Fantasy / YA

13 Books like Eragon

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Christopher’s Paolini’s fantasy quadrilogy has tantalised readers with dragons, myth, and adventure since 2002. So where is the best place to find a similar cocktail? There are so many fantasy books out there, and working out your next read is no easy feat. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. Check out our list of fiery fiction if you loved Eragon.

1. The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm, by Christopher Paolini

Published in 2018, this trio of short stories is the first book in the series Tales of Alagaësia. With a mixture of new and established characters, the stories loosely follow the challenges faced by Eragon and his companion as they build a new home for the Dragon Riders. While many fans found the brevity of this eagerly awaited project disappointing, The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm is certainly worth a read if you are invested in Paolini’s characters and want to know how they’re doing.

2. Ezaara: Riders of Fire, by Aileen Mueller

This tale can be enjoyed by dragon-lovers of all ages and is absolutely unputdownable. Ezaara is a fantasy coming-of-age story of an ignorant and competitive girl with healing skills. Stolen away by Zaarusha, Queen of the dragons, Ezaara develops a deep bond with the dragon. As her chosen rider, she is flung headfirst into the heart of a political nightmare. Although she was raised in the faraway and superstitious backwater of Lush Valley, Ezaara soon discovers she has more ties to her new home than she knows.

Written by the two-time winner of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, Ezaara is filled with an intoxicating combination of betrayal, political intrigue, and monsters. Ezaara is forced to take charge of her own destiny and will utterly charm you, pulling you into her heart-pounding adventure until you reach the final page.

3. The Last Wish, by Andrzej Sapkowski

Assassin, outcast, and freak Geralt of Rivia is the mysterious and powerful force of nature who takes care of the monsters lurking in the woods. Known as the White Wolf, Geralt travels through his world on horseback, trying to avoid getting involved with human affairs… until he inevitably does just that.

Now a multi-award winning video game and Netflix show starring Henry Cavill, The Last Wish is part of The Witcher series and has amassed a huge following over the years. With silver swords, violent sorcery, and feuds at every corner, Sapkowski’s universe is dark and intricately designed. The novel’s fantastic mix of brooding and angry characters proves time and time again that true monsters often hide behind fair faces. A completely different type of fantasy with a refreshing take on morality and monsters, The Last Wish is the perfect gateway into The Witcher universe.

4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkein

The original fantasy series, Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings has been inspiring fantasy writers for decades. In print since 1937, this unforgettable classic is a must-read for fantasy fans.

The Hobbit describes the tale of Bilbo Baggins, a peaceful hobbit who loves his comfortable life and has no desire to travel. But when a tall wizard named Gandalf and a band of hungry dwarfs arrive on his doorstep and demand his services as a burglar, Bilbo’s life is forever changed. Told like a bedtime story, Bilbo’s perilous journey to a fearsome dragon’s treasure-hoard continues to inspire readers today and is one of the most beloved books of all time.

5. His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik

If you fancy reading about dragons, albeit in a less traditional setting, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series may be exactly what you are searching for. His Majesty’s Dragon follows the global adventures of Captain William Laurence and his dragon as they fight for Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. At sea since the age of 12, Laurence has risen through the ranks of the Royal Navy, earned society’s esteem, secured the hand of a beautiful fiancé, and has a glowing future waiting for him. But as the war takes a turn for the worst, Laurence captures a French ship carrying unexpected cargo: a dragon egg. Properly trained, it could overturn their fortune, but it will take everything Laurence has worked so hard to build.

Novik spins an alternative version of military history with HMD that has wowed readers including Stephen King and Peter Jackson. The unusual combination of sentient dragons and ships works surprisingly well, but the main focus of the book is the bond between the naive dragon and its proud rider.

6. A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan

Lady Isabella Trent reflects on her days as a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation and fragile body to satisfy her scientific curiosity. The now-illustrious figure was once a passionate bookworm, who stifled the conventions of the day in pursuit of something that would change the world forever.

Avoiding the melodrama of books set in the Victorian era, the narrator’s wit and sarcasm makes this book hilarious and truly extraordinary. Complete with gorgeous illustrations, Lady Trent’s memoir challenges gender stereotypes and offers a unique perspective of dragons as a rare subject of scientific importance. Considered “superb in every regard” by Christopher Paolini, this novel has placed Marie Brennan in the top flight of sci-fi/fantasy authors.

7. The Rage of Dragons, by Evan Winter

One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, Evan Winter’s novel raises the bar for first time authors. The Rage of Dragons is a Zulu-inspired fantasy whose characters have been ensnared in the jaws of an unwinnable war for centuries. Some of the Omehi people are lucky and can summon dragons, while others can transform into even more menacing monsters. Everyone else is just cannon fodder.

