Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Bone: Ghost Circles [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher] by Jeff Smith, book 7 of the Bone series.
I suppose it is a sign of Jeff Smith’s skill at developing his fictional world and its characters that I have read each volume of Bone in fewer sittings than the last, even though their length and complexity remains consistent.
The end of the previous volume Old Man’s Cave made it seem as if the heroes had had a major victory, but Ghost Circles begins with almost overwhelming setbacks, and of all the Bone collections so far this one is easily the darkest in mood. Even a few scenes with the usually comical Ted the Bug are quite grave.
Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Bone: Old Man’s Cave [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Jeff Smith, book 9 of the Bone series.
Old Man’s Cave moves the story of the Bone series along at a galloping pace. Although I don’t see it noted here, one of the earlier collections I read showed this series grouped into trilogies, and there does seem to be a significant multi-volume conclusion in this sixth book. By its end, there has been a resolution of much of the central conflict, but there is an intimation of more to come.
Smith’s art continues to be effective, and his storytelling engaging. There are hardly any new characters introduced in this sequence, but there are some major revelations about the ones established earlier in the series. The reader learns by stages exactly who the evil Lord of Locusts is, and why he is interested in Phoney Bone, not to mention surprising revelations about the Hooded One.
Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Bone: Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Jeff Smith, volume 5 in the Bone series.
This volume of Bone is concerned with Phone and Smiley’s effort to return a stray rat creature cub to its kind. Many complications ensue, with opportunities to reveal more about the larger plot around events in the valley. There are no humans in this segment, but there is a lot of action, with multiple chases and a big fight or two. And Smith really lays on the cute, with the possum kids encountering various peers in the eastern mountains. On the whole, this collection is a fine installment in the continuing series.
Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Bone: The Dragonslayer [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Jeff Smith, book 4 of the Bone series.
Phoney Bone is the primary actor in this segment of the Bone story, although for all his scheming, he is out of his depth, as usual. It is unclear until the end of the volume, whether he is accidentally helping the heroes, or unwittingly harming them. Thorn advances toward maturity and purposefulness, and not a minute too soon. On the whole, this stretch is somewhat tense and plot-heavy.