The Dragon of Trelian (Trelian Series #1)

The Dragon of Trelian (Trelian Series #1)

4.5 14
by Michelle Knudsen

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Calen, a lonely young mage-to-be, never dreamed that Princess Meglynne would become his friend. And impulsive Meg never imagined that tending a baby dragon would "link" her to the creature — for life. And now Meg’s sister is about to marry a prince to end a war between kingdoms, a celebration that Meg and Calen know is endangered by a murderous


Calen, a lonely young mage-to-be, never dreamed that Princess Meglynne would become his friend. And impulsive Meg never imagined that tending a baby dragon would "link" her to the creature — for life. And now Meg’s sister is about to marry a prince to end a war between kingdoms, a celebration that Meg and Calen know is endangered by a murderous plot. How can a girl, a boy, and a dragon merge their magic and strength to bring down a powerful traitor in time? From the author of Library Lion comes a classic middle-grade fantasy soaring with sorcery and suspense, spunk and adventure, friendship and first romance, and a cast of enchanting characters.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Young adult readers still grieving over the cessation of new Harry Potter books can dry their tears. This book has it all: a princess and princes, a wizard and his young apprentice, magic, a dragon, traitorous villains, and a Romeo-Juliet feud between kingdoms. Calen, apprentice to Madge Serek, and Meg, a younger princess in the kingdom of Trelain, form an unlikely friendship, and Meg decides to share her secret with Calen. The secret? Meg has befriended a baby dragon, whom she calls Jakl. In the young people's world, dragons are considered dangerous pests that must be killed, but Meg feels a connection to Jakl, almost as if they each know what the other is feeling—or thinking. Calen's offer to locate books that may educate Meg about her yellow-eyed friend is the beginning of a fast friendship, between mortals and dragonkind, which may save Meg's sister from danger and the Kingdom of Trelain from disaster. Knudsen has given young readers a remarkably-written book that will be difficult to put down. The plot has as many twists and turns as the interior of a well-imagined castle. Its characters, both human and dragon are finely-crafted and sympathetic. It is the perfect read, especially as an imaginary "get-away" on hot summer days or school vacations. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
VOYA - Sarah Hill
Calen is apprenticed to a mage who seems to not teach him anything. Meglynne is a young princess who dresses as a servant to escape her royal duties in the castle. The two are cast together and form a strong friendship. Meglynne trusts Calen with her secret—she is hiding a dragon in a cave. Calen sneaks into the mage's library to find out everything there is to know about dragons and realizes that Meg is linked to her dragon in a very magical way. She and her dragon are powerful together, exactly like Calen and his magic are powerful. When a plot to destroy Meg's kingdom is discovered, the two children and the dragon must foil the conspiracy and thwart the evil sorceress's plan. Knudsen's first novel is readable, but it needs some work. The dialogue is often stilted and a bit overwrought. Meg and Calen's sharing of magical power is repeated often and in too much detail. Readers realize that it weakens them when they help each other magically, but their friendship is more important than their health. There is a lot of discussion and thinking in the novel and not enough action; however, young readers love books about dragons and will not be disappointed. The cover is fascinating, and the thickness will draw in readers who love lengthy fantasies. A sequel is forthcoming. Reviewer: Sarah Hill
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7

Calen, a young mage-in-training, is vaguely dissatisfied with his life. Learning magic isn't as exciting as he thought, he's alone much of the time and always in trouble with his master for something. Then he meets Princess Meglynne and an unlikely friendship begins. Meg has secretly a dragon baby she found and is discovering all sorts of complications with keeping it secret. Calen helps her learn more about dragons and through his studies finds out more about magic and his own unique talents. When they discover that treachery is afoot, they must find a way to save the kingdom with only their wits and their talents. This is an exciting fantasy that draws in readers from the start. Knudsen does a fantastic job of creating sympathetic and realistic characters that really drive the story. The tale is adventurous and exciting with many twists and turns along the way. The ending is satisfying yet leaves room for sequels, which readers will be clamoring for. A page-turner.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
Appealing characterization elevates a standard fantasy adventure. Princess Meg's independent streak saddles her with an awkward secret: Just as a nuptial delegation from an enemy kingdom arrives to cement peace terms, she accidentally "links" herself to a baby dragon. Fortunately, she bumps into Calen, a young mage-in-training, whose boredom with the dry didacticism of his mentor has left him eager to explore more practical applications of magic. When the pair stumbles upon a scheme to reignite political hostilities, their subterfuge becomes a desperate struggle to thwart a murderous traitor. There's nothing in this story line that the genre-savvy reader won't deduce by the second chapter, nor is there much innovation in the stereotypes of feisty princess and insecure apprentice. But this familiarity is transcended by the freshness of their voices, as well as the charmingly honest portrayals of family life, the dizzying heartbreak of first romance, the insecurities of loneliness and the rewards of scholarship. While the secondary characters (especially the dragon) remain woefully underdeveloped, the narrative moves at a brisk clip to a satisfying conclusion, with a broad hint of sequels. A promising start. (Fantasy. 9-14)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Trelian Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt


