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The Bones of the Old Ones

(The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #2)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  52 reviews
As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped from a dangerous cabal that has ensorcelled her to track down ancient magical tools of tremendous power, the bones of the old ones.

To stop the cabal and save Najya, Dabir and Asim venture into the worst winter
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published July 3rd 2012)
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Howard Jones There is the short story collection, *The Waters of Eternity.* There are additional short stories, so far uncollected, that have either been published…moreThere is the short story collection, *The Waters of Eternity.* There are additional short stories, so far uncollected, that have either been published in magazines or anthologies, or are being submitted to various venues. There's half of the third book, on my hard drive, and if I ever get an opening while writing my other series, I'll finish it, even if I have to self publish the thing. (less)

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Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Howard Andrew Jones’ debut novel The Desert of Souls was one of my favorite novels of 2011. The Bones of the Old Ones , released just this January , takes up bare months after the first novel left off. Asim and Dabir have taken up positions in the city of Mosul and as an uncanny cold grips the desert city the two long time friends find themselves called to action once more this time to aid the mysterious Najya; a woman hunted by a cabal of ancient sorcerer-assassins. The Bones of the Old Ones, e ...more
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Desert of Souls, the first Dabir and Asim novel, was very good. Bones of the Old Ones is even better. Once again we're in 8th Century Mosul, but this time the land is gripped by winter (I love the idea of an Arabian Nights-style adventure where everything is covered by snow and ice). And the set-up is classic noir -- when the dame walks in, you know she's going to be trouble. Before things have ended, there will have been the clash of swords, ancient ruins, sinister agents and dark, primal m ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The second book of sword and sorcery adventures of Asim and Dabir - the first book is The Desert of Souls. It is not necessary to read the first book, but the second one contains some references which cannot be understood without reading of the first one.

Dabir the scholar spends quiet days at his hometown studying ancient scrolls; while Asim, his bodyguard and friend, does his duty of protecting Dabir. The first sign of trouble was coming cold and snow (I am talking about Arabian Peninsula here
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, historical
First off, let me point out this is the second Dabir and Asim novel, and while both are standalones, you might ought to start with The Desert of Souls. Which is awesome.

This second novel length Dabir and Asim adventure is also fun, but I'm not sure why it has a higher average rating or why a number of readers specifically say they think this is better than the first.

I can think of a couple of reasons why this one didn't engage me as much as the first. Fo
Mary Robinette Kowal
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
For full disclosure, I blurbed this book and I did that because I really enjoy how swashbuckling these are. They are like Sherlock Holmes crossed with the Arabian Nights. Asim is Watson to Dabir's Holmes, but with magic. And swords! I like the the way the characters trust each other and that solving problems requires each of their strengths.

Strangely, one of the things that I also appreciate is that Asim is sexist, but thinks that he's not. It's true of a lot of people who want to be allies toda
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
The components are familiar, but the craft of their assembly is undeniable. From the interaction between Asim and Dabir to Asim's running narration (mixing wit and wisdom and pragmatism) to a plot that locks together tight as a drum to fight sequences dripping verisimilitude, there is no doubting the high quality that runs through the story.

Yet, somehow its construction didn't really sit with me in a way I can't explain. Asim details a fight with a powerful warrior and while every aspect is undo
Well crafted classic sword & sorcery.

While I loved the classical feel of this S&S duo, the plot felt a bit to overwrought. At times keeping track of who was an ally, or the actual antagonist took it bit more work than I'd like. The characters do have some banter, but they are obviously very serious people: a bit more lightheartedness would have been appreciated.

Don't take me wrong! This still is a page turner, and the way Jones mixed older mythologies into his Arabic setting is great. The stakes
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very nice adventure story. Not quite as clear as Desert of Souls, but fun all the same.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Purchased by me. 4.5 stars.

