One of the most common themes in fantasy is the concept of dragon riders. Authors who have included dragon riders in their works include Christopher Paolini, Cornelia Funke, George R. R. Martin, David Burrows, Anne and Todd McCaffrey. The list is VERY long. Each of these authors have depicted their own unique interpretations of dragon riders. Some dragon riders domesticated and trained dragons while others form telepathic and empathic bonds with dragons. Some dragon riders become keepers of the peace while others become unstoppable conquerors.
Personally, I find the idea of telepathically and emotionally bonding with a dragon to be the more fascinating concept. The reason for this is because dragons as a species are overflowing with pure emotions and vast memories. Once you bond with a dragon, your emotions are augmented to primal levels. Your rage, hunger, willpower, and other emotions become a potent mixture between human and beast. With memories, bonding with a dragon would grant you access to visions of both creation and destruction. The psychological and spiritual impact of bonding with such a powerful and ancient animal is immense.
As for either peacekeepers or conquerors, I think using dragons for peacekeeping is too idealistic and unrealistic for my tastes. Realistically, due to the inevitable greed and ambition of human nature, dragons would be used as weapons of war. Why bother marching an army against invaders when you can summon a dragon to burn them to ashes? Why participate in a siege when you can send a dragon to burn the castle? The possibilities of using dragons for warfare are limitless. Even a war elephant cannot compare. Only magic or other giant war beasts have any hope of fending off a dragon.
Because I am a devout fan of dragons and love the idea of bonding with them, I am thinking of including dragon riders in my fantasy book, but they will have my own unique flare (pun intended) to them. I will also be exploring the psychological and spiritual effects of bonding with a dragon as well as the long term price that comes with it.