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The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,432 Ratings  ·  368 Reviews
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 strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oa
Hardcover, 485 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 2011)
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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.
Jubilation Lee
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
Kat Heckenbach
Nov 17, 2015 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 11, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
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
Aug 28, 2011 Gwen Burrow rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
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
Mar 17, 2012 Rosanne Lortz rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2011 Teri rated it really liked it
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!.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 27, 2011 Douglas Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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.
Mar 25, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
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
May 24, 2013 Benji Martin rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 19, 2011 R rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Feb 29, 2012 Stephanie Jobe rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 02, 2013 Brittany Petruzzi rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 28, 2015 Ea Solinas rated it it was amazing
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
Barnabas Piper
Dec 28, 2013 Barnabas Piper rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 09, 2015 Lora rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
I can't say that I REALLY liked this book. I liked it enough to look for the second in the series at the library but it wasn't there; neither I was terribly disappointed. And my kids both looked it over and passed on it; it didn't suit either of them.
It's juvenile literature, so it wasn't written for me. The continual action wearied me at times while on the other hand I admit that it also held my attention at other times for sheer whiz-bang. The two main characters, Cy and Antigone, behaved year
Ms. Yingling
Jan 05, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
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
Jun 06, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it
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
Aug 25, 2011 Kevin rated it really liked it

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
Jan 16, 2014 Rick Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Luke Miller
Jul 12, 2016 Luke Miller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is the kind of book I would have loved to discover as a kid, but I think I'm even happier to discover it as an adult. When asked about how stories help Christians in spiritual battle, I heard Wilson give this answer:

"An army marches on its stomach, and what I'm doing is trying to feed imaginations. I'm trying to damn the damnable and honor the honorable. I'm trying to catetchize loyalties and instincts. I'm trying to write stories that will be food for Christians. I'm trying to keep them f
Jan 12, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this type of kids/YA adventure-y story, and I found myself really liking it. It took a bit to warm up to Cyrus and Antigone (main characters, siblings), but I like them and I like that they act like normal kids; teasing, using nicknames, losing their tempers. This one's a bit creepy in parts, much creepier than I anticipated. The way the bad guys take good things, good words, and twist them or apply them for evil....ick. Gives me the shivers. (Those parts reminded ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Grace rated it it was amazing
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! :)
Feb 07, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it
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
Dec 14, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Apr 02, 2015 Alyssa Porter rated it really liked it
Read to my 8 year old and we really liked it. Enough to dive into the next nearly 500 page story in the series.
Jeanette Johnson
Nov 14, 2015 Jeanette Johnson rated it really liked it
This is the first installment of the Ashtown Burials series.

This is the Amazon summary:
Guest Reviewer: James Dashner on The Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson

James Dashner is the New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy and The 13th Reality series.

The Dragon’s Tooth by N. D. Wilson isn’t a run-of-the-mill fantasy book for kids. Original, captivating, funny, and suspenseful, it’s a book that will appeal to all ages. And it’s certainly not run-of-the-mill.

The Smith children (Dan, A
Jan 24, 2015 Brandon rated it it was ok
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
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Dragon's Tooth Book Trailer on 1 17 Aug 05, 2011 08:45AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Ashtown Burials (3 books)
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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.” 17 likes
“Cyrus walked straight to the tallest crack of light, a seam between two doors. They were locked, but they were also thin and old, and they bent a little with pressure from his shoulder.

He backed up.

"Try one of Skelton's keys," said Antigone. "Is there a keyhole?"

"Nope." Cyrus threw himself against the doors. Wood popped, but he bounced back. "I can break it."

"You mean a rib? Maybe your shoulder?" Antigone adjusted her grip, propping Horace in front of her.

"There's just one little bolt," said Cyrus. "And it's set in old wood." He paused. What was he hearing? Voices. Shouting. "You hear that?" he asked.

Antigone nodded. "They don't sound happy."

This time, Cyrus used his foot. The wood splintered, and the two doors wobbled open onto a world of emerald and sunlight.”
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