Cover of Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen

Pit Dragon Trilogy: Dragon’s Blood

The first of the Pit Dragon trilogy, (second is Heart’s Blood, third is A Sending of Dragons) this science fiction novel takes place on another planet–Austar IV–where great dragons are fought in pits. This is the story of a young bond boy who buys his way out of servitude at a dragon nursery by raising up a great red fighting dragon. The book started as a short story–“Cockfight” (which can be found reprinted in Here There Be Dragons.) But it grew and grew because there was so much I wanted to explore on this planet, which had been a penal colony. I wrote the pit dragon books because I love dragons. Jakkin and Akki are based on my children who are now in their thirties. Austar is of course named after Australia, which was a penal colony for the British two hundred years ago. I hope in the future to write a fourth book–if I can come up with a plot! There have been British, Danish and Swedish editions of the book and the Science Fiction Book Club edition which was an omnibus of all three books.


  • Parents Choice Award Book 1982
  • ALA Best Books (YABB) 1983
  • Colorado Blue Spruce nominations 1986
  • California Young Readers Medal nomination 1987
  • American Booksellers Pick of the List 1996
  • 2003 YALSA Popular Paperbacks List

Around the Web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “Yolen’s tightly plotted, adventurous trilogy constitutes superb storytelling. She incorporates elements of freedom and rebellion, power and control, love and friendship in a masterfully crafted context of a society sick with perversion.”—-Publisher’s Weekly
  • “An original and engrossing fantasy.”–The Horn Book
  • “Yolen has an enormous talent for creating a ‘real’ world in which the details are ayered in vivid descriptions…full of exciting and emotional passages and should have wide appeal.”–KLIATT
  • “Yolen’s attention to detail, along with her prose–clean, unsentimental, evocative–makes it an engaging and absorbing read.”–New York Times
  • “A fascinating glimpse of a brand new world.”–School Library Journal
  • “Yolen has created a world that is convincing both in physical and societal aspects. . .her characterizations have vitality and charm.”–Booklist
  • “A consummate storyteller. . .” Christian Science Monitor