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Dragon's Blood

(Pit Dragon Chronicles #1)

by
really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  11,754 ratings  ·  330 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 May 1st 1982)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  11,754 ratings  ·  330 reviews


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H.L. Stephens
Apr 17, 2014 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.
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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
...more
Caroline
Jul 12, 2010 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
Adrienne
Aug 05, 2012 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
...more
Josie
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
E.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Humanity arrived long ago on the planet Austar IV and slowly carved an existence for themselves out of the desert planet. There, they found dragons, and made them a (seemingly) essential part of their livelihood. Entertainment, food, clothing, etc, all come from dragons. The book follows the story of a young bondsman, Jakkin, as he attempts to steal a hatchling dragon, raise it as his own, and train it to fight in the dragon pits.

The internal logic of the book is broken the more I think of it.
...more
Matt
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up by accident, thinking it was Dealing With Dragons, which a friend recommended to me. Conincidentally, I finally guessed my mistake the same day that I found a copy of the latter book at a thrift shop. I should have a review of that one to post shortly.

As far as YA dragon fantasy stories go, this is about par for the course. It is clearly inspired by Anne McCaffrey in some respects. Silly sounding names abound. The vaguely medieval/ feudal culture includes a decent amount
...more
Ashley Verity
I read this on a break from a true crime book and it definitely perked me up enough to go back to the true crime. That being said a few parts tugged at my heart-strings. Jane Yolen never disappoints
Adrianna
Nov 09, 2008 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
Jacob
Jun 07, 2016 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
...more
Bethany
Dec 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary JL
Nov 22, 2008 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
...more
Lisa
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow nostalgia. I had forgotten that this is technically scifi. I love the training parts but dislike how much the condensed time line skips. I do think Jakkin has pretty good characterization and thus it is a good 1st book in the trilogy.
Coney Zealley
May 28, 2016 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.
James Bertolino
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marilee
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My feelings are definitely complicated for Dragon's Blood, by Jane Yolen. When I was a kid, I loved it, and re-read it multiple times. What my ten year old heart loved was the relationship of the main character, Jakkin, with his dragon, and the bond they shared. The world created in this book is a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, which I had never encountered before, and I found it fascinating!

Upon reading this book as an adult, though, I have found that it has not aged well. Primarily i
...more
Kaila
3.5 stars. Quick and fun read. I remember picking this book up when I was about 12 and reading it in one evening - but I had no memory of the story. In fact, I remember a scene pretty vividly that I was sure was in this book, only to find out it was not. Now I have to figure out what book that scene was in. r/tomt here I come.

I will definitely be picking up the sequels.
elissa
Jun 11, 2017 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.
Debbie Barr
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my childhood favorites! I just re-read this with my husband and it was fun to revisit it.
Trevor
Feb 01, 2016 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.
WastingTime
It’s an easy read that’s moderately enjoyable, but is in no way a literary masterpiece. I was able to get through the book pretty fast every time I sat down to read it and it was really fun to read most parts, but the writing style is mediocre and it was very clear that the author only half-figured out how this world works herself. The animals, ecosystem, and environment of this planet was very thoroughly thought out and it was very obvious. She even gave them flaws and strengths and talked abou ...more
~Cyanide Latte~
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens who may be interested in the Pern novels but not ready to try those yet.
I have vague recollections of this book [and series] being in the teens/YA section of the library for years, and I feel like I may have tried reading it before without success. It popped up at one point in Amazon recommendations, and I decided to take a chance on it and buy the first book.

All-in-all, this book wasn't terrible. I definitely feel like I find more faults with it than I do virtues, though that isn't to say that I dislike it or it wasn't interesting. This qualifies as a science-fanta
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Christine
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claudine
The dragon-raising and -training parts are as good as I remembered, but there's an undercurrent of cringe-worthy misogyny: every single person of note is male, all the leaders and important people, all the dragon breeders and trainers. There are only two named female characters in the entire book-- obvs they don't speak to each other or interact, but you have a formerly-beautiful cook who used to be a sex worker, and a currently-beautiful teenager who was raised in a brothel.

It's pretty obvious
...more
Emily
This was a reread, and I have to admit that I didn't remember much about my first read. What I got was a fairly short read in a sci-fi fantasy setting very reminiscent of Pern, to be honest, about a boy training a dragon Pokemon-style. I think I enjoyed it more on my first go, but I'm sure that the ages of the protagonists compared to my own age now is a significant factor. They're very young, and they act it, which technically is good but can also be grating because teen boys are bad.

I found es
...more
Gwyn
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Dragon's Blood is a pretty average young adult fantasy/sci-fi novel that could have been good except for a few issues that drag it down to mediocre at best. Most of the things that bugged me were related to world-building. Some were just annoying. For example, the double Ks in all of the proper names and the "thees" and "thous" made me twitch every time I saw them.

Others were major oversights: apparently, the only profession available to women in this world, with a few exceptions, is that of pr
...more
Elizabeth
Clearly influenced by Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, Dragon’s Blood is a science-fiction/fantasy that didn’t turn out to be anything I was expecting when I picked it up. I thought it would be a fun dragon book (How to Train Your Dragon still makes me squeal in excitement); I was not expecting something akin to McCaffrey’s works. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing—it just caught me off guard.

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, especially this kind, where strange terms and words are i
...more
Camilla Valletta
“A great pit dragon must breathe fire and smoke.” Dragon’s Blood, by Jane Yolen, is a thrilling story about a young bond servant, Jakkin, who is determined to become a master by training a dragon on his own and becoming a free man. Doing so is not all about training the dragon though, it’s also about not being caught in the process. To add to the challenge, Jakkin has also never trained a dragon to fight in the pits and has never been taught how to.
Dragon’s Blood is the first of four books in th
...more
Tanya
When I was a kid, the only book of this series I had access to whas A Sending of Dragons, from my local library. Years (decades, centuries) later, I'm reading the whole series to satisfy a promise made by the me of yester-millenia.

The book is a bit of a grand adventure of a young boy and his Dragon, and these pieces are painted in the most vivid detail, though the world at large is painted in broad strokes. Perhaps because it is from the view of young Jakkin, and we see better what is more impor
...more
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2,675 followers
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

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 (The Pit Dragon Chronicles, #4)

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