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Wyrmeweald #3

The Bone Trail

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An entire heard of greywyrmes, slaughtered for their flameoil.

Others trapped, then viciously herded through the mountains.

And more and more settlers heading up to the high country, the bones of those who don't make it littering the way, stark and white, picked clean by carrionwyrmes - the bone trail...

Trouble is brewing on the weald. A great whitewyrme and his kin send out a call to arms: the wyrmes begin to gather in their ancient galleries, to defend their land against the relentless march of the kith, with their wagons and settlements and taste for killing.

Payback is coming. Wyrme against kith. Kith against kin. Even wyrme against wyrme.

And seasoned traveller Micah, with his friends Eli and Cara, is heading into the thick of it...

400 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2013

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About the author

Paul Stewart

221 books840 followers
Paul Stewart is a highly regarded author of books for young readers – from picture books to football stories, fantasy and horror. Together with Chris Riddell he is co-creator of the bestselling Edge Chronicles, which has sold more than three million copies and is available in over twenty languages. They have also collaborated together on lots of other exciting books for children of all ages. The Far-Flung Adventure series includes the Gold Smarties Prize Winner Fergus Crane, and Corby Flood and Hugo Pepper, both Silver Nestle Prize Winners. Then there are the Barnaby Grimes books, two Muddle Earth adventures, and the sci-fi Scavenger and fantasy Wyrmeweald trilogies. For younger readers there is the Blobheads series, while for the very young, Paul has written several picture books, including the Rabbit and Hedgehog series, In the Dark of the Night and, his latest, Wings.

Other authors by this name disambiguation Note:
Paul Stewart - business and management books

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5 stars
35 (24%)
4 stars
70 (48%)
3 stars
31 (21%)
2 stars
7 (4%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Jenna.
3,450 reviews38 followers
September 22, 2014
Review posted on my blog The Otaku Librarian.

I had such high hopes for this book, since I so loved the first and believed it was just a second-book symptom in Blood Honey, but overall this was disappointing. Look at that cover, and look at the tag-line! The great blueblack wyrme and Thrace back in her soulskin fighting bravely. And that's not at all what this book was to me.

Yes, I did enjoy the journey with Micah and Eli, but it felt quite repetitive when they met the two brothers who are complete noobs in the wyrmeweald (since it all happened when Micah and Eli met in book one). All the emphasis on the romance was tedious, since Micah and Cara in the previous book were...not that interesting. So the focus on romance in this final book that promised battles and war for the weald and instead was tromping through the mountains while looking doe-eyed at each other, meh. But yes, I do have to say I did like being able to see Micah in a mentor position and, of course, I like survival aspect of the weald.

The chapters on the settlers were intriguing, as was seeing the similarities between the great westward movement and the attempts to settle the weald. I did end up liking that plotline and it explained the other side of the "battle," even as it did seem to slow it down at the same time.

The battle. Er. I don't want to spoil it but it really didn't seem like a battle to me at all. It was anticlimatic and seemed to build up...forces forming up...just wondering what will happen when these epic and seemingly unstoppable forces collide and...then... it all piddles out to a skirmish and it's all over.

So, overall, it wasn't a horrible read and it still gave more insight into the weald, while not fulfilling what I'd hoped. I'm glad I read it to finish off the series, but I almost do wish I had stopped at the first book since I enjoyed it so much and would rather have it end on a positive note than whatever this is.
Profile Image for Dan.
684 reviews19 followers
April 1, 2015
I think this was my favourite book in the Stewart/Riddell trilogy. This book is very much frontier-fantasy, i.e. a sort of cowboy feel but in a land with fantasy creatures in it. It focuses on three different storylines which gradually get drawn together.

The first continues Micah, Cara and Eli's story as they travel through the Weald. They meet two new characters, brothers Cody and Ethan who not so dissimilar to Micah when he first headed out into the weald. Not masses happens in this storyline, and its mostly about Micah and Cara's relationship problems as Micah still pines after his first love, Thrace.

Thrace heads up another of the threads, that of the Kin (the humans who bond with the wyrmes). They too are struggling to survive as the Kith, the humans, draw into their world and there's some great stuff about the relationship between the wyrmes and the people and a question over which ones are really the monsters.

My favorite story thread was that of a new stockade. The idea is that a load of greywyrmes are captured and uses to transport a whole load of new people across the Weald. It feels like a proper frontier storyline and apart from the wyrmes could be from the real world. There's lots of treachery as various people try to turn the new business to their personal advantage. It's a real treat.

The threads all come together as the weald's biggest wyrmes fight back and attack the kith. It's dramatic and one of those situations where you can see the argument's from both sides quite clearly. The fact that a group of what are essentially dragons can have arguments shows you what Paul Stewart can achieve.

Yet again this does feel at odds with the previous books. The Wyrmeweald trilogy really lacks cohesion and feels like there was no planning ahead. Micah is poorly treated here and goes from being a hero to a lovey-dovey teenager who is with Cara but wants to be with Thrace. At least there was a satisfactory ending but it felt like Stewart struggled to come up with a way to resolve both the Cara and Thrace relationships.

