I just finished reading Dragon’s Blood by Jane Yolen, and I think I picked a fairly odd time to read this book. It has nothing to do with the time of year, but I’ve been playing Skyrim, a game where a large part of the story involves finding and killing dragons, so it’s kind of odd to read a book about raising dragons while playing a game where I’m killing them. Anyway, on with the review.
First book of a trilogy
The main character of this book is Jakkin, a bond servant on the planet of Auster IV. He is little better than a slave who works for Sarkkhan, a Master who trains dragons. Jakkin wants to be free from his bondage and so he decides to steal and train a dragon so that he can buy his freedom. Nothing really stood out about Jakkin to me. He’s 15 when the book starts, and he’s a believable 15 year-old, impulsive, energetic, rarely thinking things through, the usual things you expect from a younger person. For much of the book he is off on his own, not choosing to be involved with many other people and preferring the company of his dragon. He’s well written, but not the most memorable character.
The more I read the novel, the more the setting seemed off to me. It’s a fantasy setting, complete with a very strict caste system, but you’re told in the very beginning of the book that this is really another planet that was found by humans several hundred years in the future. So it’s several hundred years in the future, and people are colonizing other planets, but with very few exceptions they have pretty much 19th century technology? Maybe it will play a bigger factor in the sequels to this book, but for this one that aspect of the setting just didn’t work for me.
In order to buy his freedom, Jakkin steals a hatchling dragon from his master so that he can train it for the pits to ultimately buy his freedom. It’s a fairly straightforward plot, there were no big surprises that change your perspective about the story, but it is well written.
This is a solid book if not overwhelming. The only thing that really stood out to me was the setting, which I don’t see much of a reason for. All in all, not a bad book, but not the greatest either. Let’s chalk this one up as another series where I’ll eventually pick up the sequels, but I won’t be in a huge hurry to do so.
A solid book, I’ll get to the sequels eventually.