Kingdom of Dragons

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Where are the dragons? Our list of suggested books and movies has something for dragon enthusiasts (or dragonologists) of all ages.

  • A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

    2013 by Brennan, Marie

    Looking for a memoir about dragons? Marie Brennan has you covered by beautifully blending the genres of fiction and memoir in this colorful and intelligent study of dragons. Recommended by Paul.

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  • Spirited Away


    What can we say about this award-winning animated film, other than that it is an absolute masterpiece! It has a well-thought-out plot, stunningly fluid animation, music that will touch your soul, and characters that will steal your heart. Haku, a river spirit that can take the form of a dragon, is one of our—and many people's—all-time non-human character crushes. You will not be disappointed. Recommended by Sharon & Penny.

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  • Dracopedia: The Great Dragons

    2012 by O'Connor, William

    Showing dragons from all around the world, this book is full of gorgeous illustrations and detailed information about dragon biology, behavior, specifications, history, and observations. This is ideal for dragon enthusiasts and artists. Want more? The companion book Dracopedia: A Guide to Drawing the Dragons of the World, is an invaluable reference that delves into the natural and cultural background of 13 dragon families. You can spend hours poring over the pages of both books. Let your imagination run wild and perhaps craft your own creations. Recommended by Sharon and Penny.

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  • Raya and the Last Dragon


    This fantasy/adventure film centers on Raya, a warrior princess (expertly voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) and a fabled last dragon named Sisu, as they team up to stop the monstrous Druun takeover. Awkwafina is fantastic voicing Sisu. I loved all the creativity of the storyline and striking animation style. It’s perfect for family movie night. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Six Crimson Cranes

    2021 by Lim, Elizabeth

    For fans of fairy tales, folklore, and magic, this book hits the mark. There is an exiled princess, the boy she left at the altar, six enchanted cranes, a dragon from the deepest sea, a powerful curse, as well as some romance, mystery, and adventure. You won’t be able to put this down. Recommended by Mary and Sharon.

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  • I Am Dragon


    A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with dragons and Vikings. The cinematography of this Russian film is absolutely spectacular—the costumes alone are works of art. This movie is definitely for those who enjoy slow-burn, fantasy romance (with a tiniest touch of spooky), as well as likable characters who are not perfect. Recommended by Penny.

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  • Seraphina

    2014 by Hartman, Rachel

    In Seraphina's world, humans and dragons coexist with the rule that if dragons enter human territory, they must take on human form. Descriptive settings, well-developed characters, and a richly layered storyline revolving around human-dragon politics make this book a unique choice for dragon enthusiasts. Recommended by Paul.

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  • Amari and the Night Brothers

    2021 by Alston, B. B.

    This book follows 13-year-old Amari, who receives a special invitation from her missing brother to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Lots of cool magical stuff is happening there. And it is the closest Amari’s gotten to finding her brother in six months. So here’s the dragon part. Amari’s new best friend is a were-dragon named Elsie, the last of her kind. However, she hasn’t been able to shift yet. I love it! They make a great team, and I couldn’t put this down. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Dragon Pearl

    2019 by Lee, Yoon Ha

    This space opera mythological fantasy book features a 13-year-old shape-shifting fox spirit named Min. You’ll also meet Haneu, a young dragon cadet. With goblin Sujin and ghost Bae Jang, they embark on a thrilling quest to find the Dragon Pearl—a legendary relic with powerful magic. There is something for everyone and more to come. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Invisible Library

    2016 by Cogman, Genevieve

    The first installment in one of my favorite fantasy series. Yes, there is a super cool librarian agent. Irene has special magical library powers and travels to alternate realms/timelines on book-related missions. Take note. Irene’s invaluable assistant is Kai, a dragon prince. Lots of dragon society, customs, and culture in this book. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Rage of Dragons

    2019 by Winter, Evan

    Zulu history and mythology with a dragon theme! This novel follows the Omehi people, who have been in a seemingly unwinnable war for nearly two centuries. Some of the Omehi are gifted with the ability to command dragons, and others can transform into fantastic beings. Tau, however, is a young boy with no such gifts. But that doesn't matter, because what he does have is a single focus that will guide him on a perilous journey of revenge. Recommended by Mary.

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  • His Majesty's Dragon

    2006 by Novik, Naomi

    Naomi Novik is a fantasy writing powerhouse, and here she lends her top-notch character development and world-building to a setting with some of the most fantastic depictions of dragons I've ever read. And the storyline couldn't be richer—a British Navy Captain sailing during the Napoleonic Wars. Recommended by Mary.

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  • Sorcerer to the Crown

    2015 by Cho, Zen

    Set in an alternate 19th-century England, Sorcerer to the Crown skillfully melds the fantastical with mystery and romance, while sharply observing race and gender politics. Of course there are dragons, and though not main characters, they are part of some very important scenes. Recommended by Mary and Sharon.

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  • Fire & Blood

    2018 by Martin, George R. R.

    Sure, many of us know about Westeros, HBO, Jon Snow, and the Whitewalkers—but how much do we actually know about the history of the dragon-riding Targaryens? Fire and Blood provides a deeper look into this family's history, conquests, and Aegon the Conqueror—the creator of the Iron Throne. Recommended by Paul.

