Originally reviewed here
.Why I Read It:
The third volume really kicked it up a notch, so I'm now willing to stick it out for the long-run. No spoilers ahead.
Volume three elevated the series from "not bad" to "pretty frikken good" for me, so I was really hoping that this fourth volume would continue to pick up steam. Thankfully, my wishes were answered. :) The third volume had its light moments, but it definitely darkened the series -- this volume takes it even further and glums things up even more, but definitely not in a bad way.
Thorn is pretty torn up emotionally in this volume. Along with finding out her true identity in the previous volume, she finds out even more in this one: she's important because her dreams gain her access to the "hum" of the earth, which is the key to freeing the unnamed and unmasked Lord of Locusts who has been present in the story thus far, which is why the Rat Creatures want her (since they are led by the Hooded One who is under orders from the Lord of Locusts.) It doesn't help that everything she's ever known to be true has all been a lie and that her grandma has been lying to her her whole life. So she was understandably quite angry and upset.
Despite all the doom and gloom though, there is a little ray of happiness in it all: Fone Bone finds the most adorable little baby rat creature who was left behind when the Rat Creatures were run out of the valley in the previous volume and I loved him to pieces. SO CUTE.
Phoney Bone continues to be up to no good as usual, and I wanted to throttle him (as usual.) He takes a VERY clear path towards being a complete and total douche and it honestly made me mad for the entire volume. A part of me was even angrier at the people of the Village though. How stupid can you be? They're all herded like sheep and I think that annoyed me even more. Maybe my anger is indicative that I'm emotionally invested in this series? I'm definitely invested in the series, but I don't think that's quite what got me so riled up about that plotline...
The Red Dragon continues to be awesome. I especially loved his scene at the end of the volume when Phoney was supposed to "slay" him -- I thought it was quite funny, though that scene does end the volume on an extremely grim note in the end.Final Verdict:
This fourth volume took it up yet ANOTHER step and I loved almost every minute of it. I say "almost" because Phoney Bone continues to consistently piss me off, along with the stupid villagers who keep getting taken in by his schemes. We're privy to more revelations about Thorn's true identity and we get to see the Big Baddy a little more closely in this volume as well. There's a much darker tone permeating the entire volume and the stories continues to be more serious, wide-reaching, and to garner more age cross-over appeal (even though it's a largely simple Good vs. Evil plot.)