I just finished A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. Realistic world building, with a feisty main character. Pretty good. Now I'm cruising this thread for my next book.I read that a few months ago!
You know there's a sequel right? :) Title is, iirc, The Tropic of Serpents.
Another fun dragons read, if you're in the market, is the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. First book is called His Majesty's Dragon. Basically Master and Commander style Napoleonic war + dragons = awesomesauce.
I did NOT know there was a sequel. Thanks very much! Nor have I heard about the His Magesty's Dragon series. I'm behind the times, I guess. I used to read a lot of dragon stuff, and Anne McCaffery will always be my gold standard. I'm now 35, but if some god came out of the sky today, and offered to make me a dragonrider of Pern, I'd be gone in an instant. Bronze of course, though I'm humble enough to suffer a brown dragon.
You said somewhere that you read fanfic. I love the stuff, though my tolerance for pieces generated by lovelorn 14 year olds is really going down. If you follow Sherlock, I'd recommend The Least of All Possible Mistakes by Rage Prufrock on AO3. The authour is amazing.
Dude, I'm pretty sure most people would take the offer to be a dragonrider of Pern. ;)
Fun fact, Naomi Novik (of the Temeraire series, which I do recommend quite a lot) is a fanfic author too, and a founding member of the OTW/the AO3. \o/
I'm familiar with Rage Prufrock, but have not read all their (her?) stuff by any stretch of the means; I'll check that one out, though! :D
(And I know what you mean... but considering it's all available for free, generated with love, I'm happy to sort by 'kudos' and recommendations and sort through the slush pile ;) )