mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Ahh. I sneeze. Am I the other Ox that mike knows with a thing about books with dragons? If so, you tromp yourself, madame. I actually don't have a thing about books with dragons. I have a thing about works with civilized tea-drinking poetry-writing eastern dragons, maybe. Western gold-hoarding fire-breathing maiden-devouring dragons have been done to death as much as vampires (err- if that's the proper phrase to use about vampires) and for rather a longer period of time.

Western dragons are a chronicle of yawnful infamy: Beowulf- which I read in the original, I shall mention, to indicate my bona fides. Beowulf's dragon wasn't a patch on Grendel. Siegfried's dragon- argh, Germanic heroes. The Hobbit, which I found twee. Anne McCaffrey. Hicks and Weisman. Barbara Hambly. Paolini. Others too numerous to mention, whom I have cruised in bookstores and put back on the shelf, because they were always 550 page part ones of trilogies or tetralogies or heptologies, and I read slowly.

Leguin's dragons were the most intriguing of the lot, I suppose, but no western dragon ever grabbed me the way Haku or Jiip or Goujun or Karin's Yao Kuan or even the mist-wreathed snub-nosed dragons of Japanese art did and do. You will point out that most of these have human forms. Yes, true, and that's part of the appeal. But then so do the ones in The Last Dragonlord, and I found that unfinishable.

I'd also pass on Okano Reiko's dragon king's younger brother in Youmi Henjou Yawa because, well, he's about as ugly as Okano can draw a man, which is saying something; but in the wake of Paarfi I can almost see him as a Dragaeran character. But that's because the General is such a Dragaeran character too, and the Dragon is always sniffing about the General, and really the only world I've met so far where the two of them fit at all comfortably is Brust's.
Tags: dragons

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