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No Such Thing As Dragons

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  412 ratings  ·  90 reviews
A dragon story with a brilliant twist from multi award-winning writer, PHILIP REEVE. Ansel's new master slays dragons for a living. He says he's hunted the monstrous worms all over Christendom and has the scars to prove it. But is Brock just a clever trickster in shining armour? Ansel is sure there are no such things as dragons. So what ishe man-eating creature that makes ...more
Hardcover, 209 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Not Avail (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 952)
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Mary Ann
Reeve is well known for his steampunk Mortal Engines series for teens, but here creates an adventure fantasy for younger readers. Ansel, a nine year old mute boy, is sent by his father to be a servant to Brock, a man who travels from village to village earning his living by slaying dragons. At least, that’s what Brock tells others. Of course, he doesn’t really believe that there are really any dragons. He carries a crocodile skull and plenty of armor for show. Brock tells many great stories, and ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Theresa L. Stowell for

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
This is a very easy, quick read. It essentially tells of a mute young boy who is sold to a fake dragon hunter. The dragon hunter isn't a real one because everyone knows that there is "no such thing as dragons".

As the story goes on people really see that maybe there are dragons. And... that's pretty much the story in a nutshell.

I think for a basic reader this would be a good book. I'm talking a very easy read. Anything over the 12-13 level might be a little too old for this book.

That said ther
Ansel lost the power of speech when his mother died. Surprisingly, that was enough to get him hired on as an apprentice to a dragon-slayer. The rumors of dragons and the presence of dragons are two different things, however, and Ansel learns far more than he would like about the task of dragon-slayer.

This is a simple story, but very well-grounded. The details make the prose shine, and the characters are neither sheer good nor evil but simply human. Ansel--shy, diligent, and braver than he suspec
Moc pěkná knížka. Patří k těm, co tak pohladí na duši, tedy alespoň já z ní mám takový pocit. Začátek se mi moc líbil, uprostřed jsem se sice trochu zadrhla a přišlo mi, že je to zbytečně protahované, ale konec byl opravdu moc pěkný. Prostě takový pohádkový. Je to sice kniha pro mladší čtenáře (doporučený věk je 9 let), ale i starší může potěšit. Minimálně mě potěšila a moc.
My son is getting old enough to read middle grade novels with help. So he picked this book out at random at the library. I had previously read Reeve’s Larklight (steampunk middle grade series) and absolutely loved it, so I was interested to see what this book by him was like. It ended up being a slow book with awkward language throughout.

Brock is a man who fakes fighting dragons to make a living, he basically steals money from scared townspeople and pretends to slay their dragon. Ansel is a youn
Very nice descriptive language... Not something i expected to like but so far im on board, and i think la teachers will drool over some of the wordings... But it slows to a crawl about halfway livesin England btw.
Becky B
Ansel's father sells him to the dragon slayer passing through town. Johannes Brock is thrilled that Ansel is mute because truth be told, Brock is a con artist. He doesn't really believe in dragons, but he will play off of people's fears of local legends, allow them to pay him to rid them of the foul beast, disappear into the mountains for a few days, and come back displaying a fiendish looking skull. Brock and Ansel make their way to a village called Knochen under the shadow of a mountain said t ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I read one book previously by the author, Fever Crumb, and enjoyed it. This one looked like it would make a good read aloud to ds.

Set in the middle ages of presumably our world, the book is immersed in a religious Catholic society, with both bad and good people, but a society who presumes there is a God. He can be found on all pages and while some characters use His name as a curse others use it as a cry for help. I really enjoyed being sat down in this society. We explore a
Dec 28, 2013 Raina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: j
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Jocelyn Koehler
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Daniel Shellenbarger
No Such Thing As Dragons tells the story of Ansel a mute (from trauma, he is physically capable of talk, he just doesn't) boy who gets taken in as the servant of a wandering self-proclaimed "dragon hunter," Johannes Brock, but as the boy suspects, the man is a fraud and insists that there is no such thing as a dragon, it's just an easy way to filch ignorant peasants, using a crocodile skull and a tiger's tooth as proof of his "kills". However, things become much more complex when they happen int ...more
Leslie Preddy
Oct 11, 2012 Leslie Preddy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: grades 4-7
Author Phillip Reeve has written a novel full of suspense and adrenaline. After the loss of his mother, Ansel goes mute and his father sells him into servitude to a dragon slayer. During their travels, Brock, his master, eventually admits he’s a fraud and a con man and there are no real dragons. Ansel is appalled and shaken by the news. Soon they reach a small village high in the mountains and steeped in dragon beliefs and lore. Ansel realizes there is something not quite right about the residen ...more
Reeve, Philip. No such thing as dragons. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. Print.

Anselm is a mute and is seen as a burden by his father. But when a man with many secrets rides through the village looking for a servant to accompany him on his travels, the boy's silence becomes a selling point. Anselm's new master is Brock, a dragon slayer. His appearance is just like one would expect of a man who does battle with man-eating beasts, but it's going to take more than that to convince Anselm that dra
This is a charming, single-strand narrative, about a mute boy, Ansel, his master (a knight called Brock) and the search for a dragon which may or may not exist on a mountain in Germany. If there was a dragon, what would it look like? Would it exist in the traditional medieval image familiar from the stonework and woodwork in churches and cathedrals and in illuminated manuscripts? Or would it be more akin to our modern concept of a living prehistoric fossil, an archeopteryx, perhaps, or pteranodo ...more
Ansel stopped speaking when his beloved mother died when he was just a boy. His father, not having any real love or use for him, sells Ansel to a the dragon slayer to be his page. Ansel travels with Brock and learns that Brock has never actually seen a dragon. In fact, Brock doesn't even believe in dragons. But then they visit a hidden village where sightings of a dragon and the loss of livestock and even human life lead Ansel and Brock to their most fulfilling conquest.

