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Publisher's Summary

When the Black Dragon seized the Deep of Ylferdun, young Gareth braved the far Winterlands to find John Aversin, Dragonsbane - the only living man ever to slay a dragon. In return for the promise of the King to send help to the Winterlands, Aversin agreed to attempt the nearly impossible feat again.

With them, to guard them on the haunted trip south, went Jenny Waynest, a half-taught sorceress and mother of Aversin's sons.

But at the decadent Court, nothing was as expected. Rebellion threatened the land. Zyerne, a sorceress of seemingly unlimited power, held the King under an evil spell, and he refused to see them. Meantime, the dragon fed well on the knights who had challenged him.

In the end, Aversin, Jenny, and Gareth had to steal away at night to challenge Morkeleb, largest and wisest of dragons.

But that was only the beginning of the perils they must face.

©1985 Barbara Hambly (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Dragonsbane

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Resentment, Longing and Passion

If you look up Barbara Hambly on YouTube, you may find an interesting little documentary about her. As authors go, she has a very interesting repertoire of stories.

In this story, she peels back the typical story of a fire breathing dragon, dissects it and carefully puts it back together. For instance the Jungian heroes journey ends at the beginning of her tale, with the naive young courtier from the south braving bandits and open seas to find the last remaining dragon slayer. Gareth finds his hero and is at first dismayed, as John Averson is nothing like the stories he has heard. But we the readers soon see that John, while not fitting the mold, is exactly the man that Gareth needs.

While the story follows John's partner, the witch Jenny Waynrest, John is undoubtedly the hero of the story. Hambly has crafted a character of pure humanity in him, aware of his own flaws and selfless in both his mission and his relationships. John Averson is, in my opinion, a hero worth regarding.

So, I encourage you to listen to this story of magic and dragons, mages and philosophers. But remember that the hero's journey is over at the beginning of this story. This story, at its core, is the story of woman torn between her passions. It is a love story, but not a tale that you have heard before, rather one that addresses resentment, longing and passion. I'll let you discover which character embodies which theme.

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Beautiful

This book is beautiful. It is as much a masterpiece today as it was when it was written. It is fantasy from the perspective of the wise woman character and delivers on everything it promises to give. If you are impulsive I implore you to snatch this up and read it without further thought.
My only criticism is that, while it is a complete story, I only wish recordings of the other books in the series could be found somewhere. They promise to be excellent treatments of the world this book introduces to us.

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  • S. Morton
  • 2016-09-17

one of my favorite listens

I've loved Barbara Hambly since I first read her in college, but it had been several years since I read her. Picking this up on the recommendation of another favorite author, Brandon Sanderson, re emphasized what I knew all those years ago--Hambly's writing is lyrical, fluid, and sensitive. And the reader was exactly right--emotive without over-performing, allowing the felicity of Hambly's prose to take center stage.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rohan
  • 2015-05-15

Didn't want to leave Jenny and the dragon

I found myself in my head all day after finishing Dragonsbane, wanting to wander off into the world of Jenny and John, and the dragon. I love Barbara Hambley's stories. I love that she has strong female characters who have both self determination and a purpose in life beyond that of a husband and children- and Jenny's dilemma is no less significant now than it was when the book was written, maybe more so. I also love a good love story - and it is a love story, even if they have been together ten years, and have two children. The narrator does a decent job, manages to get most of his phrasing right, even if he does say "nitch" for niche....

4 people found this helpful

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  • B. Huffaker
  • 2020-08-01

Favorite

I heard about this author and this book in an interview of Tamara Pierce and Brandon Sanderson. Both authors listed this book as among those that influenced them profoundly. It did not disappoint.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. Trout
  • 2020-07-06

Great voices!

The tone of the narrator really matched the pacing of the book. It felt relaxed but also wondrous.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-16

Awesome Book

This book was in my father's library for years but I had never gotten around to reading it. Well, I had been missing out. This had a great story that kept me guessing throughout. The twists and turns never seemed unreasonable, just more creative than my own expectations.

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  • rchriste
  • 2021-05-26

Unique among fantasy

A story that plumbs the souls of us mere mortals and asks both “Who are you” and “What do you want?” A tale, truly, of dragons.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katie Applebee
  • 2021-03-13

A YA Novel for Thirty-Somethings (no spoilers)

The main character, Jenny, is so utterly relatable. She knows her strengths, her faults, and her weaknesses. The other characters are wonderful, particularly her husband. Their bond made me laugh and gave me so much joy in the little ways that a well established couple can. We need more happy old couples in the world.
First time reading this author or hearing from this narrator: both have been added to my reading list. Truly fantastic, I would highly recommend both to anyone who loves fantasy.

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  • BadKarmaCupcake
  • 2019-10-22

captivating story, fantastic narration

Complex characters, gorgeous settings, well paced action, brilliantly read. I'm only sad it's not longer.

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  • Marge of NY
  • 2019-08-11

Absolute Love

This book is such a gem. Pure poetry and beautifully delivered. I looked forward to listening and hearing how Barbara Hambly skillfully intertwined and developed each character.

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  • Jason
  • 2019-04-28

Meh - Slow Story But Enjoyable

A more than slightly neurotic witch who spends most of the book in her head, rehashing the same events that result in anxiety, worry, envy, anger, frustration, fear, and guilt. The narrator does a good job and that salvages the story from being insufferable.

The overall story is good but pacing is very slow because the scenes that move the plot forward are short and far between and the time spent in the main character's head, where she replay's the same events, make up the majority of the book.

I can't recommend it but I did enjoy it and don't regret listening to it. Check it out if you want to feel better about yourself because you'll realize that at least you're not as conflicted as this character.

1 person found this helpful