Top Books with Dragons in Them

Dragons are the characters, so to say, that make most fantasy books good. Basically, you cannot have an amazing fantasy book in your hands if it does not have at least one dragon in it – of course, there are some exceptions.

The first dragon in literature appeared in Argonautica, by Apollonius of Rhodes. There was a dragon guarding the golden fleece and another one whose teeth could be sown like seed in order to make an army grow.

Even though some sources suggest that the Book of Job has literature’s first dragon, that fact is still under discussion, so to say, given the fact that the so-called dragon is actually a leviathan, which is a sea monster.

Now that we know where we can find the first dragon, let’s take a look at some of the best books which have the best dragons in them!

  • Dragonsbane, by Barbara Hambly

As its name suggests, Dragonsbane has a dragon in it! The book tells the story of a young prince that has to join forces with an aged warrior and an almost-witch in order to defeat the dragon that stalks his kingdom.

Given that Barbara Hambly is one of New York Times’ bestselling author, we can surely expect a breathtaking story of a fire-breathing dragon and a team of three heroes trying to take it down.

  • The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley

Aerin, despite being the daughter of a king, is also the daughter of a rumored witch. Therefore, she is an outcast in the king’s court, so to say.

What’s special about her is that she is in the possession of a dragon-fire-proof ointment. As fates collide, there happens to be a marauding dragon through the kingdom and, since our heroine has nothing better to do, she takes her father’s old warhorse and rides toward a battle with what we’ll find out to be the last of the great dragons.

  • His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik

If you thought that history is boring, then Naomi Novik has the perfect ingredient to change that exact thing – obviously, it’s dragons.

The story takes place during the Napoleonic Wars, when captain Will Laurence, instead of fighting for victory and a better tomorrow, is faced with a dragon coming to life from an unhatched egg.

In no time, he befriends the dragon and joins the world of the Aerial Corps – also known as dragon riders. Naturally, Captain Laurence and his dragon, named Temeraire, must prepare for the battle with France’s dragon riders as they try to land on British soil.

A great mixture of history and fantasy which contains one of the best elements out there – dragons, as well as dragon riders.

  • Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Besides an amazing display of fantasy, keep in mind that Terry Pratchett is also one of the masters of humor in literature.

Therefore, it’s no wonder that in Guards! Guards! we’ll enter a world where noble dragons, believed to be extinct, come back to life – well, actually just one of them. As all things must follow their natural path, this noble dragon is soon crowned King of the land.

The local order now has to be restored by the City Watch – this means a lot of magic as well as stopping a marauding dragon.

The Bottom Line

Naturally, the list could go on and on – we didn’t even mention Smaug or the dragons in A Song of Ice and Fire, assuming that you are quite familiar with those already.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of good books with dragons in them – above was our list of some of the best out there, however. Even if you manage to read all of these in record time, you will still have what to choose from afterward.

 

History Is Not Boring if You Would Dare to Read These Books

Remember those history classes in school, when you would fall asleep with the head on your desk and start drooling? You can safely say those times weren’t the best, and your distaste for history might have grown stronger. And let’s be honest, even if you’re someone who enjoys reading a good book every now and then, you find history books repulsive.

We all read books that we love and find entertaining, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But as much as you avoid history ones, you should know they’re not all full of years that you need to memorize or all lectures. There are books that simply go like a normal story would, and those are automatically more interesting than you think. Here are some books which won’t bore you to death, and will actually give you a new take on history.

  1. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Do you want to read something history-related that’s mixed up with some humor too? Then what better way to accomplish that than by reading Sarah Vowell’s “Assassination Vacation”? This book covers an era in American history when political crimes were taking place and being totally manipulated by the media.

Basically, this book contains lots of true stories from American history, where the author is trying to look into the crimes that took place and the hypocrisy in them. Aside from that, she makes sure to sprinkle some humor to make it more enjoyable.

  1. The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford

It’s not usual to see a lot of stuff about the Mongol Empire in history lectures, but this book makes up for it, so you’d better seize the opportunity. This book goes in depth about the empire, and how they had a big influence on governments in China and Europe.

