The Pendragon Adventure
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (September 2008)|
First, second, and third installments along with the box set casing
|Genre||Young Adult, Science fiction novels|
|Publisher||Simon and Schuster|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
They follow the chronicles of Bobby Pendragon, an American teenager who discovers that he, as well as his two best friends, Mark Dimond and Courtney Chetwynde, must prevent the destruction of the ten "territories": distinct but interrelated space-time realities. Each book deals with the battle over a particular territory, fought between Bobby's side—including the lead protectors of each territory, called Travelers—and the forces of Saint Dane, a demon who exploits a decisive "turning point" in each territory's history. At this turning point, Saint Dane steps in to guide each territory towards utter destruction; it is up to Bobby Pendragon and his allies to stop or reverse Saint Dane's sinister efforts.
The series has ten books: The Merchant of Death, The Lost City of Faar, The Never War, The Reality Bug, Black Water, The Rivers of Zadaa, The Quillan Games, The Pilgrims of Rayne, Raven Rise, and The Soldiers of Halla. The novels use the first-person journals in which Bobby Pendragon recounts the events of his adventure to his loyal friends as well as a third-person narrative to tell the stories of characters other than Bobby. Each book of the series repeatedly alternates between these two narrative techniques.
The first five books in the series, The Merchant of Death (2001), The Lost City of Faar (2001), The Never War (2002), The Reality Bug (2002), and Black Water (2003) were originally published in paperback by Aladdin Paperbacks. The remaining five books, The Rivers of Zadaa (2005), The Quillian Games (2006), The Pilgrims of Rayne (2007), Raven Rise (2008), and The Soldiers of Halla (2010) were all originally published in hardback by Simon and Schuster. As of 2011, all books have been released in both formats.
On his official site, MacHale stated that he had finished the first draft of the last book, and said it would be a "killer finale." It was released on May 12, 2009. He also announced that the first graphic novel based on the Pendragon series would be released around the time of the ninth book, and that a short series of books meant to be companions to the series will be released, with the release of the first companion book scheduled for before the release of book ten. This short series has since been released as a trilogy, written by authors other than MacHale, called Pendragon: Before the War.
Bobby Pendragon is an athletic, everyday junior high school student from (fictional) Stony Brook, Connecticut, located in the greater New York City area. Bobby's Uncle Press reveals that he will train Bobby to become a Traveler, a space- and time-travelling warrior tasked with a crucial mission: to stop the efforts of the shapeshifting demon Saint Dane. Saint Dane plans to destroy "what separates order from chaos"—the very fabric and structure of the universe, known as "Halla"—so that he can rebuild it according to his own design. Uncle Press, the lead Traveler, introduces Bobby to the flumes, enchanted tubes used by Travelers to journey among the ten territories: especially eventful locations and time-periods. Press explains that Bobby is a resident and the designated Traveler of the territory known as "Second Earth" (roughly, the New York metropolitan area of our planet during the present day).
Most of the novels in the series are structured around a similar basic conflict: as each of Halla's ten territories reaches a crucial turning point, in which its people must make a critical global decision for their future, Saint Dane arrives, hoping to lead the people towards self-destruction. Bobby must then travel to each threatened territory to thwart Saint Dane's plans, sending journals back home (to Second Earth) to be received and kept safe by his best friends, Mark Dimond and Courtney Chetwynde, who become sometimes involved with the action and are deemed Bobby's acolytes: personal helpers and record-keepers along Bobby's journey. There is one Traveler from each territory, and Bobby cooperates with all ten along his journey. Throughout the series, Saint Dane often asks Bobby to join his side, but Bobby consistently refuses.
Bobby soon realizes his central role in the battle for Halla: that he is to replace his uncle as the lead Traveler, pursuing Saint Dane and helping to guide the territories back toward stability with the assistance of the other Travelers, their acolytes, and further allies. The turning points of the ten territories, in order, occur on: the medieval wilds of Denduron; the ocean-wide planet of Cloral; Earth during the time of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 (called First Earth); the virtual-reality wastelands of Veelox; the rainforests of Eelong; the deserts of Zadaa; the corporate monopoly-controlled arenas of Quillan; the semi-civilized island of Ibara (located on planet Veelox sometime in the future); Second Earth; and, lastly, Earth in the year 5010 (called Third Earth).
Along his journeys, Bobby also learns martial arts, sometimes even dueling with Saint Dane one-on-one. Bobby also comes to respect the diverse peoples of Halla, who wildly differ in their social structures, technologies, philosophies, traditions, and other cultural aspects. He also has to adapt to each territory's environment in order to be ready to confront Saint Dane at a moment's notice. Bobby gradually learns the nature of what it really means to be a Traveler, first hinted at when Saint Dane confusingly begins referring to the Travelers as "illusions." Saint Dane's long-term strategy also eventually surfaces, centering around a mysterious event called "the Convergence," in which the territories' turning points all begin to coincide, potentially causing an escalating chain reaction of chaos throughout Halla. Matters worsen when the Traveler from Quillan, named Nevva Winter, treacherously defects to Saint Dane's side. Meanwhile, the Convergence begins causing some territories to undergo a devastating and unexpected second turning point.
By the ninth book, Bobby and his friends have successfully prevented the destruction of five territories, but they have failed in their fight against Saint Dane on Second Earth, Veelox, Ibara, and Quillan. Even worse, by taking over Second Earth, Saint Dane manages to reverse all previous Traveler victories, establishing an elitist and genocidal cult called Ravinia, which openly marches its robot army of humanoid soldiers, "dados," throughout the territories, thus freely breaking down the boundaries between the territories. In the tenth and final book, Bobby finally learns about the true nature of Travelers: that he and the others are not actually humans at all, but rather, human-shaped guardian spirits created by something called Solara: the accumulated living energy of all positive sentient knowledge and creativity. Contrarily, Saint Dane is a spirit arisen from the dark antithesis of Solara. Reuniting one last time, Bobby and the Travelers confront Saint Dane in a final battle on Third Earth in order to begin Halla's process toward recovery at last.