragon riders and dragons warmed their hearts. They came into the story to experience the slow-building relationship between dragon and dragon rider, and His Majesty’s Dragon delivered.

In addition, readers also praised the story’s portrayal of aerial combat. They described these as detailed and considered, taking into account technological challenges springing from the story’s historical influence.

Negative Comments

What about readers who didn’t enjoy the novel? Critics generally said the story had little tension or conflict. While His Majesty’s Dragon focuses on the relationship between dragon rider and dragon, even that struck these readers as progressing too easily.

On the other hand, some readers said that the characters themselves struck them as bland. Because of this, they couldn’t get engaged with or invest in them.

Joust by Mercedes Lackey


National best-selling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey creates a vivid, dynamic fusion of the cultures of ancient Egypt and legendary Atlantis with the most exciting and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined. 

The first book in this thrilling new series introduces us to a young slave who dreams of becoming a jouster — one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.02

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Last on our list of epic fantasy books with dragons is Joust, a coming of age tale set in a lush and simmering desert world. Inspired by Ancient Egypt, the setting was part of why readers said this story allured and intrigued them. The world-building, especially of the cultures and the dragons, struck them as fleshed out and engrossing.

In addition, fans praised the primary characters for coming across as multifaceted and real. In particular, Vetch grew personally but also in his understanding of the greater political and ethical realities of being a dragon rider. Readers found his moral struggles and development in later parts of the book gripping.

Negative Comments

Some readers didn’t think that Joust was the right book for them. In general, critics generally had two reasons they didn’t enjoy the novel.

The first was that they didn’t connect with Vetch, the main character. To them, he came across as overly self-righteous, while all his efforts proceed to smoothly. The story seemed to unduly favor him.

Other readers, however, said that the book itself was slow-paced. They didn’t think that much happened and expected more excitement, twists and turns.

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N.S. Mirage

I'm Natalie, an avid fantasy reader here to help readers find exciting, otherworldly books.

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