One of Kirkus's Best Books of the year
"Ferociously imagined, incandescent with feeling, this book is urgent and necessary and as exhilarating as a ride on dragonback."
, 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."
, author of Lessons in Chemistry
"[A] riveting historical fantasy...What's surprising about Barnhill's rare foray into adult fiction is its subversiveness and feminist rage. It's a powerful, searing novel that feels deeply true, despite its magical premise."
"Kelly Barnhill's poetic, pointed tale tackles the era's pervasive silence concerning all things female."
–Christian Science Monitor
"Kelly Barnhill couldn't have realized when she wrote When Women Were Dragons
how prescient it would be when it went on sale this month...Barnhill's prose is gorgeous and powerful."
–The St. Paul Pioneer Press
"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)
"A deeply felt exploration of feminism in an alternate fantastical history...This allegory packs a punch."
"Barnhill's sharp and lyrical prose showcases the joys and agonies of female power in this coming-of-age/alternate history."
"If much of the novel feels like a full-throated howl, an indictment of a system of gender apartheid, an alchemy occurs in the final chapters . . . Kelly Barnhill reimagines a world where women face 1950s-style constraints, and find a path out."
–Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Exquisite . . . [A] soaring coming-of-age novel." –The Observer (UK)