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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 201

Yolen's dragon stories are among her best, and she experiments with different ways of looking at dragons. In "Dragonfield," collected in Here There Be Dragons , she presents a fairly traditional European-style dragon, full of fire and fury, with the principal interest of the story focused on how people react...

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Yolen's dragon stories are among her best, and she experiments with different ways of looking at dragons. In "Dragonfield," collected in Here There Be Dragons, she presents a fairly traditional European-style dragon, full of fire and fury, with the principal interest of the story focused on how people react to a dragon suddenly appearing in their otherwise placid community.

Yolen says that, "I wanted to write a story in which the hero knows himself not to be a hero, and the audience knows him not to be a hero, and yet he is a hero despite it all." This antihero is Lancot, a great muscular, handsome man who is terrified of dragons and most other dangerous things. Yolen combines this interest in a hero who is afraid rather than heroic with her lifelong interest in kites. Her father was a champion kite maker and set a record for most consecutive days and hours flying a kite. In German, the word for kite is drache, which also means dragon. Yolen takes the idea of kite-as-dragon and has her characters make a kite that actually looks like a big dragon. What Lancot and Tansy do with the kite is the stuff of legends.

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