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The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,030 ratings  ·  335 reviews
N. D. Wilson, author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards, returns with an action-packed adventure that will captivate fans of both Percy Jackson and Indiana Jones with lost civilizations, ancient secrets, and buried treasure.

For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strang
Kindle Edition, 498 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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I read The Dragon’s Tooth absolute ages ago, you guys, but hadn’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. It’s getting squeaked in at the end of the year, though, so that I can make my Goodreads reading goal. Victory!

So this is the story of Cyrus Smith and his older sister Antigone.

In the space of 48 hours their brother Dan has been forcibly taken by unknown villains, their home has been burned to the ground, they’ve watched strangers be brutally murdered right in front of them, they don’t have a sin
Read August 29th, 2011 and again in fall 2012.

It was like a Bourne movie meets Goonies. I could barely take a breath. People who love that will love this book, it was one of the busiest books I've read. I prefer slower character development between the action , but of course, that's a preference. It reads like a movie script at times, which doesn't always work.

I think Wilson owns this genre. It wasn't anything like 100 cupboards (which I have read through twice), but just as good, and that s
Gwen Burrow
Every title has a promise, and this one promises a lot. N.D. more than fulfills it.

His word-craft is to our imaginations what a flaming match is to gasoline. Dialogue so yummy. Images that leap off the page in 3D. Characters you want to meet. Characters you want to kill.

As always, Wilson’s voice is distinctive first and foremost because his view of the world is distinctive. His words crack like bones and strike like lightning because he sees a world where darkness is real and death has dug its
Rosanne Lortz
The Dragon’s Tooth, by N. D. Wilson was released about six months ago with much fanfare and excitement. I had enjoyed a couple of Wilson’s other children’s books, Leepike Ridge and The 100 Cupboards, but my disappointment with books 2 and 3 in the 100 Cupboards series made me reluctant to attempt The Dragon’s Tooth. When the fanfare subsided, I pretty much forgot that the book existed. Earlier this month, however, my six-year-old nephew proudly showed it off to me as the longest book he’s ever r ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Another in a line of mediocre books I've run on lately. This is one of those been there done that books that slid over into boring very quickly for me.

I will say this, if you are a young reader and haven't read many, many books that criticism may not apply to you. If so you'll probably enjoy the book much more than I did.

The writer here seems to be very concerned that we won't get where we are or what's going on. We get long and finally tedious descriptions of places, people, actions and so on.
Douglas Wilson
I had the privilege of reading this in manuscript, and it is just fantastic. Look for this book to release this summer -- August, in fact. The Dragon's Tooth is the first in a series of five.
Kat Heckenbach
I admit, I almost gave up on this book after the first few chapters. NOT because the writing was bad, but because it jumped around too much, reminding me of watching my son play video games on the computer. And it had one of my pet peeves: a false sense of tension created by characters talking in circles and riddles.


A friend encouraged me to keep going. I am so glad I listened to her.

Only a little farther than the point where I nearly gave up, questions started getting answers. The situation
N.D Wilson is one of those authors that just NAILS the characters.
They are Real, they are likable, they are not cliched even for young ages.
Wilson weaves terrific stories that hook you in and keep you hooked throughout.
I feel no time is wasted. I can not wait for the next books!.
As you could expect from me, loved, loved, loved it. Our eldest (Rory the nine year old) plowed right through it and now there's two in the house clamoring for book two.
Benji Martin
This is one of those books that I should have read a long time ago, but am only just now getting around to it. Guilt isn't a good reason to read a book, I know, but that's what finally made me read it. I felt like I should. Now that I'm finished, I feel even more guilty because I haven't been pushing this series to my students all year. I can only think of one that has read it. If I had gotten fully behind it, like I am now, there would have been several more. I decided it wasn't too late, maybe ...more
This is 100% juvenile fiction, but I thought it was very good for that level. I think the writing quality is better than that of the Hunger Games, but there is less drama, melodrama, and mature themes in the plot, so don't expect it to be on the same comparison level (I think the Hunger Games is between groups). There is a general (GENERAL!)concept that is found in both National Treasure and Harry Potter. I'm trying to use comparisons to give you an idea of what it is like to get you all interes ...more
Stephanie Jobe
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Next semester especially I should have time to read, after they’ve all come out of course but I’m glad this one was on the top of my list. Why was it on the top? Well I’d heard about the 100 Cupboards books and was curious. The title and this amazing cover that becomes eve more amazing when you realize just how accurate it is. Aaron Becker props to you. There are so many things that are simply amazing in this book. I’ll admit Antigone does drive me a little nutty sometimes ...more
Karen Keyte

