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Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem
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Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  384 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Reprinting the 3-issue Dark Horse mini-series that is loosely based on the legends of the Golem of Prague.

During the events of WWII, an allied plane crashes near a village populated predominately with Jewish citizens. This spawns an investigation by Nazi forces to find the pilot. The villagers hide the survivor and use river mud and clay to build a golem to battle the inv
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Dark Horse
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Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting graphic novel, well-drawn, with perhaps a bit too simplistic a tale. A small village in an unnamed country has lost all it's fighting age men to the war. The Nazis are on the march. It's some time in 1944. A plane has crashed, leading the enemy to this small village. Who can help them against overwhelming odds?

The golem is a creature from Jewish mystical tales (not being Jewish I may not describe this creature correctly). There is a whole mythos around "him" which this story would
David Schaafsma
This is a collection of a 3 mini-comic series based loosely on the Golem of Prague. Feels like a pretty straightforward story where the golem meets the Nazis. Can the remaining folks in a town, with all the adult men gone, save the town from this evil that rolled over the world for a time? It's 1944 and Germany is just leveling cities and villages. The tale centers on a boy and his grandfather, and an emerging relationship between the grandfather and the golem I won't spoil for you. Something to ...more
Donald Armfield
"And sometimes good sits right there, in our hands, just waiting to be molded"

This was a different approach from other comics I read by Steve Niles. Usually following blood and gore, but I believe he has others like this graphic novel.

When a family emblem is passed down to a little boy the grandfather tells the tale. "With strength comes the Golem" and that he does.

The Germans' came and then they were battered and scared off, a tale of courage, strength and a folklore brought to life. Great read
It took me a few pages to get into this and get into the story (the pace doesn't exactly move here until the very end. Once I was into it, I loved this version of the classic golem protection story.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely stunning graphic novel. It recalls Maus or Swamp Thing or The Arrival (by Shaun Tan) in its art and evocative emotion. Every comics fan (and even those who aren't) should read this.
It would have been amazing if this graphic novel had been longer, but is still a beautiful story and graphic novel.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
In the waning days of WW2, as Nazis threaten a small Jewish village, a young boy summons a mighty golem to defend his people.

There's not a lot of golem in this golem story. It's a thin volume and the legendary creature only appears for the climax. There's a lot of unrealized potential to Breath of Bones.

Still, it's pretty and the plot holds together well enough for a short story.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This nicely illustrated and presented graphic novel would make a fantastic choice for YA readers, especially those who may be more difficult to reach with bland material.
Crossposted at Booklikes

“And sometimes good sits right there in our hands, waiting to be molded”

The use of graphic novels to tell stories serious stories does have a long tradition. Today, however, most readers tend to think of the idea as starting with Maus, a groundbreaking graphic novel about a family’s experience both during and after the Holocaust. Breath of Bones follows in this tradition though the point is different.

Breath of Bones might not attract some readers because of the lack of
Stephanie Tournas
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Nazis come to terrorize a Jewish town. A boy and his grandfather deploy an age old weapon - a golem. Gripping and moving.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ok, I admit it I'm a sucker for a good Golem story and this is one of the better one come to my attention in recent years. I'm also a fan of Dark Horse Comics and I love graphic novels. We're talking a trifecta here. And it was pretty much win, win, win. Execellent story, well structured and gorgeously drawn. The entire creative and production team was firing on all pistons with this one. In fact I don't think there was single aspect that I didn't enjoy. Well, yeah, there was one thing that kind ...more
Wayne McCoy
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
'Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem' reprints the 3-issue mini-series. It takes place in a quiet village during WWII. A young boy lives with his grandfather waiting for his father to come home. His father is off fighting the war, and the grandfather knows he won't be coming home.

An allied plane crash lands outside the village and the disabled pilot seeks refuge. The village is reluctant to harbor a fugitive, fearing reprisals from the Nazis. The grandfather has a plan for that eventuality. He
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Breath of Bones is a golem story set in Poland. This graphic novel, which contains parts 1, 2, and 3 of a series, introduces us to a boy named Noah whose father has gone away to join the allied forces. Noah’s grandfather, who is his mentor and best friend, does not expect to see Noah’s father return alive.

