Merlin's Dragon (Merlin Saga Series #6)

Merlin's Dragon (Merlin Saga Series #6)

4.5 23
by T. A. Barron
     
 

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In the years after Fincayra disappears and Merlin has been sent wandering, a young lizard-like creature, with the wings of a bat and the magical power to produce any smell it encounters, is born into the new world of Avalon. The unlikely hero—Basil, he is called—cannot find a single creature like itself nor a person who can tell him what he is. But it

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Overview

In the years after Fincayra disappears and Merlin has been sent wandering, a young lizard-like creature, with the wings of a bat and the magical power to produce any smell it encounters, is born into the new world of Avalon. The unlikely hero—Basil, he is called—cannot find a single creature like itself nor a person who can tell him what he is. But it is clear that Basil is much more than he seems when he stumbles into an encounter with the great Merlin, saving his child’s life, then uncovers a secret plot by the evil Rhita Gawr. It’s a race against time and across Avalon as Basil, with the help of the faithful wind sister Ailah, searches for the great wizard to warn him.

This is one of T.A. Barron’s most thrilling adventures yet and features a new and unforgettable character in his earliest years.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Rayna Patton
With this book, Barron begins a trilogy about a strange little creature called Basil. After an adventurous start as an egg, hatchling Basil is an insignificant lizard with rumpled, tiny bat wings. He spends the first decades of his life finding food (he is an omnivore) and narrowly avoiding being eaten. He remembers only one friend, a wind, present at his birth and soon gone. His constant need to escape leads Basil to discover a special talent, and he also learns that he can fly-albeit feebly. Mostly, though, he laments his small, powerless, and lonely state. Accidentally Basil stumbles into Merlin's wedding celebration, where he looks in vain for someone who can identify him. Later he dreams vividly of a terrible threat to Merlin. His friend the wind returns, and Basil enlists her help to find and warn the wizard. The pair have many adventures throughout the seven realms of the Great Tree of Avalon. Finally Basil finds Merlin right as he faces a seemingly unbeatable foe. Basil's selfless intervention gives Merlin enough time to triumph. In gratitude, Merlin fast-forwards Basil to his full-grown state-a mountain-sized dragon called Basilgarrad imbued with Tlano, the magical force of the Great Tree. Coming-of-age and self-discovery are recurrent themes in Barron's books. Unfortunately the writing and characterization, although imaginative, are not exceptional here, but middle school students will not care. For those who love the Merlin and Great Tree of Avalon series, Basil will be a welcome new friend. Reviewer: Rayna Patton
KLIATT - Deirdre Root
Just after the birth of the Great Tree of Avalon, a strange creature emerges from a tiny egg. This half-bat, half-lizard creature has an odd (and oddly useful) magical power: he can recreate any scent he has ever experienced. His heritage and his future are a mystery to him, until a powerful dream causes him to seek out Merlin and warn him about a deadly threat to his life and to Avalon itself. Aided by the Wind Sister Ailah, he searches all the realms of Avalon, learning about himself and his world in the process. But when he finds Merlin, will he be a help�or the one who causes his doom? This charming coming-of-age tale in the author's new Merlin series will be welcome where his other titles are popular. Reviewer: Deirdre Root
School Library Journal

Gr 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

Kirkus Reviews
A new series opens in Barron's trite version of Avalon. Basil is a tiny, unique creature, batlike and lizardlike, ignorant of his purpose but destined for greatness. His name commemorates the day he hid in a patch of basil plants, which was the same day he realized he could magically emit smells. The herb reference and scent talent are rare creative details in this morass of overwritten and unclear tropes. As Basil travels through Avalon's "seven root-realms," seeking kin and identity and trying to warn Merlin that evil's invading, Barron's artificial pacing (unrestrained use of "suddenly" and "instantly") and preachy faux-wisdom ("Memory can be hot as molten lava, or cold as a frozen glacier") preclude momentum. The prose is swollen with superlatives, and Avalon's basic conceit is confusing: The Great Tree is an actual tree, but also "a world between worlds," with "fires" and "rivers" inside. Rather than offering "a world profoundly rich in both wonder and mystery," as it boasts, this overindulgence delivers readers nothing but smugness. (Fantasy. 9-11)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441017713
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Series:
Merlin Saga Series, #6
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

T.A. Barron is the award-winning author of fantasy novels such as The Lost Years of Merlin epic—soon to be a major motion picture. He serves on a variety of environmental and educational boards including The Nature Conservancy and The Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, and is the founder of a national award for heroic children. Following a life-changing decision to leave a successful business career to write full-time in 1990, Barron has written seventeen books, but is happiest when on the mountain trails with his wife, Currie, and their five children.

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