CALEN TRIED NOT TO LOOK DOWN. Th is was the best vantage point in the east wing of the castle - a thick window ledge that looked out over both the main gate and a good bit of the Queen's Road leading up to it - but the method by which the window achieved this singularly spectacular view was by being very, very far from the ground. It was by no means the highest point in the castle, but it was still a good deal higher than Calen normally preferred to go, and if he managed to fall, he suspected he would have a disturbingly long time to scream in terror and watch the shaped hedges rush up at him from below before he died a horrible and painful death. He'd had to come, though. He wanted to catch that first glimpse of the procession as it approached, to witness the very beginning. It was like something from a story - a delegation from an enemy kingdom, bringing the prince of Kragnir to marry one of the princesses of Trelian and end a war that had been going on longer than most people today had been alive. Certainly it was the most exciting thing to happen in Calen's life in a long time. Maybe the most exciting thing to happen in his life ever, at least once he'd figured out that becoming a mage's apprentice was not going to be the whirlwind of glory and adventure he'd briefly imagined. And he was going to be here to see it, the arrival of the enemy prince and his family and whomever else princes generally traveled with, the first moments of an event that would be recorded in history books for future generations!
His heart was beating a little faster just thinking about it. Obviously it was the excitement, and not the glance he'd accidentally taken at the ground just now that was causing his insides to jump around that way. Calen took a deep breath, settled his back firmly against the edge of the window opening, and struggled to keep his eyes on the distant hills and his mind on anything other than the vast empty space to his immediate right.
There was plenty he could think about, but most of it was not espe cially pleasant. The procession was supposed to have arrived hours ago, and Calen was getting later by the second but he wasn't leaving until he got to see something. He was bound to be in trouble - more trouble, he amended - once Serek discovered that he hadn't come straight back from the royal gardens with the silverweed. Calen had picked the silverweed first, of course - he wasn't that much of a fool - but he knew Serek had expected him to return at once, and that he hadn't done. Instead, he had circled around through the kitchen entrance, run down the Long Hall, then climbed the many, many stairs to the guest suites on the eighth floor. Heavy rust-colored curtains concealed the large window, and once he slipped behind them, he was invisible to anyone who might pass by. Undoubtedly one of the soon- to- be- arriving guests would be stationed here, and servants might stop in to check that the room was ready. If anyone did see him, he'd be caught - no one would believe he was up here on the mage's business, and he'd be forced to go back and face his punishment and miss everything.
Technically, he hadn't exactly disobeyed. Serek had only implied that Calen should return directly; he hadn't actually said it. Not that this distinction would hold much weight with Serek, but it was enough to soothe Calen's conscience. Besides, it wasn't like there was anything to rush back for. Calen thought back to the argument they'd had earlier. Well, argument wasn't really the right word. Mostly it had just been Serek making pointed comments him about how lazy he was and glaring at him whenever he opened his mouth to defend himself. But he wasn't lazy. He just . . . didn't care. He didn't see the point in learning things if you were never going to do anything with them.
A flash of light caught his attention, and Calen leaned forward a tiny bit, squinting. Had that been the sun reflecting off armor? It was hard to tell at this distance. There was no way he was leaning any farther out the window, but maybe if he stretched his neck out slightly -
"I think that's the prince's escort," said a voice from directly behind him.
Calen jumped at the sudden sound and then screamed as he felt his balance desert him. He flailed uselessly at the air and had a moment to think, This is it, I'm dead, I'm falling, before he was jerked roughly back into the room and onto the floor beside the window. Heart pounding, and not from excitement this time, Calen looked up to see a girl about his own age standing above him.
"You dropped your flowers," she said, smiling innoffcently.
He gaped at her, then down at the silverweed scattered across the floor. Still breathless with fear, and now angry as well, Calen stood up. She had nearly killed him! "You! You -" he began, unable to find suitable words for what he was feeling. Swallowing, he paused to regroup.
"You -" he said again, this time pointing one shaky finger at her for emphasis.
"You're welcome," she said. "I suppose I saved your life just now. You almost fell, you know."
Calen stared at her incredulously. His eyes felt wide enough to fall right out of his head.
She looked back at him for a moment, then started laughing.
"Oh, your face -" she gasped, nearly doubled over with mirth. Calen, temporarily out of witty retorts, waited silently for her to regain control of herself.
"I'm sorry," she went on, finally."I really am. I didn't mean to startle you like that, but after I pulled you back in, you were just so funny . . ."
Calen glared at her. Funny, was he? He knelt and began gathering the fallen silverweed with violent swipes of his hands. She bent to help him.
"Leave it," he said, turning his back to her.

