1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $14.95

Buy for $14.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. • The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.

Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.

In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small—their lives and their prospects—and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.

©2022 Kelly Barnhill (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Ferociously imagined, incandescent with feeling, this book is urgent and necessary and as exhilarating as a ride on dragonback."—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians Trilogy

"Completely fierce, unmistakably feminist, and subversively funny, When Women Were Dragons brings the heat to misogyny with glorious imagination and talon-sharp prose. Check the skies tonight—you might just see your mother."—Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry 

"A complex, heartfelt story about following your heart and opening your mind to new possibilities. This novel’s magic goes far beyond the dragons."—Kirkus (starred review)  

What listeners say about When Women Were Dragons

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    388
  • 4 Stars
    101
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    397
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    341
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Definitely a good listen

Excellent storyline. touches on all aspects of human nature along with the deep love and compassion shared be women and their notorious anger.

With all the talk nowadays about overturning Roe v Wade, it is a deeply moving story of our human plight and hope for the return of the Divine Feminine.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

I loved this book. It resonated on so many levels. It made me laugh, cry, scream and cheer. I come from a long line of dragons. I am happily a dragon 🐉

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful tale

A coming of age tale, that's equal parts reality and magic, masterfully narrated! From tragedy to triumph, love infuses this story - love of self, romantic love, familial love... All are challenged, and all triumph in the end. Kimberly Farr's narration set the scene for me in a way that my mind couldn't even approach from reading the written word.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Fairy Tale for our time

Great book
I would love to read more books set in this world. Looking for my inner dragon.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Perfect Book for this moment in U.S. history

Outstanding story, enjoyable narration, a powerful tale and an instant classic. It was the story I needed to hear in June of 2022.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Eat I’ve listened to in a long time!

What a cleverly crafted and well-told story! It’s wonderful in every way - a true delight!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Still crying with love and joy

So many beautiful moments! I gasped and sighed and cried along every moment of this book. Please do yourself a favour and read this account of humanity through the eyes of our beloved dragons.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

POWERFUL!

If there is ANY book that resonates with woman's issues today, it's this book. I believe it's time for a large scale dragoning right now...like, immediately...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Timely tale

This story is an allegory that multiple generations can identify with. It deals with issues from the past that are sadly still issues today. The story itself and narration are perfect.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a marvelous tale!

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading. Then I couldn't quit listening. it made me laugh it made me cry. it made me think. Excellent narration .

1 person found this helpful

.