On the Inheritance series (Eragon)

My Dragon, Myself

By Kelly McClymer

Confession time: I love dragons, and have since the first time I heard of the mythical creatures who liked to kidnap princesses and test the princes who would rescue them. Only the best, bravest, smartest–smartest was always the key–could beat the evil, ravening, blazing beasts and free the princess. This appealed to me, maybe because I loved to doodle and the only recognizable thing I could doodle was a princess: billowing triangulation for a base, round head with long flowing hair, stick arms, and a pair of slippers peeping out under the skirt. Easy peasy. I must have doodled a million princesses in my time in school. Occasionally I’d try a dragon (theoretically a snake with scales and wings, right?). But my artistic talent was limited, so I always went back to princesses.

I can’t remember when I first learned about dragons, but I recall they were all vicious, cranky creatures who were only good for starting forest fires and allowing brave princes to defeat them–the embodiment of evil that could not be reasoned with, as it were. It was Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon that clued me in that there was a side of the story I’d been missing. Maybe a few of those princesses had not wanted to be rescued? Maybe. It was hard to imagine at first, but there were other authors who had asked the question, and other stories for me to read that gave the dragon’s side of things. I teetered toward sympathy for dragons at  …

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