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Dragon's Blood (Pit Dragon Chronicles #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  10,371 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
Jakkin, a bond boy who works as a Keeper in a dragon nursery on the planet Austar IV, secretly trains a fighting pit dragon of his own in hopes of winning his freedom.
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Turtleback Books (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 12, 2010 Caroline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely hated this atrocity of literature. I felt as if I was reading a seventh grader’s failed attempt at a creative writing assignment. Jane Yolen tries to give credibility to her appallingly poorly written story by adding adult elements, like the constant reference to the “bag girls” (a.k.a. prostitutes) and bleary-eyed, abusive weed smokers. She also invents cuss-words for her world which she readily uses with gusto, making me cringe as if she had actually used a real one. She apparentl ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Adrienne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
First I gave it a 3. Then I took a nap and realized it was closer to a 2.

The world sounds beautiful, but the characters are decidedly not. I usually don't care much what people in non-existent worlds do but the more I think about it, the more annoyed I get.

Main character- "Hi girl that I wasn't particularly close to. You're nice and pretty and I kind of like you but never said anything to that effect in the entire book. Your dad gave you to me, and one day I'll have enough money that you'll gla
H.L. Stephens
Apr 17, 2014 H.L. Stephens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book when I was a kid. Read it for the first time in 5th grade. Still love it to this day.
I had to write a bit more in defense of this book after reading some of the harsher critiques written by others. First of all, this was a children's book and yes, perhaps it it is not politically correct for today where feminism is concerned, it does create a world that did not exist before its inception. That is the beauty of fiction. This book was one of my first plunges into the genre
Jan 13, 2016 E. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Re-read in May 2013: I'm wondering if I got all the references to drug addiction and prostitution when I read this as a child, because as an adult it leaves me baffled that a short, simple, supposedly-aimed-at-middle-grade story could be so... skeezy. Don't get me wrong, I thought the worldbuilding was good, but the bleakness and the Serious Issues (most of the population are slaves and women are treated as objects) seemed at odds with the simplistic narration.

The story is predictable, but it's
Jun 07, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another reread of a book I remembered enjoying in my youth. Fortunately this one is almost better than I remembered :) It's definitely youth-targeted but the characters and setting are rich and the story is well-written. It wraps up a little too quickly at the end, but hey, there's a sequel!

The setting is a desert planet where dragons are a native life form, and humans breed, raise, train, and have them fight for entertainment. The humans are divided into free and "bond", where the bonded people
Mary JL
Nov 22, 2008 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone over 10 years of age; fantasy lovers of all ages
Recommended to Mary JL by: No One
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
These books are meant for younger readers. But I often read children's books to see what avaialble for kids now.

The only reason the books got a 3 and not a 4 is as an adult I could see things coming, where a younger reader might not, so not as much suspense.

This book is a stand alone--but If you read all three books in the trilogy, it is quite short and enjoyable.

I serously recommend this also to any parents who have have their kids read "Harry Potter" and are asking "what next?" And imho girls
Coney Zealley
May 28, 2016 Coney Zealley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dragon-books
One of the better dragon books I've read. It was slow, but a steady pace that made it a relaxing read until the climax when I couldn't put it down. Recommended for ages 12-16, but an enjoyable read for anyone who likes dragons.
Jun 11, 2017 elissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this whole series in around 2004, and liked them a lot. I don't remember a whole lot from them, but I have some fuzzy images. Not sure why I've never remembered to add them.

**Oh, now I see that I did add the boxed set, just didn't add them individually.
Nov 09, 2008 Adrianna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Adrianna by: Jason Simone
This is a story about a boy and his dragon, which takes place in a fantasy time period and setting. Jakkin Stewart lives in slavery with other men and women (they are known as bonders). The only way to get free from bond is to become a master, not only a master of humans but of dragons. The book explores Jakkin's journey into manhood as well as a friendship with a dragon hatchling. The book starts a little slow, but after the first three chapters Jakkin faces hardship after hardship, from steali ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Bethany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2016 Trevor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This series is a sort of precursor to the many YA dystopian novels of today. It has the irritating kid who gets dragged into a revolutionary conspiracy, a society that revolves around blood sports, a surprisingly dark world in which slavery and prostitution are normal parts of life, and strange pseudo-mystical plot twists that make you question whether the author had a plan or just made it up as she went along.

It probably would have been a bestseller if it was written today.
Nikki Nielsen
My son and I actually found this book on tape at a truck stop while on a road trip. It was kind of hard to get into but it kept me awake and if you like Dragons, you'll love the world of the Pit Dragon Chronicles.
Mar 16, 2017 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Loved this book as a child but now that I'm rereading it I just can't get into it. One star and on my couldn't finish shelf. Not worth it.
Justin Tajchman
Jul 12, 2017 Justin Tajchman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kiddos
Loved this book as a kid. Enjoying it now but it's not quite as magical as I remember.
Feb 04, 2017 Kaye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What an imagination it takes to create a world and make it believable. My interest was piqued from the start. The book was an easy read, quick and fascinating.
Denae Christine
Reader thoughts: I don't like that the entire planet seems split into three groups: dragon trainers, dragon bettors, and baggery women (whores). All these are split into either masters or bonders (slaves). Seriously, I don't know if doctors, farmers, teachers, etc. existed. If they did, that must have been their side job. Every female character is either a baggery woman or has been one or is pressured into becoming one (actually, we only meet three or four women total).

