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The Secret of Dragonhome

(Dragonhome #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  911 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Melayne and her young brother Sarrow are Talents, hunted by the King's relentless Seekers. If their Talent is discovered, they will be sent to their death. So they must hide...or die.
Melayne and Sarrow find refuge at Dragonhome, the mysterious estate of the shadowy Lord Sander. Lord Sander also has something to hide--a dark and fantastical secret that haunts his every move
Paperback, 369 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Scholastic Paperbacks
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  911 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Way back in 1998, I bought this book in sixth grade from a book fair on a whim and I can honestly say I have read it so many times, the binding has permanent creases engrained in it. Melayne is, to this day, one of my all-time favorite literary heroines: she has heart, spunk, sass and wisdom beyond her 15 years and it's really a shame this book is out of print. I think 'Dragonhome' would fit right in with the supernatural/sci fi young adult movement right now (Melayne and Katniss Everdeen would ...more
A.K. Lindsay
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, fantasy
During my teenage years, I’m not sure how this dog-eared book survived. For many years, it was my absolute favourite. Is it any wonder I related to a vegetarian protagonist when I, too, had chosen to be vegetarian? Not to mention Melayne has the ability to speak to animals. An ability that gets even better when you add dragons.

I’d like to think this is one of the books that spearheaded my intolerance toward prejudice. Or, at the very least sewn the seed which helped to guide my formative years.
I don't think this book is in print anymore, which is a shame. I fell in love with this book when i first read it circa 1998 in 7th grade. I bought it on a whim from one of those Scholastic catalogs we got in our English, excuse me, Language Arts classes every so often. I bought it with "Icebound" by Dean Koontz (which, in my opinion, shouldn't be on a Scholastic book list. What with explicit sex scenes and whatnot. And yes, I already read that one in 7th grade too, haha). I think I read the who ...more
Blake Moore
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: recommended
Not bad, super corny, good lead character, but with too few flaws.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
If only Melayne were older!!! Then I would give this five stars! I just couldn’t get over the cringe factor of a 15yo with a ~25yo.

I know such an age gap happened plenty in Medieval times, but in this context it is unacceptable. 1) It’s a fantasy novel. 2) There is not enough reference to the Medieval historical context to justify this.

If I could let go of that fact, I’d rate it at five stars. No, it’s not perfect, but I enjoyed the hell out of it and I can’t say that too often.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a book I have gone back to many times over the years. I cant recall the first time I read it. Maybe 2003? It moves very quickly. The events of the book take place over the course of only a few weeks.

If one can overlook the fact that the main character is supposed to be 15 then this is a good book. The writer does not write this like the main character is 15. Even if he goes out of his way to mention that she went through puberty at 12. So the age difference between a mid 20 something(It
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
John Peel sets forth a tale of persecution and power in the fantasy novel The Secret of Dragonhome. Melayne and her younger brother Sarrow are gifted children known as Talents, the popular fighting force of choice for the wars ravaging the kingdoms. The murder of their parents sends the siblings on a quest for a new home. Attempting to keep Sarrow safe, Melayne uses her animal communication powers to befriend a wolf family and gain a protector in a loyal wolf cub. Despite precautions, the childr ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
The story was interesting and I enjoyed it. However, the characters were hardly age-appropriate. The author seemed to realize this and made concession by having other characters observe how mature the two main characters acted. This gave the story an inconsistent feel. It felt like the author didn't personally know any children, can't remember what it was like to be one, and didn't bother with any research. ...more
Katherine Budinsky
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not sure how this holds up now, but was absolutely one of my favourite books as a child. I borrowed it from the class library so often my fifth grade teacher ended up letting me keep it, and I just found my copy in the basement, hence this late review. I remember magic, castles, talking wolves and strong female protagonists, all which I still love today.
Anna Rebecca
I read this book when I was in middle school, and while it was a favorite of mine at the time, it was definitely better when I was younger.
Lynn Orser
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Somewhat simplistic but interesting read. Great book for young adults to start their introduction to fansaty novels. Enjoy
Heather Hay
Loved it!

I'm a fan of the fun clean writing style and jauntily moving plot.
Little Feather
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I remember enjoying this book when I was a kid. I look forward to re-reading it.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it at the time. Could never remember the title.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very good book... I loved it so much that i got caught up in it and read it in 3 hours!!!
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
In fifth grade, I picked up this book from my teacher’s classroom library. I could remember enjoying it, but I couldn’t remember many of the details. During quarantine seemed like a good time to pick this book back up and reread it.

Honestly, it was an enjoyable read. Everything was very predictable. The characters were not the most in-depth or fleshed out. The timeline of events and especially the main romance were incredibly unrealistic, but the book is also about magical powers and dragons so
Joie de Livre
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was fun.I loved the whole new world with the 5 kingdoms and I especially adored the names of every character since those unique and pretty names are totally my style.
I just hated how easily everyone trusted Melayne and how everyone fell in love with her.I mean she was pretty and brave which might attract some people but there are so many others that I think is kind of unrealistic.
I also disliked the age difference between her and Sander.I mean he's basically twenty five and she's fifte
Kay Iscah
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it
What happens when you take one part X-men, one part Jane Eyre, one part Dragonheart, and then sprinkle on a few bits of irrelevant humor from The Nanny? Apparently you get Dragonhome. Over all grade, being generous: C-.

