Jane Yolens Pit Dragon Chronicles continues with this fourth book in the series.
Things have changed on Austar IV. Bonders have been freed and everything should be improved. But now that Jakkin and Akki have the ability to stay outside during Dark After and the ability to mind-talk with one another and dragons, being amongst their old friends at the dragon nursery is harder than they imagined. It's imperative that the two of them keep the secret of the dragons, or they risk creating a world in which dragons are slaughtered so that humans can gain their special abilities.
Jakkin and Akki must get to Rokk Major, where Akki will continue her medical studies and begin researching dragon blood in the hopes of finding a way to give people dragon abilities without causing harm to these majestic creatures. But, now that Jakkin's settled back into a routine at the nursery, he's not quite ready to leave again and when the two go their separate ways, havoc ensues.
Fans of Jane Yolen's Dragon Pit series will appreciate the continuation of Jakkin and Akki's journey, which is rife with angst as the two try to balance their lives and their secrets.
The premise of mind talking with dragons and the "Dark After" setting are great elements for young adult fantasy, and the story of these two characters is fascinating and tragic.
I did find certain patterns of the book annoying, like the tendency of the author to over-explain minor details and to use some words repetitively. I was also surprised at the amount of sexism present, but I supposed that Austar IV has its own set of standards, as deplorable as I might find them to be. As a fan of Yolens body of work, I was surprised to find that the story was slow in building and the climax left much to be desired in the way of pacing. Id expected tighter story structure.
Overall, I found the world-building and story to be unique, but the characters tiresome and the writing disappointing.
Off to turn another page&