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The Merchant of Death: Pendragon, Book 1
Narrated by William Dufris
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The Merchant of Death (Pendragon) [Kindle Edition]

D.J. MacHale
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $2.40 (24%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby.
He is going to save the world.
And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.
If Bobby wants to see his family again, he's going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning....

Editorial Reviews Review

In Pendragon: The Merchant of Death, D.J. MacHale, the creator of several popular television series and Afterschool Specials, transplants the Pendragon name from Arthurian legend to modern-day junior high school. Fourteen- year-old Bobby Pendragon has it all; he's smart, popular, and a star basketball player in quiet Stony Brook, Connecticut. But a visit from Uncle Press soon topples all of that as Bobby learns that he is a Traveler, someone who can ride "flumes" through time and space. Bobby lands in Denduron, a medieval world where the gentle Milago are enslaved by the Bedoowan, and it's Bobby's job to free them. He reluctantly teams up with Loor--a girl his age from the warrior-territory of Zadaa--and other Travelers, recounting his adventures in journals that are magically transported back to his friends Mark and Courtney in Stony Brook. These first-person journals at times feel contrived--they're riddled with terms like "coolio" and "bizarro" and gnarly descriptions of vile sights and smells--but the book's thumping story soon scrubs away all such concern. The Merchant of Death keeps the pages flipping with steady action and near-constant mortal peril for its heroes, promising that both this and future volumes in the Pendragon series should be eagerly devoured. (Ages 10 and older) --D.J. Morel

From Publishers Weekly

The popular fantasy time-travel series makes a smooth transition to audio with Dufris at the helm, using his upbeat delivery and believable teen rhythms to keep listeners enthralled. Bobby Pendragon, 14, thinks he's a pretty normal kid, worried about his next basketball game and his almost-girlfriend. But then Uncle Press changes everything by telling Bobby that he is a Traveler, capable of transporting through time via magical flumes. This first trip sends him to Denduron, a medieval realm in the middle of a revolution. Bobby's challenges there are dangerous and many, and he keeps his best friend at home (on "Second Earth"), Mark, apprised of his adventures with mystically relayed letters. Fans of the books will want to hear Dufris's gripping interpretation; newcomers will quickly get hooked. In addition to this recording, Brilliance has simultaneously released Pendragon titles two through six, just in time for summer listening. Ages 10-14. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1231 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (September 23, 2002)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0ROM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Pen"ed to the Pages: A Pageturner full of Twists June 11, 2003
At first sighting, this book looked distinctly, er, okay, boyish, from the apparently gruesome title and sinister looking cover. It took one of my friends saying "you HAVE to read this" to get me to buy it. Even then I suspected that "the Merchant of Death" was definitely not something I was going to buy into.
SUPRISE! I opened the cover and was shocked to discover that the first thing Bobby Pendragon (our protoganist) was doing was kissing a girl! The book was certainly more appealing now with a tad bit of romance and I started to enjoy the story.
Bobby Pendragon's Uncle Press shows up unexpectedly and sweeps him away to another "territory" called Denduron, through a doorway in a New York subway tunnel (no easy access here!) despite being chased by wild beasts called quigs. Bobby soon realizes that his notions of reality are way off.
Bobby is fated to help save the Milago people from their oppressors, the people of the neighboring Bedoowan. Reluctant and scared, Bobby wants to return to his perfect life at home, where he was considered smart, popular, a jock, and not to mention the love interest of the coolest girl in his grade. But no such luck; he must learn how to use his Traveler powers to help save this world...and all the others...from complete distruction...
I really enjoyed this novel. It is told in narrative form as Bobby writes scrolls back to his best friend Mark and sort-of girlfriend Courtney back on Second-Earth to tell them what is happening, and then switches to third-person once in a while to describe what Courtney and Mark are doing. It was fast-paced and Bobby's witty comments made me laugh.
Be warned, this novel also contains explicit language and the afore-mentioned making-out scenes.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Start to An Exciting New Series April 1, 2004
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon has always thought that he had a normal life. He has a great family, great friends, was lucky enought to have kissed the most perfect girl, has a perfect dog, Marley, and has a super-cool Uncle. But there's something that Bobby never knew about himself, and is about to find out. He's destined to save the world. No, not in ten years from now, but at this very instant. And no, not on this Earth, because life on this Earth is different than Bobby ever thought it could be. Bobby will be saving the world on an alternate dimension called Denduron, a territory inhabited by many strange beings, that is plagued by a dangerous revolution, and ruled by a magical tyrant. Now Bobby is forced to accept his role as savior to the people of Denduron, or else he won't ever see his family again. Besides, Denduron is only the beginning.
D.J. MacHale is a fantastic author who has created an interesting, and out-of-this-world dimension that will pull readers in from the very first page. Bobby is a fun character, who, even though he has to save the world, and is in an alternate dimension, uses teenage lingo of today (i.e. cool, awesome, etc.), that readers will be able to relate to and understand quite well. PENDRAGON: THE MERCHANT OF DEATH is told in alternating chapters between Bobby's journals, and his friends (Mark and Courtney) quest to find Bobby and save him from untimely death, which gives the reader the chance to read both sides of the story. This is an interesting and exciting addition to the science fiction / fantasy genre. A must read.
Erika Sorocco
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fasten Your Seatbelt. It's Gonna Be a Killer Ride. September 17, 2002
Fantasy is one of the hottest genres for teens right now, and there's plenty to choose from. For those fans new and old who are looking for something more contemporary than, say, His Dark Materials or Lord of the Rings, check out Bobby Pendragon. He's 14. Lives a bit north of New York City. Plays a pretty mean game of basketball. Loves video games. Family, house, dog. Life is good. And then his ultra-cool Uncle Press shows up at his front door one evening, and whisks Bobby away to another dimension, one of ten Territories known as Denduron. And life, as he has always known it, ceases to exist.
Bobby's uncle tells him that he has been chosen to be a Traveler, and his job, should he decide to accept it, is to help his uncle save the Territories from a villain among villains, the evil Saint Dane (who can shape shift and raise all sorts of hell). In this first heart-stopping installment, Saint Dane pits two co-existing societies against each other. If either is destroyed, it'll be easy for him to come to power. Meanwhile, Bobby, who's been thrown into a completely alien environment, has to figure out how to prevent anarchy and manage to stay alive himself. There's nonstop action--and plenty here for girls to enjoy as much as guys, by the way. Bobby is helped out by the beautiful Loor, who can kick some serious butt!
Even if you don't like to read, you will love this book! Whatever you do, don't miss it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange plot device is this book's biggest problem February 17, 2010
First, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a tween and the only reason I read this book is that it was free on the Kindle. Further, even though YA fiction is not something I typically read, I did very much enjoy the Potter books, the Narnia books, the Iron Cauldron books, etc. as an adult. In other words, I am able to appreciate a well-crafted novel targeted at a younger audience, but Death Merchant is a puff piece no matter who is reading it. On the other hand, I have little doubt that most 11 to 14 year-olds (boys and girls) will enjoy the universe and characters Mr. MacHale has created, thus the 3-star rating.

