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The Dragon of Trelian Hardcover – April 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763634557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763634551
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Magician’s apprentice Calen and young princess Meglynne meet accidentally when both choose the same hiding place from which to watch the enemy kingdom’s procession, in which the prince of Kragnir comes to Trelian to marry Meg’s sister. Calen, lonely with only his strict master for company, and Meg, burdened with a terrible secret, quickly grow to trust each other. Calen helps Meg with the baby dragon she has been secretly tending, and he teaches her how to manage the psychic link she’s formed with it. When they discover a plot to assassinate Meg’s sister on the eve of her wedding, thus rekindling the war, they must find a way to stop the traitor with just their wits, Calen’s apprentice-level magic, and Meg’s half-grown dragon. Calen and Meg’s easygoing, entirely believable friendship is the core of this adventurous first novel. Meg is gutsy and impulsive, while Calen is thoughtful and steadfast; and they make an appealing duo. Though not breaking new ground, this is a solid addition to the fantasy genre. Grades 4-7. --Krista Hutley

About the Author

Michelle Knudsen is the author of the award-winning, NEW YORK TIMES best-selling LIBRARY LION, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
This book would be a great addition to a middle school/junior high library.
Barbarian Librarian
The story is an amazing story of the bounds of friendship, love and trust and their powers to help people over-come their greatest obstacles.
M.M. Schill
It's charming and fun, and the relationships between the characters (including the dragon!)
Sid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
You're going to laugh when you hear me say this, but I'm just going to come out and ask anyway: Where did all the fantasy go? I know that in this day and age of vampires, zombies, and zombie vampires (subgenre) that sounds weird, but when it comes to fantasy for the kids, not teens, it isn't like it used to be. In the heyday of Harry Potter you couldn't spit over your left shoulder without hitting some new wizardy/magicish wonder romp of fun and frolic. These days fantasy keeps coming out, but it's strange. Boys who can melt people with their hands. Post-apocalyptic quest novels. Alternate earths. And dragons? At most I'd say there are maybe five or six dragon-based chapter books out this year of varying quality. It's funny that it took me so long to pick up "The Dragon of Trelian" though. I mean, if I was looking for dragons, there's one right there. Big and scaly and more than a little green. But for some reason I put it off. I delayed. Now I've read it, and I have to admit that it's a tasty treat. Sometimes a kid just wants a good dragon book. And with its equal opportunity boy and girl perspective, "The Dragon of Trelian" is the kind of book that's going to appeal to all kids, at all ages, at all times. If they're fantasy lovers, of course.

Calen is in trouble. Probably. I mean, here he is, just an apprentice mage trying to spy on the incoming royal wedding party, and he gets caught by none other than the princess Meg. Since Calen's mage works for Meg's parents, this could be problematic, but instead the two kids strike up an instant friendship. He's dealing with a master who doesn't think he has any talent and she... well Meg has a pretty big secret she's been hiding. Unbeknownst to everyone, she has inadvertently raised and bonded with a baby dragon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reading Phoenix on October 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I blame Michelle Knudsen for the fact that I got no sleep the week I read this book. I felt like a kid again, reading Nancy Drew under my covers by flashlight. ("Just one more chapter . . . okay, just one MORE chapter . . . !") And I also have to say I think Knudsen managed to get in one of the best page-turns in YA literature. (But I won't spoil that moment for you by telling you about it.)

I've enjoyed tales of magic and dragons ever since I was a kid reading The Book of Dragons, The Loathsome Dragon, St. George & the Dragon, The Hobbit (etc., etc.), but The Dragon of Trelian was a breath of fresh (and fiery!) air for me in the world of dragon stories. More than just a dragon tale, though, this novel is such a valuable addition to the good vs. evil theme that the fantasy genre somehow always seems to grapple with best. Calen, Meg, and their entire world--with characters and ideas as complex as in our own world--absolutely come to life in these pages.

In terms of the writing, I will say for the record that I am a super picky reader . . . and Michelle Knudsen really hits the mark. The language, the narration, the dialogue, the rhythm, the humor, and the very, very cool structure--they are all spot-on. Many times I found myself stopping to read a line over again just because I felt like reading those words one more time. Brava!

So, in summary . . . read this book. It's fantastic. And then, like me, you can wait with bated breath for the sequel. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CMBohn on June 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Calen, an apprentice mage, and Meglynne, the third princess of Trelian, seem to have little to draw them together. But the two make a firm friendship in the face of an unspecified threat to the kingdom. The two of them, plus the dragon of the title, embark on a dangerous quest to save Meg's sister from death and prevent a war.

I liked Meg as a character and was intrigued by her link with the dragon, Jakl. It was also a nice twist that she is the impulsive, passionate one while Calen was the thoughtful, careful one.

This book seems to be the first in a series, and I am looking forward to reading the next one. A fun book for readers who enjoyed Harry Potter, Fablehaven, and the younger readers of Eragon.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Pitzer on May 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Not since Harry Potter have I been so engaged in a book. The writing is dynamic, characters well-developed, plot twists and turns unexpected and delightful...plus "The Dragon of Trelian" has everything I love in a book: adventure, mystery, danger, fantasy, and a little romance. Don't miss this one!! I can't wait for the next book in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Madeline's mom on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Since my daughter was such a fan of Ms. Knudsen's best seller, Library Lion, I decided to purchase and read The Dragon of Trelian. You will not be disappointed!! My daughter loves fantasy stories and this novel rates top notch!! Definitely a goodie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Novel Teen on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Review by Jill Williamson

Calen, a mage's assistant, just wants to see the royal procession as it approaches, and he's not the only one. Princess Meglynne had the same idea. The two become friends, and Meg asks Calen to meet her again. She wants to share a secret with him. When they meet again, Meg shows Calen her dragon and begs him to help her learn more about the rare creatures. What calen discovers horrifies him: Meg and the dragon are linked. Should one be killed, the other will die.

That is not the worst of Calen and Meg's troubles, however. They stumble onto a traitorous plot that threatens the peace of the kingdom and their lives. They must work together to prove what the traitor is plotting before it's too late for everyone.

I found this book a lot of fun. It took a while to get going, but once it did, I couldn't put it own. I rather enjoyed Calen and Meg's characters. Michelle Knudsen did a wonderful job with them. Calen is smart and cautious, and Meg is passionate and headstrong. I also enjoyed the way Knudsen showed magic in her book. It was creative and fresh. I will give a caution to those who do not like to read books about mage magic, as this book was full of it, including a lesson about reading cards. What I found interesting was that there was a cost for the magic. It wasn't just endless wand waving, the characters used a great deal of physical power to cast spells, and then they were tired and useless. There are some nice themes in this book: friendship and mercy. There is no faith element, but this is still an enjoyable story.
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More About the Author

Michelle Knudsen is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 40 books for young readers, including board books, picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. Her best-known book to date is the award-winning picture book Library Lion, which has been translated into fourteen languages, is currently being performed as a stage production in Israel, and was recently selected by Time Magazine as one of the Best 100 Children's Books of All Time. Michelle's most recent book is the young adult novel Evil Librarian -- a funny, creepy, paranormal, musical-theater-horror-romance adventure, which Kirkus described as "snappily narrated, tightly plotted, and generally just right." Her next release, coming out in March 2015, will be the picture book MARILYN'S MONSTER, illustrated by the award-winning Matt Phelan. Other forthcoming titles include THE MAGE OF TRELIAN (the third book in her middle grade fantasy trilogy) and a sequel to Evil Librarian. Michelle lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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