Tag Archives: Rankin/Bass Productions

A Return to Imagination with a Flight of Dragons

5 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

flight-of-dragons-book-cover

This book is available for those who know where to look.

Not since 30 years ago has there been a worthy look at the nomenclature of dragons. Author Peter Dickinson and illustrator Wayne Anderson crafted a brilliant book, A Flight of Dragons, that looks at the mythical origins of the creature and postulates how they may have evolved based on real life science.

Literary observation and historical research fills the pages. The read is like that of a textbook. Dickinson draws upon centuries of research from clerics to theologians to explore the habitat and biology of a dragon. In what he gleams from various novelists, especially from Tolkien to McCaffrey, the ideas presented here read like something Charles Darwin would write.

Some readers might liken this work to that of On the Origin of Species. The prose is sometimes difficult to read, and reading this book is nothing like the Book of Dragons, as penned by a youthful Hiccup in the animated series How to Train Your Dragon. In the novels, Fishlegs is responsible for chronicling what they discover. His version gives stats and descriptions alongside illustrations. In Dickinson’s version, the drawings are phenomenally detailed. It’s doubtful that Hiccup will ever dissect a beast just to explain how the digestion system works.

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