The Dragon of Avalon (Merlin Saga Series #6)

The Dragon of Avalon (Merlin Saga Series #6)

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142419243
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/09/2011
Series: Merlin Saga Series , #6
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 135,001
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About 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.


Write Well, Live Fully

An essay for aspiring writers

by T. A. Barron

The wise and wonderful writer, Madeleine L'Engle, once told me: "There are three essential rules for writing a novel." She paused, then added, "Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." That sums up the situation! But after more than twenty years of writing books, I can also add these thoughts: Writing is the most joyous — and also the most agonizing — labor that I know. And it is by far the best way to travel — in our world or any other. Every author has an individual approach to the creative process, and every author's experience is different — except for the essential elements of hard work, inspiration...and magic. Whenever people (of whatever age) ask me about the writing process, I start by telling them how much I still have to learn. This is, after all, a craft — and no matter how much someone knows, there is always more to learn and explore. That's one of my favorite qualities of the writer's craft: The horizon of excellence is ever receding. We can always improve, which means we can always grow as people. Before I give you my best advice on writing ... here is a bit of wisdom from that well-known sage, Snoopy: My own advice to new writers boils down to three words: Observe. Practice. Believe. From: The T. A. Barron Official Website Let's look at them one at a time: Observe. Notice the world around you, in deep detail. How do different people speak, with their voices, faces, hands, and posture? How do different types of trees' leaves fall to the ground, each with a singular sort of flight? How do different ideas stir your passions, fears, hopes, and dreams? And don't just notice the surface of things, the sights and sounds that first strike your senses. Go deeper. Ask yourself how something would feel; wonder what is that person's deepest, darkest secret. If you truly observe the world ... it becomes a fruitful source of writing ideas and elements. Then just add a little drop of your imagination, bend the rules of reality, and anything is possible! On top of helping your writing, observing the world closely has one more advantage. And it's a big one. This is a good way to live, to be more wholly alive. Being a writer encourages you to live more fully. Practice. Write every chance you can. Keep a journal. Write poems, whether you prefer haiku poetry, sonnets, or enormous epics. Write letters, plays, short stories, blogs, novels — whatever gets you excited. Writing is hard, full of struggle, and greatly demanding ... but it is also deeply rewarding. And practice makes you better, just as practice makes you more skillful at everything from baking a pie to piloting a spacecraft. A lot of this comes down to discipline. Sometimes the last thing I want to do on a particular day is sit at my desk at home in Colorado and write. I'd rather be playing with my kids, baking bread, or hiking on a mountain trail. But I stay with my writing because I know that's the only way it will ever happen. So … if you can find the discipline to practice, the magic of language will become more present and familiar over time. And your powers as a writer will surely grow. Believe. This is, perhaps, the most challenging part about writing. To succeed, you must truly believe in your story — in each of its characters, in its place, and in its underlying ideas. And then, even more difficult, you must believe in yourself. What can I say to encourage you? Just this: Know that you have valuable things to say, and the skills to say them. Know that your song is unique, that your voice matters. Think of writing as growing a tree. In the soil of your writer's heart, you have an idea—a seed. But it will need plenty of sunlight, air, and nourishing soil to grow. How does this happen? I can only tell you how it works for me, but for every writer the process is different. When I sit down to start a novel, a process that will take between one and three years, I begin with that seed. It helps me to sketch it out, in longhand, just to get to know it better. In time, I will write an outline of its growth, though I'm always aware that outlines are only a beginning, a rough concept. As the seed sprouts into a sapling during the first draft of the manuscript (which, old fashioned that I am, I also write longhand), the outline is abandoned. For by now the tree itself is guiding my work. I believe in it, and listen closely to its inner voice — to its soul. Several more rewrites help me shape the growing tree. I try to develop characters, places (which are much more than merely backdrops to the story, deserving all the depth and subtlety of characters), plot lines, and the story's underlying ideas. When at last I feel satisfied that it is truly formed, I show a manuscript to my editor. Her comments and questions are sometimes not what I'd hoped to hear, but they are always valuable. After all, she is my ally, my fellow gardener. From: The T. A. Barron Official Website Now come more rewrites. People often ask me how much rewriting I do. The answer is, quite simply, as much as it takes to get it right. You see, there is no substitute for the integrating and deepening that happens in a thorough rewrite. Quite often, I am also doing research at this stage, to make the story's characters and places feel true. That, indeed, is the ultimate test. Paradoxical as it may sound, good fiction is true on many levels. That's right! Fiction must feel true. On the levels of the senses, the emotions, the intellect, and the soul, a story ought to win the reader's belief. Characters, if well developed, become so real that they can walk right off the page — for both writer and reader. That is true regardless of whether the character is a man, woman, child, tree, mountain, or magical snow crystal. Sometimes I stop writing the story I am crafting and write a brief biographical sketch of one character — just to get to know that character better. How do I know when a character is fully formed? When I can, at last, hear his or her voice. No aspect of a character's description is as revealing as the voice. And then, if that voice is true, the newly-created character will lean over to me and whisper his or her deepest secret. Now, at last, the book is a thriving young tree, though it has yet to bear fruit. I still need to do more revising — but at this point the work is quite delicate, just trimming a few branches. Neuroscience is just beginning to illuminate how our brains work. But we do know this about writing: Connecting with both the left and right halves of the brain is crucial, for the creative process is both rational and metaphorical, logical and mysterious. Finally, the tree stands fully grown. It reaches high and has surprisingly deep roots. Maybe it also holds a wondrous crop of fruit. And perhaps, when the wind whistles through its branches, it brings to mind some secret, half-remembered song. Best wishes from your fellow writer, T.A. Barron

