science fiction and fantasy book reviewsDragons Bones by Patricia Briggs fantasy audiobook reviewsDragons Bones by Patricia Briggs

Dragon Bones is the first book in Patricia Briggs’ HUROG duology. Ward, our main character, has lived the past seven years of his life playing the role of a simpleton, ever since his father nearly beat him to death. His pretending has kept him alive all these years, but when his father dies in a hunting accident Ward is suddenly declared the heir of Hurog. He now has to convince his remaining family and friends that he has what it takes to rule Hurog, while also keeping his eyes on the threat posed by his uncle, who he isn’t sure he can trust.

Although I’m a big fan of Briggs’ MERCY THOMPSON books, I often find myself wishing she would return to the high fantasy novels she produced earlier in her writing career. Dragon Bones and its sequel aren’t my favorite of her earlier works (in my opinion the later RAVEN duology is much better), but they do represent some of her strengths as a fantasy writer: namely, her ability to create a rich fantasy world without getting too bogged down in mythology, while also creating personable characters to populate it. Ward is definitely the sort of character you find yourself rooting for.

Briggs’ fantasy is accessible but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. The plot in Dragon Bones suffers from a certain jumpiness at times, but it moves at a quick enough pace that you don’t mind too much. Briggs isn’t quite skilled enough to write the political machinations without them coming off as clunky, but overall this book is a pleasant enough read.

I listened to the audio version of Dragons Bones, read by Joe Manganiello. I wasn’t a huge fan of the reader as his narration has a monotonous quality to it. The different characters’ voices had very little range, and the women almost none at all. If you can manage it, skip the audio and read this book the old-fashioned way.

Hurog — (2002) Publisher: 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 that it’s all that’s saved him from death at the hands of his abusive father — who’s always seen Ward as a bitter rival for power. 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. They are Hurog’s most precious, powerful treasure-and Ward is certain his enemies will kill to possess them.

Hurog, Dragon Bones, Dragon Blood Hurog, Dragon Bones, Dragon Blood


  • Karima Al-Absy

    KARIMA AL-ABSY, one of our guest reviewers, currently lives in Nebraska. She's been hooked on fantasy ever since she read The Search for Delicious in third grade. In her spare time, she volunteers for a local publisher, The Backwaters Press.

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