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Rose Paperback – April 8, 2002

Book 0 of 10 in the Bone Graphic Novels Series

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Paperback, April 8, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Every good epic not only deserves but needs a prequel. So Jeff Smith's Bone, one of the great graphic novel epics, gets a teasing look at what happened in that magic realm before the series started in earnest. Opening with a Nordic saga-like origin myth about how the dragon queen Mim was driven mad by the lord of the Locusts and buried in stone to protect the world, Rose shifts into a traditional fantasy melodrama about two princesses. Rose is the more beloved, headstrong and inattentive to her lessons about how to control her powerful ability to magically dream. Her sister, Briar, is a darker soul, ambitious and resentful of the attention directed at Rose. When the two are called to their final tests in the danger-fogged mountains of the Northern Valley, they are soon launched into a fiery cauldron of betrayal and battles—all of it witnessed by the dolorous, mournful eyes of the Great Red Dragon. Vess's dramatic, detailed illustrations remain powerful, but feel cramped by the small trim size. Smith's tart writing easily weaves humor and tension into a tale packed with lessons on politics and morality. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–A prequel to the Bone saga (Scholastic), Rose takes place in the Valley years before the Bones arrived, when Gran'ma Ben was the spirited, beautiful Princess Rose. She and her cold, bitter sister, Briar, are called to defend the Valley from a vicious dragon that is possessed by the Lord of the Locusts. Rose is up to the task, but can Briar be trusted? Vess's Art Nouveau-style illustrations, as well as an elegant, ornate font, give the story the look of an antique fairy tale. The vivid but soft colors, in subtle shades of red, yellow, green, and blue, are stunning. A strong introduction for readers new to the series, and a satisfying addition for fans hungry for more.–Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY END --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Cartoon Books (April 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888963115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888963113
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,073,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

If you read this book before the "Bone" series (even though it is the prequel), many suprises of the series will be ruined.
Cormoran Strike
Rose boasts the kind of lush, layered and highly detailed art that has always excited my eyes and drawn my imagination into whatever stories he illustrates.
Tom Knapp
I was a bit disappointed that the story didn't reveal anything that the reader hadn't learned about from reading the main series.
K. Eckert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Cormoran Strike on September 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To anyone who has or is reading the "Bone" series- pick this up!

I was hesitent to pick up a copy myself- the color illustrations by Charles Vess were strange and foreign to the black and white cartoons of Jeff Smith, but I decided to give it a chance. While it lacks some of the witty humor of the series, this is a action-packed prequel to an already fantastic epic story.

Jeff Smith masterfully weaves this installment into the rest of the series. He may not illustrate this part of the story, but his writing is as rich and deep as it's ever been. The reader is given a greater appreciation for the series by jumping back in "Bone" history and following the backstories of Grandma Ben, Lucius Down, the Great Red Dragon, and others. You may even be shocked from what you discover!

A definite "must have" for any fan.

NOTE: This book is best read after Book Six: Old Man's Cave, which also is the end of Part Two. (Reading "Rose" after Book Seven: Ghost Circles is fine too.) If you read this book before the "Bone" series (even though it is the prequel), many suprises of the series will be ruined.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on July 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had no knowledge of Jeff Smith's Bone series when Rose hit the stands. But I knew Charles Vess, whose artwork has never failed to captivate me, so I picked up the book even though it was a prequel to a series I didn't read.
Not only does Rose stand easily on its own as a classic of comic-book fantasy, it also piqued my interest in Smith's long-running fantasy series. I will know more of these people, these creatures and these lands! But before I journey into the realms of Bone, let's focus on the book at hand.
Rose boasts the kind of lush, layered and highly detailed art that has always excited my eyes and drawn my imagination into whatever stories he illustrates. His people -- and, in this case, his anthropomorphic dogs, dragons and rat-creatures -- are by no means photo-realistic, yet they are expressive and endearingly lifelike. The panels seem almost to be in motion as Rose, her sister Briar and the iron-jawed Captain Lucius Down play out their parts in the tale. Euclid and Cleo literally dance across the pages with canine excitement!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sibelius on July 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Jeff Smith's, 'Rose,' serves as an excellent prequel to his much beloved 'Bone,' graphic novel series. Fans will find great interest in the earlier backstory of Rose and introductions of 'Bone,' mainstays such as Lucius Down, The Red Dragon and even the 'hairy rat creatures.' Smith's writing and story construction is as solid as ever - the only thing noticeably missing is the infusion of frequent humor. The artistic collaboration with Charles Vess pays off magnificently as readers are treated to a lush, vibrant artscape that Vess is well know for. Even those who have not yet read through,'Bone,' this book stands up perfectly fine as a stand-alone as well. Great stuff all around that will appeal to anyone with an appreciation for the graphic novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jagathon on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a teacher who uses graphic novels to motivate children to read I was aghast at the ugly unreadable font that was used for this book. I had one student afraid she needed glasses when I handed her the book. She finally gave up and asked to read something else. Many students who are fans of Bone have tried this and they all gave up. This is from a class that enjoyed all the other Bone books. I thought it was just too hard to understand till I looked at it myself. I have a hard time understanding how an editor approved this font choice for a well written and beautifully illustrated book. If you can't read it...what's the point? No student wants to read it; I haven't removed it from the class library because the artwork is detailed and enchanting. What a waste!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Lilore on September 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
It's doesn't have the comedy of the other Bone books but fills in a lot of backstory, is beautifully drawn and colored, and is actually quite scary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Hoffknecht on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles Vess has put together nothing but good artwork and Jeff Smith has crafted some of the finest story lines in comic books ever, just on that, you cannot really go wrong.

This book is different from "Bone", but still helps to teach you more about the same universe and the history of these characters that we have loved in "Bone".

If you are a Bone fan, you have to check it out. If you are just a fan of fantasy comics, then it is worth checking out you you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By romevi VINE VOICE on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
As I stated in my title, I would highly suggest reading this book AFTER you have read the Bone installments (or the One Volume Edition).

This story takes place in the young life of Rose, before she had become Queen of whatever land she's from (can't remember off the top of my head as I read this book quite some time ago). It tells of how Rose became to be the valiant warrior that she is (and soon queen), and what became of those close to her.

Just fresh from reading Bone, I was very enthusiastic about diving into this story. Although I think the watercolors are done fantastically well, I missed Smith's animations. The story didn't quite captivate me as did Bone, but it was still worth the read.

Highly recommended for any Bone fan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Youngdahl on October 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved Jeff Smith's Bone series. My 9 yr old daughter and I would read them together. It took us a while to get through the Prequel "Rose". The storytelling in "Rose" is good, and the art style, while different, is also fine. In fact it has more of a classic fairy tale/fantasy feel. But the story lacks any of the humor of the other books, and without the Bones to soften the mood, the story is much more grim and dark. It is a good story, but it seems disconnected from the greater narrative. Even at it's darkest, the rest of the Bone story is not as violent and scary as this book.
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