The third book in the Bone series gets darker, both in tone and literally in overall color of the story. Two of the main rat creatures are in hiding from their leader, Kingdok. Thorn’s having more nightmares and they’re longer and more detailed, giving her the better sense of her childhood, which Gran’ma Ben gets upset about because she subscribes to the Ignorance is Protected Bliss school of thought. The displaced Bones find themselves split up soon into the book. Smiley and Phoney go with Lucius into town to help work off the damage they did during the great cow race, and Fone decide to stay with Thorn. And therein the darkness begins.
Lucius and the boys get attacked by a herd of rat creatures on the road, Gran’ma Ben learns that Thorn has discovered meaning in her dreams, they get attacked by some rat creatures in the dark, and Thorn learns that she is actually a royal descendant. We learn that the mysterious hooded leader of all rat creatures answers to a strange dark matter, Lucius and Phoney make a wager about the loyalty of Lucius’ patrons and who can run a bar better. And lastly, Gran’ma Ben receives word that things have changed and they need to leave. So Thorn, Gran’ma Ben, and Fone pack up and set out to end book 3.
While this book gets a bit darker, it’s still by turns compelling and comical, and I really want to know what’s going on with the rat creatures and the hooded person, not to mention the nebulous, sentient blob. Curious, too, to see how things go down in the bar as it looked like the tide was turning for Phoney last we saw. And lastly, I can’t wait to see where Gran’ma Ben, Thorn, and Fone are headed. This story, like the others before it, is charming, mysterious, fun, and even when it gets dark, it’s still brimming with joy.