Dragon's Blood: The Pit Dragon Chronicles: Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Enthralling, gritty, classic dragon trilogy.




ALA Best and Notable Books

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In this culture, stealing dragon eggs is expected and encouraged.


Some fighting; battles against a vicious creature; men bet on organized fights between dragons.


There are numerous mentions of the "Baggeries," which are apparently bordellos of some kind, though it's hard to tell. Some mild sexual references, a kiss, and lots on breeding dragons.


Some mild curses, including the frequent "fewmets."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character is addicted to a narcotic drug.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some sexual references, and that the intense scenes of dragon fighting may be too much for sensitive children.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Jakkin, a bond-boy on the planet Austar IV, works for Sarkkhan, the best dragon trainer on the planet. Jakkin dreams of one day having a dragon of his own to fight in the dragon pits, and earn him the money to buy out his bond. So he creates an oasis in the desert, and steals a hatchling to train there.

Now he must work during the day, train the dragon at night, keep it all a secret, and protect the baby dragon from predators. He establishes a telepathic bond with his dragon, and gets help from Akki, a mysterious bond-girl who seems to come and go as she pleases. But he still needs to find a way to enter the stolen dragon in the tightly controlled Pit competitions.

Is it any good?


Old pro Jane Yolen can really spin a yarn. Her writing is vivid and gritty, even a bit edgy for its time. Every book plays a movie in the reader's mind, but this one is especially clear, with a mesmerizing flow that carries the reader along to its exceptionally satisfying conclusion. With the current popularity of special-effects fantasy epics, how have they missed making a movie out of this series?

This is one of the rare fantasy/science fiction novels with no real villains and no battle between the forces of good and evil, just the enthralling and exciting story of a boy, a dragon, and an invented world that rings true in every clever aspect, both fantastic and human. Young readers will find this hard to put down, and will be eagerly reaching for the next book in the series as soon as they're done.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Austarian system and how it parallels our own. What is the Pit Dragon system most like -- horse racing, cock fighting? What do you think of the bond system -- fair, or not?

Book details

Author:Jane Yolen
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Harcourt Brace
Publication date:January 1, 1982
Number of pages:303
Publisher's recommended age(s):12
Read aloud:10
Read alone:11
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

This review of Dragon's Blood: The Pit Dragon Chronicles: Book 1 was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old July 17, 2009

Perfect for 10+

It loses you in the book but it is a good book.


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