Writer and Artist: Jeff Smith
The story is gradually getting darker. Fone Bone, Thorn and Gran'ma have all abandoned the farm for the safety of the inn at Barrelhaven. Meanwhile, at the inn, Phoney Bone is playing on the townspeople's fear of dragons as part of a broader scheme to get out of debt, then out of town with riches aplenty. More is revealed about Thorn and her special powers, though it is apparent that she still has much to learn about them.
As I wrote in my previous post, the strength of the story lies in its balance between lighter and darker elements. The most endearing light element in Volume 4 is the appearance of an adorable rat creature cub in town. The cub takes a shine to Fone who hides it in the barn. When Fone reveals it to Thorn, though, she threatens to kill it - there's that balance. Rat creatures killed her family so she wants revenge. Fone, however, manages to protect the cub.
Looking forward to Volume 5: Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border.