Just make sure you are not too sensitive, or you’re at least into rather violent stuff because this book doesn’t sugarcoat everything. All that happened will be explained just how it went, including brutal scenes. But maybe this is what makes this book so interesting – the amount of new stuff you find out, combined with the shock value.

  1. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

Did it ever occur to you that maybe the history you’ve learned at school is cleaned up? Not everything you’re being told in school is true, sadly, and some of the most important parts in American history may be left out. But with this book, you don’t have to worry about that. It will tell you all you need to know that hasn’t crossed your mind before, helping you become more knowledgeable and aware of what took place. If you want to find out truths, not lies, you’d better read it. It has a bonus too: it’s way more entertaining than your history teacher.

  1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

If you want to find out more about World War II, this book is the chance. It focuses on two French sisters as they are trying to survive and live happily during the occupation from Germans. Like this situation wasn’t enough, the older sister, Vianne, is already suffering after her husband was captured, and now she has to take care of herself and a child too.

In the meantime, the younger sister, Isabelle, joins the French Resistance and does a great job at making plans against Germans. This is how she earns the name “Nightingale”. Make sure you read this book if you want a mix of history and an entertaining story.

In case you want books that are way more compelling than your average history class, then don’t hesitate to try out these books. They’re great sources of entertainment and information.

So, you finally interested in some history facts but this book is no enough for you? Go check those change over time essays they as interesting as all those books.

The Song of Roland

The epic poem ‘The Song of Roland’ demonstrates chivalry in many scenes. 1This type of chivalry antecedes the earlier ideas of a code of conduct that is highly conventionalized for lovers in the middle age. Subsequently, these ideas have influenced people’s perspective on the term chivalry. 2The poem dies not explore relationships (i.e. romantic relationships) between middle-aged men and women. The poet barely mentions his wife in the poem. He only reveals her name and hardly gives further information about Aude who is his wife. The principles of chivalry in this concept present an error that appears warlike.

Evidently, ‘The Song of Roland’ documents the code of chivalry presented in the middle ages, particularly during the Era of Emperor William who conquered England. The poem describes the knights as well as battles of the 8th century, which Emperor William fought. Often, people refer to this kind of chivalry as Charlemagne’s Code of Chivalry. The concepts of this form of chivalry are emphasized further through swearing oaths during Knighthood ceremonies. Apparently, these oaths were sacred and aligned with the codes and ideals of chivalry that emphasized o conduct and etiquette.

The relationship between Ronald and Oliver seems to be more important than that with his wife. Equality plus companionship is portrayed among men only. It is easy to infer that Aude and Roland hardly spent time together.

2The Code of Chivalry as described in The Song of Roland, include fearing God while maintaining His Church as holy as possible. Besides, it highlights the need to protect those who are perceived as weak or defenseless.

  1. Baldwin, James, and R B Birch. The Story of Roland. Yesterday’s Classics, 2006.
  2. Song of Roland. n.d.

1The poem emphasizes on courageous honor against cowardice and betrayal. For instance, Saracen issues a fair warning to Charlemagne contrary to the cowardly treachery on both Massillon as well as Ganelon. From these revelations, the Knights were influenced to be courageous on the battlefield (Song of Roland n.d.).

2This poem has a vibrant punch and significant influence to people. Its simplicity and style revolve around the powerful historical background. ‘The Song of Roland’ demonstrates that people often pervert the knight’s chivalry code whey they try to describe various concepts that make it right. From this song, the Knights began to believe that the rightness of a thing is determined by its strength. Besides, they believed that God sides with individuals who were physically strong during a fight. These barbaric practices were ‘worshipped’ by the knights especially during the times of war. 3However, it is clear that this form of chivalric ideas emphasizes on the notion that the might of a thing determines its rightfulness. People began to view God simplistically as the primary Supreme Being that could settle disputes during martial encounters. For instance, it was only God who would decide whether a particular combatant would die on the battlefield or live. Even though this code of chivalry appears as an abdication that is misguided, it still values ethical morals that do not justify the causes of hacking up enemies.

