Review: In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’mor and M Carine

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Cover for In Search of Lost DragonsAn intrepid traveler sets out to explore the world and document the remaining dragons In Search of Lost Dragons. The book takes the form of multiple entries in the traveler’s journal, complete with pasted-in photographs, sketches, handwritten notes, official documents, and, above all, full or double-page paintings of the dragons themselves.

The written part of the book contains charming oddments of manufactured folklore in the areas the traveler visits and accounts of some of the people he meets along the way. He also gives verbal descriptions of the different dragons, often stressing their “nobility” and grace, although on occasion he also mentions “cruelty.” The traveler himself is generally in a daze, awed by what he sees, wondering why he is now seeing these dragons and, on occasion, questioning his sanity. He continues onward in all cases, gamely recording the sightings.

The main attraction of the book, the reason someone might buy it and leave it out on a table for people to page through, is the paintings. Élian Black’mor and M Carine have, between them, imagined dragons for every climate and element and in all sizes. There are water dragons, wind dragons, fire dragons, and unicorn dragons. They live in marshes, oceans, volcanoes, and caves. They curve gracefully through the sky, wings spread fully, or sit meditatively, holding their wings up in full view of their audience. They are beautiful, colorful creatures bent on showing themselves to their best advantage. They are all recognizably related, fierce creatures with jagged profiles and long, graceful tales. Although the traveler comments on possible oriental ancestry for a few, they are largely in the western tradition: Winged, lizard-like, and fierce-looking.

In Search of Lost Dragons is recommended for the dragon-lovers and those who enjoy paging through books admiring the artwork.

In Search of Lost Dragons is available now, in multiple formats.

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