5 Exciting YA Fantasy Books About Dragons


Are you searching for YA fantasy books with dragons? If so, here’s a list for you!

Here are 5 exciting YA Fantasy Books About Dragons to Read:

You’ll find a summary of the reviews readers left and the books’ ratings below, as well as a quick comparison chart.

And if you want even more YA fantasy books with dragons, this additional list of YA fantasy novels is here to help you out. 


The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Description

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness — and so there was also the Iskari.

The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past.

But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm.

When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected.

With the help of a secret friend — a slave boy from her betrothed’s household — Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.14

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

First on our list of YA fantasy books with dragons is The Last Namsara. Most readers gave this novel five stars, saying that the many dragons and fierce protagonist, Asha, captivated them.

Readers reported that in a genre that has seen a rise in powerful female character, Asha still stands out. Asha is brave, scarred (both physically and emotionally) and an impressive warrior.

However, the novel also portrays her as vicious and ruthless: readers appreciated that the story didn’t try to ‘soften’ her in this regard.

At the same time, readers said that she is neither invincible nor a character who comes across as excessively over-powered. Because of this, Asha won readers over with her genuine courage.

Negative Comments

Given how that most readers gave The Last Namsara five stars, what did critics say? These readers said that the characters or the story itself couldn’t grab their attention.

In terms of the characters, they described the cast as flat: Asha came across to them as a standard YA ‘badass’ protagonist. She had little to distinguish her from other heroines in the genre.

The villains, on the other hand, seemed nasty and cruel for the sake of providing Asha a villain. Because of this, these readers struggle to get invested in what happened to her or her companions.

Others said that they just couldn’t get interested in the story. It didn’t excite them with anything to anticipate, grab them with suspense or thrill them with surprise.


Dragon’s Milk by Susan Fletcher

Description

“You must go to the dragon. You must leave tonight.”

Before she even hears the words, Kaeldra already knows what she must do. She must search out the mother dragon whose draclings have just hatched and somehow get some of her precious milk. It’s the only way to save her foster-sister’s life.

Kaeldra would rather not go. It’s much too terrifying, much too dangerous. But Kaeldra knows that she’s the only one who can do it. For she is the only one who can actually communicate with dragons.

But little does Kaeldra know what she’s getting into. She’s about to begin a journey that will entwine her fate with that of three little draclings and one would-be dragonslayer.

A journey that will become a struggle for life. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.92

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of YA fantasy books with dragons is Dragon’s Milk. Readers said that this book was suitable for both teens and younger. Its’s a light fantasy adventure that delighted readers with its fresh spin on dragon lore.

However, they also mentioned that it impressed them by being more than an action-based story: it touched on themes of friendship, persecution and fitting in.

Many readers remembered this book fondly from their teen and pre-teen years, saying it was one of the books that made them fall in love with the fantasy genre.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Dragon’s Milk, what did they say? Mostly, these readers said that the plot itself was weak.

Some of them described it as being episodic, mostly consisting of Kendra running and hiding. Others said that they found the ending dissatisfying, feeling that it was resolved too easily.


Scorched by Mari Mancusi

Description

Trinity

Don’t leave me here…

It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise — her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town.

Books Cover of Scorched by Mari Mancusi

But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it…

Connor

He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

Caleb

He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head — a dragon that won’t be tamed.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.78

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Third on our list of YA fantasy books with dragons is Scorched. Readers often described this fantasy novel as ‘Terminator with dragons’, a unique blend of time-travel and dragons that they loved!

They reported that the novel’s fast pacing kept them glued to the pages. Action-packed and exciting, the book also presented a mystery about the two brothers’ true motives and pasts that drew readers in. Several remarked that discerning between the truths and lies was one of Scorched‘s highlights.

Others added that they appreciated the portrayal of Emberlyn, the dragon. While some stories characterize dragon allies as friendly and pet-like, Scorched portrays dragons as both deadly and magnificent. These readers enjoyed this intriguing and dangerous atmosphere around Trinity’s flame-breathing ally.