 

  1. Brault, Gerard J. Song of Roland: An Analytical Edition: Interaction and Commentary. Penn State Press, 2010.
  2. Song of Roland. n.d.
  3. Harrison, Robert. The Song of Roland. 2002.

Although the Christians believed they were fighting for God, this poem reveals that the notion was purely unspiritual. 1The Knights began to expect reverence during French Crusades. They began to use God as a platform for swearing oaths and directing their laments. Additionally, they started to pray to God for help and victory during battles. Emperor Charlemagne, while fighting is Spain, prays to God only for success and victory. One will agree that the knits were influenced by the Emperor’s cause as revealed in the poem. It is needless to say that the allegiance of the poem is Christian. The theology of this poem influences the knights to treat Christianity with sanity and respect. The characters in this song do not engage in worships or Saint invocations. People became as pervasive as Charlemagne’s peers who could be compared to the Apostles of Christ.

2Given the sensitivity of the knights towards the Chivalry code, one cannot ignore the genocidal practices of the army alongside their questionable morality during a war. The Knights refer to this type as ‘Holy War.’ They began to convert pagans and non-Christians using death threats. This poem influences the ill-treatments plus demonization practices that the Knights endorsed on Muslims. Slowly, it has developed to unabashed xenophobia, which is evident even in the attitude of people. Few are people remained thoughtful about their democratic cultures. The pervasiveness shown in these attitudes helps to identify and explain the inconsistency that has never been resolved between the knights and the chanson author.

 

  1. Brault, Gerard J. Song of Roland: An Analytical Edition: Interaction and Commentary. Penn State Press, 2010.
  2. Song of Roland. n.d.

1The poem also influenced the Knights to decry particular prejudices while celebrating other forms of prejudice. The followers of the Medieval French became disgusted at the Knights for murdering innocent people at the battlefield. 2With their prodding culture, they selected vices they could tolerate while hating others. The entertainment purveyors in this song insisted on frosting cakes with guilty pleasures. 3Some people who could not excuse certain vices in this poem chose to look past the vices and emphasize on virtues. Other people do not understand the background of the poem. However, they continued to value adrenalized power through narration and actions revealed in the song.

Sartre’s Ideas on Freedom

Jean-Paul Sartre is a philosopher who is widely known for his contribution to existentialist philosophy. Sartre was born in the year 1905 and was brought up in Paris. He ventured into philosophy when he was still a teenager. His interest in writing was triggered by a renowned author, Henri Bergson, through reading some of his work. As such, Sartre studied philosophy in his higher studies thus becoming one of the renowned existentialism philosophers. Apart from philosophy, Sartre was also engaging in literally writing and therefore authored several books before his death. In addition, he practiced teaching in different schools both inside and out of Paris (Mészáros, 2012). Numerous philosophers have discussed existentialism thus eliciting debates as to who is right. As such, this paper focuses on Sartre’s concepts and how they relate to freedom.

One of Sartre’s most intriguing philosophical works is the philosophy of freedom. In the modern world, freedom is a fundamental aspect and therefore no contention. On the other hand, Sartre has redefined freedom thus placing in the existential framework. According to Sartre, human beings are condemned to freedom and he, therefore, states, “Man is condemned to freedom.” in his works, Sartre has discussed the meaning of freedom. For instance, in his first novel, The Nausea Sartre brings out the notion of freedom as existence. As such, existence is freedom and humans are free since they exist. This idea is brought out through one of the novel characters (Roquentin) who sees his existence as freedom. As such, Roquentin argues that there is nothing to hold him back from doing what he wants and therefore free (Sartre, 2012).

In his work, Being and Nothingness, Sartre has further divided the aspect of existence in two forms to bring out his meaning of freedom. The two forms include the consciousness and the non-consciousness of the being. According to Sartre, freedom is a key ingredient in determining the consciousness of humans. Consequently, both freedom and consciousness are linked and therefore dependent on each other. As such, Sartre concludes that since humans are simply existent they are therefore free. From this concept, he indicates that humans cannot fail to be free because it would only mean they do not exist anymore. Using his theory of consciousness, Sartre argues that consciousness means freedom because there are no motives that influence the actions of consciousness as well as the ability of consciousness to choose its motives as it desires (Sartre, 2012). These ideas are attributed to the ability of consciousness to be conscious of something (object or subject).

