Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons is a 2003 fiction book written by Dugald Steer, and published by Templar Publishing in the United Kingdom, and by Candlewick Press in the United States. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 1429 libraries.[1]

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons
Steer - Dragonology - The Complete Book of Dragons Coverart.png
Dragonology first edition cover.
AuthorDugald Steer
IllustratorHelen Ward, Wayne Anderson, Nghiem Ta, Chris Forsey, A. J. Wood, and Douglas Carrel
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesOlogies series
PublisherTemplar Publishing (UK)
Candlewick Press (US)
Publication date
October 1, 2003
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages32 pp (first edition)
Followed byEgyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris 


The fictional premise of this book is that it is a facsimile of a lost work originally printed in 1895 and supposedly written by a dragonologist named Dr. Ernest Drake[2] with the current publisher being unable to determine the truth of the matter. It presents the research and findings of Dr. Ernest Drake on the dragons of the world, their biology, behavior, and history of their interactions with humans. The book is vastly illustrated and contains a number of smaller, additional texts and tactile ‘specimens’ such as dragon scales, wing membrane, and dragon dust.[3]


This book, like the other books in the Ologies series, is assigned a fictional "author" who then acts as the narrator of the book. Dr. Ernest Drake is the fictional author and owner of the original Complete Book of Dragons, with Dugald Steer being the creator of Drake, and the writer of this and several other books in the series. It is written in an encyclopedic manner rather than following any particular narrative.[4]


  • Inner Cover and Title Page: These two pages introduce the style of the book and the way it is presented to the reader. They include all the basic information contained on a title page: title, author, illustrator, and publishing information, but they also have a spell to catch a dragon, a publisher's note which plays into the story of the book, and two additional texts. These are a sealed letter addressed 'To Whom It May Concern' from Drake and Drake's Secrete and Ancient Society of Dragonologists (S.A.S.D.) library card.
  • Chapter I
    • An Introduction to Dragons: This section addresses the general belief in dragons, how dragonologists consider dragons through the lens of science, and dragons in legend.
    • Dragons of the World, Locations and Directions: These pages show a map of the world with locations of the dragons featured in the book illustrated with little blurbs about specific sites. Also featured are several adds for dragonologist gear like the Draco Dragon Whistle, Compassculars, and a Flameaway Hat.
  • Chapter II
    • Different Species of Dragon: In this chapter Drake gives the information on specific dragon species which he has split up into three subgroups. Information on each dragon includes: where they nest, their size, coloration, forms of attack, food, and a scientific name assigned by Drake. There are also a specimen on set of pages. On the western dragon pages, there is a sample of frost dragon scales. For the eastern dragons, scales from an Asian lung. And for the other dragons category, a sample of wing membrane from a marsupial dragon.
      • Western Dragons: European, Knucker, and Frost
      • Eastern Dragons: Tibetan, Lindworm, and Asian Lung (Japanese, Indonesian, and Chinese)
      • Other Dragons: Wyvern, Amphithere (Mexican and American), and Marsupial
  • Chapter III
    • The Natural History of Dragons: This chapter goes over the pseudoscience of dragonology based on the research done by Drake and the S.A.S.D. It is split into the follow three sections.
      • Dragon Biology & Physiology: In this section there are overlapping flaps that detail the skeletal and muscular structure of dragons, with a second set of flaps detailing how some dragons can breathe fire. This part also covers who dragons fly, how they eat, and the differences between eastern and western dragons.
      • The Life Cycle of Dragons: This section shows the development of dragon embryos, also employing flaps in order to compare the external and internal visual of the egg. It covers the variations in egg appearance among the different species as well as their life span. It also has a guide on how to raise dragons from the egg.
      • Dragon Behavior: This includes descriptions of various types of dragon behavior. From when they are acting tame, to courting, to hoarding. A flap is also available in this section which is a translation of dragon script and an explanation about the language of dragons. This is useful to decode various messages which are scattered throughout the book.
  • Chapter IV
    • Working with Dragons: This chapter is for dragonologists in the field and how they might go about interacting with wild dragons.
      • Finding & Tracking Dragons: Here Drake gives examples about how to locate dragons and observe from a distance. He includes signs of dragon activity, equipment recommendations, and the dangers involved. This section includes his personal record book which includes several entries on his own tracking exploits.
      • Taming & Flying Dragons: As the section title says this part is about taming dragons, befriending them, and flying techniques. It also has a booklet of riddles and an explanation of why dragons like them so much.
  • Appendix I: A Dragonological Laboratory: The first of the appendices lists out the uses of dragon parts, both to illustrate the importance of a dragonologists role in preserving the remaining dragons and to show the difference between myths and the facts presented by Drake. There is a sample of dragon dust which is visible from both this appendix and the next.
  • Appendix II: Useful Spells, Charms & Potions: The second appendix gives various spells which are referenced in earlier sections of the book. Some of these spells include one which allows the user to become invisible, a taming spell, and a cooling spell. These spells are part incantation and part ritual. There is also a description of a talisman which belonged to Merlin and a sealed pocked which contains a note written in dragon script.
  • Appendix III: Dragonologists & Dragon Slayers of History: The final appendix details the history of dragons and their interactions with humans, some of whom meant to preserve them and some who wished to slay them. This section lists out various figures of history and myth and their relevance to dragon history. These include Edward Topsell, Beowulf, and Fu Hsi among others.
  • Afterword: The Work of a Dragonologist: Here are the final notes from Drake himself as he gives several final pieces of advice for new dragonologists who have studied his work. These pages also includes a relic called the dragon's eye, where if you can see your reflection with perfect clarity you are a master dragonologist.