A fun fast adventure that I really enjoyed! Dabir and Asim are back solving an exciting second desert mystery. As a fan of epic 500+ page fantasy who knew I could find such action, adventure and humor in a mere 300 pages? The best thing about these books is the interaction between the two main characters. They are hilarious and endearing. Besides the adventure their conversations and motivations are the main reasons I recommend these books. They are very fun and a grea
Daniel Shellenbarger
The Bones of the Old Ones is the sequel to The Desert of Souls, following the continuing adventures of scholar Dabir and guardsman Asim in medieval Iraq. Thankfully, lightning strikes twice, and while Mr. Jones may not have put as much effort into the prose of the second book as the first (which was beautifully written as well as being extremely entertaining and highly imaginative), the characters, story, and world-development are all so well written that I can't really complain. As with its pre ...more
Have a hankering for old style sword and sorcery, but bored of plots set in Medieval England and Europe. My suggestion, try Howard Andrew Jones.

Following up on the terrific The Desert of Souls, Jones' new Captain Asim and Dabir adventure is a surefire way to have fun reading old style fantasy once again. While paying homage to old masters, Jones breaks new ground by setting his magical tale in an Arabian Nights world replete with necromancers, immortals, malicious spirits, magical weapons and fe
I was in the mood for uncomplicated but entertaining adventure fantasy, and this fit the bill perfectly. Dabir (scholar) and Asim (warrior: together, they fight crime! --no, seriously, but in a way just as fun and not as lame as I presented) encounter a damsel in distress (which actually reminded me of the stereotypical noir setup in some ways) who was kidnapped from her home and enchanted by her abductors to help them locate some magical artifacts.

Najya is actually not as helpless as she might
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
The sequel to Desert of Souls, The Bones of The Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones, takes Dabir and Asim into a new grand-adventure in 8th century Baghdad. The Seven Sebitti wizards have cast a spell on Persian noble Najya binta Alimah, in order to locate The Bones of The Old Ones, a source of great power. When a snowstorm covers the city white, Najya takes this opportunity to escape the grasps of these treacherous magicians. She finds the home of Dabir and Asim and seeks shelter within. The schola ...more
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book!
It all started with the dust jacket, wow that's a-nice-a-picture I thought, but then there's always that nagging "oops, never judge a book by it's cover." quote nagging the back of your mind.
I had read The Desert of Souls just a few days prior to this, so I already knew the main characters and was already invested in their story. I had liked the first book, but thought the second one much better. Wether it was due to my confidence in or the author's own self-confidence is hard
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not fair for sword(/scimitar)-and-sorcery to be this well-written. Jones confidently unveils his story, adding complication after complication to the plot, but always through the characters. The (exceedingly well-researched) setting alone is worth the price of admission, but the cast of characters was also a delight. It was great to run across Herakles and Enkidu (though it begged the question of Gilgamesh's whereabouts.)

No book is perfect. Dabir seemed less omniscient, which was disappoint
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

Even better than the first one, an old-fashioned sword-swinging, spell-casting, evil-fighting pulp adventure with an Arabian flair. Highly recommended.
Jason Ray Ray Carney
This is an excellent sword and sorcery novel. It is the sequel to Jones' *The Desert of Eternity,* but it is a contained narrative and does not require knowledge of the first novel. The two protagonists, Assim and Dabir, complement eachother wonderfully: Assim is a duty-bound warrior who acts instinctively and with sincerity; Dabir is a pensive scholar who is haunted not only by his sorcerous knowledge but also by a lingering sorrow. This novel focuses on Assim and Dabir's fight against the immo ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really three stars by the end but so many great moments, and total love for the characters, it all evens out to 4 stars.

I had the same feelings for the first in the series - epicly awesome start up until like half way point, then its still pretty great, but then it comes to what i consider a great ending point... and goes on another 100-150 pages. It happened again and I don't get it.

But my goodness, the characters, the scenes and description, this book is just pure magic to read. Soooo addict
Douglas Hancock
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
While not as enthralling as the first book of the series I still enjoyed this volume.

