Cover of Pit Dragon Trilogy: Heart's Blood by Jane Yolen

Pit Dragon Trilogy: Heart’s Blood

The second of the Pit Dragon trilogy, (first is Dragon’s Blood, third, 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 Jakkin and his girl/friend Akki who unwittingly become involved in a plot to blow up one of the great dragon pits. I wrote these 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, German and Swedish editions of the book and the Science Fiction Book Club edition which was an omnibus of all three books.


  • Best Books for Young Adults, 1984 YASD

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What reviewers have said:

  • “Yolen gives us galactic intrigue, grassroots revolutions, more and bloodier dragon fights. . .It’s a fast-paced, fiery, finely -honed  novel that neither shies away from nor condones violence.  . .And the novel’s ending is as surprising as it is magnificent. To give it away would be criminal.”–BookWorld, Washington Post
  • “Fast-paced and impossible to put down. This well-written tale has a tight plot and wonderful characteriations right down to the dragons.Heart’s Blood is a fantasy worth cherishing.”–ALAN Review
  • “. . .sure to be popular both on its own and with readers of the first book. Highly recommended.”–VOYA
  • “Rich in symbolism, eloquent in evocation of a culture which carries within it the seeds of its own destruction, the book stretches the reader’s conception of human capability.”–Horn Book
  • “. . .exciting and leaves the reader waiting for the third volume.”–School Library Journal
  • “Readers. . .will welcome this one with delight”–Booklist
  • “In this book, Yolen adds depth and complexity to the world she created in Dragons Blood. . .the focus of the novel,as it should be, is on the relationships between her appealing young hero and the other well-developed characters and on his growth as he learns more about the dangers and disappointments of his sport.–English Journal
  • “Suspense, adventure and sheer writing magic make a world of dragonbreeders real and the concerns of Jakkin thoroughYly engrossing, Yolen has proved again that a fantasy can be a marvelous mirror to reality as well as a pleasant release from it.”–Des Moines Sunday Register