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Books, origins

Dragons – Legend or Lore?

I received a copy of the book Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs in the mail and found the book to be slightly different than what I was expecting.  That’s not to say it was worse than I expected but different.  The book is more in line with the design and impression of books like Pirateology where they mix a coffee table book with elements from a pop-up book and a mock scrapbook.  The book is aimed at a younger age group (perhaps 9-15) though I did enjoy it.  It contains many items that you fold out or open (including two smaller “books” attached to the pages) even some removable items.  Of course due to this the pages are substantially thicker than most books.  This is to add to the durability of the book and add support to the pages.  This also limits the page count.  The book is between 3/8 and ½ inch thick and so the content is relatively light (though the fold out information does increase that quantity some what).

The essence of the book is that, for the most part, legends and lore of dragons are based in creatures we call dinosaurs.  Let me say this up front, you cannot explicitly prove the books main theory.  However, you cannot explicitly disprove it either.  The book presents some evidence in the form of pictures of cave drawings that, had you not known the source of the drawing you would assume were dinosaurs with people (perhaps drawn by children).  Another point I feel is valid that the book makes is that we find dragons listed among animals we know to actually exist.  For example there are many real animals in the Chinese zodiac along side the dragon but we are supposed to believe that the dragon is mythical because we don’t see it today.  That is not really logical especially considering we know species of animals do go extinct.

The book also points out the need to distinguish what is based in truth and what are the more legendary qualities of dragons.  For example, some legends have some dragons bringing good luck, others bringing bad luck.  This is obviously not possibly a true attribute of a living creature (much like a lucky rabbit’s foot isn’t lucky at all, especially for the rabbit it was attached to).

It’s an interesting theory and one that does make some sense.  And before you go saying, “Hey but dinosaurs died out millions of years ago.” remember that is what scientist used to say about the coelacanth.

I received the book from New Leaf Publishers for free for the purposes of this review.  The opinions are my own and are not influenced by the fact that it was provided at no charge.

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