One day, Noah and his father are set at odds when a British plane crashes nearby and Noah insists that they take the injured pilot in and help him get better. Noah’s grandfather fears this wil
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem
by Steve niles During world war two a small town has lost all of its men, the village is left to women, children and the elderly. A young boy is left without hope. His father gone,and the German army was coming. A pilot crashing outside of the town has brought the Germans quickly to the town. The young boys grandfather is attacked by the German soldiers gathering information about the crash. His last act is to create a Golem to protect his family and neighbors
This graphic novel was beautifully drawn in black and white, but I found the story a bit too simple and anticlimactic. Set during WWII, a small village is in danger of being taken over by the Nazis when a grandfather teaches his grandson to create a large golum capable of warding off the oncoming war. However, the first two thirds of the story were just war background and info on the town to set up the plot, and only in the last section did the golum get built - and just as soon as he did, it wa ...more
I really wanted to like this book more, but it had far too simple a story line to allow me to become invested in the characters and circumstances. It was its simplicity that let it down, for its art was phenomenal and stunning. I wanted to feel more while reading this, but was unable to. It was a lovely, simple story that should have been longer to allow the reader to really create a connection with the characters.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed it, the message, the writing and the art were all s
Nicola Mansfield
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it
So far I've only read Niles' "Cal MacDonald" series, which I love, so "A Tale of the Golem" appealed to me. Niles incorporates the Jewish folktale of the Golem into a WWII Jewish town invaded by the Nazis. It's a fairly straightforward tale with no unexpected plot devices. It is however, still quite an emotionally charged story and one I enjoyed reading. The art is black and white and beautiful, though violent images are aplenty; this is a story of war and cruelty. Something a little different, ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written graphic. WW2 is approaching and a boy and his grandfather must help defend his village with the help of the ancient golem.
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Pretty predicable if you know what golems are but still good. It's a quick read.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it

No spoiler here -- an awesome Clay Golem from Jewish myth is created by the young main character, his grandfather, the efforts of their fellow villagers, and faith. The Golem, who also functions as a temporary dream-father for the boy, kicks some Nazi ass! It is a sad, improbable (lets keep magic open) fantasy that speaks to the many Jews who were not saved by their faith, and a bittersweet, if action-tinged, tale.

I was hoping for a bit more from this book, including more detail on the Golem my
Dean Simons
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Fantastic art and the story has nice emotional beats however it inaccurately adapts the legend of the Golem create to suit its own purposes.

The jewish mystical aspect has been largely neutered and no reference is made to the original legend. No direct reference is made to the village being jewish (we are left to assume), which risks erasing the origins of the creature and making it a generic European village. A massive shame as the golem legend is a fascinating one.

Very disappointing and not w
Emmeline Solomon
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Short graphic novel. To me it felt like it was missing some of the core morality that is tied up in the original tale. I liked the art style.

Read If You Like: folktales, Nazis getting smashed with giant magical fists.

If You Like This You Might Like: Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories - Isaac Bashevis Singer and Maurice Sendak, Maus - Art Spiegelman
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
A short but very enjoyable tale.

The art is lovely and I love the mixing of a very old idea in a 20th century setting.

I also don't usually enjoy graphic novels that are black and white, but I think colour would have diluted the impact of the illustration.

Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
A short but very enjoyable tale.
The art is lovely and I love the mixing of a very old idea in a 20th century setting.
I also don't usually enjoy graphic novels that are black and white, but I think colour would have diluted the impact of the illustration.
Fraser Sherman
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
When a small European town gives a downed British pilot a hideout, the Germans come looking. So the teen protagonist's grandfather builds a golem to fight. The result is readable but very slight, almost simplistic. Well executed, but I can't say it grabbed me.
Frederick Tan
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
A tale of WWII war story. A little boy facing the prospect of the Nazis coming into his town to annihilate it can only turn to a legend that his grandpa told him. It's about a Golem. As the Nazis was coming in a column of tanks and infantry there in front of them is a lone Golem.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Borrowed from the library, only because the cover looked interesting. I made a mental groan when I realised it was a war story. I nearly stopped reading it because of that, but I'm glad I didn't. A quick, bittersweet tale.

Three and a half stars, rounded up.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Quite nicely drawn, but simplistic writing.
Rod Brown
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read a golem double-feature today - the other was Brik Collected Edition - and this was the less worse of the two by a sliver. Breath of Bones' main drawback is it is just dull as a lot of time is wasted waiting for a golem to be made. And then it fights Nazis. The end.
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STEVE NILES is one of the writers responsible for bringing horror comics back to prominence, and was recently named by Fangoria magazine as one of it's "13 rising talents who promise to keep us terrified for the next 25 years."

Niles is currently working for the four top American comic publishers - Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse. He got his start in the industry when he formed his own publishing
More about Steve Niles

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