How to Train your Dragon Books: A Complete Guide

By James Kim •  Updated: 04/01/23 •  8 min read

The How to Train your Dragon books are a set of 12 dragon books written for children by the British author Cressida Cowell.

The series was published by Hodder Children’s Books in the time period from 2004 to 2015. The events of the books take place in a fictional Viking world, where the protagonist Hiccup goes through a series of adventures to become a hero. There’s a film trilogy based on the books, created by Dreamworks Animation.

Characters in the How to Train Your Dragon books

The characters in the book series are either humans (Vikings) or dragons.

Main Characters


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The plot of the How to Train Your Dragon books

How to Train Your Dragon (2004)

The first book in the series begins with Hiccup joining a group of boys along with his friend Fishlegs. The group of boys wants to catch and train a dragon to strengthen their clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans. The fate of those who fail is lifetime exile.

Hiccup is hated in the village and is known to be weak and indecisive. He wanted to try to kill a dragon to improve his reputation among the Vikings. He was able to catch a small dragon, whom he names Toothless, and he started training it in his own way. Hiccup and his dragon Toothless come out as the heroes of this Viking adventure.

How to be a Pirate (2004)

In the second installment of the series, a huge floating coffin that looks nothing like anything Hiccup has seen before arrives leading to a new adventure. They find Alvin inside the coffin who later becomes Hiccup’s arch-enemy.

How to Speak Dragonese (2005)

A new challenge awaits Hiccups and Fishlegs in the third installment of the series. They come across a Roman ship and find out about their plot to attack the clan and steal their dragons.

The Romans succeed in kidnapping Toothless but the boys manage to escape, they were kidnapped later though. Alvin the Treacherous imprisons the boys with Toothless on board the Roman ship. Will the boys and Toothless escape from the Romans?

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How to Cheat A Dragon’s Curse (2006)

Fishlegs gets stung by a Venomous Vorpent. He needs a take a certain ingredient or else death would be his faith. Hiccup goes on a quest to find the ingredient and save his friend’s life. He fights Norbert the Nutjob on the Island of Hysteria and stumbles upon a Doomfang. Will he be able to return to his friend before it’s too late?

How to Twist A Dragon’s Tale (2007)

In the fifth installment of the How to Train Your Dragon books, a volcano that shadows the Island of Berk (Hiccup’s home) has become active and the tremors are hatching the eggs of the sword-clawed Exterminator dragons which pose a threat to Berk Island and the Hairy Hooligans. Hiccup gets into trouble and is saved by Hotshot the Hero. Hiccup hires Hotshot as his ‘bardiguard’ but it was later revealed that Hotshot wants to kill Hiccup and none of the clan members knew about it.

Hiccup learns about Hotshot’s intentions. Hiccup and the gang travel to Lava-lout Island to retrieve the stolen Firestone and return back to the volcano where they come across Alvin the Treacherous. Can they beat Alvin and prevent the volcano from erupting?

A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons (2008)

Toothless eats Hiccup’s How to Train Your Dragon book on his 12th birthday. Hiccup has no idea what to do until he learns that there’s a copy at the Meathead Public Library. Hiccup decides that he must steal the copy from the library.

How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm (2008)

The Bog-Burglars and the Hairy Hooligans are invited to join the Murderous Tribe in a friendly swimming race. The winner is granted a single request by the three chiefs of the tribes. During the race Hiccup, Fishlegs, and Camicazi are captured by Raptortongues on their ship. Can they escape?

How to Break a Dragon’s Heart (2009)

In the eighth book of the series, Hiccup and his tribe search for Camicazi after she was lost. They meet Ug, leader of the Uglithugs who sends Hiccup to a dangerous place where lunatics feed people to a dragon. Can Hiccup come out of there alive?

How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword (2011)

Things start getting worse for Hiccup and his tribe. The dragons are rising up against their masters and a flood is destroying everything. Hiccup and his gang prepare for a sword fighting competition and the wicked witch Excillinor suggests that the winner becomes king if he can collect the King’s Things.

Hiccup fights Alvin and wins. However, things go wrong and Hiccup is exiled from his tribe. Alvin becomes chief and declares war on the dragons.

How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel (2012)

At the time Hiccup is in exile, his tribe faces real danger. He goes on an adventure to find the one thing that can save them: the Dragon’s Jewel. As it turns out, the Dragon’s Jewel is found inside the stomach of a dragon, along with a very close person. Will he be up to the challenge?

How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero (2013)

Hiccup and the gang encounter thousands of enemy dragons sleeping on the riverbank. They accidentally awaken the dragons and they run away to a secret hideout. Alvin’s Spydragons kidnap Camicazi and Vallhallarama steals the King’s Things from Alvin.

Hiccup is imprisoned and taken to Excellinor where he reunites with Camicazi. They escape with the King’s Things but the Alvinsmen steal them back. They take the King’s Things to Tomorrow for Alvin to be crowned as King of the Wilderwest. Hiccup needs to act fast to stop the crowning.

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How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (2015)

In the final installment of the series, a war breaks out between the humans and the dragons and Hiccup seems to be the only one capable of saving the dragons from complete destruction. Can Hiccup prove that he’s a worthy king?

Our verdict on the How to Train Your Dragon books

The How to Train Your Dragon book series delivers an exciting read that’s full of adventures, dragons, and some amazing characters. The plot is exciting and each book delivers a unique adventure of its own.

There’s little to no reason why your children wouldn’t love this series.

James Kim

James Kim

James is a 24-year-old student from Florida who has always been fascinated by dragons. He loves learning about the myths and legends that surround these creatures, and he often spends his free time researching their history and cultural significance. James has a small collection of dragon figurines and artwork in his dorm room, and he enjoys discussing dragon lore with other like-minded individuals online.

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