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I read a book series as a child (in the 1990s) that involved two friends, one of the friends had black hair and was the only one they knew with black hair. It is revealed in the book that he has black hair because he eats meat, which is forbidden in their society.

I also remember there is a cave system that is revealed to have fire-breathing salamanders in it. In a second book in the series the cave system is shown to connect to another continent. Also the story does not take place on Earth but is instead set in a different world with two continents that do not know each other exist until the events of the second book.

  • Are there any Sci-Fi or Jantasy elements to it? – Möoz Nov 14 '17 at 0:04
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    Also, check out How to ask a good story-ID question? to see if it helps jog your memory. – Möoz Nov 14 '17 at 0:04
  • Sounds a little similar to GRRM's In the House of the Worm. It has a group of friends who descend into a cave system, they all eat meat but there's a man called the Meatbringer, a hunter in the tunnels who is better fed (and as a result stronger) than most. The caves are populated by large worm-like creatures, it transpires that the Meatbringer is trading meat from both peoples to the other (the taboo aspect) and perhaps both species diverged from a common ancestor. However, it's just a short story and has no sequel (albeit it's set in the Thousand Worlds series). – delinear Nov 14 '17 at 13:21
  • It was definitely not a Sci-Fi but I don't remember if there were traditional fantasy elements. I read the book while I was in high school sometime in the 1990s. – Horizonshard Nov 14 '17 at 15:35
  • To clarify, I don't remember if there was magic or wizards, but there are definitely the fire breathing salamanders. Also the story does not take place on Earth but is instead set in a different world with two continents that do not know each other exist until the events of the second book. – Horizonshard Nov 14 '17 at 16:59
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I believe you are looking for the Singreale Chronicles. There are three books in the series:

  1. Guardians of the Singreale
  2. Star Riders of Ren
  3. War of the Moonrhymes

I remember reading this book in the late 80's. It was quite an interesting series. The characters could craft gliders by laying on a large leaf, and use leaves attached to their arms and legs to fly about.

Salamander biology was interesting... There was an old man in a cave who had salamander eggs in a cauldron above a fire, and had to keep them hot for many, many years. To hatch salamanders, they were sent on a quest to gather the tadpoles which fertilized the eggs before they could hatch. When they carried them in buckets of water they had to swirl the water to calm or confuse the tadpoles, otherwise they would heat up the buckets too much.

In the later books they learned how to make swords from molten glass. These swords remained hot, and would be use to cauterize wounds.

There was a lot going on in these books.

  • Why does your answer start with "Never trust a blackgill's Stew"? I can't work out why it's there at the moment but I may be missing something. – TheLethalCarrot Aug 8 '18 at 8:35
  • Its a quote from the book. The two characters, one blackgill who eats meat feeds some stew to the greygill which contains meat. Once the greygill finds out, he recalls an old saying. – Nate White Aug 8 '18 at 13:30
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    Got ya, it might be best to make this slightly clearer by using quote markdown and showing where it has come from.. i.e. > Never trust a blackgill's stew" - BookName – TheLethalCarrot Aug 8 '18 at 13:33
  • Yes! This is exactly it. Thank you. I’ve been searching for these for years and will have to re-read them again. – Horizonshard Aug 9 '18 at 17:20

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