In elementary school, between '92 and '96, I read a young adult fantasy novel that has eluded my internet searches to this day. I don't remember the plot, but I think it had the word 'Rainbow' in the title. There was a dragon that the main character, and adventuring party, was flying on at the end of the book. The bad guys (?) cast a magical web in front of the dragon at the end of the book, and the characters fell. It just stopped there! It was probably part of a series. I can't remember much else. Any help is appreciated.

  • 1
    Would it be one of the Xanth series? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanth#Books
    – gbn
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 10:10
  • Maybe this list will spark a memory: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dragons_in_literature
    – silvith
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 8:33
  • Greg Costikyan had a series of 2 books (never finished) and I think I remember the 2nd one ending like this. One Quest, Hold the Dragon
    – eshier
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 18:43
  • I have a strong feeling that there is a scene like the one described here, in one of Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane sequels (not Dragonsbane itself iirc). I do not have access to a copy to check if this is correct, and, if so, which book. Perhaps someone out there has a copy?
    – Basya
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 9:21

3 Answers 3


This is a long shot - but the 1993 novel 'The Iron Dragon's Daughter' by Michael Swanwick has a chase scene near the end of the book, in which

the protagonist, a girl named Jane, and her dragon Melanchthon are being pursued by other 'dragon pilots' (in this world, dragons are magical/mechanical, somewhat malevolent constructs). They do fall, as do their adversaries, after being slowly destroyed by the environment through which they are travelling (a 'super-reality' in which the goddess of their existence resides).

However, Iron Dragon's Daughter does not end at that point, but continues for two chapters of resolution, so, again, it is a long shot. Also, it was not written for young adults, so if you read it in elementary school there could be quite a few bits that didn't quite sink in.

Incidentally, Swanwick wrote a sequel, The Dragons of Babel, in 2008.


I think this is Laurence Yep's series:

  • Dragon of the Lost Sea (1982)
  • Dragon Steel (1985)
  • Dragon Cauldron (1991)
  • Dragon War (1992)

"Rainbow" probably comes from the dragon's name: Shimmer. The adventuring group is her, Thorn (a human boy), Monkey (pulled right out of Journey to the West along with his magic staff), Civet ( a witch), and Indigo (a human girl).

I remember a flaming net being part of the books too. Unfortunately, I can only find the last three right now. I don't think it was from the first one anyway. In the second book, there is a large wire-mesh flaming bird at the beginning and at the end of the underwater segment. In the third one, near the end, the bad guy casts a spell to keep the dragon from flying, and the same bad guy comes back about 60 pages later, at the very end.

Dragon War has a few scenes that are similar, but also has a proper denouement, so I doubt that's the one you read.


Could it be one of the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey?

  • It doesn't sound like any of the ones I've read... Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 21:37
  • 5
    Far off the mark. The above does not describe the Pern series at all. There while there are dragons, there is no magic in Pern.
    – Mr.Mindor
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 22:12
  • 1
    Casting a pretty broad net by bringing that series up
    – IG_42
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 19:30

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