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Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

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4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  642 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The Magic That Doesn't Go Away

Cutbacks have forced Sarah out of the asylum in which she was raised—and into a strange new place where the Head Wolf rules the beautiful and the doomed.

But Sarah can never truly assimilate, for she possesses wild talents. Walls tell her their secrets. Safes tell her their combinations. And a favorite toy dragon whispers dire warnings about th
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Orb Books (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,350)
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Joshua Keezer
Feb 27, 2010 Joshua Keezer rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
To me, Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls is one of those rare books that is both a great read and yet lacks earning itself a high rating. Before going forward on this review, I have to emphasize that I enjoyed reading this story.

The best writing involves mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar. You want to show the reader that you have enough knowledge of the familiar so that you can gloss over the unfamiliar without the reader feeling like they are missing something. In this book, Jane Lind
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Rachel Neumeier
Jul 17, 2014 Rachel Neumeier rated it it was amazing
What a dreadful cover the new edition has! Despite all that black surrounding the waif, this is not a grim, depressing story. Far from it!

When I think of the category Unique SFF Novels, this book is one that leaps to mind; not when I think of Grim SFF Novels.


Sarah is insane. After all, she talks to walls, rubber dragons, and other inanimate objects. What no one else knows is that the inanimate answers her back. When budget cuts put Sarah out of a mental home and onto the streets, she is adopted
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Howard
Jun 11, 2009 Howard rated it liked it
It's a a great set-up - a secret, wolf-pack underworld with a nifty, areal den that takes in wayward youth. (The author clearly loves the culture of wolves, as evidenced by her later novels which I have not read). Add to this the protagonist, a young woman, Sarah, with mysterious powers to speak with inanimate objects, but can only speak in quotes from literature to other people. Fairly early in the novel, she is ejected from the institute with no belongings and no place to go. The beginning of ...more
Lizabeth Tucker
Feb 22, 2013 Lizabeth Tucker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Sarah has lived in a psychiatric home for years, her only form of communication quotes from literature. Now cost-saving measures are putting her out on the street. She is taken in by a group of unwanted people led by Head Wolf, a madman who is a modern age Fagin, but one who cares for his people. Sarah finds a home there as well as friends who can understand her. Then word comes that the people who tossed her out are frantically looking for her. Sarah and her friends must find out why as well as ...more
Pioden
Aug 10, 2007 Pioden rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
I don't know where to start. This book had me entranced from the start. Lindskold has an incredible grasp on what makes humans tick, and couples that with an excellence in writing that allows her thoughts to come across clearly. This book takes a 'victim' of the socialwork world, and turns her into a heroine worthy of, well I can't think of anything that both worthy and all encompassingly human, as Sarah undoubtedly is.

I group Lindskold's writings into two main groups. The first I found were st
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Kerry
Feb 07, 2013 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, sf, reread, 10, 2013
Wonderful, wonderful, amazing, awesome book.

I read this book many, many years ago and had a very good emotional memory of it, even if I didn't remember the specifics beyond the two-headed dragon, "crazy" Sarah and talking inanimate objects. Really, that's enough. Add in the beautiful, poetic title and surely it has to be a winner.

Of course, memory can lie, or at least soften the edges. Not to mention that the passing of time can date and change one's reaction to a book. Jo Walton at Tor.com call
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Jinxadorah Snape
Oct 20, 2007 Jinxadorah Snape rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness... I have never been so pulled into a book before! Well, maybe once or twice before, but still... I don't even know where to begin. I was enthralled and even saddened by Sarah's inability to communicate her very complex thoughts to her friends, who include her mentor Abalone and her two-headed dragon Betwixt and Between. She speaks in classical quotes and has secrets locked inside her head, much like the asylum from which she was released. Mysteries are around every corner for Sar ...more
Aelvana
Nov 04, 2015 Aelvana rated it liked it
Sarah has a fairly ordered life in the Home, but when a discharge order leaves her stranded on the streets, she has no idea what to do. A severe autistic who can only speak in quotes, Sarah has spent her life institutionalized. But she finds a new home with a street gang, a new life in the wild Jungle and with its compelling Head Wolf, and new troubles as her ability to hear inanimate objects brings her to the attention of ever more sinister people.

I liked the main story. Sarah's autism blocks h
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Matt
Oct 03, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book it was different from anything I've read recently and a great story.

