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Child of the Dark Prophecy (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book 1) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; First Edition edition (October 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399237631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399237638
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9–In this first installment in a new series, Barron reimagines the legendary world of Avalon as a gigantic tree, with a separate realm located on each of its seven roots and stars hanging in the unseen branches far atop its trunk. A crippling drought has brought the realm to the verge of warfare, and 17-year-old Tamwyn and his bickering companions seek the advice of the fabled Lady of the Lake. Tamwyn fears he's the child of the Dark Prophecy, foretold centuries ago as the one who would destroy Avalon, and he wants desperately to change his destiny and save his beloved world. With its mixture of high fantasy and slapstick humor, the tale resembles Barron's "The Lost Years of Merlin" series (Philomel) and Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" (Holt). Despite loads of goofiness and violence, the plot moves rather slowly through lengthy introductions of the large cast and descriptions of the Great Tree. While the characters and setting are interesting, this is clearly the prologue to a much longer saga: all beginning, with no middle or end. The story will appeal most to devoted fantasy readers, particularly fans of the "Merlin" series, who will recognize details from the earlier books and try to guess how the epics will converge.–Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 6-12. Barron builds on his popular Lost Years of Merlin saga, creating an elaborate, richly detailed world spread out on the seven roots of the Great Tree of Avalon, which grew from "a seed won by Merlin on his journey through a magical mirror." The story begins in Avalon's year 1002, when it appears that the Lady of the Lake's Dark Prophecy is coming true and the only hope of saving Avalon lies in finding Merlin's true heir. The fates of two boys born 17 years earlier and raised as brothers are intrinsically bound to the prophecy: Scree, the orphaned eagleboy charged with guarding Merlin's staff, and Tamwyn, who fears he is the Dark Child destined to destroy Avalon. Liberally laced with humor and wit, the first book in The Great Tree of Avalon series effectively introduces and fleshes out remarkable characters, both human and nonhuman. It also vividly sets the scene through the adventures of various beings who eventually come together in a desperate quest to stop the evil that threatens Avalon and its denizens. Even readers unfamiliar with The Lost Years will relish this fine debut of a promising new fantasy series. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

T.A. Barron is the award-winning author of fantasy novels such as The Lost Years of Merlin epic--soon to be a major motion picture. He serves on a variety of environmental and educational boards including The Nature Conservancy and The Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, and is the founder of a national award for heroic children. Following a life-changing decision to leave a successful business career to write full-time in 1990, Barron has written seventeen books, but is happiest when on the mountain trails with his wife, Currie, and their five children.

Customer Reviews

I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy!
Serious Reader
Although this may sound complicated, it is actually very easy to follow and makes this book really stand out from other books you may have read.
Anne E. Stalnaker
I also highly suggest reading the Lost Years of Merlin series also by T.A. Barron because they give a good basis for the Great Tree of Avalon.
Lori

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Tolls on June 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Great Tree of Avalon by T.A. Barron is not only the best book by this masterful writer but one of the best books ever written in the English language. It's truly riveting, fabulous, and full of surprises. With colorful descriptions that make you feel like you are really there, Barron leads the reader through a rip-roaring adventure of epic proportions. It made me think instantly of the marvelous storytelling of J.R.R. Tolkien. All of the characters are so real and vivid that I now count them among my friends. I just can't wait for Book Two! I think that everyone (including adults, because this is definitely NOT just for younger readers) should immediately put this on the very top of their summer reading list!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Ayn English on December 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader and though fantasy isnt usually my pick, this story drug me in and kept ahold of me. The plot flows nicely and the characters are easily identifiable, which to me usually doesnt happen in fantasy. From the very begining you know that one child will save Avalon and one will try to destroy it but it never tells who and as you work your way through the story, meeting very different types of characters along the way, you begin to guess who is whom. A definite hit with the teens, this book will also draw in adults and possible preteens. A great read all around.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I first read it I was just expecting a good read, what I got was the best book I've ever read. I have read all the major fantasy books, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, The Bartemaus Trilogy, Eragon, The Narnia Series, you name it I've probably read it. But out of all the books I've ever read this one has got to be my favorite. A boy who loves to stare at the stars and run searching for his lost brother, a girl just esacaped from slavery helping a stuck up priestess search for merlin's staff and heir, a hoolah (no I am not going to tell you what a hoolah is you'll have to read it to find out), who learns that life is not completely just a game, and an evil wizard bent on taking over Avalon. When these people all collide things might get a little messy. Everything in the book though revolves around this one prophecy that in the eighteenth year there will be a child that spells the end of avalon and the only one who can stop him is Merlin's true heir. You have got to love this book, hope you read it.;)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Katie on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just started The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy last night and I'm all ready half way through it. It's a great book and I just can't put it down. If you like The Lord of the Rings books or Harry Potter then I'm pretty confident in saying that you'll love Avalon. The book is pretty easy to understand and very interesting.

The book starts out with the dark prophecy that in the dark year a child will be born that will destroy Avalon and only Merlin's true heir will be able to stop them. The story introduces you to many very interesting characters and some intriguing creatures.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Delighted Reader on June 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly phenomenal tale, with adventure at lightning speed, a wonderful array of characters, and a world so richly imagined that even Tolkien would be impressed. Avalon, which T.A. Barron portrays as the meeting place between earth and heaven, is going to die a terrible death unless three cool young heroes can solve the big mystery of the stars and save their world. And soon! But this is more than an epic-scale adventure story--it's also the most deep, thoughtful book you could find. I totally cannot wait to get my hands on Books II and III of the trilogy!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Great Tree of Avalon is one of the top five books I've ever read. It's a tale with clever and intriguing prose and wonderful character development. From exciting and humorous scenes to the discovery of startling secrets, Avalon is an interesting, thought-provoking ride from start to finish. As the legend goes, the Tree of Avalon was planted ages earlier by the wizard Merlin who tries to oversee the worlds of Avalon and Earth simultaneously. Yet unfortunately, the great wizard is caught up in Earth while at the same time, Avalon suffers from turmoil and mysterious droughts brought upon by some unknown evil. I would rank Avalon slightly above Harry Potter by my standards for its fantastic plot and vivid characters. It's a book that everyone should read, young or old.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ashraf A. Dawod on August 11, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Great Tree of Avalon is one of the best Trilogies out there. I say this because I know I'm one guy who is more into Films and mini-SciFi sieres than books. But as soon as I picked up this book. I could not put it down, litterally. To the point that I would actualy leave early for work and come straight home aftwards so that I could sit down and finish it. I even bought the 2nd book (TGTA: Shadows of the stars) before I finished this one and I litterally finished one book and picke up the second one immediatly.

The great thing about this book is not only the very vast and beautiful imagination of T.A. Barron, but that fact that there is a great sense of closer. You know how you are watching a movie or a show and there is a silly mis-understanding between the characters simply because one didn't speak up? and it bothers the hell out of you, and you know that if that person spoke up than the show could have ended 7 hours earlier? ...well that dosen't happen here. when the main character is going through a rough time and you know he needs to speak up, he dose and the result completly changes the story into a whole different direction.

Personally, I recomend this book to EVERYone, its a great story of believing in your self for young ones, and a very intense read of those not so young =D
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