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Dragons of Fantasy: Scaly Villains and Heroes in Modern Fantasy Literautre [Paperback]

Anne C. Petty
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 18 2004 Cold Spring Press Fantasy
Author Anne Petty looks at dragons in fantasy literature and offers something unique in this genre: a character study of the most fabulous beasts in myth and modern fiction. A survey of dragons from both western and eastern myths, sagas, legends, and fiction sets the stage for the character studies that make up the bulk of the book. Such things as duplicity (be careful when you make a bargain with a dragon!), cleverness in use of language (especially riddling), loyalty and lack thereof, and much more. Individual examples are culled from many well-known books, and Petty shows how each author develops those traits as character development in their stories, discussing imagery and dialogue, and how exotic dragons have become such a staple in modern fantasy. Two or three dragons from each author's works will be discussed, with each author confined to a single chapter, nearly 20 authors and their incredible dragons in all. An in-depth look at dragons in literature, from ancient myths and sagas to today's best fantasy writers,

Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

Anne C. Petty is the author of Tolkien in the Land of Heroes (Cold Spring Press, Aug. '03)

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great information and a lot of fun May 21 2004
Format:Paperback
As a fan of the author, I have all her books and this one is a really good addition to my bookshelf. My rating would actually be 4 1/2 stars, but Amazon doesn't let you give fractions. I only have a few quibbles that would prevent a perfect 5-star review, but let me say what the strengths are first.
I like the way this author writes. She has a conversational style that keeps you interested but still has a lot of good insights into her topics. Sometimes, scholarly, but always interesting. The organization of this book is what I think is really unique. It's divided in two large parts, but there's actually 4 distinct sections. It opens with really valuable information on how to write good fantasy characters, especially dragons. Then it moves on to feature 7 specific fantasy writers. I thought the choices were good because they give a good range of types of writers, from fantasy writers like Ann McCaffrey and J. R. R. Tolkien to people like Jane Yolen who may be better known to the young adult audience, but writes perfectly well for the adult market too, which is also true for J. K. Rowling.
The second part of the book is great for dragon fans who want to know the research into dragonlore that is there for people who want to write about dragons or just to enjoy and admire them. I thought at first this part would be a little tedious, but its probably some of the most interesting parts, especially the way she manages to include little bits about a lot of other writers besides those 7 who are spotlighted. At the end of the book is a section called the Dragon Hunters Toolbox, which is a cool idea I wish had been expanded.
My only criticism with this book is that I wish it has been longer and covered more authors, although as I said I think the choice of those included was good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dragonlover May 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The chapter on Terry Pratchett is worth the whole cost of this book! Pratchett is my favorite writer and Anne Petty wrote one of the best explanations of what makes him funny and at the same time having genuine literary merit. The other chapters are just as good, especially the one on Tolkien which you would expect. I didn't even remember there was a dragon in the Sword of Truth books, but now I want to go back and reread the books that have Scarlet in them. New perspectives on old faves like McCaffrey, too. The Dragonology chapters are cool too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars how to get under a dragon's skin June 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Who would have thought there was so much to know about writing about dragons. This was an eye opener, no doubt. Best analysis of Rowling from a completely new angle. Excellent survey of dragons from ancient times to modern. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great information and a lot of fun May 21 2004
By Carolyn Claire - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a fan of the author, I have all her books and this one is a really good addition to my bookshelf. My rating would actually be 4 1/2 stars, but Amazon doesn't let you give fractions. I only have a few quibbles that would prevent a perfect 5-star review, but let me say what the strengths are first.
I like the way this author writes. She has a conversational style that keeps you interested but still has a lot of good insights into her topics. Sometimes, scholarly, but always interesting. The organization of this book is what I think is really unique. It's divided in two large parts, but there's actually 4 distinct sections. It opens with really valuable information on how to write good fantasy characters, especially dragons. Then it moves on to feature 7 specific fantasy writers. I thought the choices were good because they give a good range of types of writers, from fantasy writers like Ann McCaffrey and J. R. R. Tolkien to people like Jane Yolen who may be better known to the young adult audience, but writes perfectly well for the adult market too, which is also true for J. K. Rowling.
The second part of the book is great for dragon fans who want to know the research into dragonlore that is there for people who want to write about dragons or just to enjoy and admire them. I thought at first this part would be a little tedious, but its probably some of the most interesting parts, especially the way she manages to include little bits about a lot of other writers besides those 7 who are spotlighted. At the end of the book is a section called the Dragon Hunters Toolbox, which is a cool idea I wish had been expanded.
My only criticism with this book is that I wish it has been longer and covered more authors, although as I said I think the choice of those included was good. I would like to read what the author thinks of people like Andre Norton, Robert Jordon, and George R.R. Martin. Maybe there's enough other dragon writers to do Dragons of Fantasy, volume 2? I'd buy it!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dragonlover May 15 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The chapter on Terry Pratchett is worth the whole cost of this book! Pratchett is my favorite writer and Anne Petty wrote one of the best explanations of what makes him funny and at the same time having genuine literary merit. The other chapters are just as good, especially the one on Tolkien which you would expect. I didn't even remember there was a dragon in the Sword of Truth books, but now I want to go back and reread the books that have Scarlet in them. New perspectives on old faves like McCaffrey, too. The Dragonology chapters are cool too.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how to get under a dragon's skin June 2 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Who would have thought there was so much to know about writing about dragons. This was an eye opener, no doubt. Best analysis of Rowling from a completely new angle. Excellent survey of dragons from ancient times to modern. Highly recommended.
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