Not only does it have a ridiculously awesome cover, it's about dragons. For those of you in the know, I secretly love dragons (and a dragon makes a special appearance in my soon-to-be-released novel Virtue). It's in celebration of all things fire-breathing and bad-ass that Daniel came up with this fantastic guest blog.
Who is the Greatest Dragon?
Fantasy is full of these scaly, fire-breathing beasts. They are arguably the genre's most emblematic creature. But who is the greatest among them, the toughest and baddest?
Here I rank the world's top ten dragons from film, literature, and legend. (To be fair, I won't rank the dragons of my own creation – those who inhabit my novel Blood of Requiem – though they are pretty tough.)
Who wins the coveted number one slot? Read on to find out!
Hagrid's little dragon is just too cute to rank any higher. She does bite Ron Weasley's finger, which makes her somewhat tough, so she still gets a mention on the list. Hopefully Norbert (AKA Norberta) is still living happily in Romania.
This dragon from Eragon is like a loyal dog, or maybe a younger sister. Friendly, cute, and nice to have around. But not very threatening.
Eight: Pete's Dragon
At first glance, he's a harmless cartoon. He's goofy. He has purple hair. And he stars in a children's movie. How tough could he be? Well, tougher than he seems. He managed to fight off Pete's mean hillbilly relatives. He flew through a storm to kindle a lighthouse. And he became a hero to countless kids. You wouldn't want to mess with Pete's dragon.
Smrgol, from the animated film Flight of Dragons, is an even tougher cartoon dragon. He's old, battle-hardened, and wise. He also befriends a human named Peter – only this Pete is trapped in another dragon's body. Smrgol ends his life in an epic battle, managing to defeat the evil Ogre of Gormley Keep. Smrgol was definitely a tough, noble dragon.
Six: Daenerys's dragons
At this point in A Song of Ice and Fire (book five is not yet released), Daenerys's dragons are still small. But they show potential for growing big. Very big. Maybe even big enough to win the coveted Iron Throne. Right now, they're only ranked sixth, but they have potential for rising higher in the list in years to come.
He burninates the countryside. He's made of an S and a different S. He's hilarious to those who know him, utterly perplexing to those who don't. Maybe it's all those thatch roofs he burned. Maybe it's his beefy arm. Whatever the reason, he makes the Top Five for toughest dragons.
Perhaps the world's most famous dragon, Smaug influenced countless dragons who followed. He sits on a mountain of jewels and gold. He terrorizes hobbits and dwarves. He stars in a fantasy novel that changed the world. He's one mean dragon.
Takhisis has enchanted and terrified a generation of fantasy geeks. In her human form, she's a beautiful temptress. In her dragon form, she has five heads. She's also a goddess, powerful enough to torture Raistlin himself. Smaug might be tough, but Takhisis could probably kill him without breaking a sweat.
Two: St. George's Dragon
Painted, sculptured, illustrated -- St. George's dragon has inspired artists and storytellers for centuries. He is the ultimate dragon of legend. He's the granddaddy of all dragons. If even Shakespeare wrote about him, you know he's tough.
Falcor, the luckdragon from The Neverending Story, inspired a generation. Countless children in the 1980s gawked at this pink, doglike creature and dreamed of riding him. True, Falcor sometimes seemed more canine than dragonish. And true, despite his wisdom and pacifism, he's kind of a jerk at the end when he chases those kids into a garbage bin. But Falcor was more than just a dragon. In many ways, he defined a decade. Because the 1980s were like Falcor--they were pink, they were fluffy, and they were a flying doglike luckdragon. There's no denying it. For all his fluffiness, Falcor is a cultural icon, and he tops the list for greatest dragon.
For more information about Daniel Arenson, his dragon epic Blood of Requiem, any of his other fabulous fantasy novels, or writing tips, check out his website at: www.danielarenson.com