“Please declare aloud: I hereby undertake to tread the world, to garden the wild, and to saddle the seas, as did my brother Brendan. I will not turn away from shades in fear, nor avert my eyes from light. I shall do as my Keeper requires, and keep no secret from a Sage. May the stars guide me, and my strength preserve me. And I will not smoke in the library.” - Oath of the Order of Brendan, translation approved, 1946.

Cyrus Lawrence Smith, a nearly too tall boy of almost thirteen, is absolutely,
Brittany Petruzzi
It's the kind of book that almost makes you wish you'd waited until the whole series was published before you began reading so you could gorge yourself on all five in the space of as many days. Except then you would be missing out, so you'll have to settle with learning a little patience while you wait. In that time, I doubt you'd be able to resist a re-read, because this book will bear many of them, which, incidentally, is my criteria for a five-star book.

Many have complained, as this is a kid'
Ea Solinas
Stories about secret organizations and academies are not particularly unusual now, especially in the wake of Harry Potter.

But I have to admit, N.D. Wilson has pulled something unusual out of his hat in "The Dragon's Tooth," the first book of the Ashtown Burials series. It's a gritty, darker kind of story, enmeshing two kids in a new world through fire, blood, deadly spiders and the threat of losing what remains of their family.

For two years, Cyrus Smith has run a decaying motel with his older br
Ms. Yingling
Cyrus lives in a run down motor lodge that he runs with the help of his older sister and brother because his mother is in a hospital and his father is dead. This is bad enough, but after Billy Bones appears and claims that Cyrus is the new caretaker of artifacts that will help save the world, the motel burns down and the siblings are sent on a long journey to save the world against the forces of evil. They have a lot of help from the Order of Brendan (in which their parents were involved) and th ...more
Whoa. If bookstores were theme parks, this book would be the 4th dimensional roller coaster ride with the long lines and the kids standing on tiptoes to meet the height requirement. I think my knuckles are still white.

Mr. Wilson wastes no time getting the plot moving, and within the first few chapters, Cyrus Smith, the likable pre-teen protagonist, has already experienced electrocution by a magical insect, an escape from a motel fire, the death of a mysterious tattooed stranger, an attack by un
The Dragon’s Tooth by N.D. Wilson is action packed. When I say packed, I mean it! This book has a few intro chapters explaining the Smith family, the run-down hotel they live in and how the three children are on their own because their father drowned and their mother is in the hospital. After a creepy man named Billy Bones checks into their hotel, everything changes and the book takes you on a marathon (action) sprint to the end. (Keep in mind, this book isn’t a quick read, its nearly 500 pages ...more

There is always a certain amount of excitement mixed with nervousness when a favorite author starts a new series. What if I don’t like it, or worse, what if it isn’t any good?

It is with just such excitement and a tinge of nervousness that I approached The Dragon’s Tooth N.D. Wilson’s first book in a new series called Ashtown Burials. The publisher was kind enough to send me a copy, so I dived in and read it in a couple of days. The excitement stayed and th
Rick Davis
I enjoyed N.D. Wilson's first foray into fantasy fiction with the "100 Cupboards" series, but it seemed like he was still getting his bearings in those books. The first of the series, 100 Cupboards, was a bit slow and draggy, the second, Dandelion Fire, had so many tangled plot-lines that it was nearly impossible to follow. It was only in the third book, The Chestnut King, that he fully found his voice, and it was great.

