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Dragon's Blood: The Pit Dragon Chronicles, Volume One
Stock image - cover art may vary
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0152051260
ISBN-13: 9780152051266
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May, 2004
Length: 320 Pages
Weight: 7.2 ounces
Dimensions: 6.8 X 4.5 X 1 inches
Language: English

Dragon's Blood: The Pit Dragon Chronicles, Volume One

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Dragons are trained to fight to the death, and two determined teens help free them in this spellbinding saga. Training a dragon to be a fighting champion is the only way to freedom for fifteen-year-old Jakkin.

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Customer Reviews

  A Fantastic Read For Any Age

There aren't that many authors who've mastered the art of telling a story that's simple enough that children can get drawn into it, yet complex enough not to bore adults or young adults. J. K. Rowling is one. Diane Duane is another. And Jane Yolen, as she proves in _Dragon's Blood_, is definitely a third.

Set in a vividly-painted world with a detailed society, _Dragon's Blood_ is a coming-of-age story that features dragons on par with McCaffrey's or Duane's when it comes to the ability to enchant. As most such stories do, it has a happy ending... but not completely happy, and if Jakkin seems to have an unusual amount of luck on his side, Yolen still manages to tell his story in a way that won't make adults (who tend to be more cynical than starry-eyed young teenagers) roll their eyes and toss the book aside. On the flip side of the coin, while concepts such as prostitution, maturity achieved through sex, and drug addiction are mentioned, this is done tastefully and with a definite message against all of the above. I wouldn't hesitate to give this book to a child, though the very young or very sheltered might have questions about these issues after reading.

With a strong plot, realistic characters, a colorful setting, and the perpetual delight that is (well-portrayed) dragons, _Dragon's Blood_ would give either a youngster or an adult a great introduction to the fantasy genre. For those who are already fans, add this one to your bookshelf; you won't be sorry. However, you might want to wait until you've read it before purchasing the sequels, neither of which quite measure up to their predecessor.

  Dragon's Blood

The Pit Dragons Trilogy is one of the most delightful series of books I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. It consists of the stories of a boy and girl, Jakkin and Akki, who live on the planet Austar, a former penal-colony with a master/bond-slave societal system, where telepathic dragons are bred and trained for fighting in the Pits.

One of the things that makes the whole trilogy so good is the ingenious way in which Yolen develops her world of Austar. The culture, politics, ecology, and dragon- physiology (complete with endearing anatomy diagrams) are brilliantly conceived and interwoven to create a wholly believable climate into which the reader is inextricably drawn.

I have often thought with interest about the similarities between the Austarian culture and the early Australian culture (remember, Australia was also a penal colony) not to mention the similarity betwen the two names.

The books are also about the perplexities of growing up, and the love which Jakkin and Akki have for each other, and for the dragons in the stories, are what make it so valuable from a human standpoint. And most of all, it is Jane's unique witty, humorous and poetic writing that keeps the whole saga going. The first of the books - Dragon's Blood - is the simplest of all three stories. Placed entirely in the setting of the dragon-breeding nursery of Master Sarkkhan, it tells of Jakkin's fight to free himself of the bond-system by securing a dragon hatchling, and rearing it in the wilderness to train as a fighter in the Pits - assisted by the resourceful Akki.

  A Review of _Dragon's Blood_

In this classic, humans have long since colonized the planet Austar IV, where "dragons" are one of the native creatures. Dragons are raised here in nurseries because they had almost reached the brink of extinction in the wild. Young Jakkin was born into a life of labor under one such place, Sarkkhan's Nursery. Each laborer wears a pouch around their neck, and can only become free when that pouch is full. Jakkin's is hardly full, and at Sarkkhan's Nursery there is only one way to do that: steal a dragon's egg and raise it to be a fighter at the Pits. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This was more difficult a task than it may appear, for most of the dragon eggs would not hatch, and only an adept could tell the good eggs from the bad. Likewise, the eggs are not counted, but the hatchlings are. Jakkin is lucky and is able to snatch a small hatchling that was unaccounted for. He takes it to the desert and raises it as a fighter with the aid of Akki. And the dragon turned out to be more than it had first appeared ... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I loved this book. I read it a few years ago, but the story is still fresh in my mind. The story was great, and I was turning pages all the way through. The character's goal to win freedom -- and with a dragon at that -- enlightened my own spirit when I read it. A charming and wonderfully written book that deserves to be bought and placed on the shelf to be read again in the future. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- _Dragon's Blood_ is the first book in the Pit Dragon trilogy. It is followed by _Heart's Blood_ and _A Sending of Dragons_, which are quite readable, though I felt they did not live up fully to the first book.

When I first looked at "Dragon's Blood", I wasn't so sure it would be a good book. I'm a fan of Jane Yolen, but, well, it just didn't look interesting.

I was wrong.

"Dragon's Blood" is an amazing work of fiction. Though I was, at first, strongly reminded of Anne McCaffrey's Pern, the society described in this book took on it's own identity. Yolen creates an amazing planet and culture that arises in the future. While the people do have technology, it is not spectacular. Instead, we are introduced to a charming, though struggling, society built by criminals, a world based on an economy where dragons are raises to fight one another.

The story revolves around Jakkin, a teenage boy, who is, unfortunalty, a bonder (basically a paid slave) He was born free, and his dream is to pay off his bondage and return to freedom. To do this, he steals a dragon hatchling. he plans to raise this dragon into a pit fighter, and thus earn his freedom.

I was impressed with Yolen's vivid desciption and emotion. The story kept an enjoyable balance between light-hearted entertainment and deep meaning. The characters were strongly devoloped and realistic, adding more to the tapestry of the novel.

Like many readers have said, this book may not be suitable for children, for there are subtle references to prostitution. Some may find this shocking, but it fits well with the book's society. Besides, the references are subtle, so a younger, naive child would probably read past these references without a second thought.

Overall, "Dragon's Blood" is a rich, vivid, imaginative novel, and a worthy tribute to Jane Yolen. I am looking forward to reading the book's two sequels.

P.S. My review title is a delightful little cussword used in the book. I'll probably be using it often.

  A long loved book.

I remember when I first read "Dragon's Blood" and the rest of the books in this series about seven years ago. I loved them dearly then and I love them even more now. There are some things that I missed the first time, but now that I am older I caught more and there is nothing that has taken away from the enjoyment of these books. I would suggest that anyone who loves dragons and wishes them to be real read this fantastic series. I find them appropriate for pretty much all ages (Parents, there is some mention of prostituion so you may want to discuss this with your children first) and they will be enjoyable to all fantasy lovers.