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Ancient, Strange, and Lovely (Dragon Chronicles #4)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  343 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Bryn’s world is out of kilter. Pollution is causing weird weather and diseases that her mom, a scientist, was working to fix. But Mom disappeared on a research expedition in Alaska, and now Dad has gone off to find her. At least Bryn gets some comfort from kenning with her bird—though that ability makes her weird as well.

Things get seismic strange when Bryn discovers a hu
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published September 21st 2010)
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Ian Beck
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
When I was in elementary school, I discovered Susan Fletcher's Dragon's Milk on one of my comprehensive trawls through the local library's shelves, and I loved it. The personable dragons, strong young main character, and light, uncomplicated romance appealed to me, and I eagerly worked my through the other two books set in that world. When I heard that Ancient, Strange, and Lovely was going to be another book set in that world, I was extremely excited.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered
Dani - Perspective of a Writer
DNF at page 152.

Pretty cool setup as far as the premise goes but I wasn't wild about the girl or the writing. I finished Part 1 Egg and Part II Lizard but I just don't like it. I hated how overly naive the girl was just to learn she has a rare egg which she already knew. The family was so contrived that I hurt to read about them. I did like the kenning but it just wasn't enough to carry me through. The plot became so contrived that I even began to dislike the dragon!!

I liked the accuracy of the
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth, fantasy
AS&L is the fourth in a series, but since I haven't read the others I can assure you that it reads well as a stand-alone. Set in a mildly dystopian near future (yeah, we're trashing the environment, we get it!), the 14 year old heroine finds herself the caretaker of a newly hatched dragon at a Really inconvenient time. With both parents MIA and other reliable adult help pretty much non existent, she embarks on a cross-country trek to try to return the little guy (who, yes, tends to spit fire ...more
Kristen Coffin
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
"The language of birds is ancient, strange, and lovely, bearing equal parts heartbreak and joy."

I was kind of sad when I read this that it wasn't set in the same timeline as the original trilogy, but then I thought it was cool to see a mythical creature transported to a more present/futuristic time. We don't normally see dragons in times outside the past or more simplistic worlds.

Synopsis states that it's a standalone, but I liked having background knowledge of kenning and why Bryn can ken with
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I love Susan Fletcher's work, she has a way for taking the dragons off of the page, into my bedroom, bouncing around the room. Ancient Strange and Lovely was an amazing addition to the dragon chronicles series, Dragons milk will always be my favorite for the series, but this is a close second. Bryn was a relatable heroine, and Mr.Lizard was a wonderful addition to the Dragon chronicle dragons, and is definitely on par with Ember Pyro and Sage.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not care for this book at all.
Ancient, strange, and lovely
Susan Fletcher

As long as Bryn can remember the members of her family have possessed the unique talent of kenning or communicating with birds. Each child receives a bird at the age of five, Bryn’s is a cockatiel named Stella. After Bryn’s biologist mother disappears while on a research mission in Alaska, her father leaves Bryn and her younger sister with their Aunt Penn while he goes off to find out what happened. Late one night a mysterious thumping noise coming from
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first three books in The Dragon Chronicles, so I was prepared to sit back, relax, and savor this new entry. That didn't happen. There was no sitting back or relaxing here. I was leaning forward, heart thudding, eyes glued to the pages throughout.

Ancient, Strange, and Lovely takes place in the near future. Bryn knows that her family is different. They have a secret. They can "ken" with birds, touching their minds, bonding, and finding companionship with a particular bird. At the begi
BAYA Librarian
Bryn comes from a family with a secret, not a dark or dangerous secret, but one that might have resulted in some of her ancestors being burned at the stake. Her family’s secret is that members of Bryn’s family can psychically communicate with birds. Unfortunately, keeping this secret causes Bryn to be reclusive and something of an outcast in school. The drama in Bryn’s life doesn’t end with this though, in fact, Bryn’s Mom goes missing in Alaska and her father runs off to find her. While, this m ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"My hand moved, all on its own, to train the flashlight on Mom and Dad's bedroom window.
I stood staring at it, breathing in the smell of distant deserts, trying to hold it all together.
Sometimes you never do find out what's happened.
Sometimes, you just never know." (Fletcher, Ancient Strange and Lovely, p.13).

Susan Fletcher's lyrical wordsmithing is a delight, as always, in this forth dragon chronicles work. There are many moments when I find myself falling as deeply into my own tho
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Wow, I don't know what I expected from this fourth book in the Dragon Chronicles, but it was nothing like this! I started reading and as soon as they placed it in Alaska I did a double take. Wait, Alaska? The previous books took place in what I thought was a different world, not our un-magical one. Adventures taking place in countries of a medieval time in some fantastical realm. Nope! At first I kind of balked at it, how dare they take away the magic and wonder of the world we knew with Kaeldra ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: TC Daniels
Shelves: childrens, series
This latest in the saga of the dragons brings us Bryn, a young teen in a family which "kens" birds, which they keep secret in the same way the earlier humans did.

When the story opens, Bryn's parents have disappeared, and she and her sister live with her aunt, who dislikes the idea of kenning. One night, though, Bryn and her sister Piper dig through some boxes sent from Alaska that contain her mother's research. An egg. A big one. What is it?

