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Dragon Bones (The Hurog Duology, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – February 26, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A heartwarming tale…delivers a thrilling coming-of-age story.”—Romantic Times

 

“A lot of fun.”—Locus

 

“An excellent read for everyone.”—Kliatt

 

 

About the Author

Patricia Briggs lives in Montana with her husband, children, and six horses.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (February 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441009166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441009169
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia Briggs is the author of the New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series. She lives in Washington state with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Reedekullervo on June 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my third Patricia Briggs novel and all the things she has done so well - interesting and sympathetic characters, a fast-moving story that doesn't need 500+ pages to get started, let alone finish a story, and new territory every outing - were all in Dragon Bones. The two central characters definately carry the story. Ward is an honorable man making do under trying circumstances that include the death of his tyrannical father, an ancient curse, a family ghost and some rather twisted political manovering. He deals with all this while attempting to preserve his land and family. The other standout, Oleg, is the family ghost/wizard/bastard cousin/? and if you thought Ward had problems wait til you hear Oleg's. Briggs' characters always draw you into the story, so that even if the plot isn't perfect you are willing to overlook it to find out what happens to your favorite characters.
Another thing I enjoy about Patricia Briggs' books is her sense of humor. The chapters all have headers of rather wry observations by Ward that add nice commentary to the story that follows. Or take Ward's horse. Ward decides to rename his father's vicious battle stallion from Stygian to Pansy and then enjoys using it to confound his uncle's attempts to have the horse put down -how can he be a frightful beast? His name is Pansy = ) I enjoy little touchs of the absurd like that.
The quest to restore Ward's birthright forms the bulk of the story and many, though not all, of the secrets that are hinted at are resolved. Fortunately for us the sequel, Dragons Blood, is scheduled for publication in 2003 and will hopefully provide us with another enjoyable story as well as clearing up some lingering questions.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mike on March 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Briggs weaves a richly detailed world, with dark overtones and obstacles that would leave the typcial fantasy hero searching for a quiet corner to hide in. Mental illness seems to be a common affliction in the land of Hurog. Ward's father is megalomaniacle with homocidal tendencies, his mother lives in a drug-assisted psychotic stupor, his suicidal brother has chosen fugue and exile, and his sister is mute. Ward only acts autistic to avoid attrating paternal attention!
After his father dies, his cousins betray him and the high king declares him unfit to rule, he gathers his siblings, a mentally-disturbed ghost, an aging stablemaster, and a dwarven prince masquerading as an armsman, and sets out to become a hero. . .
The amazing thing about this novel is that it worked. Really, really worked. The masterfully-drawn characters vibrate with life. The vein of humor that is Briggs's hallmark shines brighly against the dark and hostile world. Ward is a very sympathetic hero, and the story is colored by his determined, unflinching efforts to do the right thing. He and his band of wanderers echo the best parts of Robin Hood, Arthur's round table, and Miles Vorkosigan. The story is by turns tragic, humorous, adverturous and touching, and the pacing is flawless.
While I'm waiting for the promised sequel, I may have to laminate the cover (clear contact paper for those who don't know this trick) so that I can re-live this adventure often in the coming months.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on January 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dragon Bones is a nice, light little fantasy. It's short, relatively self-contained (a sequel just came out, but this book does stand by itself nicely) book that goes down smooth and easy, though it doesn't really have much body. I enjoyed it and it has a really nice climax (though the ending is a bit of a cheat). It just didn't really seem to mean much.

The first thing I'll address is the ending, because it's really the only thing that's wrong with an otherwise very interesting plot. The climax was exciting, with Ward having to make a decision that really builds his character. I was beginning to wonder how Briggs was going to end the book, and thought that maybe it would be a typical cliffhanger, making the reader wait until the next book to find out what happens. But then I found out I was wrong, and I was so pleased. I love it when characters have to make hard decisions. The bad thing is, though, subsequent events make it so that the decision ultimately doesn't mean anything, and it's robbed of most of its drama. Sure, the fact that he had to make the decision is character-building, and I'm glad Briggs didn't take the decision out of his hands, like sometimes happens. The problem is that Ward is saved from the consequences of his actions, and I was a bit sorry to see that.

Otherwise, this is a very good novel. It won't take very long to read, as it's very light. It's not very filling, though. There's plenty of action, which is nice. Swords flash, arrows fly, and the bad guys die. It's quite an exciting book, once it gets going. It just doesn't seem to have a lot of substance. It's a snack, almost. It's well-written, with very good prose and an air-tight plot. You definitely won't go wrong by picking this up and spending an afternoon with it.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Darjeeling on August 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a clever, likeable story that escapes the usual fantasy conventions. The hero's dilemna--a brutish, dangerous father from whom he would like to escape, but can't--is nothing unusual in the fantasy genre, but the way Ward combats his father's intentions is quite clever and amusing. The characters are complex and interesting, particularly the hero. Briggs doesn't fall into the typical fantasy trap of having flawless, perfect heroes and entirely sadistic, evil villains. And--hurray!--not a single one of her names has an apostrophe in it!

There are a few flaws in the text, all of which could have been avoided with an attentive editor. There are a few cases of awkward phrasing ("Like me, Ciarra was clad in a blue velvet gown...") Hmm. Ward, the muscular hero, was wearing a blue velvet gown? Sometimes Briggs has used the wrong word ("His face had a blank inward look that...usually precluded some of his odder moments.") She means "preceded," not "precluded." The queen is referred to as having "not born..an heir" when the word should have been "borne." Such errors are a distraction from the plot, and detract from the generally good impression the writer has made.

A good editor might have made some corrections to the pacing of the story, too. It takes nearly 90 pages for the author to get her hero on the road, and a mere 20 to describe climax (and anti-climax, as a reviewer below pointed out), and wrap up all the loose ends of the plot. The fate of two major characters is actually conducted "offstage," as it were; even though one of them was important enough to have parts of the story told from his point of view. It's almost as if Briggs was in a hurry to move on to another project.
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