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The Dragon Keeper's Handbook: Including the Myth & Mystery, Care & Feeding, Life & Lore of These Fiercely Splendid Creatures

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Here be Dragons... Not the slavering, whimsical monsters from childhood fancies, but real Dragons--fierce, complex, wondrous, and wild. They do not require our belief; they never have. With hard science and myth, empirical wisdom, and original line drawings, The Dragon Keeper's Handbook is the draconic enchiridion for the modern world, providing everything you need to know Here be Dragons... Not the slavering, whimsical monsters from childhood fancies, but real Dragons--fierce, complex, wondrous, and wild. They do not require our belief; they never have. With hard science and myth, empirical wisdom, and original line drawings, The Dragon Keeper's Handbook is the draconic enchiridion for the modern world, providing everything you need to know about these extraordinary beings. From disparate theories of Dragon evolution and the golden geometry of their form to modern conservation efforts and how to release a well-weaned orphan back into the wild, this book answers all your questions, even those you didn't know to ask. From awe-inspiring Cosmic Creators to wee pisuhands guarding hearth and home, discover the habits and habitats of Dragons and pseudo-dragons both familiar and rare. The Dragon Keeper's Handbook shows us how human and Dragon lives are bound together and why Dragons are now and ever-will-be relevant: In their wildness lie lessons for us all.


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Here be Dragons... Not the slavering, whimsical monsters from childhood fancies, but real Dragons--fierce, complex, wondrous, and wild. They do not require our belief; they never have. With hard science and myth, empirical wisdom, and original line drawings, The Dragon Keeper's Handbook is the draconic enchiridion for the modern world, providing everything you need to know Here be Dragons... Not the slavering, whimsical monsters from childhood fancies, but real Dragons--fierce, complex, wondrous, and wild. They do not require our belief; they never have. With hard science and myth, empirical wisdom, and original line drawings, The Dragon Keeper's Handbook is the draconic enchiridion for the modern world, providing everything you need to know about these extraordinary beings. From disparate theories of Dragon evolution and the golden geometry of their form to modern conservation efforts and how to release a well-weaned orphan back into the wild, this book answers all your questions, even those you didn't know to ask. From awe-inspiring Cosmic Creators to wee pisuhands guarding hearth and home, discover the habits and habitats of Dragons and pseudo-dragons both familiar and rare. The Dragon Keeper's Handbook shows us how human and Dragon lives are bound together and why Dragons are now and ever-will-be relevant: In their wildness lie lessons for us all.

30 review for The Dragon Keeper's Handbook: Including the Myth & Mystery, Care & Feeding, Life & Lore of These Fiercely Splendid Creatures

