Dragon's Blood
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Dragon's Blood (The Pit Dragon Chronicles #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  7,443 ratings  ·  200 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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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
Feb 03, 2010 Adrianna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
Mary JL
Nov 22, 2008 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
This book missed my list of favorites by a long-shot, but it will always have a place on my bookshelf, and has earned at least a second reading.

The world it is set in is both interesting and imaginative, and the history of the land is actually one of the things I liked best about the story. The characters share words and phrases that are clearly common to them and exotic to us. There are clear and defined customs, as well as a general way of being for most of the inhabitants, which of course the...more
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.
Niki Hawkes
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com

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...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.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Welwyn Katz
Jane Yolen is a wonderful young adult writer. I love her fantasy novels, and this one is no exception. This is the first in the Pit Dragon Trilogy, about a young "nobody" slave who learns to steal a dragon's egg and warm it and feed it so that it bonds with him. The love between Jakkin and his young dragon is very palpable, and it is impossible not to root for him. What is possible, however, is to wish that loving a dragon in this world is the only way out for a human like Jakkin, because that d...more
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...more
This was a tricky one to choose a rating for. It's a kids book, a good middle grade book I'd say. It is quiet and simple in its storyline, and praises hard work, persistence and preparation. The young man Jakkin has decided to risk stealing a dragon egg to raise into a champion so he can win his freedom from slavery.

The astonishing thing about this book is that the masters are not evil, the culture is stable and makes sense, and thinking ahead is a very important part of succeeding. It has a hap...more
I confess, I was debating for a long time whether to read this book or not. I love dragons and I never get sick reading about them, but the book's summary made me a little hesitant to read at first! Raising dragons to fight in pits? It sounded so cruel! But if it's anything like POKEMON BATTLES, I'd give it go! *laughs* And I'm so glad I did! This book isn't mean like pit bull fights and it's not quite like Pokemon either, it stands out beautifully on its own.

The story is fast paced and didn't t...more
First off, forgive me—I read this about a month ago, and didn’t have the time to blog it; now some of the details are fuzzy. But what really stands out as excellent is the world building. I picked up the book expecting it to be high fantasy; instead, it’s science fiction that happens to feature dragons (as well as electricity and space ships). The development of the planet is vital to the story itself. The planet was originally a penal colony, and what began as the hierarchy of guards over priso...more
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...more
See this review and more on my blog: https://readwritetravel.wordpress.com...

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...more
Sep 19, 2011 Ross rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens, fantasy fans
This book, which I last read in my early teens, held up surprisingly well (much better than Christopher's White Mountains (Tripods) series. The world Yolen has built is well thought out, and the concept of semi-telepathic dragons bred back from the verge of extinction only to be used as a food and entertainment source (the Stews and the Pits, respectively) raises some interesting philosophical points about ethical and humane treatment of animals. Add in the bonder (financial/workhouse slaves) co...more
When you're in middle school, there are lots of books that seem wonderful but, when you read them years later, are found to be dull or bad to an older reader.

Dragon's Blood does not have that problem.

I first read the soft sci-fi story of Jakkin and how he trains his stolen dragon about a decade ago (oh my!) and loved it then. Yolen's writing is perfect for people of all ages, and I found when I re-read it recently and found it as engaging as any book I could pick up, with no feeling like I was r...more
I find more and more that the age at which I read something, and time period in which it was written, affect my impression of it. The order in which certain books are read is also a factor -- whether I read the book that was the inspiration vs the inspired first (a la The Lord of the Rings vs The Sword of Shannara, and The Vampire Diaries vs the Twilight Saga). So here is the early '80s equivalent of Joust by Mercedes Lackey (a book that I adore), but I am finding myself enjoying it still, even...more
Anne McCaffery'd Dragon Riders of Pern books were some of my all time favorite growing up, so when someone told me to try Yolen's Pit Dargon series I was really excited (even though it took me a while to actually pick up the books). But what is it about young adult/middle grade dragon stories that they have some very adult themes content. I know there was a lot in McCaffery's, most of which went over my headat the time, but to my surprise there was a lot in this one as well (I guess I am older a...more
Lisa Rathbun
The world Yolen created captured my imagination! I was caught up in Jakkin's desire to be free and his connection with his dragon. Particular details grabbed me, like calling female dragons "hens" and calling the dragon-fighting arenas "pits."

I don't know if the book would have interested me as much when I was younger. There are whole sections describing Jakkin caring for the dragons and later raising his red hatchling. I found these interesting, but a younger reader may want more action. Readi...more
May 20, 2011 Carrie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carrie by: Laura
Shelves: own, scifi-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Cutler
I first read this book at least 10 years ago when the series name was the Dragon Pit Trilogy. The book is fantastic! Back then when I read the third book, my copy had an excerpt from the next book, but when I went to the store to purchase it I was laughed out of the store especially when I tried to show the employees the excerpt and could not find it in the copies there. I started to think that I was going crazy until I wrote Jane Yolen to confirm that there was indeed a fourth in the works. She...more
Tyler Meckler
This book is a great most story's you find with dragons never start with a slave mostly a prince, knight, other world being etc. but not a slave the one you think to be a side to the hero or a enemy I like the more under dog feel gives a nice back story of jakken and how his life is I would like to continue the series of the book
Dan Clarke
I enjoyed this book, though it never really grabbed me. Possibly because I read it right after being introduced to Temeraire, who was better-written and more interesting all around.

Yolen's novels so far seem to be fairly derivative, but with small, interesting twists. I do like the dragons-as-pets sort of theme she has going on in Dragon's Blood, though that disappears in book two (Heart's Blood) and I expect it will be completely gone in book three.
Andrew Suzanne
Jane Yolen paints an incredibly imaginative world of a barren prison planet that rose out of its shackles with its pit dragon blood sports. Jakkin, one of the young serfs called 'bonders' for the bond-bag that they wear until they can fill it with gold to become free, plans to steal a dragon egg from the nursery he is bonded to. He dreams of raising a mighty pit-fighter that can earn him his coins and his freedom. The book becomes a tale of a boy and his dragon and the special connection they sh...more
It was really good but slightly awkwardly written and kind of a hurried ending, but other than that I liked the characters and the story line it's just I didn't know what baggary girls were until KKarina (I think I got her name right) said "they expect open legs" to Jakkin I finally realized it was a type of whore house I think, idk it was kind of confusing. Some of the story confused me hopefully in later books I will be able to understand better. But I love hearts blood what a great dragon she...more
We live in a world where the first impulse is to "google". For the most part, I think that's fine. Nevertheless, I have more than once found--and ended up loving--a book by wandering the shelves of a library with no specific title, subject, or author in mind.

I found Dragon's Blood on the shelf in my Junior High School library. I was browsing aimlessly, found the cover art interesting, and decided to give the book a try. This is a great yarn for adolescents interested in fantasy fiction, dragons...more
Morgan Lee
I actually read this series when I was a kid, and decided to reread it before suggesting it to the girl I nanny for. I quickly found myself engrossed once again with Jakkin and his adventure to steal an dragon egg and train his own dragon. Jakkin is a wonderful character, set apart from the others but always willing to help anyone he considers a friend. Really this series as a whole, including the more recently written 4th book, are great for kids who love the fantasy genera. These books are not...more
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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
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