north_willow's review against another edition

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5.0

It was really enjoyable, though I wish Jeff Smith was the one who illustrated it.
I love Rose's character and I hate that the flaw of her character ultimately led to the death of one of her dogs. In the end, it looks that Rose was not feeling the cheering of the crowd as they praised her for slaying the dragon. Maybe this is the point where she changes

kikiandarrowsfishshelf's review against another edition

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3.0

This isn't as good as Bone. In terms of a comic unconnected to Bone it is proably good, but like the Star Wars prequels, some of the plot doesn't match what came before. Which annoys me, though this is faaaaarrrrr better than SW.

I want to know what happened to the cows. There is horses here, not cows. There should be cows. I don't care if it is nitpicking. The cows were cool.

But what I really, truly didn't like was the whole Briar foreshadowing thing. If you've read Bone then you know Briar is the bad master. Here that is foreshadowed by three things. (1) Briar doesn't like dogs (2) Briar doesn't like the outside (3) Briar shows her cleveage. Simplstic characterstics of evil always annoy, especailly the dog one. The reversal of that is that everyone who loves dogs is good, and we know from history that is not true.

Yet, the story was overall engaging.

pantsyreads's review against another edition

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3.0


Review originally posted here.

Why I Read It: I read and ended up really enjoying Smith's Bone series earlier this spring/summer so I knew I had to read the prequel at some point. Spoiler-free review ahead.

A prequel Bone comic with Gran'ma Ben (though she's a strapping young lass here and nowhere near a grandmother) as the main character? HELL YES!! I was quite excited to read this, especially since the original comic series doesn't touch on the past with Rose and Briar all that much. You know it happened, but they never go into very much detail.

One thing I immediately appreciated about this story was that it was fairly self-contained, despite being a prequel. There's a little preamble at the beginning that talks about some important stuff so that readers who have never read the original Bone series shouldn't be lost. I do still highly recommend reading the original series though as you're likely to enjoy the story more, I would think.

The story itself was pretty good and made good use of the page-count it had, but there was something about the writing that was strange. It was written by Jeff Smith (despite not being illustrated by him -- more on that in a bit), but it didn't read like the original series at all. There was something about it that felt like it was written for a younger audience. One of the things I loved about Bone was that it *wasn't* written in this way, but was still appropriate for children as well as adults.

The drawing style used by Charles Vess for this story didn't really work for me either. His water-colour backgrounds were beautiful, but the way he drew characters was just... blehg. The proportions of the characters' heads looked all wrong, and it was not pleasing to the eye at all.

This review is shaping up to be pretty negative, so I want to make it clear that I *did* like this and I am glad I read it. It just wasn't on the same level as some of the later volumes of Bone.

Final Verdict: A solid one-volume prequel to a really good series. I think fans of the series will like this volume, but I'm of the opinion that it wasn't as well-written or illustrated. The writing style felt like it was aimed at a younger audience, and Vess's art style wasn't my favourite. I'm still glad I read it though, and would be more than happy to own it (whenver I get around to buying the rest of the Bone series for myself.)

nikki_in_niagara's review against another edition

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3.0

Reason for Reading: A prequel to the series, but the last book published in the series.

This was a really hard book to give a rating to. The story is written by Jeff Smith and the cover illustration is by him as well but once one opens up the book all familiarity is gone. The illustrations are by Charles Vess, who has a completely different style than Smith, and the font used is actually a little hard to read. I loved the story but did not like, at all, the illustrations, even though Vess won an award for them. I was not impressed as I started to read because of the change in illustration but as the book progressed the story won me over and I stopped thinking about the artwork, however my rating does reflect my opinion of both the text and illustrations.