The book follows Sarah who is insane living in an asylum she can't speak except in phrases borrowed from other works such as the plays of Shakespeare, she also talks to walls and objects like her toy rubber dragon but with Sarah these inanimate objects answer her back. When budget cuts force her out on the street she falls in with gang of street youths ruled as a pack by the charismatic and dangerous H
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Shane Fernandes
May 06, 2015 Shane Fernandes rated it really liked it
Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls – Jane Lindskold
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Reader thoughts:
Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls is akin to “Oliver Twist” with a whole lot of surprise twists. Sarah, the central character of the story is a girl with severe autism but with latent special abilities has spent most of memorable years at the facility.
With no past memories and unforeseeable future, Sarah is thrust into the world, forging new friendships, finding love, a
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Sarahz
Jul 28, 2014 Sarahz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an odd book, and a bit tricky to categorize. The main character in this book is ostensibly around 30 years old, but has been treated like a child for most of her life, and over the course of the book is establishing her identity as an adult, so it felt very YA to me. If this were written today I think it'd get marketed as dystopian YA. In theory, I guess this is science fiction, since they try to use scientific research to explain Sarah's abilities, but the explanation is so s ...more
Vicki
Apr 09, 2009 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Totally loved this book. It was magical and fantastical and I felt stoned the entire time I was reading it. The plot is sci-fi fantasy and the author obviously read Kipling as a young person. However, the voice of the narrator was so involving and well-portrayed. I did not find her going out of character at any point. The story was internally coherent. The language was beautiful. Really liked it.
Luana
Apr 04, 2015 Luana rated it really liked it
This is one of those novels that will stay with me. It was full of beautifully visceral moments that exist like rest boulders in a flowing river of action. It was shortish novel that is complete with in itself and left me with a feeling of contentment at the end.

My partner read it over two days in two fell swoops while I read it in large bites over the course of a week and for both these reading styles it worked very well.

Only thing that made this less than five stars is that the beginning coupl
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Catherine
Jun 23, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
Ignoring all the other reviews below, I'll stare my own opinion haha. BtDCtO (the book) was really good, I really liked it. So much that I finished it within the day that I picked it up. So for a back story, SPOILERS, skip to the end of the paragraph if you've read it.

Sarah, a thirty-something year old 'autistic' woman has been living in a psychiatric hospital for her entire life-even getting bounced from one to another. She barely owns anything except for a rubber dragon whose heads are named
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zjakkelien
Jul 09, 2016 zjakkelien rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-ebooks
This was absolutely lovely. The premise is somewhat whimsical, with a heroine who can hear objects speak, but who can only speak in quotes herself. It starts out simple enough, with getting to know her, and when she is adopted by the free people (a pack of street people with a society based on the jungle book), getting to know them and their ways. Before long, the story gets more involved, with finding out who is after Sarah and why, and so do the heists the pack pulls. This was the only thing t ...more
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it liked it
In her asylum, Sarah is different than the rest. She only speaks in memorized verse--especially Shakespeare and Blake--and always has her vinyl two-headed dragon close by. However, she's not really autistic. When budget cuts force her onto the streets, she falls into a street gang that guards her with fierce protectiveness. Sarah soon realizes something strange: she can hear the voices of more objects than her dragons. Walls speak their security codes, and paintings tell their history. And when ...more
NTE
An unexpectedly good read that languished in my TBR pile for far too long. It's the story of a young girl with a unique form of mutism - she can speak only in bits of memorized speech: Scriptures, Shakespeare, poems. Her communication skills are limited to phrases she's picked up here and there, and, as the book opens - in some sort of alternate dystopian world - she's been institutionalized her entire life, and, for various reasons, is now being set free. There's a complicated plot, which is in ...more
Elfscribe
Sep 04, 2010 Elfscribe rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fic
A fantasy story set in a dystopian world about Sarah, a girl who can hear inanimate objects speak but can't speak to other people except in quotes from books. She is discharged from an insane asylum, taken in by a group of street children that call themselves a wolf pack. Sarah seems to be settling into her new life when she and her friends discover that people are looking for Sarah to utilize her unique abilities. What follows is lots of Mission Impossible-like action as she and the pack attemp ...more
Emma Darcy
Feb 18, 2015 Emma Darcy rated it liked it
I almost gave up on this book in the first chapter and I'm really glad I didn't! It really isn't my usual style at all but having seen it through, I realise that the things that almost killed it for me at first faded away and didn't bother me much at all.
This is a good book. Very entertainment, such scifi. Parts of it are a bit confused, but not in a plot holey way, more like a figure it out yourself way.
LordOfDorkness
Jun 07, 2014 LordOfDorkness rated it really liked it
An interesting and engaging book. Unique and unburdened by the usual conventions of the genre, it's strengths being its own brand of literary-quote laced oddness, futurism, tribal urban sprawl and my personal favorite, human drama.

