I've never been a huge gamer, but I have very fond childhood memories of playing Spyro the Dragon and the two other games in the original trilogy with my family. I decided to combine my love of Spyro with my love of books and matched 12 Spyro realms to books for you to read. This blog has been a long time coming, but I wanted to wait until I had a good number of realm/book matches.
What's your favorite Spyro game? Mine is Ripto's Rage!
Spyro 1: Spyro the Dragon
1. Realm: Town Square
About the Realm: As the name suggests this realm is a small, Spanish inspired town with bull and matador enemies.
Book: Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
About the Book: This YA fantasy inspired by the Spanish Inquisition follows a young woman from a conquered kingdom who infiltrates the enemy's castle as a spy.
Why I Matched Them: Since both the realm and the book are inspired by Spanish history/culture I thought they could potentially appeal to a similar audience.
2. Realm: Dark Hollow
About the Realm: In Reignited this nighttime realm full of gnorcs (green monsters/enemies) has been transformed into a library. Many nooks and crannies in the realm have been filled with shelves crammed full of books.
Book: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
About the Book: Elisabeth has grown up in a magical library where books are alive and can transform into monsters in this YA fantasy. After she slays a book monster, thus destroying it, she must answer for her 'crime.'
Why I Matched Them: Both the realm and the book feature libraries and monsters. I can easily imagine Elisabeth being dropped into Dark Hollow with her sword and slaying all the gnorcs before curling up with a good book. This book is one of my October reading picks, so it’s the perfect time to read it!
3. Realm: Dark Passage
About the Realm: This intimidating realm has dog and turtle enemies that appear sweet at first. Once the fools blow out their lamps, however, the innocent looking enemies turn into demonic entities.
Book: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
About the Book: This YA fantasy follows human Jude who has grown up in the land of faeries.
Why I Matched Them: Dark Passage has a nightmarish atmosphere that at first appears like a dreamscape. Faerieland, likewise, appears like a magical paradise at first glance but is really quite dangerous. And, of course, the faeries sleep the day away and come out at night to play much like the enemies in Dark Passage.
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
4. Realm: Scorch
About the Realm: Spyro must help secret agents Handel and Greta complete their mission.
Book: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
About the Book: In this YA fantasy a huntress and an assassin prince travel to a desert island to find a book capable of restoring magic to the land.
Why I Matched Them: Both have Middle Eastern inspirations and take place largely in desert environments. Scorch also has its own assassins in the form of its scimitar wielding enemies (the prince in We Hunt the Flame also uses a scimitar).
5. Realm: Fracture Hills
About the Realm: It's perpetually nighttime in this Scottish inspired realm full of Earthshapers (giant rock monsters). Spyro must free the satyrs who have been encased in rock.
Book: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
About the Book: This YA contemporary features an enemies to lovers romance between an American girl and a Scottish princess.
Why I Matched Them: The novel takes place in the Scottish Highlands and features a camping trip in the wilderness at night (giving off major Fracture Hill vibes). The main character is also obsessed with geology, so I'm sure she'd love to study the inhabitants of this realm!
6. Realm: Metropolis
About the Realm: This highly advanced city operated by robots has been invaded by farm animals from space that Spyro must help the robots exterminate.
Book: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
About the Book: This action packed YA sci-fi follows two teens whose home planet has been destroyed. They are fleeing through space while being chased by their enemies.
Why I Matched Them: I knew I had to choose a sci-fi book for this realm. While there are no robots in the book there is an AI. The realm also features a space inspired room in which Spyro flies around chasing and blowing up spaceships. This reminded me of rockets being blown up like in Illuminae.
7. Realm: Mystic Marsh
About the Realm: This realm's environment is really more savanna than marsh. Spyro must make his way through the realm to find out why the mystic fountain has turned off.
Book: Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
About the Book: In this YA fantasy young Tarisai wants nothing more than a family. Then her distant mother sends her to the capital to become a member of the crown prince's council so that she can get close enough to kill him.
Why I Matched Them: The land Tarisai is from is a savanna much like Mystic Marsh. The world of the book is largely inspired by West Africa and its folklore. Mystic Marsh also has African influences as seen in its environment and enemies (rhinos and elephants).
8. Realm: Dragon Shores
About the Realm: Dragon Shores is Spyro's dream vacation spot. This realm is essentially a theme park with rides such as a roller coaster and a tunnel of love. There's also a dunk tank and wack-a-mole (only with creatures from Avalar).
Book: Goosebumps: One Day at HorrorLand by R. L. Stine
About the Book: This children's horror book is about a family who spends the day in a theme park run by monsters (known as Horrors). This park is full of dangerous rides and the Horrors have no intention of allowing the family to leave.
Why I Matched Them: Since Spyro is so nostalgic for me, I wanted to choose a book/series that was equally so. This was a clear comparison as both take place in theme parks. While Dragon Shores is a lot less scary than HorrorLand, it is run by large gnorcs which reminded me of the Horrors.
Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon
9. Realm: Enchanted Towers
About the Realm: This realm is full of bright towers and castles and features construction worker and flying, fireball spitting lizard enemies. Spyro must blow up a statue of the evil sorceress (the main villain of the game).
Book: House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess
About the Book: Five royal dragon riders compete to see who will become the next emperor/empress in this YA fantasy.
Why I Matched Them: I couldn't not choose at least one book prominently featuring dragons. I matched these because of the realm's fantasy like environment as well as because the realm offers a mini-game where you can fly freely just like the dragon riders. There's also a skateboarding competition in the realm and, while they don't skateboard in the book, its plot is all about competing.
10. Realm: Lost Fleet
About the Realm: Spyro must traverse through this land of sand, acid, cannons and pirate ships to help the realm's inhabitants locate a lost treasure.
Book: The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
About the Book: In this YA contemporary Violet's ancestor survived a shipwreck many years ago. Now, back in the town where the wreck occurred, Violet searches for the sight of the wreck.
Why I Matched Them: The realm and book both deal with sunken and wrecked ships and take place in beachy locations. The entrance to Lost Fleet is even located within a shipwreck! This one was an obvious match.
11. Realm: Charmed Ridge
About the Realm: This mountainous realm gives off classic fantasy vibes with castles, knights, and magic (there are cat wizards who cause all sorts of mischief).
Book: The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
About the Book: The YA fantasy follows noblewoman Alessandra who plots to woo the Shadow King in order to marry him and then kill him and claim his kingdom as her own.
Why I Matched Them: While I adore both the realm and the book, they do have generic fantasy worlds that follow all the tropes. They both also have a royal enemies to lovers romance. While the book sees Alessandra fall for the king she plots to kill, the realm has a fairy princess who wants to wed one of the wizard cats who has invaded her realm.
12. Realm: Desert Ruins
About the Realm: As the name states this realm is a desert inhabited by giant stinging scorpion enemies. Spyro must make his way to the tomb in order to find the NPC's (Non-playable character) missing girlfriend.
Book: The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae
About the Book: Three heirs must compete to see who will become the next ruler. This YA fantasy follows the girl who is chosen to be their human sacrifice.
Why I Matched Them: This, again, was an immediately made match. Both the book and the realm take place in a desert and both incorporate scorpions. I could easily imagine transplanting the characters from The Kinder Poison into Desert Ruins!
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