Dragon speciesEdit

  • American Amphithere, Draco americanus tex
  • Asian Lung, Draco orientalis
  • European Dragon, Draco occidentalis magnus[5]
  • Frost Dragon, Draco occidentalis maritimus[6]
  • Knucker, Draco troglodytes[7]
  • Lindworm, Draco serpentalis
  • Marsupial Dragon, Draco marsupialis[8]
  • Mexican Amphithere, Draco americanus mex
  • Tibetan Dragon, Draco montana
  • Wyvern, Draco africanus
  • One additional dragon was included on the map in Chapter I, but not included in Chapter II. It is only listed by scientific name, Draco americanus incognito, and is located somewhere in South America.

Related mediaEdit

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons was followed up by a number of sequels both in the Oology series and in its own right. The Oology series continues with Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris. However while these are authored by Dugald Steer, other than Monsterology: The Complete Book of Fabulous Beasts[9], they do not have anything to do with Dragonology or Dr. Ernest Drake. But there is the Dragonology collection of books which includes Dragonology: Tracking and Taming Dragons: A Guide for Beginners Vol 1.[10] and Vol. 2[11], Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology Handbook: A Practical Course in Dragons[12], and Drake's Comprehensive Compendium of Dragonology[13] among others.

Dugald Steer also wrote a series of children's books called the Dragonology Chronicles based around the lore created in the Dragonology books. There are four books in this series. The Dragon's Eye[14] published in 2006, The Dragon Diary[15] published in 2008, The Dragon's Apprentice[16] published in 2011, and The Dragon Prophecy[17] published in 2012.

Film adaptationEdit

In June 2008, Universal Studios acquired the film rights to the Dragonology series, with Leonard Hartman set to write and executive produce the adaptation.[18] In August 2012, it was reported that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will produce the Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons movie for Universal with a new screenwriter.[19] In January 2018, Paramount Pictures acquired Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons and the rest of the Ology series and hired Akiva Goldsman to oversee a writer's room to write scripts for interconnected family movies based on the books and supplemental material with Goldsman and his Weed Road partner Greg Lessans producing the films.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ WorldCat book entry
  2. ^ "Candlewick Press - Authors & Illustrators". web.archive.org. 2018-06-16. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  3. ^ Steer, Dugald A. (2003). Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0763623296.
  4. ^ Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Editorial review from the School Library Journal at Amazon.com. Retrieved October 12, 2006.
  5. ^ Common European Dragon image
  6. ^ Frost Dragon image
  7. ^ Knucker image Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Marsupial Dragon image
  9. ^ Steer, Dugald (2008). Monsterology: The Complete Book of Fabulous Beasts. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0763639402.
  10. ^ Drake, Ernest; Steer, Dugald (2006). Dragonology: tracking and taming dragons : a guide for beginners. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0-7636-3233-5. OCLC 66906475.
  11. ^ Drake, Ernest; Steer, Dugald; Carrell, Douglas (2008). Dragonology, tracking and taming dragons. [Volume 2], [Volume 2],. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0-7636-3426-1. OCLC 1059197186.
  12. ^ Drake, Ernest; Steer, Dugald (2005). Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology handbook: a practical course in dragons. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. OCLC 894796832.
  13. ^ Steer, Dugald (2010). Drake's comprehensive compendium of dragonology. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0-7636-4623-3. OCLC 461894452.
  14. ^ The dragon's eye, Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio, 2011, ISBN 978-1-61106-641-8, OCLC 732091572, retrieved 2021-04-08
  15. ^ Steer, Dugald A; Clamp, James; Overdrive Inc (2011). The Dragon Diary. Place of publication not identified: Brilliance Audio. ISBN 978-1-61106-615-9. OCLC 1002094613.
  16. ^ Steer, Dugald; Harris, Nick (2013). The dragon's apprentice. ISBN 978-1-84877-699-9. OCLC 913848558.
  17. ^ Steer, Dugald (2012). The dragon prophecy, 4. Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0-7636-3428-5. OCLC 884836575.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (June 13, 2008). "Universal acquires 'Dragonology' rights". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  19. ^ Kit, Borys (August 27, 2012). "'Star Trek 2's' Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci to Produce 'Dragonology' for Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  20. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (January 31, 2018). "Paramount Assembles Killer Scribe Roster To Kickstart 'Ology' Franchise". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 16, 2021.

External linksEdit