Writer and Artist: Jeff Smith
|via Barnes & Noble
I have finally reached the end of the brilliant Bone series. As the story opens, the Pawan army is about to attack Atheia where the Bones, Thorn, Gran'ma Ben and the rest of the good guys are set to make their final stand. Few big surprises as the story comes to conclusion, though the resolution is satisfying.
Here at the end, it's a good time to reflect on what makes Bone such an outstanding series. As fantasy tales go, there is nothing especially extraordinary about any of the characters or the story structure. Presentation is everything. Smith's artwork is wonderful throughout. He has a masterful sense of scale. Towards the end of the story, a sort of uber-dragon is attacked by what we already know to be large dragons indeed. The smaller dragons look like a swarm of flies in comparison. Timing is excellent, too - snow comes again in Book 9, again quite suddenly. Throughout, Smith is able to inject sophisticated humor into what is otherwise quite a dark story.
While the story follows the usual templates for the most part, the relationship between Fone Bone and Thron is a bit out of the ordinary: not exactly romantic but certainly beyond friendship. Bone is a children's story so it's understandable how the smooching might be kept to a minimum. But within the PG rating limits, tenderness is apparent and the end is bittersweet.
I don't know if I'll pursue the Bone world much farther, though the idea of starting the series over and reading straight through is appealing. The books have been a welcome surprise and I'm glad to have read them.