The third book in the Bone series turns something of a corner in terms of the plot. What had previously appeared to be all about the Bones, admittedly set in a fantasy world of monsters and dragons, now takes even more of a step towards fantasy cliche. Mixing elements of a Lord of the Rings-style brooding, imminent war with a few fairy story staples (which we won’t go into here for risk of spoiling it all for you), you might be forgiven for assuming that this fantasy tale was taking a turn for the worse. Of course, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Instead, by showing its hand like this, you’ll realise that Bone has a lot to offer. The beautiful illustration and slightly anarchic plot make all the difference. Smith is a master-craftsman, pulling us through his story with humour and great technical skill. The switch Smith makes with the characters in this volume is nothing short of magical.
The series is pitched at an all-ages audience and it couldn’t be better targetted. Now the basic plot and purpose has emerged, the way is clearing for a classic tale of high-adventure, which could be enjoyed by anyone who isn’t likely to get too scared by hairy humanoid monsters with sharp teeth, vicious claws and glowing red eyes.
Other titles in the Bone series:
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