A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lessons learned about not underestimating others' abilities and thinking before you speak. Bravery and teamwork are essential to the success of missions. Also, how do you know who to trust and what to reveal?
Positive Role Models
Thisbe learns her own strengths in this installment. She proves both magically gifted and principled. She speaks her mind in front of someone trying to manipulate her. Fifer doesn't allow the doubt and fear of her brother to dictate what she does. Her strong will pushes her to learn magic and go after her sister. Both sisters know they have enough power to do serious harm to others and decide to be careful with their powers.
Violence & Scariness
Two violent deaths. A few skirmishes with swords and knives end in injuries and deaths of soldiers and minor injuries for good guys. A soldier breaks into pieces from a magical spell. Young slaves are branded and do forced labor in caves. Potions are force-fed and cause strange side effects. A near-drowning and fear of heights and falling while lowering from a cliff.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.