Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Books with [___] On the Cover, so of course I chose DRAGONS!
My Favorite Books with Dragons on the Cover
In each and every case, I love both the book or series, and the specific covers I am showing. That means there are some great dragon books that didn’t make the cut because I’m not that fond of the cover art Dealing with Dragons *cough cough*), and wonderful covers that didn’t make the cut because the book or series isn’t a favorite (Mercedes Lackey’s Alta series, for instance; I like them but don’t love them.) I also left out nonfiction or pseudo-nonfiction books about dragons. And as usual, these are in no particular order.
The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. The cover art on the left is by Tolkien himself; the cover on the right is by Michael Hague. Unfortunately, the photo of that one doesn’t quite do the cover justice, but this is the only illustrated edition I own. I would love to own the edition with the Tolkien cover, though!
the Dragonriders of Pern series, by Anne McCaffrey (cover art by Michael Whalen): Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon, Moreta, The Dolphins of Pern, and quite a few other other titles. Not all the Michael Whalen covers feature dragons prominently, but these five do, and the first three are the covers I grew up with.
Dragonsong and Dragonsinger, by Anne McCaffrey (left and center covers by Elizabeth Malczynski Littman; right cover by Rowena Morrill). To be scrupulously honest, these are “fire lizards” rather than dragons… but they are basically miniature dragons, and the great dragons were bred from them. I grew up reading paperbacks with the Littman covers, but the Morill cover is good, too.
Seraphina and Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hart. On the left is the original cover for Seraphina, because I love the way it mimics a woodcut illustration on parchment or linen paper. The middle picture is a later edition.
the Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik. At the top are the new covers for the first three books, His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War, with art by Rovina Cai, released in 2020 or 2021. The remaining nine books will be released with Cai covers in July 2022 (#3-5) and probably sometime in 2023 (#6-9.) Below them is the marvelous Todd Lockwood cover for the SFBC 3-in-1 edition of the first three books, Temeraire: In the Service of the King. And below that is (I believe) the original UK cover for the first book.
The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart, The Girl with the Dragon Heart, and The Princess Who Flew With Dragons, by Stephanie Burgis. These are the UK covers illustrated by Freya Hartis, and I want them! (The US covers are nice, too, and I have them, but only the first one shows a whole dragon.)
A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan (and the rest of the series, probably, but I haven’t read them yet.)
Merlin and the Dragons, by Jane Yolen. A gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written retelling of a Merlin myth.
Scales & Sensibility, by Stephanie Burgis. This is another miniature dragon that can sit on your shoulder, an idea which really appeals to me. And the cover is so pretty!
The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley. McKinley is an amazing writer (or was; she seems to have stopped writing), and this is her Newbery Award book.