Meet 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.

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Dragon of Trelian 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
SignyTiner More than 1 year ago
This is one book that both my son and daughter could not put down!! The best part for me was getting to listen while they discussed the story over dinner. Tonight they were talking about what they hoped would happen if there were a sequel. Here's hoping there will be!!
JenniferLaw More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read in a long time! I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to read it in a few years. If you liked Harry Potter, you will LOVE this book even more. Buy it as soon as you can.
FantasyLoverMD More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! It's such an original story in, very well written and paced with a little bit of everything - adventure, drama, romance, comedy...and of course, a dragon! I know it is intended for younger readers, but even as an adult I found it a great read. The characters are engaging and likable, the story is interesting and takes unexpected turns, and the world Ms. Knudsen creates feels both historically familiar and yet magical. I highly recommend it to both adults and young readers.
sltm22 More than 1 year ago
This book is very thrilling and suspensoinal. It is a wonderful fantasty full of kindoms, magic, betayal, friendship, responsibility, adventure, determination, puppy love, and of course, dragons! I would recomend this book to anybody looking for an action-packed fantasty story. Knudsen made the two characters, Meg and Calen, full of rich emotion which is a terriffic quality in any book hoping to earn a place on the bookshelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know a good book when I see one, and frankly, this isnt even good! Its AMAZING! It keeps me on edge wanting to read it and feeding on the goodness of this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You gotta read it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There youll find a review called Anaymous Janurary 13 read it be ready.
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Joe11JK More than 1 year ago
the kides liket this book
FantasyPhanatic2 More than 1 year ago
&quot;The Dragon of Trelian&quot; book is a fresh tale of fantasy for the genre. I would recommend this book to anyone, as it is light on violence, but still has the theme of magic installed within. The only real thing that bothered me was the fact that I did not get the cover image that is shown above, instead I got something that looks like an illustration for a children's book. But don't get me wrong. Buy this book. I can promise you that if you are a fantasy lover, that you will enjoy it.
madame_librarian More than 1 year ago
This was an average book, nothing to make it stand out in my mind. We have the standard plot of warring kingdoms marrying a son and a daughter to end the war. We have someone who does not want to see the war end, concoting an evil plot, and two teenagers discovering the plot and trying to solve it. There were elements that should have made it stand out, like the dragon, but they didn't succeed. Since dragon is in the title I thought he would be a large part of the story. It wasn't. That was one of the main reasons I picked up the book, but we brush over the bond Jakl and Meg have and he really is only featured as transportation and a tiny part at the end. A lot of the magic is only touched on, and a few times I would liked to have an explaination of why things happened. Calen and Meg are the only characters that are fleshed out at all, Meg's sisters and parents, and Calen's master are all just figures that are not explained. I was left wondering about Calen's master, why was he so aloof? Then right at the end another bad guy is introduced and the story itself says only the battle is won, not the war. They know the bad guys will show up again. I, however, will not be picking up the next story.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
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.