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The Merchant of Death (Pendragon #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  38,546 Ratings  ·  1,683 Reviews
Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal and somewhat reluctant fourteen-year-old boy who is swept into an amazing five-year quest. He is pulled away from the comfort of his family and suburban home and catapulted into the middle of an immense, interdimensional conflict. It's a journey of danger and discovery for Bobby. His success or failure will do nothing less than decide ...more
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published 2002)
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Shawn Washington Yes! Once you start reading, you will be very intrigued and won't want to put it down. But keep in mind that once you read the 1st book you will want…moreYes! Once you start reading, you will be very intrigued and won't want to put it down. But keep in mind that once you read the 1st book you will want to read the other 9 books in the series. I love the plot of this book and the characters are so different so its fun to watch them all develop(less)
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Community Reviews

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Not even something as terrifyingly cuddly as a trio of skydiving "ninja" cats could have won me over to this story.
However, fans of this book/series can keep their dander down as this is not going to turn rant as I have no reason or desire to bash this tale. My angries were not provoked. The writing is fine, the main character is fairly engaging, there’s a decent back-story and nicely drawn diabolical villain.

My less than lofty rating is more a recognition that this sub-genre of light, YA, com
Ariana Deralte
I wanted to enjoy this book because then I'd have several more good books to read after this one, but I was ultimately disappointed. I found the first person, diary pov grating and impossible to get into. The writing also came off as either uninspired or overly wordy when MacHale realized he needed a bit more exposition. Though actually, it was a lot of exposition since everything kept being repeated several times. On top of that, a lot of things happened in the plot just for the sake of the plo ...more
Aug 20, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult
Who doesn't love rereads?

I started the Pendragon series in fourth grade. The premise looked promising and the cover was enticing (it was much better than this, let's face it, crappy cover.) Immediately, I was weirded out because the protagonist, Bobby, starts describing a makeout session he had with his crush at the very beginning. I was weirded out like all awkward, weird, starting-to-hit-puberty-but-not-really ten-year-old girls.

Yet as soon as I got past that disgusting bit, I really did like
Jan 19, 2009 Jemmuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The beginning book that hooked me on its fast paced, plot twisting, and at times adrenaline pumping series.

This book really cannot be denied. D.J. MacHale, who has created many other favorites for Y.A. has now beautifully written a creative and entertaining book. The story is of youbg Bobby Pendragon, a life of a normal 14 year old, which takes a dramatic turn as he is introduced to a universe that is all so unreal; yet completely in danger. His Uncle Press, who interrupts his great life at th
Mike (the Paladin)
Bobby Pendragon is a traveler. Frankly I think if I had a name like "Pendragon" by the time I was a young teen I'd have looked it up and cool. But apparently being a typical 21st century "youth" our hero doesn't really care about much outside of school sports of course.

I give this a 3 star rating as it has moments of..."humm, that was interesting". It's a pretty good idea though executed with some odd logic holes and for a very young audience.

I've noted before that "YA" books can be m
Dec 04, 2011 Jessye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Pendragon Series is my favorite book series of all time, probably because it's one of the first book series I've read, it's extremely long which I love in books, and also I've read it over a couple of years. I started reading in 6th grade and finally finished the last book in 9th grade. I FREAKING LOVE THIS SERIES! I recommend it to everyone! The characters are so lovable and you become really attachted to them. The relationships made between them are wonderful and the action and suspense ju ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Within the first two chapters, there is a description of the main character's first open mouth kiss, a swear word, and talk of "making out". I don't like YA books that ask the YA to grow up too fast. I may have pushed through the book if the plot had been remotely original, but it wasn't (ordinary boy sucked into a wormhole to rescue a planet that's being dominated by an evil warlord). If this is your type of genre, go read "A Wrinkle in Time", "The Book of Three" or "The Dark is Rising". They a ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Jake rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A friend suggested I read this, so I did. He clarified that this Pendragon series was close to his heart during his early teens, but he thought I might like it now. As an adult.

It was definitely a young adult novel. I can't appraise it from a young adult perspective though, so as an actual adult(?) it was a series of monumental eye rolls. Every nuance was spelled out for the reader in the same sentence in which it appeared. I assume that's a common occurrence for young adult novels, because they
Before I review this book, you have to understand something: this book DEFINED my later elementary school years. Before this book, I had been mildly into reading (mostly mysteries), but this was the first book that I ever remember loving. I was obsessed with the series.

