Ciruelo - Book Reviews

***** - Excellent
**** - Good
*** - Okay
** - Bad
* - Terrible
+ - Half-star

The Book of Dragons
Ciruelo
Union Square Press
Fiction, Fantasy
****

DESCRIPTION: This book describes the life cycle, culture, and historical significance of the ancient and powerful race of dragons. Many vivid illustrations augment the text. (Also titled The Book of the Dragon.)

REVIEW: The author/artist Ciruelo, whose images should be familiar to many fantasy fans, does a very good job both in describing his dragons and depicting them, though occasionally his images contradicted his written descriptions. His dragons are intelligent, mostly harmless but occasionally terrible beings who have a peculiar relationship with people. Craving companionship yet unable to stand the company of their own kind for prolonged periods, they often take on human servants as friends and occasional lovers... even as humans distrust and destoy them. Not the first book treating dragons as real creatures, and probably not the last, but certainly a good one, using some old ideas and a few new ones.

You might also enjoy:
Tales of Great Dragons (J. K. Anderson, YA Nonfiction - Dragon myths from around the world)
Dragon Art (Graeme Aymer, Nonfiction - A celebration of the dragon in modern fantasy art)
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (Bruce Coville, YA Fiction - A boy buys a dragon's egg in a magic shop, which he then must hatch and raise)
Dragonlore (Ash "LeopardDancer" DeKirk, Nonfiction - Myths and traditions ancient and modern about dragons and their kin)
The Flight of Dragons (Peter Dickinson, Fiction - Speculation on a hypothetical real dragon's biology and life cycle)
A Diversity of Dragons (Anne McCaffrey, Fiction - The author examines the many dragons of myth and modern story)
The Book of Fabulous Beasts (Joseph Nigg, Nonfiction - The classical origins and evolution of many fabulous beasts, including dragons)
The Dracopedia books (William O'Connor, Art - A dragon drawing book which invents and explains many imaginative dragon varieties)
Dragons - Truth, Myth, and Legend (David Passes, YA Nonfiction - Dragon lore and myths)
Dragons - A Natural History (Dr. Karl Shuker, Nonfiction - Dragon myths from around the world)
The Art of the Dragon (J. David Spurlock and Patrick Wilshire, Art - Interviews and an art gallery celebrate the dragon in contemporary fantasy art)
The Dragonology books (Dugald A. Steer "editor", YA Fiction - A 19th century "dragonologist" discusses the dragons of the world)
How to Raise and Keep a Dragon (John Topsell, Joseph Nigg "editor", YA Fiction - A guide to keeping dragons as pets, based on real-world dragon lore)
Animals Real and Imagined (Terryl Whitlatch, Art - A gallery of the noted artist's work, including animals real, extinct, and imaginary)

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