The bond (slavery) syst
Braunson Young
Mar 10, 2017 Braunson Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was awesome. Who doesn't like dragons fighting each other? I thought it was awesome to see Jakkin and his dragon bond. I thought it was awesome how they communicated through colors and moods. I also like how Jakkin had to train his dragon from a baby and we got to see turn from a baby dragon into a full grown dragon.

Mar 01, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I really liked this book. Interesting characters and interesting world building. Also a different take to dragons than what I've read before. With the pits and the ferals and the stews and the studs/hens. Definitely unique to me. May pick up the 2nd one to see what happens next!
Feb 27, 2017 Ema rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephanie - Adventures Thru Wonderland
3.5 but I really enjoyed the ending.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I picked it up because I remember enjoying Yolen's work as a young child, and because I have always loved dragons, and a good fantasy tale. Since I read books of all ages, the fact that this one is intended for middle-grade didn't both me. Or well it wouldn't have, but considering that fact, some of the subject matter did. There were fairly strong references to both drug use, and prostitution, both in my opinion have no
May 12, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See this review and more on my blog:

Jakkin lives on Austra IV, a desert planet that used to house convicts. A bond-boy to the best dragon breeder on the planet, Jakkin’s talent for dragon training may very well be his only way to free himself from bond. But stealing a hatchling is dangerous business, and raising one out in the desert sands even more so. Battling an egg-sucking drakk, a weed-smoker named Likkarn, and a sarcastic girl named Akki, Jakkin tri
Nov 01, 2010 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rena Sherwood
This book was a happy surprise since I wasn't expecting much from Jane Yolen (I've only read a few other books and short stories of hers). I happen to be reading (and in some cases re-reading) the Dragonriders of Pern series and some other dragon-centered books and really got into this one. It centers on a human-dragon relationship but in a way that I (hesitate to say) is more realistic than how other authors imagine.


Yolen's dragons only have minor telepathic powers, but send colors and basic sh
Niki Hawkes  - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at

This was actually my second read-through of Dragon’s Blood, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time around. It’s book one in a four book series, and I wanted to refresh my memory on everything that happens before continuing on. As it turns out, I really hadn’t forgotten much, just that the book was a lot shorter than I remembered it being. Because of that, this review is also going to be short and sweet. :-)

It’s no secret that I lov
Katie rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2017
Kim Dyer
While I think I can see why some people rate this novel so highly, it just wasn't the story for me.

I liked the idea behind it more than I did the execution. The worldbuilding was heavy-handed and never really went deeply enough. A lot of it is exposited in the eleven page introduction which reads like a geography text book. There was a distinct lack of politics in the story, despite how the world was formed, and the book frequently dropped concepts or used unique words without fully explain them
Well, it wasn't complete idiocy, but it came close. Parts of this book were quite good--the first fight, for example, was wonderful. But Yolen has pacing issues with the rest of the book, her characters are never developed into fully-fleshed out people and stay two-dimensional throughout, and the writing is so basic it's almost insulting to the intelligence of the reader. In addition to all that, there's a single noteworthy female character in the book, and she only passes the "lamp test" becaus ...more
The first in a trilogy, Dragon's Blood introduces readers to Jannik. Jannik's father died when he was young and his mother quickly lost the ability to support them both. So now Jannik is a bond-slave. He works on Sarkkhan's dragon farm/nursery. He enjoys his work but dreams of being free. He has a plan: he plans on stealing an egg before hatching time and raising the young dragon to be a great pit fighter. But forces are against him as he is prevented from getting to the eggs on hatching night.

I first read this in elementary school. Strangely, I can remember exactly where I found it in my local public library.

This book is classic young-adult fiction, with a coming-of-age story wrapped in a setting on a different planet. Which adds a bit of science-fiction spice to it, and every now and then the author contextualizes the medieval-esque fantasy setting by mentioning the "rocket jockies" that come to the planet to bet on the dragon fights. Settlement on the planet mimics the settlement
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Dragon of the Lost Sea
  • Sign of the Dove (The Dragon Chronicles, Book 3)
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  • Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards, #2)
  • Joust (Dragon Jousters, #1)
  • Dragon's Bait
  • The Arkadians
  • Dragon Outcast (Age of Fire #3)
  • Dragon and Slave (Dragonback, #3)
  • Dark Moon (Firebringer, #2)
  • Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (Magic Shop, #2)
  • Of Two Minds (Minds, #1)
  • The Secret of Dragonhome (Dragonhome, #1)
Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
More about Jane Yolen...

Other Books in the Series

Pit Dragon Chronicles (4 books)
  • Heart's Blood (Pit Dragon Chronicles, #2)
  • A Sending of Dragons (Pit Dragon Chronicles, #3)
  • Dragon's Heart (Pit Dragon Chronicles, #4)

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