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tom Kepler

    Reference books must fulfill two primary functions: they must be useful and useable. A third can probably be added for our favorite reference books: they must be enjoyable. The Dragon Keeper's Handbook, by Shawn MacKenzie, fulfills all three requirements, being full of wisdom and whimsey. Some reference books provide the reader special information, though, available nowhere else. Sherlock Holmes was a real detective, and Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle was his agent, shielding the detective and Watson from Reference books must fulfill two primary functions: they must be useful and useable. A third can probably be added for our favorite reference books: they must be enjoyable. The Dragon Keeper's Handbook, by Shawn MacKenzie, fulfills all three requirements, being full of wisdom and whimsey. Some reference books provide the reader special information, though, available nowhere else. Sherlock Holmes was a real detective, and Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle was his agent, shielding the detective and Watson from the public. William Baring-Gould's The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, provides more than ample information to substantiate Holmes's life and times. Lord Greystoke, known to most as Tarzan, was also a living person--sensationalized by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The definitive biography of Lord Greystoke, Tarzan Alive, by Philip Jose Farmer, chronicles the life of this great man in detail. And dragons are real, as is documented in Shawn MacKenzie's delightful account, The Dragon Keeper's Handbook, which includes "the myth and mystery, care and feeding, life and lore of these fiercely splendid creatures." Adding to the delight of MacKenzie's content are the interior illustrations by artist Don Higgins. Some may argue that Holmes and Tarzan are the products of writers' imaginations and that dragons are only real in the mythic world. How fortunate we are that writers provide us the opportunity to enjoy and learn truth from myth and legend, and not just the truth of "facts." "Thank the gods there are Dragons, or we'd surely have to invent them. And what a tall order that would be, to fashion out of whole cloth such fiercely splendid creatures! Such wild guardians and sage counselors, champions of sky, earth, and sea!" As a word guy, my first joy was to come across and learn new words, such as cryptoherpetology, which means "Secret Serpent Science, Remarkable Reptile Research, and Dragon Studies. The field for serious dracophiles. Cryptoherpetology also covers such non-dragons as the cockatrice, chimera, and a wide variety of water beings who fall in that grey area between fish and reptile." The organization of the book is as follows: Part I: From Tooth to Tail: The Natural History of Dragons Part II: The Long and Winding Road: Dragons' March Through Millennia Part III: The Care and Feeding of Dragons From this reference text I gained a great deal of information regarding True Dragons and false dragons that was only hazy to me before. I also acquired information on the history of our planet and its cultures around the world, couched in the delightful perspective of dragon evolution and interaction with humanity. Finally, the handbook provided for me a wonderful perspective regarding sustainable environmentalism--perhaps mytho-environmentalism? Following the main text are epilogue, glossary, and bibilography and suggested reading sections. The Dragon Keeper's Handbook is a fun, informative, and thought-provoking compilation of fascinating information. Let me end with just one last specific comment on MacKenzie's slant on our planet's current loss of habitat. Ultimately, when we destroy our habitat, our wild places, this leads not only to the destruction of that physical environment which sustains us but also to to the destruction of those myths which also sustain us. We must preserve our earth and its wild places. We must preserve our myths and dreams and wonder of the world. Shawn MacKenzie's The Dragon Keeper's Handbook reminds us of our responsibilities in an informative yet whimsical style. The book stands proudly on my reference shelf.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Superior Ven A. Cava

