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Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen
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Dragon's Blood (1982)

by Jane Yolen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,089177,645 (3.95)53
  1. 30
    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. 20
    Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Dragons and coming of age stories. Both books begin series but can also stand alone.
  3. 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.
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» See also 53 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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 |
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. It took me half of the book before I sussed what a fewmet was!

I also found the treatment of the dragons to be a little unpleasant. Yes, I know that they're fantasy creatures in a made-up setting but people treated these obviously intelligent creatures horribly throughout the novel - hitting them with sticks and cattleprods and forcing them to battle in violent cock-fights. Even Jakkin, who speaks as though he is forever concerned about his dragon's safety, is still very quick to shove her into a potential fight to the death.

The novel also contains some questionable material and so I'd advise parents read it before giving it to younger teens - there are frequent references to drug use and prostitution and some gory dragon-deaths throughout. However, the tone of the novel is fairly light and so it would make a quick and easy read for a teen reader.

In terms of the characters, I was also disappointed. Jakkin was okay, if a bit forgettable. I didn't dislike him but he sometimes behaved incredibly childishly and naively and so it was easy to forget that he was supposed to be fifteen. The other characters were far less interesting. The only female character of note was Akki, who existed to be a love interest for Jakkin. All of the other characters were pretty bland and the dialogue felt unrealistic and over dramatic.

All in all, it was okay for a light read. Fans of dragon stories might get a kick out of it but there are far better YA fantasies out there. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jan 6, 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 |
This is a well-written tale of an orphan with ambition, plans, and enough gumption to follow through and achieve his dreams. Nice read for young or old. ( )
  fuzzi | Nov 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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The twin moons cast shadows like blood across the sand.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152051260, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:04 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.

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