The Hero You May Have Missed

July 12, 2010

Everyone knows about the boy wizard from England named Harry.  You probably also know about Percy Jackson, Alex Rider, Artemis Fowl, and a band of winged kids saving the world led by a girl named Maximum Ride.   But there’s a hero in young adult literature that you have very likely overlooked.  His name is Bobby Pendragon – and he’s someone you should meet.  Don’t let the name fool you, this is no Arthurian Legend – although the Royal Pendragon Society of England once made that mistake and asked author D.J. MacHale to write an essay for their newsletter. 

No, Bobby isn’t a knight – he doesn’t have any magical powers.  He’s just your typical boy next door, plays sports, makes decent grades, and has a loving family in Stonybrook, Connecticut.  That all changes one day before the county semi-finals of a basketball game. Bobby is fourteen and he learns his normal life is anything but normal.  Before he leaves for the game, right after he kissed Courtney Chetwynde, the girl he had been crushing on since fourth grade, Bobby’s Uncle Press arrives.

Press tells Bobby that some people need his help and that the game isn’t important.  Of course, being a typical fourteen year old, Bobby doesn’t believe that.  What he assumes will just be a short little favor, lasting maybe a few hours for his uncle, turns into an epic adventure across time and space.  Bobby learns that he’s not a normal teenager, he’s a Traveler. The Travelers were chosen to save Halla:  All that is, all that was, and all that will ever be from a villain that Voldemort would check under the bed for, a demon named Saint Dane.

Halla is made up of Ten Territories, each with its own destiny and its own Traveler.  These territories are connected by flumes, pathways across the stars and time.  In the first book, The Merchant of Death, Bobby and his uncle travel to Denduron, a place not to unlike medieval Europe – where one class has subjected another to work in the dangerous mines under the mountainous land they call home.   It is there that Bobby meets Alder, the traveler of Denduron – and Loor and her mother, Osa, both travelers from the desert world of Zadaa.

The story is told to us in journals that Bobby sends back to his friends Mark Dimond and Courtney Chetwynde.  At first, the very mismatched pair – Mark is a nerdy, unpopular science geek who avoids sports and Courtney is the girl who ‘has it all going on’ – smart, pretty, popular and athletic – are merely readers of Bobby’s adventures.  But a plot has been set in motion and they will soon be drawn into this epic adventure and take part in the quest to save Halla.

You can read about Bobby, Mark, Courtney and all the other Travelers in the Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale and they are as follows:

Pendragon: Merchant of Death  (The Battle for Dendruon)

Pendragon: The Lost City of Faar (The Battle for Cloral)

Pendragon: The Never War (The Battle for First Earth)

Pendragon: The Reality Bug (The Battle for Veelox)

Pendragon: Black Water (The Battle for Eelong)

Pendragon: The Rivers of Zadaa (The Battle for Zadaa)

Pendragon: The Quillan Games (The Battle for Quillian)

Pendragon: The Pilgrims of Rayne (The Battle for Ibara)

Pendragon: Raven Rise (The Battle for Second Earth)

Pendragon: Soldiers of Halla (The Battle for Third Earth) 

Tags: book review, reading, Books


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