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Dragon's Blood (1982)

by Jane Yolen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2681810,497 (3.95)66
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.
  1. 40
    Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Bonds with dragons in science-fictional societies- I read these two series in my early teen years and they are inextricably intertwined in my memory.
  2. 30
    Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Dragons and coming of age stories. Both books begin series but can also stand alone.
  3. 00
    Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner (wordcauldron)
  4. 00
    Song of the Summer King by Jess E. Owen (wordcauldron)
  5. 00
    A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (wordcauldron)
  6. 00
    Dragons of Light by Orson Scott Card (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: The short story "Cockfight" in Dragons of Light (later reprinted in Jane Yolen's collection Here There Be Dragons) was later expanded into the novel Dragon's Blood.
  7. 00
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (wordcauldron)
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» See also 66 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I mostly enjoyed this, though the "thee"s and "thou"s directed at dragons annoyed me. It didn't make even handwavium sense.

Also, the ending was nauseatingly pro-eugenics and pro-indentured servitude. ("None of that false compassion--picking a runt or one with an injured wing. You went right to the best." And nonsense about some people not being man enough to get out of their servitude?? Yuck, yuck, yuck.) ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Sep 21, 2018 |
It's more than 200 years since humans settled the planet Austar IV in the Erato galaxy, and training and fighting the native dragons has become the planet's main claim to fame. Jakkin is a bond-servant, indentured to his master until he can fill the bond-bag that hangs around his waist, but Jakkin has a plan: steal a hatchling, teach it to fight, and use the profits to become a master in his own right. Of course, though he knows a little bit about dragons, he doesn't really know anything about teaching them to fight . . .

I found this a quick, engrossing read. I was expecting it to be a children's book, but it makes no bones about some of the rougher aspects of Jakkin's world (prostitution, drug use) and that places it more squarely in the YA arena. I'd recommend it to readers looking for something like Anne McCaffrey's dragon books. ( )
1 vote foggidawn | Oct 20, 2017 |
This starts out from the scifi standpoint, with starships, galactic empires, etc.

And then you have dragons.

Then you get a really great story about a boy on the cusp of manhood who steals a dragon and raises it to successfully fight in the Dragon Pit [hence the Pit Dragon Trilogy]. And there is a girl.

This book holds up well. Meant for children and ya, it certainly tells a story that an adult can enjoy as well. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Dragon's Blood was a lot of fun especially the mix of fantasy with a little sci-fi; I particularly enjoyed the telepathic bond between Jakkin and Heart's Blood. While there was a hint of budding romance, it was by no means a dominant part of the story. Hopefully Jakkin's view of "master" will grow and change as he gets older and experiences more of his world; otherwise, I don't see him winning over Akki anytime soon. Most likely I would've rated a story like this five stars if I had read it back when I was 10 or 11 years old. But reading it now, I greatly appreciated it never talking down to the audience (young adults) or completely watering down aspects of Austar IV life like prostitution or culling. Although the slavery aspect was a bit glossed over. If I were reading this with my daughter, I'd definitely want to have a conversation about its heavier subtext.

4 stars

Note: This was my first book by Yolen. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Nov 24, 2015 |
Substance: A "convict world" some centuries after "mancipation", where the main entertainment is fighting dragons in huge "pits" (multi-story buildings). Gives gladiatorial status to the mildly sentient animals controlled telepathically by their human trainers. A boy steals a hatchling and raises it, so he can earn enough money to buy his way out of bonder (slave) status.
Mild romance and intrigue.
Style: Easy narrative flow, sanitized view of animal fighting culture with minimal violence , disguised immoraltiy. ( )
  librisissimo | Mar 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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