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BONE #4: Dragonslayer Hardcover – August 1, 2006

52 customer reviews
Book 4 of 10 in the Bone Graphic Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

When Bone first came on the scene, critics raved about it, often mentioning it as being "fun for the whole family." Jeff Smith has always been wary about others labeling his work "for children," partly because he knew that "no topic of human experience--from the introspection of Peanuts or the politics of Doonesbury to the lyricism of Pogo--was beyond the wonderful world of comics." He was also cautious because he knew that the story he was telling was going to deal with issues and themes graver than Saturday morning's cotton-candy cartoons. In Bone: The Dragonslayer, the first volume of the second Bone trilogy, there is conflict, sometimes involving violence. There are forces of evil. There is war. But Bone is neither pap nor pabulum; it is challenging without being obtuse, and yes, even within its fantasy setting, Bone is real. This distinct combination makes it the best kind of children's book. Parents, read this book with your children. You'll find it may turn out to be your favorite book, too. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up—This book will no doubt please fans of the series, but the plot is somber and often drags, and the humor is too easy, too sparse, and not dry-witted, as in earlier titles. What the story lacks in plot, it makes up for in character development; there are back stories about Thorn; Gran'ma; and a mysterious, new, hooded dark leader; and the relationship between Fone Bone and Thorn deepens. While the series as a whole has appeal to both young and old alike, the dark images and light violence in this title might be too intense for some younger readers.—Scott La Counte, Anaheim Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Bone (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: GRAPHIX; 1St Edition edition (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439706262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439706261
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric San Juan VINE VOICE on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Timeless is every way, "Bone" is an expansive story about three "bone creatures" (you'd have to see them to understand) that find themselves in a valley peopled with an assortment of crazy and interesting characters. Looming over it all is the menace of a great evil, first glimpsed by the ferocious (and funny) rat creatures, but later revealed to be something much more disturbing.
"The Dragonslayer," the fourth in the nine-volume "Bone" series, ramps up the tension and dramatically increases the scope and scale of the story, while retaining touches of its all ages humor.
This volume picks up where the third left off, as revelations about the main characters and the evil looming over the peaceful valley central to the tale draw the reader more fully into Jeff Smith's wonderfully-woven plot. Though still geared towards an all-ages audience, the deeper issues that make this compelling reading for adults really begin to show here, taking prominence over the humor through a good portion of the book.
Smith combines the kind of classic storytelling perfected by the likes of the legendary Carl Barks (Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge) and Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) - gleefully funny cartooning with outrageously expressive faces and gestures - with the epic and engaging plotting of a sweeping fairy tale. "Bone" walks a tightrope and walks it well, managing to be something fans of both Donald Duck and Bilbo Baggins can enjoy.
Jeff Smith's "Bone" series is a critically acclaimed but criminally overlooked epic. Critics recognize Smith's masterful storytelling abilities and are drawn to his mix of all-ages humor and more mature darkness, but the black and white art and lack of superheroes turn off many comic book readers, making it a hit only in the "underground" sense.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on June 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"The Dragonslayer" is the fourth volume in the Bone series. The story really moves quickly in this book. Even the humorous sections are focused on the storyline, which wasn't always the case in the previous books. This is another outstanding volume in the series.

We learn a lot about Thorn in this book; her relationship with Rose, and with the Dragons. She questions her abilities, and her resolve, but ultimately she rises to the occasion. Fone sticks by her loyally throughout, but the most interesting relationship has to be between Rose and Thorn. Thorn is very critical of the way Grandma Rose has kept information from her, and she does not hold back her opinion. Rose is dejected, and disappears fairly early on in the book. Phoney Bone continues his plotting to scam the villagers and return to Boneville after taking their stuff. Lucius is trying to locate Rose after she disappears, and Smiley Bone continues to provide some lightness to the story. A continuing mystery is the cloaked men, who show up periodically, but arrive just in time at the end of this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TechWrite on October 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I got the first volume - Out of Boneville - to read to my 7 yr old granddaughter. She loved it, so I got the whole set bound in a single volume. In this form the entire volume is in black and white except for chapter title pages, which is not as attractive.

The good news first: The artwork is brilliant, the storyline is captivating, and the characters are simply irresistible; witty, hip, contemporary, etc. Better yet, the primary protagonists are two females... a grandmother and her teenage granddaughter. Both are attractive and feminine, but wonderfully powerful, decisive and effective - never masculine or "comic-booky". Moreover, their characters (and many others) are extensively developed - which is why this truly is a graphic NOVEL. Aside from this series (and Harry Potter, for older kids) I've looked without success for literature that includes girls as intelligent and competent protagonists. This series helps to fill a dreadful vacuum in literature for girls - although it will surely be of equal interest to boys.

And then the bad news: Some aspects of the storyline are not terribly appropriate for younger (or maybe, any) children. 1) Much of the storyline occurs in or revolves around a tavern. 2) Gambling is a central issue to the storyline and, although not especially glorified, neither is it condemned. 3) One scene, although innocent and handled delicately, involves mixed nude bathing (which I personally found inoffensive). But for the first two problems I'm certain that the "Bone" series would have shaken the world of young people's literature as Harry Potter did.

Despite my reservations, my granddaughter wants to hear nothing else at bedtime, and we're on our 3rd time through!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ventura Angelo on April 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This comic has it all:the zany poetry of Peanuts,the wry criticism on human fallacies of Doonesbury,and the philosophy of Calvin and Hobbes,plus a scent of the best Pogo.Phoney Bone is the real negative hero of this book:his manipulation of the brainless masses superb,his total lack of scruples joined whit a nietzcheian rationalization ("People like to be victims! There's a sort of moral superiority attached to it...)unparalleled.If he fails,it is only for the spirit of sacrifice of the Dragon,a real Christian image,I dare say.Phoney Bone is a veritable Stavrogin of comics.
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