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Merlin's Dragon 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anne_Katherine54 More than 1 year ago
T. A. Barron brings to life an amazing adventurous character whose inner strength is reflected in his daily life. Basil and his journey will surprise and delight fantasy fans of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very good read and I recomend it to anyone who loves adventure and fantasy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good and i recomend it to people who like magic and dragons
alyssama121 More than 1 year ago
I STILL can’t believe that this series continued and I had no idea. While the focus shifts from Merlin to a strange little creature named Basil, it’s so good to be back in this world Barron has created. This book is definitely different than others in the series; it’s a bit slower and focuses more on Basil’s character development rather than having a lot of action, though there is a bit of adventuring and action in parts. And from what is hinted in this book, A LOT of action is soon to come. This story also has a nice introduction to all the different types of worlds found in the Great Tree of Avalon, which is fun to read about. The middle dragged a bit, but I loved how it all wrapped up and I enjoyed learning more about the world Merlin was living in. Though we don’t get to see a whole lot of Merlin, there was enough of him to still make it feel like a Merlin book. I do wish that we were tackling a new big bad instead of sort of rehashing what happened in the original books, but hopefully it’ll be different enough to seem new. I’m excited about what this new addition to the series will bring–I think Basil is a great main character and I can’t wait to read more about his adventures!
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book a little tedious in the repetitive nature of the quests and problems faced. I skimmed a lot of it, reading only the dialogue and yes, it was interesting and cute but it didn't hold my interest enough throughout the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barron is an excellent writer, on par with Tolkein. Not as good as Harry Potter, but nonetheless lively and humorous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just live it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it even the dragons thoughts and actions?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series Merlin is a very heart warming series. Basil and merlin really are a perfect team together. You get to go on an amazing journey as this small little lizard who expects he will never become anything transforms into a true hero who saves Merlin. I would really advise you start frothe first book and read from there because all the books progress on the timeline of Fincraya to the creation of Avalon. This is a wonderful series and i advise you should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I was confused with Fincayra diappearing and such. But T.A Barron really explained in a different way why fincayra disapeared in the book a " Wizards Wings" and in this one. He really writes a good tale with Basil, still using Merlin as a big character. But merlin is not the main character in the book. If you liked harry potter, or like fantasy and dragons. It is a good series to continue.
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SteelpenLS More than 1 year ago
This is the first of two books ( so far ) about how this Dragon and how it came to be in the series of it own before The Great Tree of Avalon books where the dragon has a big part of in book 3 of The Great Tree of Avalon series. Fun to read to children best to read this one first before getting the second book Merlin's Dragon - Doomraga's Revenge.
9999999999 More than 1 year ago
It was a great book and i loved it. it was a magical book filled with wonderful and interesting characters.
dragonman More than 1 year ago
What a great ride -- the coolest book yet by T.A. Barron. I can't stop thinking about the enchanted world of Avalon and all the amazing characters, especially the little guy Basil who may be small but clearly has a big destiny! These characters walk, leap, and fly off the page ... so I'm very glad this is going to be a trilogy. Also, one more thing: Nature is a huge part of the story, all its wonders come alive. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All right but it feels like a repeat of when merlin was finding the souls of the seven songs of wizardry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book that i have ever read in my intire life.loooovvvveeeeee it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. It is a must read for the 7th installment of the Merlin series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
micgloth More than 1 year ago
This is book one in a planned trilogy. The main Character Basil, a very small dragon, is always running away from bigger animals. He doesn't know where he came from or who his parents are, all he remembers is the wind sisters. So basil heads out to find himself and go exploring the world around him and ends up on an incredible adventure to finding what is really inside himself, a hero. this book was great and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read a great story. These books fill in the gap between the lost years of Merlin and the great tree of Avalon books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JoaquinGuerrero More than 1 year ago
This book is really interesting and fun to read , it really gets you reading more further than other books that take a long time to hook you up, it barely took me about 2 chapters to get hooked by the author form of writing and how vivid the sentences are. The adventure starts since the most beginning of the book and doesn't wait till the middle of the book to start an adventure . It didn't stall, it just went forward and it was an understandable book, you don't have to reread a page to get it, its both understandable but not simple. Not that many books get me reading it to the end but this book did, that's how good it was for me, and I say this book will get more people to read and get the sequels. This book is a combination of adventure,fantasy,excitement and gets you reading to the end. There is not my favorite part of the book because my favorite part isn't a part its the whole book from start to finish every page, every chapter all of it is my favorite of this books.. I would like to compliment the author for writing an amazing book, thank you.