The best fantasy books with dragon-human bonds in it

A.J. Norfield Author Of Windcatcher: Book I of the Stone War Chronicles
By A.J. Norfield

Who am I?

Fascinated by dragons at a very young age, I’ve read dozens of dragon books before I began to weave my own story with these mythical creatures. Driven by my interest in human-animal bonds, I followed wildlife management and worked with birds of preyone of the most wondrous times of my life. I want to bring dragons into the reader’s mind as a real part of the animal kingdom and the way of nature has as much a place in my books as the bonds between the characters. But there are so many dragon books out there to enjoy, with so many different approaches, that it would be silly not to share the joy. 

I wrote...

Windcatcher: Book I of the Stone War Chronicles

By A.J. Norfield,

Book cover of Windcatcher: Book I of the Stone War Chronicles

What is my book about?

When Raylan bonds with the curious dragon Galirras, the duo and their friends are thrown into an adventure that darkens as the stakes increase. Chased by the Stone King’s ruthless general, Raylan and the others scramble to stay alive as they hastily try to find a safe way back home from behind enemy lines.

The Stone War Chronicles is a fast-paced, epic fantasy series featuring giant stone warriors, heart-racing action, and a world to submerge yourself in. What begins as a simple chase, develops into a complex, world-threatening conflict with dragons at the core of all. The Stone King rises and he wants his dragon!

The books I picked & why

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By Anne McCaffrey,

Book cover of Dragonflight

Why this book?

The Dragonriders of Pern was my first introduction to the genre of dragon fantasy and I loved it. Anne McCaffrey sucked me into a world where dragons and humans worked together to fight the dangerous and mysterious thread. The dragons can talk with their bonded humans and their bond influenced their character and mood. This connected with the deep desire that I had at that age to build bonds with animals and laid the groundwork for one of my later career choices of becoming a falconer. Other magnificent parts of this series where the jumping ‘in-between’ (allowing dragons to teleport) and the fact it secretly had a science fiction origin. The series is also a huge inspiration and helped me shape my own book.

The Dragon and the George

By Gordon R. Dickson,

Book cover of The Dragon and the George

Why this book?

Twisting things around, The Dragon and the George throws the main character into the body of a dragon. I highly enjoyed the view of a human being thrown into an unknown type of body. The confusion and the discovery of strength and weaknesses made it fun to read. The tale has a small cast, and the story might remain a bit flat in ways, nevertheless, I found myself entertained by the setup and the unlikely band that the adventure brings together.

His Majesty's Dragon

By Naomi Novik,

Book cover of His Majesty's Dragon

Why this book?

Temeraire is one of my most favorite and most memorable dragons. Naomi Novik does such an excellent job in bringing his character alive, and I often see glimpses of His Majesty’s Dragon shine through in the character of my own creation: Galirras. They both possess tremendous curiosity and wonder of the world, and both have command over the wind (though in very different ways). Temeraire’s absolute loyalty (and protectiveness) toward his human, Captain William Laurence, is one of the repeating drives throughout the series’ storyline and their debates on the rights of dragons gives one stuff to think about on how we humans see things. This all fits very well in the grand scheme of the Napoleon War, where dragons have active battle roles of “ships” in the sky.

Dragon Keeper

By Robin Hobb,

Book cover of Dragon Keeper

Why this book?

In Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb expands on her Liveship Traders universe. The (deformed) dragons that take the spotlight are less friendly and their uneasy bonds with their caretakers give a whole different experience for the readers. It is a less heroic tale to read and more of a struggle, but one that is beautifully drawn out by Hobb’s amazing skill as a writer. It’s a book as much about self-discovery, as it is about building trust. In my eyes, the slow-burn storyline remained interesting because of the strong cast of characters and my curiosity about how the dragons would evolve, both emotionally and physically. You shouldn’t expect much action, but it provides a marvelous read nonetheless.

The Summer Dragon

By Todd Lockwood,

Book cover of The Summer Dragon

Why this book?

Todd Lockwood makes amazing dragon art. How could I not want to read his debut novel?! These dragons and their bonds are a bit different from my other recommendations, more towards the non-magical way of how we humans can build bonds with horses, dogs, and other animals. This coming-of-age story focuses on Maia as she finds her own way and fights for a place in the world. Lockwood’s writing skill is as fine as his painting and more than once I was amazed by the beauty of how he worded certain things. The (sometimes graphic) action was exciting, and the entire book delivered a well-rounded adventure with dragons. As a bonus, there’s some very nice art included in the book as well.

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