And Then I Read: A SENDING OF DRAGONS by Jane Yolen

Cover illustration by Dominick Domingo

The third book in the Pit Dragon series takes a different turn by sending the two fugitives, Jakkin and Akki, underground, where they become prisoners of trogdolytes descended from humans who had escaped from bondage in centuries past, and who have developed a twisted interdependence on dragons kept with them in their maze of caverns. Like the two human captives, they can withstand the deep cold of the Austarian nights because they have bathed in dragon’s blood. Both the cave dwellers and their dragons have devolved through inbreeding, though, and while they have strong mental command powers that Jakkin and Akki are helpless to defy, their way of life is declining steadily. Jakkin’s talent with dragons helps him gain some new importance in the group, and he is able to get Akki to help him as they deal with a female dragon who is sick. Eventually they learn of a dangerous way out of the caves and are determined to try it.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first two, I think because the two leads are often helpless, and the atmosphere is gloomy. Adventures with their own group of young dragons is mostly put on hold here except for the beginning and end of the book. This was meant to be a trilogy, but in the back of this one is a sample of book four. That turned out to be the final entry. I may try it eventually, but my interest in the series has cooled.

Mildly recommended.

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