So I'm looking for a book that I read when I was a teenager (around 2009). The book is most definitely fantasy. The book was around an inch and a half thick, with a hard cover, there was a picture on the front in color, but I don't remember exactly what it was. It would have been 25-30 hours worth of reading.

What I remember from the book is the protagonist is a woman, early 20s or so, who has some magical ability to shape shift into animals (Shape shifting never kept your clothes, some awkward scene's happened because of nakedness). One scene, she was riding a female dragon and a male dragon caught up with them and started trying to mate while flying, so the woman had to jump off the dragon or be crushed.

I also remember a male character with a staff, who was seen as an older brother, protector kind of person; And a younger girl who pulled a mental trick of making the thoughts at the forefront of her mind ones that a tree would have, so that she could hide from people looking for her. She was also able to shift her shape into that of a tree.

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    Aww, I preferred pre-edit when it was "most defiantly fantasy". In my mind it was like, "I'm fantasy, deal with it!"
    – delinear
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:53
  • Might it be one of Sherr S Tepper's books. Navin
    – Jackson
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 23:33
  • Mavin Manyshaped maybe? It's years since I read them but they came to mind when I read your question. (Can't seem to edit dodgy comments on my phone)
    – Jackson
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 23:35
  • As I recall dragons don't feature strongly in the Mavin Manyshaped books. I don't recall anything like the mating dragons scene. Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


I believe your book is in the Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth. The protagonist is a young witch named Isabeau, who possesses the rare ability to shapeshift into animals. She was also a dragonrider, having earned the privilege of riding on the backs of the dragon matriarch's daughters.

She also met a girl who was a half-treechanger, and had the ability to turn into a tree. She referred to herself as a treeshifter. Isabeau practiced shapeshifting using her advice.

There were many men with staves, as a staff was the symbol of being a skilled witch. The most prominent was a blind wizard named Jorge, who was Isabeau's guardian during her early travels. Isabeau's twin sister, Iseult, traveled with a man known as the Cripple, though he doesn't earn his staff until much later.

Given the dimensions provided, and that the events indicated occurred at different parts of the series, I believe you read an omnibus book of the first two or three books in the series. The first book was called The Witches of Eileanan in the US, and Dragonclaw elsewhere.

  • This is the book I was thinking of. Thank you greatly. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 16:46

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