Negative Comments

While Scorched has plenty of fans, some readers didn’t enjoy it. What did critics say?

Their comments were consistent: despite its dragon and apocalyptic spin, the novel came across as familiar YA fantasy. To be more specific, these readers expressed disappointment that the novel features a love triangle and characters with familiar personalities.

These readers described Trinity, Conner and Caleb as standard YA characters. Moreover, they said that the ‘good boy’ versus ‘bad boy’ setup to the romance was standard as well.

Any tension or conflict between the three characters didn’t make an impression: it felt like sights along a well-trodden path rather than a situation that piqued their interest and invested them in the outcome.


The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Description

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation — or so she’s been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm.

Books Cover of The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother’s visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane.

But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission — and her life.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

The Burning Sky is next on our list of YA fantasy books with dragons. Readers said that this fantasy novel takes a variety of beloved YA tropes and blends them together for something entirely unique and exciting.

The story world features elemental powers, mythological creatures and elite boarding school drama.

As for the romance, The Burning Sky pairs the powerful mage protagonist, Iolanthe, with the agenda-driven Prince Titus. Readers frequently remarked that Iolanthe delighted them with her backbone in particular, but also with her cleverness and back-and-forth banter with Titus. They mentioned that she adapts well to her difficult circumstances and refuses to self-pity.

In the past, YA fantasy readers have voiced their frustrations with protagonists who let their romantic feelings cloud their judgement – especially when the fate of a kingdom is at stake.

Because of this, readers often made a point of saying that both Iolanthe and Titus didn’t follow this pattern. While their attraction grew, they didn’t let that derail them from their greater missions.

Negative Comments

What did readers who didn’t enjoy The Burning Sky say? Generally, readers expressed similar sentiments: they disliked both Iolanthe and Titus as character. Because of this, they couldn’t get invested in their romance.

Why was this? Well, critics of The Burning Sky characterized Iolanthe as a Mary Sue: a character so excessively perfect at all she does and in her attributes that it’s unbelievable.

These readers said that Iolanthe’s ‘Chosen One’ status defined her. She was strong in the sense of being highly competent. However, she didn’t have dreams, hopes or fears of her own that were unrelated to her foretold destiny.

As for Titus, critics said that at ultimately, he bothered them as a romantic prospect. The book sets Titus up as a good person who only feigns a spoiled and manipulative persona. However, these readers said that after a while, this didn’t seem like a mask. Instead, it seemed like his true face.

As such, these frustrated readers thought that the story buried these issues beneath a smokescreen of lust.


Talon by Julie Kagawa

Description

The Dragons of Talon:

Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world. 

The Order of St. George:

The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth. 

Book Cover of Talon by Julie Kagawa

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.

To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans.

Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. 

As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down.

But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him – and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.75

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Last on our list of YA fantasy books with dragons is Talon by Julie Kagawa. Packed with action and adventure, this YA fantasy delighted readers with its combination of excitement, dragons and romance.

The characters themselves also captivated these readers, who often said that there wasn’t a single character they didn’t like. Even Ember, who some readers said initially came across as immature, won them over.

Furthermore, they said that experiencing the story from all three main character’s point of views was a wonderful treat!

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Talon, what did they say?

Critics commonly cited Ember herself as well as the story’s familiarity as the culprits. For instance, they said that Ember didn’t come across as a person yearning for freedom for sympathetic reasons. Instead, she came across to them as childish and self-centered.

Ember speaks contemptuously of Talon and its members, who thwart her from doing what she wants. However, these readers pointed out that what Ember rails against are minor inconveniences. Either that or the logical actions of people who take keeping her alive seriously.

Other readers said that they wished the story would deviate more from standard YA fantasy. The story promises dragons and dragon slayers. It delivers. However, readers said that the story’s execution of these concepts was too predictable for their taste.


5 Exciting YA Fantasy Books With Dragons

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5 Exciting YA Fantasy Books With Dragons


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