The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials, #1)
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The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,524 ratings  ·  306 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...more
Hardcover, 485 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 2011)
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I've said this before, but N. D. Wilson reminds me in some ways of C. S. Lewis. Both have a sense of magic and wonder in their stories. Both show that this world is infused with meaning, with a battle between good and evil. And both write stories in which characters must learn what it means to show virtue and courage.

But at the same time, Wilson's stories are very different from Lewis's. Wilson includes a lot more action and a lot less preachiness--the story tends to do the talking more than mo...more
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.
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...more
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
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.
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...more
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
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...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
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!.
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...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
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....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,...more
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...more
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'...more
Ryan Boomershine
I love Nate Wilson's writing. I really, really do, but I have a habit of loving his non-fiction and having a very hard time with his fantasy. I wanted to love this book, just like I wanted to love Dandelion Fire. It was a strain for me.

In contrast, I have very high hopes for Boys of Blur. May I break from this funk.

I'm adding a star simply because I know so many students who love this book. It doesn't deserve 2 stars.
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...more
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
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...more
A wild fantasy romp through a creatively imagined alternative world takes a classic quest format. Cyrus and Antigone, siblings ages 12 and 13 1/2, respectively, are thrown into adventure when they must leave the ancient motel in Wisconsin that has been their home in ashes and are driven by a lawyer with very strange speech patterns in a limo to Ashtown, where an alternate world awaits. Might their parents, thought dead, actually be alive? By the use of the third person, the author keeps events r...more
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.
Very enjoyable, although Nate still finds himself getting into long passages of narrative description that I have to read more than once to make sense of. Or, more often, I just skim to the end, figure out where the protagonist is now, and wade back in. Not as often as in the last trilogy, but still too often.
I just started reading this book to the kids. After reading only two chapters they didn't want me to stop. Too bad ... time to get to work.

Reading this out loud to the kids, again in order to refresh our minds before we dive into The Drowned Vault.

Just as good a read the second time as was the first.
Writing is excellent—vivid descriptions on top of fascinating plot. Ingenious blending of histories and mythologies. However, like in the 100 Cupboards series, sometimes I lost track of the characters and even the action—lots going on.
It makes me sad that more people don't realize this book is a re-telling of Treasure Island. Knowing that made reading it much more exciting.
I'm a huge fan of the 100 Cupboards trilogy, so I had high expectations for The Dragon's Tooth, and it did not disappoint! Wilson's world is exciting and easy to visualize, and his characters believable. Perhaps my favorite thing about Wilson's writing is that as someone who grew up in Small Town, USA (in the same state as the author, no less!), I find it M...more
This is an excellent "fantasy" series for older children/young adults! The writing is good, the vocabulary and description are rich, and the "world" and plot are well thought out. Full of mythical and historical characters, this book seems to be a combination of Percy Jackson and Hogwarts. The writing is much better than that of Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson). I am reluctant to ever compare a writer to the amazing J.K. Rowling, but Wilson gets much closer than many of the other more recent attempt...more
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New Group! Join the Order of Brendan! 1 5 Jan 26, 2014 03:44PM  
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Dragon's Tooth Book Trailer on 1 16 Aug 05, 2011 08:45AM  
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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.” 9 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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