I think I read that a few decades ago borrowed in a public library, a story about a world with floating islands orbiting an axis, not really on a planet.

I think people were flying dragons between those islands. I remember something about geography of the world, or directions given, being described in terms of the orientation with respect to that axis, and the word used (read that in French, probably a translation) was something like "orbitàdroite" or 'orbitàgauche", which would be "on the right of the orbit" or "on the left of the orbit". Any ideas?

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    hello rienafairefr, can you provide further information about this book. e.g. approximate year of release, the approximate title or author ? This description seems very wide and can mislead searches for a matching answer. Cheers. – yondaime008 Feb 11 '16 at 10:29
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    reminds me of Dragon Hunters... – Zommuter Feb 11 '16 at 15:20

It could have been one or a blend of the books in The Death Gate Cycle Series, a 7 or 8 book series written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.

The first book Dragon Wing mentions dragons, has one on the cover and the Goodreads summary below mentions airborne kingdoms.

An assassin and the royal child he has been hired to kill form an unlikely and unstable alliance as the plots of human sorcerers, elven pirates, and dwarf revolutionaries threaten to overwhelm the airborne kingdoms of Arianus.

Dragon Wing front cover

  • This is it ! Thanks a lot, this is the book that I had read, more precisely the first one in the series: an excerpt from the footnote of the French version "Orbitavant, orbitarrière, orbitadroite, orbitagauche sont des termes utilisés dans les îles pour indiquer la direction", perfect ! – rienafairefr Feb 11 '16 at 15:46
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    Tres bien, vive le mensch – Escoce Feb 11 '16 at 15:50

Could it possibly be Michael Reaves The Shattered World published in 1984?

The setting is a number of islands that are the remains of a destroyed planet. Each Island has it's own atmosphere and ecosystem, the atmosphere and orbits are maintained by magicical runes.

They do not travel on dragons per-se BUT there are airships that are made from the skins and bones of dragons, dragons do exist in the world though and one version of the cover does have a dragon on it.


The story follows a shapeshifting thief (called Beorn) and a couple of wizards (Pandrogas and Ardatha) There is an attempt to put the shattered world back together.

It is followed by a sequal called "The Burning Realm"


  • I think that might be it ! Though it was a French translation, and I cannot for the life of me find the French version of that title, its cover art was something more dark, I think it was published by Pocket Science-fiction, thanks for the pointers ! – rienafairefr Feb 11 '16 at 13:54
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    The Burning Realm has a darker cover, I have added that to my answer just incase. Sorry dont know anything about the French translation – Cearon O'Flynn Feb 11 '16 at 14:09

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