Grades 4 +
Emily White
I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as I had hoped. I have read the ‘Mortal Engines’ series of four books by Reeve and loved them all. Reeve was so imaginative in those other books. This book, while well-written and inclusive of flowing language, was just another retelling of man vs. dragon on a mountain, saving the poor villagers in the valley below, and a scaredy-pants quasi-religious guy. I was so disappointed. There just wasn’t anything new here. I felt like so many other people have alr ...more
Ansel, a mute, doubts that dragons exist. His master, Brock, travels from village to village offering to slay their dragons. In exchange, the villagers give him food and shelter. As long as the people fear that there might be dragons, Brock can make a living. Even Brock himself knows that he is really just fighting the people's fears, not real dragons.

Then they arrive in the small village of Drachenberg, and find that the people's fears might just have a basis in fact! In the rocky, frozen heig
Marathon County Public Library MCPL
Ten-year-old Ansel, a mute boy, is sold by his father to Brock, a self-proclaimed dragon slayer who needs someone who will keep his secrets safe. They travel town to town on horseback searching for food and shelter in exchange for protecting villagers from dragons. In Drachenberg, his master accepts a quest to climb the steep mountain and rid the village folks of a wickedly, fearsome dragon rumored to live there. But are dragons actually real and is Brock really a dragon slayer? There is much in ...more
Phillip Reeve is such a clever writer. A fun fantasy book with a darker side, in the way of some classic fairy tales. Ansel is sold by his father to a dragon slayer who just happens to be a con artist. Brock the dragon slayer and the friar reminded me of the Summoner and Pardoner in The Canterbuy Tales: a pair of crooks who manipulate people's vulnerabilities and fears to their own advantage. The adults' flaws are silently observed by Ansel, the 10 year old mute boy at the centre of the story, y ...more
"There is the dragon, my lord, and then there is the fear of the dragon. It is hard to say which is worse. And even if you doubt the dragon, you must admit the fear is real." Ansel is sold by his to Brock, a dragon hunter. Brock knows that a mute servant will keep his secrets. And what is his secret? That there is no such thing as dragons. He tells Ansel this even as they ride for the north country where there are rumors of a dragon and the peasants are afraid. As they arrive in the town, Brock ...more
Mute Ansel is both pleased and scared to have been hired to be assistant to Brock the dragon hunter, until Brock confides that he's never actually killed a dragon because they don't really exist. He plays elaborate scams on townspeople who believe they are plagued by dragons. Until they arrive at Drachenberg, when they come face-to-face with a real dragon. Will they succeed in vanquishing the beast, or become dragon dinner? A sympathetic main character and lively descriptions make this an enjoya ...more
I adore Philip Reeve, and was impressed by his ability to bring out the complex themes that lay behind this simple story. However, this reads a lot like a movie script (and would make a good one) and I always lose interest in too much action, so I didn't love it as much as others might.
Mike Haynes
'No Such Thing As Dragons' would have been so much better if there really was no such thing as dragons! The set up is strong: charlatan dragon hunter and his squire arrive at a village stricken with fear, hook up with the local priest, and head off into the mountains to slay superstition. Themes of faith and the credulity of the innocent mix with some highly evocative scene setting. I almost believed in the dragon myself, until… he actually turned up! OK, he’s a fabulous dragon, but I felt defla ...more
The day Ansel's mother died was the last day that he spoke. His father was quick to remarry and start a new family. He was also quick to sell Ansel into the service of a dragon hunter when the time came. Ansel is perplexed when his new master tells him that there is no such thing as dragons, but understands that it is not his place to question. But when evidence at a mountain village points to the dragons being real, can Ansel summon enough courage to be a hero?

Author Philip Reeve has created a
ugh. Not for kids. Withing the 1st 3 chapters, there are unmarried people sharing bedrooms. When the name of my God was used as a swear word, I closed it. not recommended if you are a Christian.
Reeve seems to want to tell kids not to trust people; all the important adults in this story are deceitful or irresponsible, though not necessarily without some redeeming qualities. The children have to look out for themselves, which is as it should be in a children's book, of course.

Parts of the book are well written - particularly during the ascent of the mountain - but there are fleeting passages that inflict disorienting head-hopping on the reader. The view-points of all three main protagoni
Philip Reeve is a harsh YA author. Life often is incredibly unpleasant for his protagonists, even when they exist in otherwise fantastical realms. And adults don't always save the day - they're fallible too, usually more so than the kids. As author of Larklight, we know he can do fun things that end happily, but Mortal Engines shows you that isn't always going to be the case. At the midpoint of this book, I wasn't sure which way it would go. And that's a good thing. This is beautifully written, ...more
I liked this more than the book about Arthur, but less than the Larklight series. It's a bit too grim to be funny, and a bit too outrageous not to be.
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Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of no-budget theatre projects.

Philip then began illustrating and has since provided cartoons for around forty children's books, including the best-selling Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths and Dead Famous series.

Philip has been writing stories
More about Philip Reeve...
Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1) Fever Crumb (Fever Crumb, #1) Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles, #2) Larklight (Larklight, #1) Infernal Devices (The Hungry City Chronicles, #3)

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