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Bone Prequel: Rose

Jeff Smith
Art: Charles Vess

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Bone Prequel: Rose by Jeff Smith
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 12 April 2013

This little book prequels Jeff Smith's great work Bone by building on and detailing what happened to Princess Rose during the history only touched on during the epic. Though this is a prequel and the events therein take place before Bone, to avoid spoilers and, I dare say, get your head around what is going on, you shouldn't start reading the saga here.

Rose doesn't work as a stand alone piece, it isn't long enough to really flesh out the characters anywhere near as much as the development Smith achieved in Bone. It works much more like an intriguing camp fire story and in truth is basically adding artwork to the tales discussed in Bone and placing them in a nice linear fashion. A few other details are fleshed out but there isn't anything new here.

Focusing purely on Princess Rose, means it doesn't include our friends from Boneville and therefore misses the comical charm which added so much to Bone. It seems as though the exile from boneville which occurs before the start of the Bone saga could in itself be released as a prequel at some stage.

Being darker in tone and telling than Bone does lend itself well to the style of artwork rendered by Charles Vess. It is far more detailed and violent compared to Smith's earlier work, yet it still manages to feel part of the Bone universe.

Overall, this is an entertaining quick read which builds on the Bone universe without really adding too much of substance. A book for fans but absolutely not recommended as a starting point for those who haven't read Smith's greater work.