Title: Dragon Bones
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Hurog Duology #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dragons, Magic, Medieval fantasy
Dates read: 22nd – 30th May 2019
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: “War?” I asked, trying to sound eager, the way an idiot who was good at fighting would say it.
Playing the fool
Most everyone thinks Ward of Hurog is a simple-minded fool – and that’s just fine by him. But few people know that his foolishness is (very convincingly) feigned. And it’s all that’s save him from death at the hands of his abusive father, who’s always seen Ward as a bitter rival for power. 88 When his father dies, Ward becomes the new lord of Hurog… until a nobleman declares that he is too dim-witted to rule. Ward knows he cannot play the fool any longer. To regain his kingdom, he must prove himself worthy – and quickly.
Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly serious turn, for he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them…
I read this book for the first time a very long time ago. Or at least, long enough that I couldn’t really remember anything that happened in the story. Beyond the fact that Ward had to pretend to be stupid to survive, and he couldn’t remember how to act as someone who was… less dumb. But the story is soooooo much more than that. And I honestly can’t believe that it’s taken me so long to get this off my shelves again. It’s just beautiful. And fun. And an incredibly enjoyable read.
Although there are hints of a love interest in a part of the story, there isn’t any overt romance. Rather, this story is about finding one’s own identity and strength. And also reconnecting with long alienated family members. It’s a really sweet, if not slightly violent storyline that deals with abuse and a longing to belong. A need to feel like you fit into your own skin. And figuring out just how to do that. All things that I’m sure almost everyone can relate to in one way or another.
Now that I’ve reread Dragon Bones I just can’t wait to sink my literary teeth into Dragon Blood. Again, I can’t quite remember what happens in it. But the entire tale is one that I know I’ve enjoyed in the past and look forward to enjoying again in the future. Dragon Bones is everything I enjoyed in a good fantasy story as a child. It features a misfit that is completely misunderstood by everyone, his family included. There are dragons. And swords. And lots of fighting and bloodshed. But, as an adult, I also appreciate the difficulties of having abusive parents, and the scars that that can impart. The constant fear that Ward is like his sire and this horror at what he has had to overcome. I didn’t really appreciate that, even in my early twenties when I first read this a few years ago. Now, the whole storyline not only was incredibly enjoyable. But also shook me to the core and helped me to commit wholeheartedly to Ward’s cause.