A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lisa McMann's Dragon Bones: The Unwanteds Quests, Book 2 is the second book in an Unwanteds spin-off series. This world of island realms, magic spells, and animal-stone hybrids will seem more immersive if you read the original Unwanteds series first, especially as a team of characters known better in the first series embarks on a quest. There's very little violence in the first half of the book as they prepare for the quest, but the action culminates in the deaths of two characters, one close to the main characters. A few skirmishes with swords and knives end in injuries and deaths of soldiers and minor injuries for good guys. A soldier breaks apart into pieces from the power of a magic spell. Young slaves are branded and do forced labor in caves. Potions are force-fed and cause strange side effects. There's a near-drowning and the experience of fear of heights and falling while lowering from a cliff. Lessons in bravery, teamwork, and not underestimating others' abilities are sprinkled throughout Dragon Bones.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In DRAGON BONES: THE UNWANTEDS QUESTS, BOOK 2, magical twins Fifer and Thisbe are far away from each other in different worlds. Thisbe is trapped underground as a slave in Grimere, forced to do the Revinir's bidding, which involves dragging really heavy dragon bones around a cave so she can extract magic from them. Fifer is back home to Artime. She was flown home seriously injured at the end of Dragon Captives. When she recovers from her injuries, Fifer vows to go back to save Thisbe. The only problem is her older brother, Alex. As the head mage of Artime, he has decided Fifer is too young and too precious to risk. He will lead the team to rescue Thisbe without her, after the team completes their magical training. Fifer is determined and clever, however, and watches the training session from afar, soaking up everything. If Alex won't let her go with the team, she'll go it alone.
Is it any good?
While readers will have to wait a while for the quest to start up in this fantasy sequel, they get to spend quality time with two great girl heroes. Fifer and Thisbe make the wait for the action part worthwhile as they learn about their magical abilities and challenge authority. Fifer goes up against her protective brother, studies magic in secret, and befriends some extremely helpful birds. Thisbe goes up against the real evil power, the Revinir, speaks her mind to her, and practices her magic in a cell every night.
As this slow-starter heats up near the end of Dragon Bones, a few curious plot twists -- and one sad development -- set the stage well for another installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the sad death in Dragon Bones. How will it affect the main characters? How does it affect you as a reader?
What did you learn about Thisbe's and Fifer's powers? How will they help them in the quests to come?
Will you read more quests? What do you think will happen to Thisbe and Fifer next?
- Author: Lisa McMann
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Aladdin
- Publication date: February 6, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 416
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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