Peel manages to build a world with not very unique but still potentially interesting concepts. Most of the characters work on an archetype level but not so much on a practical one. The plot meanders, dodging potentially interesting situations that could be books unto themselves to
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Secret or Dragonhome by John Peel

This novel takes place in a fantasy land where the country is split into Five Kingdoms in an unknown time.

Melayne is a teenage girl living in a fantasy kingdom embroiled in a war with another. The book is set in similar medieval time world where talents--people with special powers--are hunted down by the King's seekers to fight in a meaningless war. Melayne and her brother Sarrow are two of these people and live far away in hiding with their parents. Melayne
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
First, I would like to point out that this is a book meant for a younger audience, and I'm 23. That might have colored my judgement, but I do read a lot of young adult books and I love many of them. This book started out as an incredibly painful read. Like I sincerely considered just putting it down and counting it as one of the lost ones. However, my cousin had asked me to read it and she loves the book, so I figured that there must be some merit to it.

Really, I could have skipped over the fir
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good young adult fantasy novel. I think I read it around the seventh or eighth grade, and while I wouldn't recommend it to an adult reader, I'd certainly give it to my own kid. Although I will note that there are no actual dragons present in the story.

The protagonist, a girl named Melayne, has a magical ability called a Talent that allows her to communicate with animals. The government of her kingdom presses children with Talents into the army; Melayne's older brother has already been conscripte
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Melayne is a teenage girl living in a fantasy kingdom embroiled in a war with another. She and her younger brother, Sarrow, are "Talents," which means they have special powers. It also means they are hunted down mercilessly. After her parents are killed at the hands of soldiers, Melayne and Sarrow flee for their lives to the neighboring enemy kingdom, where they pose as citizens. Melayne and Sarrow go to the castle of the young, widowed Lord Sander, where Melayne is givin a job to care for Sande ...more
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Melayne and her little brother are quite suddenly orphaned and run to save their lives. They hole up for the night with a pack of wolves - Melayne's special Talent is Communication, which makes her a target of the King's Army draft.

They travel for ages until finally and at last they find sanctuary inside of a castle named Dragonhome. The Lord of the castle is forlorn, as is his young son - they have secrets of their own to keep. This is evident, as your average joe doesn't often take long walks
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is a book about two siblings that have supernatural powers and the hardships they go through because of their gifts. The country that they live in is at war and the soldiers that fight this war are children with powers. The siblings are caught and trained to be soldiers but they escape but they end up in enemy territory. There they find a castle and within they find many secrets that tears the siblings apart.
I find this book interesting because of the way this book reminds me of many other
Elora Roze
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing, I was at a very hard time in my life with no escape. For whatever reason I always went to the library but never read a book. Then the Librarian had me check this out, in sheer boredom and loneliness I began to read on the hour long bus ride home. I will forever be grateful to that woman who's name I sadly no longer remember, but it is people like her that make sure the written word never loses its magic for the lost. To all the librarians, you help keep the magic alive.
Michael Brigham
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
The Secret of Dragonhome was my favorite book when I was in the sixth grade, and upon rereading it over a decade later, I'm glad to say I wasn't thoroughly disappointed. Peel created an in depth and fleshed out universe, in which he crafts an action packed and exciting story with interesting characters. However, I wish he had hired a ghost writer. The language is shallow and full of errors. This book is an excellent example of a great storyteller without any writing talent. It's worth the nostal ...more
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7th-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After the death of their parents, Melayne and her brother Sarrow leave their hometown and journey to their aunts house. They are talents and Melayne has the gift of cCommunication. That means that she can talk to animals. ON the trip they are captured by the Seeker, a talent who has the ability to find other talents. they are sent to the kings houses to go on an intense training course to fight in the war of the continents. THey escape and finnaly get to a place called Dragonhome. This book is a ...more
Catherine Holland
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: our-books
I loved this book as a middle-schooler. It's got adventure, romance, and a strong female lead. Or so I would like to believe. Rereading this book showed me how much a person can grow, and how a book you once loved can really be terribly written. The book is out of print and I can understand why. It had/has a lot of potential, the story line at its base is an interesting one. Unfortunately its telling is poorly constructed. If you happen to find it in a library, pick it up and see what I mean. ...more
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John Peel is the author of Doctor Who books and comic strips. Notably, he wrote the first original Doctor Who novel, Timewyrm: Genesys, to launch the Virgin New Adventures line. In the early 1990s he was commissioned by Target Books to write novelisations of several key Terry Nation Dalek stories of the 1960s after the rights were finally worked out. He later wrote several more original Daleks nov ...more

Other books in the series

Dragonhome (3 books)
  • The Slayers of Dragonhome (Dragonhome, #2)
  • The Siege Of Dragonhome

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