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No Such Thing As Dragons

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  550 Ratings  ·  107 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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Mary Ann
Jul 21, 2010 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jocelyn Koehler
May 04, 2012 Jocelyn Koehler rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2010 Cindy rated it it was ok
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
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
Jul 13, 2010 Robert rated it it was ok
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
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.
Jun 15, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have seen this book around having read the other books of Philip Reeve but never got round to reading it. Well today I completed it and i really enjoyed it. Its not your usual dragon slaying title but there is a real sense of danger and excitement. Its very well paced and I wonder if this is an opening to a new series like other titles of his, either way if there are more out I will read them.
Josh Newhouse
Jul 01, 2011 Josh Newhouse rated it liked it
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.
Jan 10, 2017 Anjali rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-have
good story
Aug 11, 2014 Karissa rated it liked it
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
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
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
Jan 26, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
Nov 13, 2010 Sheila rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2016 Raina rated it liked it
Shelves: j
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leslie Preddy
Oct 11, 2012 Leslie Preddy rated it really liked it
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
Oct 21, 2012 Thomas rated it really liked it
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
Dec 20, 2014 Aelvana rated it it was ok
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
May 15, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
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
Sep 02, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
"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
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
Aug 07, 2011 Jan rated it really liked it
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
Alyssa Marroquin
Mar 30, 2016 Alyssa Marroquin rated it it was amazing
Brock is a world famous dragon slayer but when he and his mute assistant Ansel, go to a small village and Brock has to bring the head of the beast trouble arises.The villagers suspicious of the beast sacrificed a little girl named Else because they believed when her father woke the beast up it prayed on the cattle to satite its hunger.Ansel betrays Brock by cutting her free and going back down the mountain but the dragon was hunting.For fear of being eaten they found the beast's cave and found B ...more
Mike Haynes
Jun 09, 2012 Mike Haynes rated it liked it
'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
Rianna Wong
Mar 22, 2016 Rianna Wong rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Rianna by: Me
I have to say that I actually taken a huge liking to this book after reading it.
I didn't intended to buy it's more like this book was a mistake.
The book's cover doesn't actually scream 'read me I'm a great book' and I have this habit of buying horror,sci-fi,thriller,romance books and not adventure books....not even humor books.
But this mistake that I made had totally been worth it.
I enjoy reading through this book...when it came to the end...I was like 'oh no please don't end' but it e
Jan 16, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it
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
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
Dec 17, 2015 Tanja rated it really liked it
Shelves: chn-fantasy
For some reason, I had not been drawn to the book at first but since it was on Hong Kong's Battle of the Book list this year, I made an effort to give it a try - and discovered that I really liked it! I was of course immediately drawn to Ansel, a young boy, who has lost his voice and is sold by his father to be the servant of a knight who claims to find dragons. But are there really such things as dragons? According to Brock, no. But then he, just as the reader, might be in for a big surprise. M ...more
Sharyn Heili
Mar 07, 2013 Sharyn Heili rated it really liked it
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
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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.

Railhead, published by Oxford Un
More about Philip Reeve...

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