On to the story, which was as wonderful as I could have expected. Though being a prequel, it was predictable as we already knew the outcome. This tells the story of when Rose and Briar were young princesses together training to become one of the Veni-Yan. It tells how Briar turned evil and how the Lord of the Locusts started his plan to escape his trap, as well as why and how the rat creatures broke their centuries old peace with the humans. An exciting story with lots of action, an insightful look back at Rose's (Gran'ma Ben) background and her early history with Lucius. I enjoyed the story and the familiar faces (though there were no Bones) very much, but the illustrations did put a damper on it for me.

rkcraig_24's review against another edition

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4.0

[b:Bone|92143|Bone|Jeff Smith|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1420258957s/92143.jpg|88871] is one of my favorite graphic novel series. I started reading Bone when segments were published in Disney Adventures magazine. I had a subscription when I was a kid, and was always excited when Bone showed up in the Comics Zone. When I was in college, I bought the 1300 page trade paperback linked above, and spent one weekend rereading the whole series. Loving the original series as much as I do, it surprised me that there were prequel books written. I was pretty excited to hear about this, and I borrowed Rose from the library.

Rose is the story of Princess Rose (Gran'ma Ben in the original Bone series) and her sister, Princess Briar, as young women learning about the power of dreaming. Rose is one of the most powerful dreamers in the kingdom; Briar's dream eye is blind, preventing her from using magic. Rose and Briar go to Old Man Cave (a familiar location from the Bone Series) to learn more about the history of the kingdom and to repel a dragon attacking the villages near by.

Gran'ma Ben is one of my favorite of many characters from the original Bone series, and I was excited to read more about her past. I was not disappointed in this prequel. I would highly recommend both this book, and the whole Bone series to fans of graphic novels, fantasy, world building, and likable characters. Seriously love this series and have for many years.

bschlotz's review against another edition

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4.0

five stars for the art, three for the story

olivia_piepmeier's review against another edition

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3.0

If sequential art was a little more developed in the middle ages, it would look like this book. While Vess' style is nice, I sort of wish that Smith would have done the art. It would feel a bit more Bone-like to me. The dragons in Vess' style and color do look good, though.

Story wise, it's a short look into Gram'a Rose's past and to a precursor to events seen in Bone. I wouldn't call it a must-read, but if you liked Bone and want to know a little bit more then you should read it.

kienie's review against another edition

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4.0

Rating: 3.5/5

Apparently it's a prequel to an already existing series, and it certainly feels like one. The ending isn't a cliffhanger, but most of the story arcs feel unresolved. It did make me want to read on, so it did its job. I also really liked the art.

naturalistnatalie's review against another edition

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3.0

This was a nice prequel to the Bone series. You see many of the characters in Bone show up here – Rose, the Red Dragon, the Locust King, and the stupid, stupid rat creatures (my favorite!). Even in 150 pages, you get a nice story arc and introduction to the characters. It would probably be enjoyable even if you hadn’t read the Bone series, but it’s even better if you have. I’m tempted to go back and read Bone since it’s been a while. I want to be reminded of what happened to all those characters.

I’m not a big fan of the art, though. The artist had a real problem with people, and their neck and heads. The creatures and backgrounds were nice, but don’t look too close at the people’s faces.

discocrow's review against another edition

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4.0

I really can't get enough of Bone and I'm sad that this is, more or less, the end of the road for it. A prequel to the 9 issue series, it is best read at the end of it all as it ties together some of the looser threads left by the main story. The artwork is different from the main books, which adds a different tone to the bulk of the story. It's fitting, a touch surreal, and helped to drive home the fact that this is Rose's story, and not that of the Bone cousins. This is a different time.

The story is that of Rose and Briar, and what passed between Rose and the Great Red Dragon. It isn't earth-shattering in its revelations, but it was nice to return to the Valley that we know and love. The retelling of how the Lord of Locust was initially captured was rendered beautifully, as are the later sequences in the Dreaming. I can't recommend the artwork in this volume enough - which is saying a lot seeing how beautiful [a: Jeff Smith|5951|Jeff Smith|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1239071106p2/5951.jpg]'s work is.

This is a worthy addition to the Bone books.

It made me want to start reading through the series again immediately. I don't think there's any higher compliment than that.