The end is fucking glorious too.

Fans of Neil Gaimam, Terry Prachett and other delightfully light hearted but dark souled authors rejoice.
Alice Case
May 26, 2015 Alice Case rated it liked it
My main critique of this book is that the main character joins a cult. That is explicitly what it is. Her friends do their best to protect her from the harsher aspects, but when the cult leader is a good guy, mental illness or no, I worry. That said, this is recognized in the book, and even condemned at one point.

Other than that it's a fascinating read.
bookczuk
Dec 31, 2008 bookczuk rated it really liked it
My familiarity with Lindskold thus far has been limited to the Firekeeper books- also dealing with wolves and packs but in a very different manner. It is interesting to see how she crafted this story- that is so different in time and place than the ones I have read. After reading the first book, Through Wolf's Eyes, I went to her website to learn more about her. Fascinating.

I liked this book- it provided the respite I needed from the onslaught of nonfiction I have been reading. I had trouble pi
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Laura Lynn Foster
Jun 08, 2016 Laura Lynn Foster rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to see things from the point of view of someone who gets kicked out of a mental institution because of cutbacks and how she survives on her own. It went in a different direction than I expected, but it was still enjoyable. Definitely a keeper for my personal library.
Colleen
May 09, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
I read this quite some time ago, and never wrote about it. I should have. This book follows two mechanisms that I usually dislike: first person, and present tense. However, when they work, they really work. In Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls, the heroine Sarah is stuck inside her own mind, unable to communicate except through quotes from other works. She also suffers from institutionalization that hazes her early memories.

The story picks up as she is being turned out of the institution ont
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Jessie
Mar 07, 2015 Jessie rated it liked it
I liked the story line of this book. The way the book was written did put me off a bit sometimes. But it kept me interested to see it through.
Some parts of the book confused me a bit so i had to go back and read a few things. Maybe i just wasn't paying attention at the time.
But all in all a good read, likeable characters, interesting plot and a cute dragon.
Rob
Apr 16, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it
...With her attention mostly on main her character, Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls is not the most balanced novel by Lindskold I have read. The setting and plot are not memorable end of the novel is rather predictable. Still, her unusual main character and the first person narrative, I admit to having a weakness for books written in that style, make up for the novel's flaws. I thought Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls a very good and quite unusual read. Lindskold took on a risky proje ...more
Amber
Apr 26, 2013 Amber rated it it was amazing
My sister gave me this book for Christmas, probably something that was sitting on her shelf for a while, ha ha. But I have a genuine interest in young adult horror and fantasy, and I really was surprised by how good this one was. I was a little disappointed that the ending was very abrupt with no mention of a possible sequel. Like so many books I've read recently, the development of the story and the characters was incredible and I couldn't put it down, but it ends....just like that. At least it ...more
Mia Devereaux
Apr 09, 2015 Mia Devereaux rated it it was amazing
Had me from the very start, it's so easy to get into! It has a unique and interesting plot and it was honestly hard to put down. The characters are the sorts where you feel like you're one of them and your heart races with them, a great, great book.
Mariah Jensen
Aug 25, 2014 Mariah Jensen rated it it was amazing
Gosh! I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up at the library on a whim. I started it in the afternoon and finished it that night, I loved it so much!
Helen
Feb 02, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's completely different to anything else I've ever read, and it's nice to read something unusual and self-contained. I loved the hints to The Jungle Book too.
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Jane Lindskold is the author of more than twenty published novels, including the six volume Firekeeper Saga (beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes), Child of a Rainless Year (a contemporary fantasy set in Las Vegas, New Mexico), and The Buried Pyramid (an archeological adventure fantasy set in 1880's Egypt).

Lindskold is also the author of the “Breaking the Wall” series, which begins with Thirteen Orp
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“I am a brother to dragons, a companion to owls.” 6 likes
“Indeed, he is glorious in his madness.” 3 likes
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