Book Review: A Sending of Dragons by Jane Yolen

November 17, 2004

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The third book in the Pit Dragon Trilogy finds young dragon-master Jakkin and his beloved Akki living desperate lives as refugees in the mountains, haunted by grief, pursued by searching choppers, and befriended by the five hatchlings of the late Heart’s Blood.

I hate having to say those last three words. But what that death made possible was a new kind of human being that can live in the cold temperatures of the Austarian night, and can see with dragons’ eyes and speak mind-to-mind as dragons do.

But apparently, Jakkin and Akki aren’t the first people to discover this weird change. Soon they stumble upon a mountain enclave of silent, grim people who, generation after generation, have communicated only in thoughts. They have other secrets too, secrets that would change life for every soul on Austar IV…and secrets, holy mysteries even, that make Jakkin’s blood run cold.

Soon escaping from these people of the mountain becomes more important to Jakkin and Akki even than escaping from the long arm of the law. But they dare not escape alone. At least one dragon must be saved from the horrible fate that awaits her in the bloody rituals of a tribe that has become both more than human and less than human at the same time.

This is a dark, forboding story full of suspense and terror, yet at the same time a story of hope and wonder. It combines one of the creepiest depictions of religious ritual found in recent young-readers’ literature with a healthy dose of humor, companionship, and romance. And it brings the saga begun in Dragon’s Blood and Heart’s Blood to a satisfying end.