Parents can take heart in strong male and female characters, none-too-subtle themes of doing what is right instead of what is easy and that your child is reading a 300+ page novel that occasionally slips in a vocabulary word. Kids will appreciate that the framework Mr. MacHale has created allows for an unlimited number of adventures for Bobby and his cohorts. Sure, these adventures will be completely predictable, but so were The Three Investigators, and I loved those books.


My inability to empathize with the fourteen year-old 1st person voice of the novel was not my biggest hangup with the book. Rather, MacHale employs an strange plot device in which the story is told along two timelines. Roughly a third of the chapters are in our here and now in which the protagonist's friends Mark and Courtney read about the adventure being had by our youthful hero, Bobby. The other two-thirds of the book are essentially Bobby's diary entries that have been sent to Mark and Courtney through a wormhole, and these two frames of reference alternate in a roughly Bobby's Diary...Bobby's Diary...Mark+Courtney discussing the diary fashion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this is nonetheless a fantastic introduction to the whirlwind to come
Though arguably the most childish of the Pendragon series, this is nonetheless a fantastic introduction to the whirlwind to come.
Published 5 days ago by Blake Guthrie
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
First book I have read in a while. Loved every bit of this adventure. I can't wait to read the second one.
Published 20 days ago by Amy Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect gift.
Published 1 month ago by Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read!
Published 1 month ago by Nicholas Tordoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh
good goods goodr goode goodf great great great great great great great great great great great awesome awesome awesome awesome
Published 2 months ago by Tamara Ingram
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reread
I first read this series in high school and loved them. I recently decided to take them up again and in complete honesty they're even better with the second reading. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tereasa Hatten
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The copy I recieved was used and a little worn, but that doesn't take away from the non-stop suspense.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
Page turner with likable characters. Looking forward to the next "scroll" in the adventure.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of suspense
I really liked this book. It was very detailed. I am going to get the next book right now! I am just too excited to read the next book!!!
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as You Say
This isn't as good as what most people say. Sure, it's pretty good. But I really think these reviews I'm about to tell you about are off the mark. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L7guy
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More About the Author

D.J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon - Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space; the spooky Morpheus Road trilogy and the whimsical picture book The Monster Princess. The first book of his new adventure trilogy, SYLO, was published in July of 2013. In addition to his published works, he has written, directed and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?; Flight 29 Down and Tower of Terror. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California.

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Topic From this Discussion
As good as Harry Potter? No, but I do think that this book should be made into a movie.
May 31, 2006 by J |  See all 3 posts
The merchant of death
I haven't made it to the end yet, I am midway, amazed that I am enjoying it. I'm a septuagenarian. I do know that it has interested me sufficiently that I am looking at follow up books in the series. It's a venture into sci-fi, I have only read Octavia Butler prior to this.


S. N.... Read More
May 31, 2009 by E. Maddox |  See all 2 posts
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