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The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Book 1) by [MacHale, D.J.]
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The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 324 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in Pendragon (10 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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: 1360 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743437314
  • Publisher: Aladdin (September 23, 2002)
  • Publication Date: September 23, 2002
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0ROM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,995 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many of them were reading below grade level, and only read if forced to.

The day I first started reading Merchant of Death in class, their interest and attention was immediate. What 8th grader WOULDN'T be interested in a book that starts with making out?

After reading the first book aloud in class, I ordered 9 of these box sets for eager and demanding students wanting to find out what happened next. As enough people started reading them, a "Pendragon is cool" culture became acceptable within the "It's cool to be apathetic and hate reading" culture, and even more kids started reading them. The Pendragon series is extremely appealing to this age group, and is a great way to throw the lifeline of recreational reading to those drifting out to sea.

I will not kid you and tell you these books have immense literary value. They are, however, fast paced, suspenseful, and entertaining. MacHale should be congratulated on creating a series that appeals to readers and nonreaders alike.
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