Best Fantasy Books About Dragon Riders You Need to Read


Fantasy books about dragon riders enrapture us not just with ferocious dragons, but their valiant knight-like riders as well. Are you in the mood for a tale featuring these characters?

Here are eight great fantasy books about dragon riders:

Their descriptions and a summary of what readers loved and didn’t are all below. But for a quick comparison of these book’s ratings, price range and more, here’s a chart.


Joust by Mercedes Lackey

Description

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

First on our list of fantasy books about dragon riders 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.


His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

Description

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 fantasy books about dragon riders 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.


Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Description

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone — even the lowborn — a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries.

Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in.

And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.16

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books about dragon riders is Fireborne. Fans reported that this YA fantasy novel bristled with constant suspense, excitement and twists. Reading about the characters’ journey from raw recruits to powerful warriors engrossed them.

Those who love dragons also praised the book for its portrayal of these creatures. On one hand, they’re companions and battle partners. But on the other, they’re symbols of the state’s political and military power – for good or for ill.

Speaking of politics, many readers mentioned that the story’s more nuanced portrayal of regime-change, its thorny conundrums and implementation challenges, made this story a treat.

Negative Comments

While Fireborne had its fans, it also had its critics. So, what did they say?

The most common reason critics didn’t enjoy the novel was that they didn’t think the dragons were given enough focus. The story may have them, but Annie and Lee – the human protagonists – and their relationship with each other took center stage. The dragons, critics said, struck them as scenery rather than characters in their own right.

Others mentioned that they found the romance between Annie and Lee dissatisfying. These readers either didn’t find them convincing as a couple or just didn’t feel strongly enough about the relationship to root for it.


Hatch by James Stevens

Description

Ammon’s job was simple, to care for the dragon eggs in the Nest. It should have been easy, but it wasn’t.

When the sun rose after the hatch, he had made an enemy of the most powerful man in the kingdom, and he would soon learn that was the least of his problems!

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.02

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another beloved fantasy book about dragon riders is Hatch.

Fans of this story had two main reasons why they loved it: first, they thought the world itself was wonderful. On one hand, much of it was familiar. But on the other, the setting had enough twists to make it feel the original.

The second reason readers became fans was the characters. Readers frequently said they were easy to fall in love with and root for. The main character, Ammon, captured readers hearts with his growth from timid egg-watcher to courageous hero. Fulgid, the dragon, came across to readers as delightfully sassy and adorable. Experiencing this dynamic duo bond and grow closer was even more enchanting!

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Hatch, they typically cited the characters as the reason. Critics described them as flat, with little to distinguish them from one other.

But others said they were disappointed by the story itself. It struck them as either too straightforward or too reminiscent of standard fantasy tropes. Other than that, the plot seemed to tug the characters along rather than the character shaping plot.


The Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak

Description

“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

Our next fantasy book about dragon riders is The Legend of Huma. This action-packed tale tantalized readers with its admirable heroes and mysterious but cruel villains.

Like several of the other stories on this list The Legend of Huma takes the traditional characterization and fantasy plot but adds just enough of a twist to make it refreshing.

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 touch 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 classic fantasy tale. To them, the story didn’t have enough original aspects to it in addition to the ‘old favorite’ tropes.


Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Description

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 tge 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: 3.89

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Eragona fantasy novel famous for taking beloved fantasy elements and turning them into a swashbuckling, dragon-filled adventure.

Readers 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 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 Lord of the Rings and Star Wars frustrated critics. Whereas ‘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.


Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Description

When Jaevid Broadfeather is given the rare opportunity to become a dragonrider for the king’s army, the 15-year-old boy has no idea that he is part of a conspiracy that will rock the very foundations of the kingdom.

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage.

He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy — a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal.

But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline.

Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night.

When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Fledgling is another fantasy book about dragon riders that readers praised. If you’re looking for a fantasy book that adults, young adults and tweens can enjoy, readers say that this novel is it.

A mixture of an underdog story and a coming-of-age tale, readers found themselves inspired and rooting for Jaevid and his dragon throughout the story. In particular, they praised the heartwarming relationship between the two.

By the end of the book, they were eager to hear more about the pair’s adventures.

Negative Comments

What did readers say if they didn’t enjoy the book? A few of them commented that Fledgling had uneven pacing. Sometimes, critics said, the story seemed to jump ahead too quickly. At other times, it seemed too slow.

On the other hand, others said that they found aspects of the story unconvincing. For example, the training scenes seemed artificially harsh to meet an expected fantasy trope, rather than for practical reasons.


Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Description

Firedrake, Ben, and their furry friend, Sorrel, are in search of the mythical place where dragons can live in peace forever.

Together they embark on a journey that takes them to magical lands where they meet marvelous creatures-and one ruthless villain.

Along the way, they will discover allies in odd places, courage they didn’t know they had, and a hidden destiny that changes everything.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Last on our list of fantasy books about dragon riders is a book outright titled Dragon Rider. A whirlwind adventure, this fantasy novel is aimed at kids but delighted both adults and children with lighthearted fun.

Several commented that even though the book itself is long, the pages seemed to rush by. In addition, readers who loved dragons in particular said that this story was a treat.

Overall, fans highly recommended this fantasy book for kids between 8-12 years old.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy Dragon Rider, they typically said it was because the story sticks too closely to the classic fantasy quest tale. The book is straightforward, without unexpected twists or surprises.

Other readers, though, said that they wished the character cast had more dimension. The characters sounded and acted the same, making it difficult for this section of the audience to connect with them.


Best Fantasy Books About Dragon Riders You Need to Read

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Best Fantasy Books About Dragon Riders You Need to Read


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