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Dragon's Heart: The Pit Dragon Chronicles, Volume Four Paperback – February 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


". . . the dragons display vivid personalities and agendas . . . the author crafts a plot well supplied with danger and action . . ."--Kirkus Reviews

"Yolen’s world-building remains accomplished, and the characters are engaging and sympathetic."--The Horn Book Magazine

". . . fans of the initial trilogy will eagerly read this addition to the series. An introduction and preface allow those new to the series to read this title without reading the first three books, but reading the books in order will undoubtedly be more rewarding."--VOYA (3Q3P)

About the Author

JANE YOLEN has written countless picture books and young adult novels to much acclaim. She's perhaps best known for her How Do Dinosaurs . . . series illustrated by Mark Teague and the young adult novels Sister Light, Sister Dark; Briar Rose; and many others. She divides her time between Massachusetts and Scotland.


Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Pit Dragon Chronicles (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (February 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054739862X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547398624
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Sewell on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. It picks up right where the third left off. the writting was good, though at times seemed a bit rushed.(as if Jane needed to finish writting a chapter/the last half of the book)The first half was the right pace and was building up to something big/good. But the second part was rushed. The ending was ok,and again seemed too rushed. More could have been done with the "kidnappers" It was ended in away that there "may" not be a another one.(which would be sad, because there is still alot that can be done)The added info about Austar after the book was a nice touch and did bring a smile to my face. And within that alone, there can be another book. I found these books as a young teenager, even though i'm in my late 20's, i still read the seris and was super happy to see a fourth. I hope for more books in the seris. More about Jakkin and Akki growing up and starting their own family and help Austar with the change. Or the trogs upraising and attacking a weak, changing Austar that hows little to no weapons. Or side storys about Golden's "pirating" missions to help Austar. And if Jane or anyone that knows her(which i doubt she or anyone that knows here even reads Amazon reviews ). Please write more books for the seris. And please, take your time with the story. This seris has lots of promise. We the fan, are behind you on them and await more. Keep up the good work. Fans of the seris, read and enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Hughes on February 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge Jane Yolen fan since I first read the "Great Alta" books back in the late 90's; after that I have made a point to read anything Jane Yolen has written [except for the picture books], no matter what age group. I remember thoroughly enjoying the first three Dragon books in this series. But #4. What happened? Although the writing was ok [not great], the plot devices were so obvious and randomly strewn throughout--perhaps to bring back the characters that appeared in previous books, but for no apparent reason? I remember thinking she was probably really busy or distracted while writing this book as some plot choices really made no sense at all. Or perhaps this book, as in the dedication, was really to please someone else as book #3 didn't end with all plot items wrapped up neatly with a bow. Which I was really ok with. #4 wraps everything up but so forcibly it seems that the characters might come bursting out at the seams and roll around chaotically, also wondering what happened.

I gave this two stars as I enjoyed revisting Austar IV. I really wish I could have given it more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K&DB on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the original trilogy about 5 times each, and really enjoy them. The first book is wonderful, and the other two are good reads. I am actually one of the fans that REQUESTED a 4th book over 10 years ago - I was so excited when I found out last month she FINALLY wrote a 4th... but this book is just poorly written and has no plot. the first half is so slow, obvious, and boring. The second half is chaotic, insane, and riddled with plot holes. I put the book down multiple times, which I seldom do when I read simply because I usually get into a story ans can't stop. Honestly, I could have written a better book, and I'm just an average college educated person. In the end I wish she just didn't write it, because I had a much better ending worked out in my head.

+++SPOILERS++++ Plot synopsis so you don't have to read the book:

Jakkin and Akki return to nursery, everyone has been "freed" from bond, Jakkin and Akki argue a ton, and they are concerned that dragons will be hunted and killed so others can have the "dragons eyes."

Akki runs off to Rokk to find out what happened to their DNA, and to see if it can be replicated (oh BTW shes doesn't tell Jakkin who is angry when he finds her gone).

Jakkin eventually runs off after Akki on foot during dark-after with his dragons. He get captured by Trogs, who are trying to get the stolen cave dragons back. The trogs are killed by Jakkin and company at the nursery.

Akki meanwhile gets captured at a debate (where Golden took her along) by the old cell leader who though she was dead, and considers her and Jakkin a liability to run for Senate.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was good to get back to Austar IV after many years away. I think I read the previous book in this series in 1987. This one has been sitting on my stack since the beginning of 2010. Thankfully, the book included both an introduction and a preface which did a lot to get me back up to speed on what I missed.

This one begins with Jakkin and Akki escaping from their captivity at the hands of the trogs and returning to the dragon nursery that was their home. But after being gone a year and because of some things they did before they left, they are returning to a world that is very different than the one they left.

The bonders revolted, the senate freed all the bonders, and the Federation has embargoed the planet for not more than fifty years. And Akki and Jakkin have changed beyond measure too. They spent the night in the egg sack of Jakkin's dying dragon to escape the bitter cold of the Dark-After and when they left it they could tolerate the cold and speak mind to mind with each other and with dragons.

Akki is determined to discover how they developed their powers. She wants to find some sort of vaccine that will let others survive the cold and speak mind to mind but without the necessity of killing the female dragons. Jakkin is even more determined to protect the dragons.

Both have harrowing adventures as Akki learns that all the rebels weren't shipped off the prison planets or rehabilitated and Jakkin is recaptured by the trogs who had held them captive.

The story was engaging and entertaining. I was swept into the story even though I barely remembered the first three books. The writing was wonderful. But, what else could one expect from Jane Yolen? Fantasy fans middle grade and up will enjoy this adventure story and will be eagerly searching out the previous three books in the series.
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