In the modern world, freedom is defined as the ability to make choices following ones wish. However, Sartre redefines freedom as the ability to wish for what someone desires. Ultimately, freedom has no limits because as longs as someone has the consciousness to wish, they are free regardless of whether they achieve their wishes or not (Detmer, 2013). Sartre’s opinion contradicts the modern world concept of freedom in that, freedom has limits. However, when Sartre says that freedom is limitless he does not imply that people can do whatever they want, at any given time. The meaning of Sartre’s opinion is that people are free to make choices regarding their actions and desires. For instance, a person who is in prison has limitless freedom in that he has the ability to choose whether to stay or escape from the prison. As such, Sartre concludes that the person’s freedom is limitless regardless of the lack of physical freedom. According to Sartre, some people lead unfulfilling lives, not because of the inequities in this world but because of the choices they make or fail to make (Churchill & Reynolds, 2014).

Sartre has also attributed the limitless freedom to the fact that there is nothing that restricts humans as they make their choices. In his view, there is no formula of how people should lead their lives. Consequently, people have the responsibility of defining their lives however they want as well as the choices they make. Apart from lack of a formula of life, Sartre indicates that there is no God and therefore nothing to give humans a purpose. Consequently, lack of purpose in life condemns humans to a limitless form of freedom, which he refers to as “anguish of freedom.” As such, Sartre argues that humans are solely responsible for giving purpose and meaning to their lives (Churchill & Reynolds, 2014).

The concept of freedom in the modern world is different from what Sartre has described and therefore creates room for criticism. In the modern world, different aspects that give their lives purpose and hence limit their freedom guide people. As much as humans are free to make choices that meet their heart desires, they have to consider several things before they make their choices. For instance, many people are believers of different supernatural beings including God and Allah (Detmer, 2013). Consequently, they have to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs and hence have limited choices than those who do not believe in these beings. Apart from that, the society has a way of giving purpose to people’s lives. The issues of morality and ethics are found in most societies and hence the establishment of rules and regulations. Consequently, people living within certain societies have to abide by the set regulations and hence limitations in their freedom.

In conclusion, Sartre has described freedom in different ways some of which correspond to the postmodern concepts of freedom. However, some of his ideas are contentious and therefore form a basis for criticism. To begin with, Sartre talks of limitless freedom. In the modern world, however, freedom cannot be limitless, as Sartre wants people to believe. In his arguments, Sartre has omitted important aspects that revolve around the life of an individual (Detmer, 2013). For instance, when he talks about the absolute responsibility of consequences following one’s choices, he does not explain at what time of an individual’s lifetime that this responsibilities start. As well, the concepts do not consider the society in which an individual is born. Despite all these omissions, Sartre’s ideas can be defended by arguing that they were conceived after the world wars when humans were broken. As such, it was easier to believe there is no God for if He were there, he would have prevented the happenings of the world wars. However, in the modern world, not only religion but also laws and regulations as well as societal expectations govern humans. It is therefore difficult to embrace the philosophy of existentialism.

The Bomb by Theodore Tailor

The Bomb by Theodore Tailor is a work of fiction that portrays events that happen on an island called Bikini Atoll. The book is set in 1944 when the US military started testing atomic bombs on Bikini Atoll which is part of Ralik Islands. During the time the Bikini Atoll has been secured by Japanese soldiers since invading it in 1942. However, American soldiers want to invade the island so as to take control over it. They forcefully relocate the inhabitants of the island. However, the protagonist, Sorry, and his uncle Abram are against this move by the American soldiers. What follows is a tug of war between American forces who want to test nuclear bombs and Abram and Sorry who want to protect the island. The book has powerful themes and stylistic devices. Three of these stylistic devices will be discussed in this essay; metaphor, tone, and symbolism.

