Top Ten Books/Series with Dragons on the Cover

April 26, 2022 Top Ten Tuesday 15

Top Ten Tuesday graphic

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.

Book covers: His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War (Temeraire 1-2-3) by Naomi Novik

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.

Series: Tales From the Chocolate Heart, by Stephanie Burgis

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.)

Book cover: Merlin and the Dragons by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Li Ming

Merlin and the Dragons, by Jane Yolen. A gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written retelling of a Merlin myth.

Book cover: Scales and Sensibility, by Stephanie Burgis

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.

15 Responses to “Top Ten Books/Series with Dragons on the Cover”

  1. Lydia

    You picked such a fun theme! I love looking at dragons on book covers. (I would never want to meet a real one, though, unless it was as friendly as the friendliest dog in the world. 🙂 )

    Would you want to meet a dragon if you could?

    Oh, and quick story time. When I was a kid, I thought that reptiles like iguanas were imaginary creatures like dragons. Imagine my surprise when one of my elementary school teachers had one in his classroom and I realized they actually existed. LOL.
    Lydia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Curly-Haired Characters on the CoverMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I would love to meet a dragon—as long as it was either friendly, or at least polite and disinclined to kill or injure people. One of the reasons I love Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels is that the dragons have a close emotional (and in the case of the Pernese dragons, telepathic) bond with their riders.

      I love your story about thinking iguanas were mythical. I thought the same about Komodo dragons when I first heard of them, until I realized they weren’t really dragons in the literal sense.

  2. Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits

    Okay, yeah, it should come as no surprise that you went with dragons for this week’s post. 😉

    I love Rovina Cai’s artwork! Those covers are lovely, but I hadn’t realized that Cai did that re-release. I’m mostly familiar with her work on the Wayward Children series.

    Also, I must admit that (before I read the book) it took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that the Scales & Sensibility dragon was a miniature one.
    Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books with Teacups On the CoverMy Profile

  3. Jenni Elyse

    I love dragons! Great choice! These are great covers. Have you ever read Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince trilogy and its companion series Dragon Star trilogy? I loved the first trilogy. I haven’t read the second one yet, but I want to.
    Jenni Elyse recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #15My Profile

  4. Jessica

    Ah, dragons, the best creatures? Yes, absolutely, there’s not a week that goes by where I don’t find myself wishing I was one. I love the Novik covers the best I think, something about the minimal colors and those long, swirly tails just gets me.

    I’m a big fan of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, the art for the 90’s covers was done by Trina Schart Hyman, and I am incredibly fond of them. Not to mention the society that Wrede built for her dragons is top notch.

  5. Ellie Warren

    The Natural History of Dragons series covers are some of my absolute favourites. I’ve still only read the first one too, I keep meaning to finish it, but new shiny things… I want to read Scales & Sensibility too.
    Ellie Warren recently posted…Top Ten Crow CoversMy Profile

  6. Greg

    I find that I really enjoy Tolkien’s artwork in a lot of cases. That one but also the cover of Fellowship- never cared for it as a kid but as an adult I appreciate it. Same for the Hobbit with the barrels out of bond scene.

    Always a fan of Whelan’s Pern covers. And I’ve always really liked the Dragonsong cover.
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #449My Profile

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