A pretty good book, as all in the series have been, but overall I would not say it is works well as a series. They are three good standalone books which are connected together poorly.
Profile Image for Alex.
211 reviews19 followers
December 6, 2020
A disappointing ending.

As a series, these books have been pretty strong. The concept behind them was the perfect mix of classic fantasy and original ideas, but they fell short in a few too many places.

This book was by far the weakest of the three. It lacked the unique yet nostalgic feel that the other books held, as well as having a weaker plot. The beginning seemed to set out many (perhaps a few too many) plot lines that looked as if they would all intertwine in some major climax at the end of the series but instead they all just plodded slowly along until they all died out.

The characters were nothing special. The old characters got very little development and the new characters seemed shallow and worthless. The romance(s) were annoying and pointless. The main female characters (all but one) seemed to only be there to support the main male character.

Despite this, the book was still interesting and exciting at points and the worldbuilding is truly astonishing.

Overall, a decent fantasy book that I would recommend, just don't get your hopes up too high.
Profile Image for Christopher Keating.
Author 8 books3 followers
January 13, 2023
The conclusion of the Wyrmeweald Trilogy. I was pretty pleased with the way the authors (there are actually two authors listed on the book - Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell) have succeeded in developing the realm the books take place in. It is pretty consistent and believable. This book concludes the story of Micah, Eli Halfwinter and a group of others they have adopted as they continue their adventures in the harsh highland realm populated by the wrymes and hard, often ruthless, people. It is a pleasant easy read and is listed as a young adult series, but I would say that it isn't for the too young. There is both sex and violence. The sex is pretty mild, but the violence can get pretty rough at times.
Profile Image for Heather.
439 reviews
October 29, 2018
What do I love about this series?
It's really hard to put my finger on. The synopsis implies Micah and Thrace at the main two characters, yet the weald encompasses so many more characters. None slowed the pace or took away from the lingering hope of Micah and Thrace finding each other in the end.
I would have liked to see the Keld a bit more in this final book, but over all I was satisfied.
I loved how the wyrmes had chapters and story lines just for themselves, not simply being displayed as animals the kin ride about and the kith slaughter and muzzle. So sad the stories over. I'd love, love, LOVE to see more adventures in this amazing world. Maybe one that follows Eli and Ethan!!
14 reviews
December 31, 2019
The team behind the edge chronicles have done it again! While perhaps not as clever or epic as their previous series, this is still a triumph of writing. They create a world with a lot less detail, it is very barren with only a small number of characters, and yet still create a relevant and engaging story with interesting characters. Across three novels, the world of wyrmeweald shows us that it's not all about the world you create but how you create it.
Profile Image for Karl Orbell.
220 reviews39 followers
February 16, 2013
So, the final instalment of the so-far immensely excellent Wyrmeweald trilogy... how did it fare?

This is very much a continuation of the last book, the trilogy pretty much has to be read in order, or it would be greatly impoverished. So this review is not designed for those who have not yet read the proceeding books, I always avoid storyline details heavily at any rate.

As the last book finished, many storylines were in play. The great white wyrmes out in new lands, Thrace wintering in their old galleries with other kin company, and Eli, Micah and Cara setting out once again, the keld bitter for their ruin. This book keeps those four separate storylines as it starts and keeps them separate most of the time, as well as adding another thread to the set.

In keeping with most of the books that the Stewart-Riddell partnership put out, chapters are fairly short and frequent. The book was 400 pages long in my hardback edition and there are 51 chapters. I like this greatly, as it keeps the pace up and provides lots of junctures for a safe stop. All of the chapters stay within a single story thread, unless the threads meet at that point, this is also a nice feature of the writing style. It would be easy to make a screenplay out of the book, as it is already effectively split in to scenes.

Wyrmeweald is intended for older audiences than the rest of this partnership's books. There are some pretty gruesome things in this book, as with the others, though I think somewhat less awful than the last book from a gore perspective. Nevertheless if you are adverse to reading about evisceration of the living, then you might have to hide behind a pillow in some chapters (which does not work half as well when reading as it does with the TV!). There is a love triangle/quartet active in this story, which is important, possibly will make you angry with the stench of betrayal, but rather bizarrely also leaves the impression it's for the best at every stage - an odd emotional pairing.

So the quality. 4/5. It is a very good book, no doubt, though I did not find it quite as gripping as the previous books in the series. Primarily this is not because of any weakness, but a slight lack of a usual strength of these authors - namely, constant inventiveness, new settings, characters, creatures, etc. As the book is a tying off of the series, pretty much everything in the story has been introduced already, so the book is all about the existing characters and situations. This is no bad thing, but the absence of the thrilling ideas takes the peg down a little. There is a new story thread, the New Stockade and the migration along the Bone Trail, which is very good - but feels like more of a side show in the end than the main event, which is all in play by the end of the last book. Having said that, there are still surprises and tension abound, new characters and places. Towards the end of the book, having found myself on a train reading and slightly teary-eyed, I nearly decided to give the book 5/5 and forgive it the somewhat unfair sin of not being original at the end of a series. But that would be inaccurate, and there is not a great deal of illustration once again, so 4/5 it stays.