As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped from a dangerous cabal that has ensorcelled her to track down ancient magical tools of tremendous power, the bones of the old ones. To stop the cabal and save Najya, Dabir and Asim venture into the worst winter in human memory, hunted by a shape-cha
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Howard Andrew Jones follows up the first entry in this series with a solid tale that again demonstrates his narrative skills and his close study of Harold Lamb's writing style.

The attention to historical detail nearly makes the reader forget he's reading fantasy and instead reading historical fiction. This is commendable as a sign of excellent world-building.

Apparently the publisher hasn't requested a follow-up to this novel with these characters. That's too bad, because Jones delineates them ve
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My girlfriend picked this one out for me while we were looking through books and it is really good!!
Julie Davis
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the highly enjoyable sequel to the excellent Desert of Souls (my review here). I really enjoyed it and if Goodreads allowed half-stars the rating would 4.5.

Asim and Dabir are pulled into adventure when a young woman (Najya) begs them for help escaping kidnappers. The kidnappers have some very strange powers and the young woman seems to have been put under a spell. Investigating how the spell and how to shake the kidnappers propel our heroes into realms resplendent with sorcery, old gods,
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Howard Andrew Jones' The Bones of the Old Ones in the Sword and Sands Chronicle is a worthy successor to the first book in that series, The Desert of Souls.

We get more of the swashbuckling, historical fantasy. Asim and Dabir begin their journey when Tajya, a Persian noblewoman, arrives. She is in distress, and she needs the help of Asim and Dabir, who take on the task. An ancient and powerful magic threatens them at every turn.

The setup is wonderful, and Jones loses no time in jeopardizing our h
M.A. Guglielmo
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of the Desert of Souls continues the adventure

The Bones of the Old Ones continues the story of Dabir and Asim, a scholar/warrior team who fight monsters in medieval Baghdad. As with the first book, this is rousing sword and sorcery, and Jones weaves in fantastic historical detail. Fight scenes are his strength, and it's a fun read. The writing is sometimes clunky, and the female characters never quite ring true. Lydia, the bad girl sorceress of the tale, sounds too much at times like a mo
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a fast moving book that is a page turner, right from the beginning. The previous book featuring these characters was good, but this book shows an even tighter, more fast moving style and is very hard to put down.
The story centres on two friends, Dabir and Asim, who face a group of ancient beings that plan to destroy the world as they know it. There is an ongoing love story, which keeps the reader's interest as much as the events that threaten the world. There is an afterword that raises
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I hate it when my reaction to an anticipated novel is different from those whom I share reading preferences. I adored the concept of taking old school fantasy adventure ala Fafhrd and Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber tossed into an Arabian Nights-style Middle Eastern setting.

For some reason it doesn't fully click with me. I think Jones is a fine writer indeed, his characters are well-wrought, his plotting is solid. And I felt the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the novel was more engaging than his debut, but th
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A great follow-up to The Desert of Souls. At first I felt Bones wasn't quite as good as Desert--the plot is a little jerky, a little start-and-stop--but as the story progresses it improves, and pretty soon I was unable to stop turning pages. The ending was a little deus ex machina, a little rushed, and somewhat confusing, but still very satisfying. Jones is a real tease, because he leaves the reader with a tiny hint about the next book--a book I am definitely looking forward to. ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
No sophomore slump here--The Bones of the Old Ones picks up where Desert of Souls left off, and if anything, it improves upon the first book. My desire for stronger female characters is amply requited in Lydia and Najya, and the team of Asim and Dabir (joined by other intrepid souls) is hard put to fight the latest menace to strike the caliphate. Throw in a handful of mythological entities, some threatening constructs, and a hole in the fabric of the universe, and the result is a wonderful story ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Asim and Dabir face both a cabal of ancient immortal (but not unkillable) sorcerers and an immensely powerful menace from a frozen world beyond this one. They also both fall in love, though one is destined for disappointment because the woman turns out to be too stubbornly pigheaded to shut up at a pivotal negotiation. On the other hand, she may be back in future episodes. I'll be waiting impatiently for said sequels too, because Jones spins a great yarn with vivid Arabian Nights style settings ...more
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The Chronicles of Sword and Sand (2 books)
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