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No Such Thing as Dragons Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407142879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407142876
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Philip Reeve is the bestselling author of the Predator Cities quartet and the award-winning Fever Crumb series. His other books include the highly acclaimed HERE LIES ARTHUR and NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS. He lives in Dartmoor, England with his wife and son. Visit him online at philip-reeve.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ansel's father sells him for a handful of coins to a passing traveller who's in need of a servant. Brock is bound for the north country, to hunt dragons. Ansel would be afraid but Brock reveals that there's no such thing as dragons, only a pretty penny to be made from scaredy village folk who are quick to believe in myths and legends. Yet something is terrorising the town of Drachenberg and when Brock and Ansel set off up the mountain on a false mission to slay it, they discover something far more real and terrifying than any of Brock's stories.

I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting adventure story. Reeve is a writer of exceptional talent - the scope of his imagination is breathtaking. A perfect introduction to this first class writer for boys of 8+. I'll be buying it as a Christmas present for all of my younger relatives!
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Format: Hardcover
I've never read Philip Reeve before: this was my first. Oddly, although I wasn't too impressed by this book, I'm keen to read his Mortal Engines series anyway, because 'No Such Thing as Dragons', whilst well written enough, feels like a side-project of sorts, of a great author burning off some steam but never really fully committed to the book, and as a result it's a sort book that simply doesn't go anywhere.

It starts brilliantly: mute Ansel is sold by his father to be a dragon-slayer's assistant, and on the way to his next dragon hunt, the dragon-slayer, Brock, reveals to Ansel that there's no such thing as dragons, and his act is all a show to swindel money from superstitious townsfolk. But when they arrive at the foot of a mountain, and find that something really is calling from the jagged peaks and killing the neaby village's livestock, just what is it?

Interesting premise, isn't it? Unfortunately, when the plot begins to advance and revelations are made, it all feels a bit...obvious. It's as if Mr Reeve had a great idea but didn't know quite how to finish it. Nothing in this book will surprise you, which is a shame because it's precisely the kind of book which needs to deliver on surprises. The polished writing style and brilliant descriptions of mountains make it the book as a whole entertaining enough. It's just...you get the impression that it's building up to a clever twist in the dragon lore, or some clever reveal at the end that makes you realise something you hadn't noticed all along. But no. I guarantee, come the ending, all you will say is 'Oh.' Or maybe 'is that it?'

Make no mistake, this is enjoyable enough - short, simple and, when all is said and done, a good one - just don't go expecting anything special.
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Format: Hardcover
Ansel is a ten year old boy living in a quiet medieval village who since the shock of his mother's death he has remained a mute. His father believes him to be useless so it's a surprise when a knight arrives in town and buys Ansel to become his servant. The knight is Brock, a fearsome dragon slayer with the scars to prove it, touring the land hunting down the vicious beasts in return for payment. But as the pair journey onwards, Ansel starts to learn a few things about his new master. First of all, he's a fraud who pretends to kill dragons in order to win fame and fortune. Secondly he's never even seen a dragon and the reason for this is simple; dragons don't exist. Things look like they are going well when the travellers arrive at a town suffering from a `dragon' problem. A man has disappeared as well as cattle and sheep and the peasants refuse to work near the mountain which has long been the home of a fierce beast. It seems like another opportunity to trick money out of some gullible townspeople, so Brock and Ansel travel up the mountain where they plan to spend a few days before returning victorious. Things start to go wrong very quickly as they find a terrified young girl hiding in the shack they planned to use. She tells them that she was meant as a sacrifice to the dragon, that it is most definitely real and is likely to be coming for them all any moment now.

Philip Reeve always delivers books that are brilliantly written with fantastic flowing descriptive passages. His descriptions and language sweep you to the mountain side with Ansel as the dragon bears down. This and the clever, polished writing style make this an entertaining enough story but it does feel as if something is lacking.
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By TeensReadToo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ten-year-old Ansel's life has been difficult. His mother died when he was little, and he lost his voice soon after her death. In the years since, his father has remarried and had more children. When a stranger comes to town looking for a young boy to do servant's work, Ansel's father gladly takes the offered bag of money and sends his son on his way despite the potential danger.

Johannes Brock is a dragon hunter. He likes the idea of a squire who cannot talk and will not be able to share his tricks of the trade. But Brock has a secret, and when he tells it to Ansel, the child is torn between faithfulness to his new master - who has been kinder than his own father - and a desire to tell the truth.

When the two venture into the shadow of a mountain called Drachenberg, their lives and very belief system will be challenged. Readers will be pulled in by themes of loss, grief, friendship, and sacrifice as they struggle on the mountainside along with Ansel and his companions.

Philip Reeve, the author of THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES and THE MORTAL ENGINES quartet, as well as many other young adult novels, has once again produced an exciting story that will dare readers to put it down before they have reached the last page!

Reviewed by: Theresa L. Stowell
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