The Dragon's Tooth, the first book in Wilson's "Ashtown Burials" series, is
I started this book about two years ago and I got through about half of it until it got really boring. But I just picked it up again a couple days ago and it has been one of my favorite books since! :)
This series is an instant classic along with Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. The first book starts a little slow by N.D. Wilson's standards, and the descriptions of very complicated and unfamiliar places can be a little disorienting, but once the story gets going, it is impossible to put down. There is great character development, high adventure, big metaphysical issues to be wrestled with, and a clear struggle of good vs. evil. I gave it 4 stars because of how hard it was for me to ...more
There isn't anything particularly original in The Dragon's Tooth, but it's told with such freshness, such snappy dialogue and action, that it's an exciting read nonetheless. There are some subtle literary allusions that add depth to the novel, as if the author is fully aware of his story's roots in earlier fiction.

I really like the way the characters make thoughtful decisions, way they're averse to impulsive choices. It makes them feel real and relatable in a way that children often don't feel
Alyssa Porter
Read to my 8 year old and we really liked it. Enough to dive into the next nearly 500 page story in the series.
Reading YA fiction isn't the same without young people at home to share the experience. Although I had a good guide in selecting this and there's nothing especially wrong with the story, I just couldn't get into it. And yet, I could sort of imagine enjoying it much more if I (or my husband) were reading it aloud with some 8-12 year olds. Fast-paced, with all the usual explosions, sci-fi, fantasy themes from other adventure series I've read which kids (of all ages) love. Plus sequels! Guess I'll ...more
Imagine a new store opened downtown - not a big box store, mind you, a locally owned window shop - and when you went in you found that they were selling everything from video games to books to fashion clothing and accessories to car parts to novelty sweets to televisions to shaving supplies.

I felt a little that way with this book. There were just so many different things, and none of them really seemed to fit with each other perfectly. You have an orphan story, an homage to Treasure Island, a Ha
William K.
Wilson created an interesting world with potential for fun, great stories; Ashtown and the Order of Brendan are kind of like a steam punk Hogwarts where exploration replaces wizardry. Sadly, there is no actual exploration in this story and the interesting characters are all either in supporting roles or are part of the background.

The main protagonist, Cyrus, is a moody, boring ball of mischief without fun. The plot meanders around, characters don't have apparent motivations for their actions, a
I have mixed feeling about this book. The plot was very intriguing and so I read the book. However, It took me a while to actually get into the book, and even then I only kept reading to figure out what happened to quench my curiosity. I liked the characters though, such as Cyrus, Antigone, Nolan, and Rupert. Their interactions were good, and they have their funny moments. The side characters all have a certain charm about them that I like. You get to know all the characters and like them as wel ...more
Montana Library2Go

With my expectations raised based on prior experience with the author, I find myself more than annoyed by the let-down of this book, which needs a more attentive editor and characters who have more dimensions and aren't absolutely idiotic in their actions.

It's possibly an overreaction, but I'm actually angry about this book. My inclination is to give it no more than 2 stars, the reason for the third star will wrap up this review.

Editing issues: these are truly the author's f
Barnabas Piper
I suppose this might be called "young adult" fiction. But that's just stupid. This series is a gripping read for any age. Wilson depicts evil as it ought to be depicted and good as truly as it exists. He weaves ancient and modern stories and myths into a single narrative. It's full of action but not without deep character. And in the up is up and down is down, but not in some sort of cheap, fake happy ending but rather the sort where what's noble lasts and what isn't doesn't.
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New Group! Join the Order of Brendan! 1 6 Jan 26, 2014 03:44PM  
Similarities to Treasure Island 2 3 Dec 07, 2013 01:11PM  
Dragon's Tooth Questions 2 19 Nov 23, 2012 04:31PM  
Dragon's Tooth Book Trailer on 1 16 Aug 05, 2011 08:45AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Ashtown Burials (3 books)
  • The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials, #2)
  • Empire of Bones (Ashtown Burials #3)
100 Cupboards  (100 Cupboards, #1) Dandelion Fire (100 Cupboards, #2) The Chestnut King (100 Cupboards, #3) Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World Leepike Ridge

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“That wasn't me. I'm not a morning person. There's another person inside of me that does all the morning things.” 13 likes
“He was a man with eyebrows, or maybe they were eyebrows with a man. Ownership would have been hard to establish, and Cyrus couldn’t focus on anything else—the two fur hedges looked like they were trying to escape his face.” 4 likes
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