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  • The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again

    2012 by Tolkien, J. R. R.

    No dragon list is complete without the O.G. Smaug. Recommended by Annabelle.

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  • The Priory of the Orange Tree

    2019 by Shannon, Samantha

    This book is a complex, female-centered door stopper about a world on the brink of war with dragons. Great intersectional representation of human characters, including different types of dragon-kind. Recommended by Annabelle.

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  • Guards! Guards! A Novel of Discworld

    2013 by Pratchett, Terry

    A zany Discworld installment that can be read as a standalone (and is a really good entry into Discworld) about a town terrorized by a tyrannical dragon that's been crowned king. Recommended by Annabelle.

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  • Tooth and Claw

    2003 by Walton, Jo

    A delightful Anthony Trollope-like comedy of manners—but with dragons—from one of fantasy's most versatile authors. Recommended by Annabelle.

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  • Dragonsong

    2003 by McCaffrey, Anne

    McCaffery is best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, but I'm partial to her Harper Hall trilogy, a timeless young adult series that combines music, romance, and cute lil' fire lizards. Recommended by Annabelle.

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  • Heartstone

    2016 by White, Elle Katharine

    Pride and Prejudice plus dragons! It might be blasphemous, but I loved this book as much as I loved Pride and Prejudice! Recommended by Lynnanne.

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  • Dragon Bound: Elder Races Series, Book 1

    2011 by Harrison, Thea

    Love comes in all sizes and forms, even for a dangerous, powerful, ancient dragon shifter—and other magical creatures. I really enjoyed the relationship between Pia and Dragos; it was intense, funny, and sweet at the same time. Thea Harrison has also created such a fascinating and complex world here. Dragon Bound is a must-read for fans of paranormal romance. Recommended by Penny.

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  • The Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection

    2013 by Fraction, Matt

    Dragons breathe fire, yes, but they also can be the source of power, enabling humans to become superheroes. Shou-Lao is such a dragon, who, after being defeated, turned Danny Rand into the Immortal Iron Fist. Recommended by Paul.

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  • Tales from Earthsea


    Inspired by and a different take on the classic novel series written by Ursula K. Le Guin (a dragon expert), this is another solid animated film by Studio Ghibli. It’s a fantasy, coming-of-age journey with deep messages about life. If you like multidimensional characters and complex storytelling, this movie is worth checking out. Recommended by Penny.

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  • How to Train Your Dragon


    We can’t have a dragon list without this movie trilogy, which is packed with humor, action, well-crafted plot, strong cast of memorable characters, and extraordinarily beautiful animation. It never fails to make us laugh, cry, and fill our hearts with joy. Also, look for Cressida Cowell's delightful children's book series that serves as inspiration for the movies. It’s slapstick fun for kid readers. Recommended by Penny and Sharon.

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  • Legend of the Millennium Dragon


    A reluctant young hero swept into a troubled past has a mysterious connection to Oochi, a powerful mystical dragon. This action-packed story offers an intriguing viewing experience with its unique animation style and use of Japanese mythology. Recommended by Penny and Sharon.

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  • Pete's Dragon


    This 2016 remake of the 1977 classic is far better than it probably should be. Where the '77 classic was not without its cheesy Disney benevolence, the remake ditches the songs and goes for an earthier, more poetic vision that works for both kids and adults alike. Plus dragons! Recommended by Chris.

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  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu


    You may be wondering what Pikachu is doing here. Well, it's actually his friends, Charizard and Gyarados, who are technically not dragons. But they do resemble one, so I think that qualifies them to be on this list, right? This coming-of-age adventure mystery story packs a lot of great fun, especially for fans of the Pokémon franchise, like me. Are you ready to catch ‘em all? Recommended by Penny.

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  • The NeverEnding Story


    Definitely a blast from the past to save a vanishing world. In truth, the special effects might seem clumsy by today's standards. However, there is the power of imagination and a cuddly luckdragon named Falkor who surely will delight. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Dragonheart: 2 Legendary Tales


    An absolute classic. This is one of my favorite dragon movies of all time. The visuals of this film are so ahead of its time that it’s hard to believe it was made in 1996. But what I enjoy the most is the bond between Bowen and Draco, as well as strong female characters who will do whatever it takes to fight for what’s right. Recommended by Penny.

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  • The 7th Voyage of Sinbad


    This 1958 adventure flick is worth it simply to marvel at Ray Harryhausen's amazing, painstaking stop-action animation monsters, including an awesome green, fire-breathing dragon that fights not only our hero, but a giant Cyclops as well! Epic! Recommended by Chris.

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  • Reign of Fire


    Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, and post-apocalyptic dragons. What more can you want? A deliriously campy fever-dream of a popcorn flick. Recommened by Annabelle.

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  • Dragonslayer


    A young sorcerer's apprentice must kill a fearsome dragon terrorizing a medieval village. This underrated gem features great, grungy set design; special effects that still hold up decades later; and a masterful turn by Ralph Richardson as the sorcerer. Recommended by Annabelle.

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