I got the school, being alone, and friendless, but Sas
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another YA fiction book, and once again, I enjoyed it. This is a stand-alone companion to a trilogy, and after reading this one, I will read the trilogy. This was fast-paced and exciting without being too scary. There was nothing inappropriate about it for the audience it was written for, and the plot was just different enough from other dragon stories to be fresh and keep me interested. I liked that the story was resolved satisfactorily while leaving enough to the imagination that it w ...more
Oct 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fletcher picks up her Dragon Chronicles series with this adventure set in futuristic Oregon and Alaska. Bryn's mother has been missing for a long time, and now her father is off the map after leaving suddenly to chase down a clue to her mother's fate. In their aunt's basement, Bryn and her sister Piper discover an odd object hidden in their mother's research materials--and predictably it hatches, and now Bryn must think what to do to protect a growing baby dragon. Some readers may prefer to have ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dragon-books
I did not like book as much as the first three in the series.
It was cool to have kenning in the modern world, but the characters didn't use it much.
Also there was a pretty strong environmentalist message in the book.

Good points:
It had dragons, though once again it was a baby dragon and was hidden in a bag for most of the book.
The characters had some family struggles that were intriguing and kept me interested throughout the book.
And it was a fairly easy story to follow.

Bad points:
Some swearing.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with-out reading the rest of the Dragon Chronicles and I could tell that i was missing some background info, but I still enjoyed the story, meeting Bryn, her sister Piper and their family. The joy of her finding the dragon egg her quirky relationship/friendship with Sasha and her quest to save the dragon.
The background info's got to do with the families ability to "ken" or communicate with birds, an ability they keep secret from those around them. I also couldn't understand the
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Book 1 - Introduction
Book 2 - History
Book 3 - After book 1
Book 4 - Centuries in the future (modern day)

I flew through the first three books, learning about and loving these people who can talk with birds and dragons. The fourth book starts out completely different; it is apparent that this is 'modern day'... with a few differences. This is almost a full length epilogue. Book 3 comes to a conclusion, but not very many loose ends. Jumping so far into the future for Book 4 allowed an appreciation o
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up because I really like Susan Fletcher's Shadow Spinner. As I began reading I realized that this is the fourth in a series and surprisingly I've read the other books. It may have helped if I had read this book in the same decade as the last three... and in another ten years I doubt that I will remember the plot of this book either. This is a post modern world and the others are pre modern world.
Great read! I loved this story and the adventure it had! It was VERY intense and kept me reading page after page, anxious to find out what will happen. The characters are very nicely developed, and they had that realistic feel to them.

The journey to deliver the baby dragon to its mother was soooo nerve wracking! But blissfully nerve wracking! I liked how the characters had to constantly smuggle the poor thing all around the place without getting caught, hahaha.
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ancient, Strange, and Lovely is a fantastic addition to the Dragon's Milk trilogy; similar enough to be comfortingly familiar, and different enough to feel like a true, new adventure. Set in a not-so-distant future, the addition of the blogosphere, GPS tracking, and a polluted planet that's environmentally breaking down isn't jarring so much as it presents a incredibly challenging question: what place does something as ancient, strange, and lovely as a dragon have in all that?
John Cole
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Add this new one to Susan Fletcher's "Dragon Chronicles." The others were written before 2000. This one is different in that it happens today. These creatures seem so real in Susan's books, a very extraordinary author, that places her readers directly inside the protagonist's skin. liked the experience a lot.
I REALLY liked this story! I haven't read any of the others, and this read as a stand alone. I was attracted by the name and felt the story fulfilled it. Because of some language and the dismal ecological outlook, I did not recommend it to my 10 YO granddaughter, altho she read and enjoyed the first 3 books. There were some tense, exciting moments and there is hope at the end of the story.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! It engaged my attention and held me in. I didn't like it as much as the other books in this series, but I enjoyed it enough. I also thought that having dragons in the modern era was interesting, plus it being set in Eugene, OR (I lived there for around 9 years, and I still live in Oregon) was cool.
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dragon fans
Loved this book! I like that it was set sort of in the near future, instead of the medieval type setting that occured in the previous books. I loved the 'critter'! He was so adorable and I kept rooting for him to be okay in the end! If you love dragons, I highly reccomend this book, as well as Susan Fletcher's other dragon books.
Taking place in the future (though possibly not that far into the future), Bryn finds a dragon egg with her missing mother's belongings.

This was a neat story, about how after we've polluted our planet, there may still be hope for it -as long as this an ancient animal is able to survive.

There is a lot of weird slang in this story that made it a bit difficult to follow.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just been too long since I read the others. I collected the first three books when I was younger and I loved them and retread them a lot, but I haven't done so in a long time. This one felt different, outside of the modern day perspective. I don't mind the time period aspect, but the writing just didn't impress me. An unimpressive ending (if it's the final book).
Sarah Tilatitsky
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really good. I thought that this is the first book, but I'm wrong. Still, this book is AWESOME! I really like this book becuase the "history" is clicked together to form something fantastic. Anybody can read it and love it. This book is very good. ☺
Read this in one night. Chose to read it since I loved the original 3 Dragon Chronicle books by this author that I read when I was younger. (And it actually referenced them!)

It's meant for a younger audience, but was still enjoyable.
MrsK Books
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, Yes, Yes, and more please!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information. Please do, however, be aware that this thread is no longer kept up to date.

Susan Fletcher is the author of a popular trilogy that includes the books Dragon's Milk, Flight of the Dragon Kyn, and Sign of the Dove, as well as of several other novels for young readers.

With a me
More about Susan Fletcher...

Other Books in the Series

Dragon Chronicles (4 books)
  • Dragon's Milk (Dragon Chronicles, #1)
  • Flight of the Dragon Kyn (Dragon Chronicles, #2)
  • Sign of the Dove (The Dragon Chronicles, Book 3)