March 9, 2009

Review: Crown of Horns by Jeff Smith

Crown of Horns is the final volume in the Bone series. Both the summary and the review assume you've read the other volumes. At this point it's almost impossible not to reveal something about the earlier books, so you might want to jump to my final thoughts.

My Summary. All the action and plots culminate at the gates of Atheia. Everyone and every creature, good and bad, meet in the battle of the age. Meanwhile, Thorn, Fone, and Bartleby head off to find the Crown of Horns that Thorn has so often dreamed about. Will they find it in time, and will it save the day?

My Thoughts. Crown of Horns is about twice as long as the other books in the series. The pace is quick, and we finally learn the answers to many of the mysteries and find out which legends were true and which were not. Although the characters and their personalities are unique, the plotting was reminiscent of the last chapters of Lord of the Rings. From the battle at the city gates to the way in which the enemy is finally defeated, the parallels to Tolkien are clear.

Final Thoughts about the Series. I loved the Bone books, and I highly recommend the series for anyone who likes humor, graphic novels, fantasy, and/or fun characters. I was caught up in the story from beginning to end, but I think I would have been happier to have read the entire series in either a much shorter or a much longer time period. Reading and reviewing the 9 books in the series within 6 weeks was a bit wearying.

The books are rated for a fairly young audience (9 to 12 years old), but I think the humor, the larger themes of good and evil, and the motivation behind some of the characters' behavior would be lost on the younger kids. Even some of the drawings are better suited to the 14 and up crowd.

The artwork and colorization were outstanding. The faces and postures of the characters clearly conveyed the emotions and thoughts of the individuals. The scenery, from forest to desert and from village to city was arresting.

This review was cross-posted to my blog Beth Fish Reads.

Published by Scholastic, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780439706322
Rating: B

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