I still own copies of all the books, and I re-read them from time to time. I can still appreciate them, if I don't LOVE them the way I used to. The writing is good, the characters are fleshed out pretty well, and it's well-plotted
Mar 02, 2012 4rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun 09, 2008 Martinibeerman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults, teens and adults
Recommended to Martinibeerman by: Bryant
I just finished reading the first book in this series and I am excited to have 7 more to plough through! I realize that few can come close to the genius of J.K Rowling, but I had hoped that this series would. While I am thoroughly enjoying reading them (I just started the second book,) the set-up is far too obvious. I appreciate when an author tries to take the format of a book into a direction that has not been done before, but with the journal format of the book, I feel like he is constantly t ...more
Imran Kashem
May 07, 2016 Imran Kashem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Percy Jackson , Dresden Files , Iron Druid Chronicles and Artemis Fowl I have been continuously reading and searching for another fantasy series that would take my "Magical World" experience to a whole new level of Awesomeness and i would read without ever stopping . And after finishing merchant of death i think i may have found it in Pendragon . Though i have to read the next books to be sure , i feel pretty happy that i am going to have an Amazing journey with Bobby Pendragon in his "Tra ...more
Jul 25, 2009 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. I am a big fan of young adult fantasy fiction and I was looking forward to a new series to get lost in... In an effort to connect with the "kids" of today, the dialogue is wordy, cheesy and too focused on surface observations. It needs a filter. The story had some interesting components but I couldn't get past the back and forth style between the journal entries of the main character, Bobby Pendragon, and the reactions of his friends, Mark and Courtney. Repetit ...more
Halley Hopson
Reread 2016


One of my favorite series from middle school/early high school! Still loving it just as much as I did the first time. Press is still my favorite.

I just love the premise of this series so much. The idea of there being ten territories that exist in Halla throughout different points in both time and space that you can travel to through Flumes, ugh yes, sign me up.

Saint Dane is such a fantastic villain as well. I can't wait to get to last couple of books seeing as I only read t
Mar 09, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The homeless guy jumped and got hit by a train. In the “Merchant Of Death” by D.J. McHale there were many different things that kept me interested in the book.

One thing that made me enjoy this book was that this book’s cover was kind of cool looking. The cover had a boy in a tunnel with a light shining through the door. Another reason I liked this book was because the personalities of the characters were defined they each had a different one. Like how Loor thinks bobby is unworthy to be a Trave
Guinevere Thomas
This book was a fun read. While I couldnt put it down, it...had it's faults. "The Merchant of Death" focused on a 14 year old boy named Bobby Pendragon. The novel follows his journey upon finding out he is a "Traveler" or a person who can travel to different territories, aka alternative dimensions. The aspect of the traveler concept was really interesting. I wiki'ed it before I read it and it was dangerously confusing. But once you read everything it's slowed down much simpler to understand. The ...more
May 09, 2008 Roxane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult

The Merchant of Death is the story of Bobby Pendragon, a normal fourteen year old boy who is going to save the world... yeah, nothing out of the ordinary so far I know, your basic fantasy story... Bobby doesn't know it until his Uncle Press takes him through the gates of an alternative world called Denduron, preventing Bobby from attending a basketball game... the basketball game and a certain Courtney Chedwynde are pretty much all that are on Bobby's mind.

Imagine his surprise when he learns th
Kathleen Villanueva
Pendragon: The Merchant of Death by D.J. Mchale is an adventurous fantasy book filled with hilarious modern, real-life references. This book contains many lovable characters but the main character is Bobby Pendragon, a fourteen-year-old boy who is also a Traveler. As a Traveler, his duty in life is to save territories from the destruction of their existence. In this book, he is in the territory of Denduron, which is on the verge of a destructive civil war. With his Uncle Press, his partner Loor ...more
Aug 14, 2015 سحر rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
این چیزی که دارم می نویسم مروریه بر کلّ مجموعۀ پندراگن. کتاب الکترونیک خوندن تجربۀ عجیب غریبیه. ساعت دوی بعد از نصف شب جلد یک رو تموم می کنی و خب...آدم مگه می تونه تا فردا منتظر بمونه؟ همان دوی نصف شب جلد دوم رو می خری و بیداری تا صبح. این جوری بود که تا جلد پنجم یک نفس خوندم. فکر کنم شش روز طول کشید.اوّلش برام سوال بود که تا وقتی پندراگن هست اصلاً هری پاتر برای چی این قدر معروف شده؟ بعد که به خودم مرخصی دادم و کمی فاصله گرفتم از کتاب، تازه فهمیدم که ایراد کار از کجاست.
یک: کتاب من رو برای دوباره
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Merchant of Death , D.J. MacHale
دنیای فانتزی دنیای دیگریست، گاه جهنم است و گاه سرودی از بهشت
پندارگن نام فارسی مجموعه اشتباه چاپی است پندراگون درست است
There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed and applauded the author for. I thought the concept was pretty original (a universe where time and place aren't as linear as we understand it to be, and where action in one world and time can effect the rest). And I was pleased that MacHale took the "reluctant hero" and really ran with it, allowing Bobby to openly admit his fear, sadness, and lack of heroic selflessness. I also thought MacHale did a great job jumping between two settings, and w ...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
I know I read this book a long, long time ago. But due to the growing success of the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins (Can you guess why?). I would like to write something about this book series.