Symbolism is portrayed in the novel through a variety of ways. The author uses the protagonist’s name, Sorry to portray the deplorable state of affair that befall Bikini Atoll Island (Theodore 2). Moreover, the name also serves as a condolence message from the author to the readers since the author kills the protagonist at the end of the novel after the reader got to make an attachment with the protagonist throughout the novel. Another symbolism through the naming of characters is how the author give Sorry’s uncle the name of Abram (Theodore 2). This could symbolize Abram’s faith in doing the right thing and protecting the island from military occupation. The symbolism comes from a biblical allusion to the story of Abraham who was previously known as Abram and who was considered the father of faith. The name of the island, Bikini Atoll symbolizes the serene nature of the island where the story is set. It serves to show how the island was a detached paradise and sanctuary before things became turbulent when the Japanese soldiers invaded it and when the United States military came to reconquer back the island. American soldiers in the book symbolize the war propaganda that had been spreading prior to unleashing of the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945. The atomic bomb in the book is also used as a symbol. It serves to show the unstoppable and uncontrollable problems and dangers that people often encounter. The shark scars on Abram serve to show healing after encountering accidents. It furthermore shows the remainders of problems even after confrontations ebb low. The target fleet in the book symbolizes the power that American government wields. Sorry’s love for his little sister symbolizes how human extend their selves into those close to them. Lastly, when Sorry returns to the island, it shows how one person can be powerless when pitted against an organization.

The use of metaphor is extensively employed in the book. For example, when the author uses the word Bikini Atoll to describe the island where the book is set in, he made a direct comparison to the way the island is beautiful and relaxed. This shows how the pace of life is slow just like it is on many islands of small sizes. Moreover, it shows how detached the island is from the rest of the world just like the way real Atolls are detached. This is exemplified by the scenario where Sorry is amazed to see large cities on the Japanese soldiers’ magazine. Another metaphor was the name Sorry. Since the author was present on the island during the actual bomb testing and evacuation of island’s inhabitants, he uses the name as an apology to the people of the island since he was among the Americans who evacuated the inhabitants.

The book has been delivered through several tones. The most pronounced tone, however, is resourcefulness. The book carries a remorseful tone of a war veteran who saw it only fit to tell the public about the affairs that happen on the Bikini Atoll Island when the Americans evacuated people and bombed the island during its testing. The author was part of a naval group of the United States whose mission was to perform nuclear bomb test on the Pacific island. The author presents his remorse by showing how the island’s natives suffered. This suffering was through how the United States soldiers mistreated the natives inhabitants. The soldiers even raped the women of the island. This is evidenced when the author shows us a glimpse into Sorry’s mind when he was contemplating of the reaction he would take were the soldiers to rape his little sister. Another apology that the author makes through the book was the fact that the people who fought the vile act of the nuclear bomb testing all suffered fatal ends. An example is Sorry’s uncle who died of a heart attack in the midst of accomplishing his plans to save the island. Another hero who died while trying to save the island was Sorry and several other people including his grandfather. Moreover, several other people were killed by the bomb and those that survived died of starvation since they were not relocated. In addition to that, those people that returned to the island years later suffered radiation poisoning from the remnants of the elements of the bomb. The author conveys this message of remorse in his apologetic description of the above occurrences. Another tone that the author used to deliver the message is violence. The author makes use of a violent tone to show the brutal nature that the islanders lived in before and after the Japanese and American inhabited the island. This has been achieved by the description of how sharks mauled people and how people were dying in the second world war. Moreover, the author uses a violent tone to describe how Sorry felt when he said that he would pick up the axe were his family to be threatened.      The book ends in violent crescendo when the bomb explodes and with Sorry and his comrades.

Conclusion

The novel, the bomb serves its purpose of its readers an intimate perspective on the effects of nuclear testing on Bikini Atolls in the 1940s. Through the incorporation of different stylistic and literally devices such as tone, metaphor, and symbolism to show how the author felt about the nuclear testing affair. The author used symbolism mostly in the naming of the characters and geographical setting of the story. He also symbolizes some of the characters who wanted to emancipate the island with the characters in The Bible. He uses metaphor too in the naming of people. In conclusion, he uses tone to create an atmosphere of remorse and violence.