This was the 24th book that I have read by this team, comprising five separate series, all of which have been excellent. Wyrmeweald is easily the most adult and contains far less illustration than most of the other series, just marginalia, drolleries in side panes. The over-arching storyline is superb; the world of the kith, kin and wyrmes feels quite realistic, with the humans heading to remote and harsh locations to find their fortune and exploit some animals, and each other, brutally. The kin being adopted by the wyrmes and fighting on their side works well, and the kin usually shine out as the goodies. Slap bang in the centre ground are Micah and Eli, who are good baddies, or kith that work far more on the side of the kin. They are the real heroes of the piece, Eli in particular is a magnificent character, weathered, grim, knowledgeable and utterly unshakable. Though the whole cast are interesting and well-drawn, if often quite horrifically nasty - the wyrmeweald is a harsh and bitter place.

This series is on a par with Barnaby Grimes and possibly even The Edge Chronicles, surpassing both at times, though the final book in The Edge Chronicles, The Immortals remains the best book they've ever written (so good that I've still not found words to justly review it, the only book I've read since joining GR that I've failed to review!). Thoroughly recommended to all who like the partnership, fantasy, gruesome tales or dragons.
Profile Image for I'mogén.
863 reviews36 followers
March 18, 2014
Wow! Okay, major spoiler alert. But it's about the events. Not the story, so read at your own peril!

Okay, so I knew there was a chance Thrace would be pregnant, but the other events of the story made me forget about that, as I'm sure Stewart and Riddell had intended, but surely doesn't that mean that Cara may be pregnant too? And could someone clear up the ages for me? Because I pretty much went through this whole series thinking Micah and Thrace were between the ages of 12 and 15...

Okay now, I feel like I have found the meaning of this story, through all the struggling of the series I can say I like the ending. This was the only book which I liked out of the trilogy because I feel like it actually had a moral and all though the story, at times like the rest of the trilogy, was not entirely clear to me, I feel like I have leaned that us humans (the Kith) need to learn that we should respect nature and co-exist as one, in harmony with the creatures of this world, otherwise the bloodshed will not end until every last one of use organisms are dead. I don't know, but I just feel like the last few chapters of this book enlightened me to that teaching. Yeah, I am probably way off, but I hope not, because that it the only useful and interesting thing I found from this whole series.

So yeah, I think that the mix of a wild west setting along with fantasy did not really work in this case, but I am interested in checking out Stewart and Riddell's Edge Chronicles to see if that is any better, or if I just struggle to enjoy the writing of a duo author team (as the case may be at the moment)

((Oh and at the end I was getting that feel good shiver you get when you are just so excited and overwhelmed, however I don't feel like this deserved that kind of response, but I don't know guys.. I can't control my body's reactions. :( ))

Nevertheless, pick it up, give it a go and enjoy! ^^

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chris Whybrow.
240 reviews
January 14, 2018
It was going well until my favorite character got his guts ripped out.

As a book, The Bone Trail was much better than the first two in the trilogy, although it's not a patch on The Edge Chronicles. The story was more engaging, although a little weak in places, and the romance was kept to a minimum, which is annoying if you like that kind of thing but was fine by me. In fact the only real romance was Micah's girlfriend Cara leaving him for someone else, which I didn't mind, because I hate Micah. Although he isn't as bad in this book as he was in the first two.

I would have given this book a four stars, but for the above-mentioned disembowelment. I was expecting it, but that didn't make it any better.

If I have one criticism, the Keld storyline came to a disappointing end, and Thrace's dragon's suicide attack on the stockade was infuriating to read about. The dragon kills himself to massacre hundreds of innocent people for no valid reason.

The battle scenes are OK to read through, but they usually don't have satisfying endings.

Don't let this put you off though. The Bone Trails is a decent conclusion. (To the series. The end of the book itself is appalling.) There are some interesting characters and it has righted many of the flaws I noticed in the previous books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Martha Meyer.
368 reviews2 followers
July 18, 2014
A wonderful and affecting conclusion to this great dark fantasy about a region where dragons preside - and the few human travelers often become part of the Bone Trail. Full of death, hubris, violence and revenge, this is not another Edge Chronicles. This is Micah's story, who survived because he traveled with Eli the cragclimber; Micah loved Thrase, the kin girl bonded with Aseel the whitewyrme, but lost her fully to dragonkind. He and Eli now bring Cara along on their travels because they rescued her rescued from the kith, cavedwellers who love human suffering. But things are changing in the wyremweald and all creatures face new and possible weald-ending challenges. Don't miss this one.
Profile Image for GeraniumCat.
247 reviews38 followers
October 14, 2018
Loved the illustration and the look of the book, couldn't really get on with the story. I may go back to it afresh sometime; the problem may have been my mood.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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