If you like Gregor the Overlander, or maybe even Percy Jackson and the Olympians, please take some time to read this book. The writing style is similar and somehow, all 3 main characters: Bobby, Gregor and Percy have parallel experiences. I shall stop talking here because I hate reading lo
The beginning had me hooked. I've had this book recommended to me for a long time by a friend. I was interested so I kept reading and that is where it went downhill.
I felt like the POV sections were too long. Sometimes I forgot that Bobby was writing to Mark and Courtney. It's kind of like they didn't exist. Also, I didn't feel like there was a lot of progression. Yes events did happen but it took a long time to play out.
However there was some high points. I loved the main character and his att
Apr 09, 2009 Autumn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, this book was an interesting enough read that I finished it, but I doubt I'll be checking out any more in the series. Not a bad story, but parts of it felt very cliched and I was a little annoyed by the tone - it seemed to be trying too hard to be cool and current (for teens). Other than that there wasn't really anything wrong with it, it just wasn't as compelling as some of the other great young adult fantasy series that are out there.
What I thought was a sci-fi adventure turns out to be a fantasy quest to stop evil.

So what did I think of it? Honestly, it didn't disappoint.

The plot is clichéd and a bit predictable at times but it is well-paced and the adventures in this sci-fi are very investing and very entertaining. At least for me they were. There are many questions that rise up but little by little some things are explained in the book without having to pause the story or create any subplots.

Unlike Relic Master that bro
This series. Just...this series.

I don't even know what I can say to do justice to my feelings for it. I first read The Merchant of Deathin fifth grade. I can't quantify the impact it, and the other nine books, have had on me since then. It's an absolute masterpiece of character development and complex plotting. It shows the good guys losing to the bad guys. It shows kids growing up to become adults in a believable way. It shows that everyone, even the best protagonist and evilest villain, is com
Kat  Hooper
Jul 09, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

Bobby Pendragon is a normal middle-school kid and life is good. He’s the most valuable player on the basketball team and he’s just found out that Courtney, the girl he’s had a crush on for years, has a crush on him, too! Life could not be better... until Uncle Press arrives while Bobby is kissing Courtney and drags Bobby away to a medieval world where some oppressed people need Bobby’s help. For Bobby has special powers and: A Destiny! When Bobby disappears, Courtney
Mar 18, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Alkire
Sep 26, 2016 Matthew Alkire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was amazing and would totally recommend it. It is about a 14 year old who travels to a strange place in another universe and time in order to save it. It is great for any fiction lovers and is currently one of my favorite books ever.
Lukas Baugher
I had originally seen this book a while back when one of my old friends, Alex, was reading it. I hadn’t seen him in quite some time and when I saw him again I asked him about “That book series you were reading a long time ago.” After finally picking up the book I was quite happy about the premises of the series and really like the different approach the author took towards narrating. It’s really new to me and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. The author makes the basis of the story a journal writ ...more
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Book Ramblings: Pendragon series 5 4 Jan 07, 2017 07:21PM  
Opinions on Pendragon series as a whole? 14 67 Jul 08, 2016 09:30AM  
  • The Travelers: Book Three (Pendragon: Before the War, #3)
  • The Travelers (Pendragon: Before the War, #1)
  • Crane (Five Ancestors, #4)
  • The Prophecy (Animorphs, #34)
  • Above the Veil (The Seventh Tower, #4)
  • Ironhand (Stoneheart Trilogy, #2)
  • Heir Apparent (Rasmussem Corporation, #2)
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper (Simon Bloom, #1)
D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT and graduated from Greenwich High School. While in school, he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm, engraving sports trophies and washing dishes in a between playing football and running track. D.J. then attended N
More about D.J. MacHale...

Other Books in the Series

Pendragon (10 books)
  • The Lost City of Faar (Pendragon, #2)
  • The Never War (Pendragon, #3)
  • The Reality Bug (Pendragon, #4)
  • Black Water (Pendragon, #5)
  • The Rivers of Zadaa (Pendragon, #6)
  • The Quillan Games (Pendragon, #7)
  • The Pilgrims of Rayne (Pendragon, #8)
  • Raven Rise (Pendragon, #9)
  • The Soldiers of Halla (Pendragon, #10)

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“Whenever you look back and say "if" you know you're in trouble. There is no such thing as "if". The only thing that matters is what really happened.” 110 likes
“Not just chubby fat, I'm talkin' gordo” 34 likes
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