Tau Tafari wants a better life, but his plans crumble when those closest to him are savagely butchered. From that moment, rage takes over him. Tau will die a thousand times to enact his revenge by becoming the greatest swordsman to ever live. His story is tragic but fast-paced, with many twists along the way. Winter’s novel has been labelled “a visceral and bloody masterpiece,” by fellow author David Dalglish and it will leave you breathless.

8. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of A Game of Thrones. George R.R. Martin’s series is an international bestseller and is considered one of the most addictive series ever written, if not the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. Martin’s epic follows several courts as they ultimately battle to become ruler of the seven kingdoms. But while the wheel of fortune turns, sinister and supernatural forces are awakening in the tundra beyond the northern wall.

A concoction of political tension, sex, and murder, Martin will cleave away the characters you hold most dear and shock you repeatedly with plot twists. The novel’s characters are complex and original, and its pages ooze betrayal, victory, terror, and tragedy as mortal enemies must stand together in a time of grim omens.

9. Ascendent, by Michael R Miller

Holt Cook is a kitchen pot wash, never meant to be a dragon rider. But when Holt discovers how the dragons treat their most vulnerable, he cannot stand by and watch innocent dragons being senselessly destroyed. When he steals an egg, he vows to protect the blind dragon within it. However, as the Scourge rises, undead hordes poison and decimate the land, slaughtering dragon riders as they go. If Holt is to survive, he must harness the unique energy of his dragon and prove that true strength often lies beneath the surface. Ascendent combines the best of Eragon and Pern with the hard magic of Brandon Sanderson and Will Wight.

10. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina is a New York Times bestseller and Morris Award-winning debut. Set in the medieval land of Goredd, the novel offers an original take on dragons. Portrayed as intelligent creatures, dragons are capable of doing trigonometry and folding into human form, yet emotions baffle them completely.

Beginning at the 40-year anniversary of Goredd’s peace treaty with the nation of dragons, Seraphina follows the tale of a woman with remarkable musical gifts and a secret ancestry of both dragons and humans. When a murder is discovered, Seraphina and her accomplices try to expose the truth behind the attack and prevent the onset of a new war. Hartman’s writing contains a plethora of multi-dimensional characters and carries a message of acceptance; not only of others but of yourself. 

11. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Published in 1968, Le Guin’s novel was the Harry Potter of another generation. Hailed by the likes of Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman, this coming of age story follows the journey of Ged as he navigates a world of magic. But when Ged attempts spells beyond his means, he accidentally unleashes a fearsome and menacing force on the world. The only one who can destroy it, Ged must travel to the farthest corners of Earthsea and learn some powerful lessons along the way.

This bildungsroman features wizards, dragons, and terrifying shadows, but it also tackles much larger philosophical themes. With her rich and honey-like prose, Le Guin shows the reader how important it is to give something back to the world that we take so much from. A Wizard of Earthsea is an ageless and thought provoking novel that will have you contemplating life, mortality, and who we really are as human beings.

12. Dragonsbane, by Barbara Hambly

A traditional fantasy adventure to get your teeth stuck into, Dragonsbane is the first installment in the Winterlands quartet. When the capital of Bel is seized by the Black Dragon, young Gareth sets out to find the only living dragon slayer, Sir John. On arrival Gareth also meets Jenny, a half-taught sorceress, and together the three strike a bargain: they will kill the dragon if the king agrees to rid their home of bandits. But when they reach the Empire, nothing is as expected and the dragon may well be the least of their troubles.

What makes this series stand out is the age of Jenny and John. Instead of a typical coming-of-age story, Hambly’s characters are full of regret, having never achieved their lifelong dreams. But despite these gloomy themes, the novel is a whirlwind adventure full of joy and hope, and offers that pure sugar-coated escapism that all fantasy fans hunger for.

13. The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

A prophecy dictates that as long as Inys is ruled by the house of Berethnet, the ungodly monster beneath the sea shall sleep. To ensure her land’s safety, Queen Sabran IX must conceive a daughter to avoid this terrible fate. But with assassins hiding in every shadow, she must summon protection if she is to stand a chance. Meanwhile beyond the abyss, a dragonrider in the East must overcome disgrace and disaster to save the life of her dragon, and potentially the world.

If you want a feminist successor to The Lord of the Rings, this is it. Narrated by four intriguing characters, The Priory of the Orange Tree is the Bridgerton of the dragon-fantasy genre. Complete with mages, anti-heroes, secret societies, and LGBTQ themes, this story takes place within a matriarchal society and is unlike any other novel in this trope. Its rich and diverse world is utterly captivating and achieves everything it sets out to, delivering romance, political tension, and treachery in a way that will keep you guessing throughout its 800 pages.

About Author

When she is not writing, Tori spends her time flying around the skies of Europe as a pilot. She has a BA in English and loves to read sci-fi and historical fiction.

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