I'm trying to remember the name of a book probably written in the 80's.

The main character gets involved in a battle to protect his city where he wields an axe in a pages long fight scene. The book also has a dragon in it (and maybe something about dragon eggs - I can't remember for sure) I know it wasn't a Pern book despite the dragon.

I think the cover had a lot of reds and oranges on it possibly.

Yeah, I know... not much to go on, but I thought it would be worth a try to ask.

  • 1
    Axe wielding you say... Is the protagonist a dwarf?
    – Mr Lister
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:50
  • Battle for a city... Axe wielding character... Dragons and maybe dragon eggs. Doesn't suggest Pern, but it does suggest the other "Every dragon book must be from this series" answer - Dragonlance. Dec 4, 2015 at 21:21
  • Swap axe for Hammer and you've got Roran Stronghammer, the brother of Eragon it Eragon.
    – user31178
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:44
  • I'm confident that it's not Eragon - it's much older than that. Dragonlance maybe. I'm pretty sure it was a standalone book though. The protagonist was human, not a dwarf... maybe he was a blacksmith... I know.. just like every other fantasy protagonist.
    – DoWhileNot
    Dec 7, 2015 at 16:44
  • Nope, it wasn't one of the Dragonlance books.
    – DoWhileNot
    Dec 7, 2015 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


I know this is an old question, but I just saw it. Maybe this will still help...

Perhaps Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly (1985)?

There is a kingdom and the northern areas are more or less cut off and decaying. A somewhat foppish teenager (Gareth) who turns out to be royal, comes to ask the local lord (John Aversin), who had previously killed a dragon, to help because there is a dangerous dragon I think near the capital.

John and Jenny Waynest, who has magical training and abilities, agree to go.

The plot is complicated; the Wikipedia article summarizes it, but they do fight the dragon and John is armed with an axe.

He is not fighting to protect his city though, but someone else's, so I am not sure it is a match. Also, you mention that there was a dragon in the story, but not that the axe fight was against the dragon. But there is a dragon and a pages long fight scene where the protagonist wields an axe.

Things that might help you recognize it:
The north lands are a very rough place. Where Gareth comes from, and they later go to, is seemingly much more refined (Gareth is shocked to find his hero to be a seeming country bumpkin). But the "cultured" culture is actually full of petty spite and all sorts of nastiness.

There is another race (dwarves? elves? I don't remember) whose magic comes from something called "the Deep", and one of the more nasty characters is trying to get control of it (Zyerne, I think)

Two more hints, but they are spoilers:

They almost kill the dragon, but to save John's life they make some kind of deal where he is also saved, but goes away somewhere else.
Jenny turns into a dragon, but in the end misses being human and is turned back

  • 1
    Correct answer or not (and this does fit the OP criteria, to my eye) this was a very good book (along with both of its sequels).
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jun 7, 2017 at 11:13
  • Can I just pull you up on pages long fight scene where the protagonist wields an axe There isn't. Johns battle with the dragon is only hinted at as it is sensed from a distance. Also, the only redish colour on the cover author and title. I adore Dragonsbane, but I don't think it's the answer to this question. Jun 7, 2017 at 12:07
  • Interesting... This definitely has potential. This might be it. I'll see if I can find a copy and then I'll get back with you.
    – DoWhileNot
    Jun 7, 2017 at 22:20
  • I went back and looked through Dragonsbane -- I agree with Binary Worrier -- I don't see the long fight scene with the axe. John fought the first dragon with an axe, but that fight is only mentioned. The fight with Morkeleb is not described in detail. Now I am really curious as to the answer to your question; maybe I am mixing that book up with Dragonsbane. Dragonsbane is an interesting book in its own right, though! For those of you who have read the sequels (I don't remember if I did or not) -- could the axe fight scene be there? Oh, and I think you can find a copy on OpenLibrary
    – Basya
    Jun 27, 2017 at 11:20

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