Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure through Time and Space

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Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure through Time and Space
Pendragon boxed set.jpg
First, second, and third installments along with the box set casing

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.
AuthorD.J. MacHale
CountryUnited States
GenreYoung Adult, Science fiction novels
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback)

Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure through Time and Space,[1] commonly known as Pendragon, is a series of ten young-adult science fiction and fantasy novels by American author D. J. MacHale, published from 2002 to 2009. The series chronicles the adventures of Bobby Pendragon, an American teenager who discovers that he must travel through time and space to prevent the destruction of the ten "territories": critical locations throughout the universe. The series has sold over a million copies.[2]

Each book deals with the battle over a particular territory, fought by Bobby's side against the forces of Saint Dane, a shapeshifting demon, who exploits a decisive turning point for the local people of each territory. At this turning point, Saint Dane steps in to guide the territory towards utter chaos, with Bobby and his allies attempting to stop his efforts.

The novels use a first-person perspective through Bobby's handwritten journal entries, in which he recounts the events of his adventures to his loyal friends back home, Courtney Chetwynde and Mark Dimond, as well as a third-person narrative to tell the stories of characters other than Bobby—often, Courtney and Mark themselves. Each book of the series repeatedly alternates between these two narrative perspectives.[2]

Publication history[edit]

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. In 2004, Black Water made The New York Times' weekly nationwide top-ten list in the category "Children's Paperback Books,"[3] and a month later, for the first time, the series as a whole ranked in the category of "Children's Best Sellers: Series."[4] 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 (2009) were all originally published in hardback by Simon & Schuster. As of 2011, all books have been released in both formats.

A graphic novelization of The Merchant of Death was also released around the time of the ninth book. The tenth and final novel, The Soldiers of Halla, was released on May 12, 2009. A prequel trilogy created by MacHale but authored by other writers has also been published, collectively called Pendragon: Before the War.

Plot overview[edit]

Robert "Bobby" Pendragon is an everyday athletic junior high school student from (fictional) Stony Brook, Connecticut, located in the greater New York metropolitan area. Bobby's Uncle Press reveals that he will train Bobby to become one of the "Travelers": wormhole-journeying young warriors from a variety of different planets and cultures,[5] who are tasked with stopping or reversing the destruction being caused by the demon Saint Dane. Saint Dane plans to destroy "what separates order from chaos"—the very fabric and structure of the universe, known as "Halla"[6]—so that he can 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", which are especially eventful locations and time-periods in the universe. Press explains that Bobby is a resident and designated Traveler of the territory known as "Second Earth," which means planet Earth (especially centering on New York City) during the early 2000s (the present moment at the time of the series' publication).

Most of the novels in the series are structured around a similar basic conflict: as one 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, especially through cultural homogenization, social inequality, discrimination, and totalitarianism.[7] 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 confronts Bobby personally and asks him 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; First Earth (the approximate time and location of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster); 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 the planet Veelox, though 300 years after the "Veelox" territory); Second Earth; and, lastly, Third Earth (New York City in the year 5010).[8]

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 on 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.[9] 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 unanticipated 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, by him being able to control what time he enters the flumes, 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.[10]


  1. ^ "The Author." D. J. MacHale (Official Website).
  2. ^ a b White, Cl). "A Conversation With D.J. MacHale." The Internet Writing Journal. Writer Write, Inc.
  3. ^ "[1]." The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 19 September 2004.
  4. ^ "[2]." The New York Times. The New York Times Company. October 2004.
  5. ^ Blasignmae, James (2006). "Pendragon Book Six: The Rivers of Zadaa." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(2), 161-162.
  6. ^ MacHale, D. J. (2002). The Merchant of Death. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7434-3731-4. p. 284 "Halla is what separates order from chaos"
  7. ^ Blackman, Harrison (2013). "5 Books Better Than The Hunger Games." Expedictionary.
  8. ^ Hooper, Kat (2015). "Posts by Kat Hooper" (page 8). Fantasy Literature. Fantasy Literature's Fantasy Book and Audiobook Reviews.
  9. ^ "About the Book: Raven Rise: Pendragon, Book Nine." KidsReads. The Book Report, Inc. 2016.
  10. ^ "Pendragon". Retrieved 17 April 2018.

External links[edit]