I'm going crazy trying to remember this book. It was definitely published before 1991. The only thing I'm fairly certain of is there was a scene where the hero falls asleep and there's a metaphysical bubble involved. I think there was a talking dragon, but it may have been a wizard.
I seem to remember, but might be confusing it with another book, that he was a very reluctant hero; possibly the second son or prince forced to prove his worth. And in the beginning part of the book he's traveling on his own bemoaning his fate. I think through a forest.
There was a fair amount of dry humour and I don't think it was part of a series; at least not as of 1991.
- It was a paperback.
- I'm not sure about the target audience. I suppose it could've been YA, because I don't remember any excessive sex or violence. Then again, I can't remember if it didn't have any.
- I thought it might be Talking To Dragons as well, and got very excited that I found it. Alas, no. Not it. I read it and it definitely wasn't it.
- The bit with the bubble is the part that I'm sure of. He falls asleep and I think he actually talks to the devil. Wow, I'd completely forgotten that until I started writing it.
- The opening scene, which very well may belong to another book, is him in a forest being very cross with minstrels for making quests sound so glamorous.
Thank you for trying to help!