I remember reading a book in my childhood (between 1994 and 1998) taking place in a fantasy world. My memory of it is quite fuzzy, but I remember it had magic and dragons in it. Two specifics I remember (then again, my memory may not be accurate):

  • there was a ring item which was linked to a dragon sleeping under the earth, and when you had it on your finger and stroke it, it could wake the dragon;
  • at a moment, there was a fight against a giant creature described as two giant hands glued together (i.e.: one palm, 8 fingers).

If I remember correctly, it was in two volumes, each no more than 300-400 pages.

Also, I'm French and read it in French, and I have no evidence that this book was written / translated in English...

3 Answers 3


I think you're talking about Giftwish and Catchfire by Graham Dunstan Martin. They were semi-popular British YA novels, so French is not a stretch.
Catchfire (the character) definitely has a ring that is linked to the dragon Earthquake (again, the name) and scratching it causes tremors. There is a species of oak giants that could have easily been described as you stated (though I don't remember that particularly...will have to re-read them soon).
The bit that always stuck with me was when Ewan (main character) was being tested by the wizard Capostaff he had to nail a board to the wall, but the nail was spelled to turn around as it was hammered, so it came back out point-first. Ewan had to figure out how to overcome that (by putting the head against the wall and hammering the board into the point).

  • These are the stories I thought of, as well. The first book, Giftwish, introduces the ring linked to the dragon (actually, there are 2 rings and 2 dragons), and a fight with the "Mang" ("The Necromancer's Hand"). The Mang is described as "massive as a two-storey house", with "four fingers in front", "two thumbs, one on either side" and "where the wrist should have been, there scuttled four more fingers."
    – Dinae
    Mar 2, 2017 at 3:21
  • Yes! That's definitely that one! Thanks a lot eshier !
    – XGouchet
    Mar 2, 2017 at 6:07

Maybe you're talking about one of the books in The Magic Goes Away series by Larry Niven?

I vaguely recall that in a one of the novels, there was an Australian wizard who had an ring of Obsidian or Onyx, and he used the residual magic in it to awaken the the Ouroboros which was sleeping underground. The final battle involved fighting a giant awakened god who was about to crash the Moon into the Earth.


The ring sounds familiar, although I can't place it for sure. The first thing that popped into my mind is The Ring of Five Dragons, although I'm not sure that is actually where I read it, and I can't tell if it was translated into French.

  • Probably not as the ring of Five Dragons was published in 2002, at least 4 years after I read the book I'm looking for
    – XGouchet
    Apr 8, 2013 at 17:36
  • It's that new? I thought I'd read it in the 90's, so I didn't check. I'll keep thinking, since it does sound familiar...
    – Bobson
    Apr 8, 2013 at 17:41

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