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.
Robert "Bobby" Pendragon, an everyday, athletic, junior high school student from (fictional) Stony Brook, Connecticut discovers that he will be trained by his Uncle Press to become a Traveler, a warrior tasked with a crucial mission: to stop the efforts of the shapeshifting demon Saint Dane, a supporter of the darker side of human nature. Saint Dane believes that all there ever is or was, collectively called Halla, must be destroyed so that he may rebuild it, according to his own twisted design. Uncle Press, the lead Traveler, introduces Bobby to the flumes, enchanted tubes used by Travelers to journey among the ten territories: especially eventful points in time and space. Press explains that Bobby is a resident and the designated Traveler of the territory known as "Second Earth" (in other words, present-day Earth).
Most of the novels in the series are structured around a similar basic conflict: as each territory reaches a critical turning point, in which its people must make either a positive or negative critical decision for their future, Saint Dane arrives, hoping to lead its people toward the outcome of 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 his 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 rainforest world of Eelong; the desert realm of Zadaa; the corporate monopoly-controlled arenas of Quillan; the semi-civilized island of Ibara (located on planet Veelox in the future); the New York metropolitan area of Second Earth; and, lastly, Earth in the year 5010 (called Third Earth).
Not only does Bobby come up against the forces of Saint Dane, but he also learns martial arts, sometimes even dueling with Saint Dane one-on-one. Bobby also comes to respect the diverse peoples of the territories he encounters, who wildly differ in their social structures, technologies, philosophies, traditions, and other cultural aspects. He also has to adapt to each territory's environments in order to be ready to confront Saint Dane at a moment's notice. As the saga progresses, Bobby begins to learn the nature of what it really means to be a Traveler, hinted at when Saint Dane confusingly begins referring to the Travelers as "illusions." Saint Dane's long-term strategy gradually surfaces, regarding a mysterious event called "the Convergence," in which the territories' turning points all begin to coincide, potentially causing an escalating chain of defeat for the Travelers. Matters worsen when the Traveler from Quillan, Nevva Winter, treacherously defects to Saint Dane's side.
By the ninth book, Bobby has successfully prevented the destruction of six territories, but on Second Earth, Veelox, and Quillan, the Travelers fail in the fight against Saint Dane. Even worse, by taking over Second Earth, Saint Dane manages to reverse all previous Traveler victories, establishing an elitist, genocidal cult called Ravinia, which marches its robot army of humanoid soldiers, "dados," openly throughout the territories, breaking down the boundaries of Halla, and freely devastating the territories' native societies. In the last book, Bobby finally learns about the true nature of Travelers: that they are not actually humans, but rather, human-shaped spirits created by something called Solara: the accumulated living energy of all positive human knowledge and creativity. Reuniting one last time, Bobby and the Travelers oust Saint Dane in a final battle on Third Earth, thus reviving Halla and beginning its process toward recovery at last.
The territories, their turning points, and their Travelers
This is a description of all ten of the territories where the books are set and their turning points, with a more in-depth look into the details of the plot regarding each poignant events of each territory. Also listed are the names of the Travelers from each territory and their acolytes. Although all of the territories may be considered "won" by the Travelers at the end of The Soldiers of Halla, this is a list of the current status of the territories in the battle for Halla, as of Raven Rise:
- Denduron: The turning point of Denduron (pronunciation: //) involves its people's discovery of tak: a highly volatile, naturally-occurring, clay-like explosive. The outcome initially is a Traveler victory, in which the uncovered tak mine is detonated before any of the tak can be used to start a world-changing war. A second turning point on Denduron begins to approach, however, when the Travelers unearth the tak once more to use on Ibara, inadvertently allowing it to be rediscovered by the natives of Denduron. Later on, the Travelers are unable to reseal the mine, leading towards its people's downfall and causing the Travelers to abandon Denduron. Denduron's Traveler is Alder and his acolyte is an unnamed Milago widow.
- Cloral: The turning point of Cloral (//) involves the invention and spreading of a high-yielding but ultimately poisonous agricultural fertilizer. The outcome is a Traveler victory, in which an antidote is discovered by the Travelers and successfully distributed in time to treat Cloral's poisoned masses. Cloral's Traveler is Vo Spader and his acolyte is his boss, Wu Yenza.
- First Earth: The turning point of First Earth involves the possibility of averting the Hindenburg disaster. The outcome is a Traveler victory, in which Bobby realizes, ironically, that he must allow the Hindenburg disaster to play out, in order to prevent Nazi Germany from designing the atomic bomb before the United States. However, a second, secret turning point is exploited later on in the series by Saint Dane, who influences an unsuspecting Mark Dimond into introducing a highly advanced technology called "Forge" decades ahead of its appropriate time-period on Earth. First Earth's Traveler is Vincent "Gunny" Van Dyke and his acolyte is Douglas "Dodger" Curtis.