    The only reason I forced myself through this was for research, and I learnt what *not* to put (or rather, what not to keep out) in my dragon book. For this, I give it two stars. This book fares little better than its watered-down For Beginners version. The same obnoxious know-it-all, patronising tone is still around, bringing along some more accusatory, anti-human statements. Rather, this was published first, and didn't change for someone who's supposedly more of a newbie to dragons (which is wha The only reason I forced myself through this was for research, and I learnt what *not* to put (or rather, what not to keep out) in my dragon book. For this, I give it two stars. This book fares little better than its watered-down For Beginners version. The same obnoxious know-it-all, patronising tone is still around, bringing along some more accusatory, anti-human statements. Rather, this was published first, and didn't change for someone who's supposedly more of a newbie to dragons (which is what the For Beginners version is geared towards.) As with the newer version, we see some pretty amazing ability to criticise some common myth of dragons, yet are provided no faux scientific fact to support the opposite of the stated myth. This lack of "fact" makes this a very poor handbook, as good handbooks have more than enough information (sometimes to the point of trivia), and I'd not recommend it to any dragon enthusiast, real or fictional. The addition of lore and illustrations make this a bit easier to swallow, but not by much. The real shame in this piece comes from standing back a bit: the dragons look the same (within the breed of the three species, that is), have the same habits, eat the same thing, and do not vary much at all (despite living in vastly different regions and living a very long time). This is a direct opposite to the realty of life on Earth, where these fictional non-fiction dragons still live, according to the author. All life on Earth, even within the same genus, is so varied it's sometimes unfathomable to the mind. Why should these dragons suffer something different? Even with minimilisation caused by human encroachment, this half-history book should still have listed some extinct, extremely varied dragons...yet does not. (Though I suppose the name dropping of certain dragons counts, but the author never goes into them.) The lack of imagination in this book, yet the author touting being a dragon expert, giving info one piece at a time to the "inexperienced" reader, is almost insulting when happy and eager learners find this book. I may be biased to paracosms, but even if so, this seems to be awfully lacking for what is deemed a "handbook". Handbooks are typically concise and have information laid out in easy-to-find sections; because of the mystical nature to which the author equates dragons, this book lacks that organisation. As another reviewer put it, some very important info seems to be missing, such as what to expect of/do with your dragon's leavings Even simple dog handbooks have this common information. As an aside, and this doesn't happen as often as it should, but masters and professors and teachers should be wise enough to know the people learning sometimes have no clue about things, and should be willing to give information free from bias, generalisations, and assumptions. The author fails on all fronts, and makes for a terrible teacher of the matter. Never learn from someone who withholds information and gives it to you tainted with opinion. I'm disappointed in both the author's dragon books, but perhaps more in this one, where the author had a true chance to go crazy and make a beautiful world of dragons by way of initial publication. In the end, it falls sadly short, and I recommend anything but either of the books as a starting point for a dragon aficionado.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    This was a random discovery as it passed through the library on a hold. Since I like dragons, it should be a fun book, but I was quite disappointed with it; enough to only read a chunk of it. This included the section on different dragon (and pseudo-dragon) breeds. This introduced me to some bits of real-world myth and folklore that I found novel and somewhat interesting, though it is also obvious that the author really was stretching to force some creatures into the draconic mold. I likewise re This was a random discovery as it passed through the library on a hold. Since I like dragons, it should be a fun book, but I was quite disappointed with it; enough to only read a chunk of it. This included the section on different dragon (and pseudo-dragon) breeds. This introduced me to some bits of real-world myth and folklore that I found novel and somewhat interesting, though it is also obvious that the author really was stretching to force some creatures into the draconic mold. I likewise read the section on dragons in creation myths (some of which were obviously just snakes in the original tellings) since it seemed like an interesting collection of lore. Which is to say that the parts of the book that I found least interesting (I read or skimmed some other sections) were those made up by the author. The tone is annoying and the author obviously doesn't understand much of the science she attempts to reference, to the point that simply checking Wikipedia can poke all sorts of holes in this book. The fictional(?) premise of this book is that dragons are real, even if many people don't believe in them, and at least in part it attempts to provide scientific explanations for dragons, while lamenting how little credence the field of dragon studies is given. But if this represents the height of dragon studies, biologists would be quite justified in dismissing it, even if there was any factual basis to them. There is some decent material here, but not enough to take the time to wade through an unengaging read. And it features some nice illustrations, but not enough of them, and obviously there wasn't very good communication between author and artist; for example, the text claims that hydras have only two heads and a lump at the end of the tail that can be mistaken for a head, but the several illustrations of hydras all show 3+ heads.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thesecretwiseowl

    Honestly I was very excited to read this. But the more I read it the more my mind began to wander, I couldn't focus on the book. And what sad was back inside my mind I was telling my self your going to like this book, you better like it because you paid 17 dollars for it. I really love dragons and was dissapointed with this book. I'm going to return this book hopefully today. Honestly I was very excited to read this. But the more I read it the more my mind began to wander, I couldn't focus on the book. And what sad was back inside my mind I was telling my self your going to like this book, you better like it because you paid 17 dollars for it. I really love dragons and was dissapointed with this book. I'm going to return this book hopefully today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Good book, but .. (and I feel ridiculous saying this) a tad wordy. I had to fight myself not to put this down. There was just so much information and the author's writing style, while humorous, is overly verbose. My eyes tired easily. Good book, but .. (and I feel ridiculous saying this) a tad wordy. I had to fight myself not to put this down. There was just so much information and the author's writing style, while humorous, is overly verbose. My eyes tired easily.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    A good book, but could have been written better. There were too many words pulled straight from the thesaurus and it really put me out of the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Regina Hunter

    This book is soo cute. I just love the artwork and how they put all of the facts together.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Wilbur

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Ozab

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rochelle Spada

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt Belben

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christine Jeffords

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jade

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cori Nichols

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex Dove

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen Sanderson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tysha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lena Myles

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Galvez

  26. 4 out of 5

    Destiny

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adelaide

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana Chrisman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kingohats

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