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Merlin's Dragon Hardcover – September 18, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up—Set between Barron's "Lost Years of Merlin" and "Great Tree of Avalon" series, this book focuses on Basil, a unique lizard that sets out to understand his identity and his destiny. While small, Basil has a magical ability to create smells, and he uses his talent and his wits to escape a number of foes. After a series of encounters with the wizard Merlin, including attending his wedding, Basil learns from the good spirit Dagda that the evil spirit Rhita Gawr has entered the lands of Avalon and that Merlin is in grave danger. With the wind sister Aylah, he travels to all seven realms, learning about each one and about himself in his quest to save Merlin and all of Avalon from the magic-devouring kreelix. While this adventure starts out slowly and spans almost 40 years, the pace picks up rapidly during the second half. Basil is a prickly and entertaining hero, and his comments about life at the start of each chapter add tone and humor. Barron's return to Avalon will be welcomed by his many fans, who will have the patience to explore the lands with Basil and learn more about their history.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Barron’s latest in his ongoing Merlin saga is set between the Lost Years of Merlin series and the Great Tree of Avalon series. Basil, an odd creature that resembles a minuscule green lizard with big ears and crumpled wings, is charged by the great spirit Dagda, lord of the Otherworld, to seek out Merlin and warn him that the evil Rhita Gawr has returned to wreak havoc. Thus begins Basil’s epic, often terrifying, multiyear journey throughout all the worlds of Avalon during which he searches for others of his kind as well as for Merlin. Basil is an appealing, complex character, and, as usual, Barron infuses the story with a sense of love and appreciation for the natural world and also dismay at the destructive forces that threaten it. This first book in a new series will captivate readers already familiar with the fantasist’s Merlin chronicles. Grades 7-10. --Sally Estes
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Series: Merlin (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books; First Edition edition (September 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399247505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399247507
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

T. A. Barron is the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of more than 30 books--including the Merlin Saga, currently being developed for film by Disney. Recently he was awarded the de Grummond Medallion for "lifetime contribution to the field of children's and young adult literature." He serves on a variety of environmental and educational NGO boards, and founded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award for outstanding young people. Barron left a successful business career to follow his longstanding dream of writing. He's often found on Colorado mountain trails with his wife and children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Merlin's Dragon is a combination of Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle, and T.H. White, but better. It is a sparkling adventure brimming with excitement, adventure, and characters that feel totally real. I would recommend this book to any and all fantasy lovers, ages 1 to 111.
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Format: Hardcover
Since T.A.Barron is one of my favorite authors,I purchased this book with high expectations,and I wasn't disappointed.This magical tale starts with a small,glowing egg in Fincayra that contains our hero.His life almost ends before it begins when a hungry hawk snatches him up,but luckily the wind sister Aylah rescues him,depositing the egg by the seed that grows into the Great Tree of Avalon.Later,after his egg is basically absorbed into the tree,he hatches in Woodroot.He is a strange little creature,looking like a very(very,very,VERY)tiny dragon with luminous eyes.Aylah appears to him,and explains that she saved his egg because of a vision from Dagda,who said that his life is 'well worth saving.'Aylah then leaves,and many years pass.During this time our hero constantly has to evade hungry predators,discovers his abilities of flight and being able to produce smells, andacquires the name Basil.One day,Basil also has a terrifying dream in which the great wizard Merlin is attacked(and killed!)by a strange monster with jagged,bony wings.More time passes,and Basil accidentaly goes through a portal to Stoneroot,crashes Merlin's wedding,and a while later meets none other than Dagda,the god of wisdom.But Basil also sees the vile Rhita Gawr,who has hitchhiked on Dagda in the form of a leech.Basil is able to warn Dagda about the evil god's prescence,but he escapes,and Dagda gives Basil a mission:to find Merlin and warn him about Rhita Gawr...and save him from Basil's dream monster.With Aylah,Basil begins a desperate search through all the root-realms of Avalon.But can they reach Merlin in time?And can Basil find an answer to his heart's constant question,"what am I?" Melin's Dragon is a deep,wondrous,book,and Basil is an incredibly real character who I was able to connect deeply with.And,and the ominous cliffhanger ending plainly indicates,his story is far from over.I wait immpatiently for the sequel!
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Format: Hardcover
One of the more memorable supporting characters of the Great Tree of Avalon trilogy was Batty Lad, Tamwyn's chatty winged companion.

And having finished that trilogy, T.A. Barron zips back in time to explore the history of that quirky little character, and his relationship to the legendary wizard Merlin. "Merlin's Dragon" runs a bit slow at first, but speeds up to some surprising revelations about the mysterious little winged lizard who wants to be "special. Just... special."

At the very beginning of Avalon, a wind sister rescues and cares for a tiny egg -- which hatches a little winged lizard with a knobby tail.

Barely surviving in a dangerous world, the little lizard has a near miss with a heron, who reveals that little Basil has the ability to make smells. Unfortunately Basil also has a nightmare about the legendary wizard Merlin, in which he is killed by a bat-winged creature who looks a lot like Basil himself. Over the years, he tries to tell Merlin many times but kept getting interrupted.

Unfortunately, Basil's strange dream is not the only problem -- after an encounter with the god Dagda, he learns that the evil Rhita Gawr has managed to infiltrate the newborn world of Avalon. And though he's still only a bat-winged little lizard, Basil may be the one who can save Avalon -- and maybe, just maybe, figure out what he really is.
"Merlin's Dragon" is a bit of a nostalgia ride for those who have read Barron's last two trilogies -- he writes of things only hinted at in the Great Tree of Avalon trilogy, such as Merlin's wedding to his deer-girlfriend Hallia. And there are plenty of familiar and semi-familiar faces -- Shim the giant, Gwynnia the dragon, the Dagda, Nuic the maryth, the Grand Elusa, and many others.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
One of the more memorable supporting characters of the Great Tree of Avalon trilogy was Batty Lad, Tamwyn's chatty winged companion.

And having finished that trilogy, T.A. Barron zips back in time to explore the history of that quirky little character, and his relationship to the legendary wizard Merlin. "Merlin's Dragon" runs a bit slow at first, but speeds up to some surprising revelations about the mysterious little winged lizard who wants to be "special. Just... special."

At the very beginning of Avalon, a wind sister rescues and cares for a tiny egg -- which hatches a little winged lizard with a knobby tail.

Barely surviving in a dangerous world, the little lizard has a near miss with a heron, who reveals that little Basil has the ability to make smells. Unfortunately Basil also has a nightmare about the legendary wizard Merlin, in which he is killed by a bat-winged creature who looks a lot like Basil himself. Over the years, he tries to tell Merlin many times but kept getting interrupted.

Unfortunately, Basil's strange dream is not the only problem -- after an encounter with the god Dagda, he learns that the evil Rhita Gawr has managed to infiltrate the newborn world of Avalon. And though he's still only a bat-winged little lizard, Basil may be the one who can save Avalon -- and maybe, just maybe, figure out what he really is.
"Merlin's Dragon" is a bit of a nostalgia ride for those who have read Barron's last two trilogies -- he writes of things only hinted at in the Great Tree of Avalon trilogy, such as Merlin's wedding to his deer-girlfriend Hallia. And there are plenty of familiar and semi-familiar faces -- Shim the giant, Gwynnia the dragon, the Dagda, Nuic the maryth, the Grand Elusa, and many others.
Read more ›
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