- Veelox: The turning point of Veelox remains unknown specifically, though it involves its people's complete immersion into a computer-generated virtual reality called Lifelight. The turning point apparently already came and went before the Travelers were even aware of it, though Saint Dane fools the Travelers into thinking they are helping when they take action on Veelox, though they are really only delaying the inevitable. The outcome is a Traveler loss, in which most of the planet's population succumbs to the captivating fantasies of Lifelight. Veelox's Traveler is Aja Killian (/ /) and her acolyte is her "aunt," Evangeline.
- Eelong: The turning point of Eelong involves the passing or rejecting of an edict that will allow for the extermination of, eventually, all humans on the planet, which is ruled over by sentient cats called the klee. The outcome is somewhat unclear; on the positive side, the klee do not adopt the edict, agreeing to live as equals with their human neighbors; however, Eelong's only flume falls apart, isolating it from the rest of Halla, and killing Eelong's Traveler, Kasha, during the collapse. Kasha's acolyte is Boon.
- Zadaa: The turning point of Zadaa (//) involves growing tribal tensions between the mutually dependent Batu people and Rokador people, when the Batu suspect that the Rokador are holding back their shared water supply, while the Rokador, whose population has been drastically diminished by a virus, suspect the Batu as the responsible party. Despite Saint Dane's interventions, the outcome is a Traveler victory, in which the Travelers give both tribes a common reason to cooperate by prematurely instigating a massive flood, which also restores life to the barren deserts of Zadaa. Zadaa's Traveler is Loor and her acolyte is her younger sister, Saangi (//).
- Quillan: The turning point of Quillan appears to involve the fate of a people's resistance movement, called the revivers, against the megacorporation, Blok, which oppresses and dehumanizes the citizens of Quillan through lethal and widely publicized sporting events known as the Quillan Games. Although, at first, the Travelers seem to be victorious, initially rallying support for the revivers when Bobby wins the Games, it is later revealed that Quillan's Traveler, Nevva Winter, has betrayed her allies to Saint Dane, thus ruining the people's sense of hope, causing them to return to a life of passive victimization, and allowing Blok to continue its despotic rule over the planet. The outcome in the end, therefore, is a Traveler loss. Nevva's estranged mother, Elli Winter, replaces Nevva as Quillan's Traveler. She has no acolytes.
- Ibara: The turning point of Ibara (//) involves, first, the attempted Ibara islanders' recolonization of the Veelox mainland and, second, the massive invasion of dado robots on the island's shores. The outcome is, first, a Traveler loss when the recolonization is violently stopped, and, second, a Traveler victory, in which the Travelers are able to use tak, recovered from Denduron, to blow up the assaulting robotic army and defend Ibara's beaches. Bobby also destroys Ibara's flume, trapping both himself and Saint Dane on Ibara. Later, though, Saint Dane digs up an old flume in the ruins of Rubic City and escapes. Ibara's Traveler is Siry Remudi (/ /) and his acolyte is his best friend, Loque.
- Second Earth: The turning point of Second Earth involves a vote in the United Nations to decide whether the political movement, Ravinia, should be appointed "spiritual advisor" to the world, which would result in the end of all meaningful resistance against Ravinia and its ultimately genocidal goals. The outcome is a Traveler loss, concluding in the Bronx Massacre: the killing of 70,000 anti-Ravinia protesters at Yankee Stadium. Second Earth's Traveler is the series protagonist, Bobby Pendragon, and his two acolytes are his best friends, Courtney Chetwynde and Mark Dimond (//).
- Third Earth: The turning point of Third Earth involves the changing of the Ravinians' minds about whether to go on allowing their armies to continue destroying and dictating the lives of all the people of Halla. The outcome is a Traveler victory, in which the Ravinians themselves, inspired to see many of the exiles of the territories still alive, deactivate their own dado armies, thus dismantling their stronghold, the Conclave of Ravinia, and becoming accepting of a community of all people as equals. Together, the Ravinians stand with the exiles of all the territories as Saint Dane, energy drained by their solidarity, fades out of existence. Third Earth's Traveler is Patrick Mac and his acolyte is one of his students, Jay Oh.
MacHale invents a variety of new terms and ideas for the series, which are listed in fuller detail below.
- CBS: Pendragon Pronunciation Guide Video's channel on YouTube
- MacHale, D. J. (2004). Black Water. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-689-86911-8.
- p.284"Halla is what separates order from chaos.."MacHale, D. J. (2002). The Merchant of Death. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7434-3731-4.
- p.50"The spiritual reflection of the state of Halla."MacHale, D. J. (2009). The Soldiers of Halla. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4169-1420-4.
- An interview with D.J. MacHale
- A more up-to-date interview with D.J.
- The Equilibrium, the largest extant fan forum
- Movie Forum, most relevant forum site remaining