Saturday, 23 March 2013

MYTHS AND LEGENDS: Dragonslayers: From Beowulf to Saint George - Joseph McCullough, Peter Dennis

Release Date: 06/03/13
Publisher:  Osprey Adventures


With its fiery breath, scaly armour, and baleful, malevolent stare, the dragon became the ultimate symbol of evil and corruption in European folklore and mythology. Often serving as a stand-in for Satan, or the power of evil gods, dragons spread death and hopelessness throughout the land. Only heroes of uncommon valour, courageousness, and purity could hope to battle these monsters and emerge victorious. Those that did became legends. They became dragonslayers. The list of dragonslayers is small, but it is filled with great and legendary names. Hercules, Beowulf, Sigurd, and Saint George all battled to the death with dragons. Other heroes such as Cadmus, founder of the city of Thebes, Dieudonne de Gozon, the Knight of Rhodes, and the Russian warrior Dobrynya Nikitich might be less well known to western readers, but also fought and defeated dragons. This book retells the greatest legends of this select group of warriors, while examining the myth of the dragonslayer in historical, mythological, and even theological contexts.


I’ve been a fan of Osprey for quite some time. I love the way that they bring beautiful artwork to historical knowledge giving the reader the chance to see as well as read all about the key points that have helped shape the world of today. So when I heard about them bringing out their own books of Myths and Legends I was quietly sat there hoping that the care and attention that they brought to the history would also be brought to this new series.

I really shouldn’t have worried. Within this book the reader gets cracking Dragon Slaying stories from Beowulf to Saint George as well as illustrations that will take your breath away. It has an authoritive writing style, some wonderful research and all round makes this a book that you will enjoy dipping into time and again making this a wonderful title to share with younger readers.

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