Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon

Author: S.A. Mulraney
Series: Danny Dirks #1
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

I received a free galley copy of this novel from the publisher for an honest review.

I love stories of King Arthur, especially now that I’ve seen the BBC series of Merlin (and, of course, Monty Python and the Holy Grail).  I have seen the entire series at least twice (the movie too many times to count), and it made me fall in love with both Merlin and King Arthur, only deepening my love for medieval styled stories.  When I saw this story of Danny Dirk, a modern descendant of Arthur Pendragon, I had to give it a try.

Perhaps I am just too much older than the target audience for this novel, but I couldn’t get into the story.  First of all, the story has almost nothing to do with King Arthur legends, apart from being able to talk to dragons (which I do believe was Merlin’s forte, not Arthur’s) and from the appearance of Excalibur.

Not only can Danny Dirks communicate with dragons, but he falls in love with one too.  Granted, this lovely lady dragon can take human form, but still.  It’s a dragon.  Doesn’t that violate bestiality laws?  Perhaps such a question would not even arise for a middle school reader, but it gave me the creeps throughout this novel, and I could never get past it.

While Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon isn’t a terrible novel, there is nothing that sets it apart in its genre.  Its use of the Pendragon name is shady at best (Gwen was a dragon that Arthur fell in love with and thus that is why Danny can talk to dragons?), and the plot and the characters are thin and under developed.  The plot is often slow paced, and it felt as if it dragged on while I read it (it took me a month to read).  Maybe younger readers (middle school aged) would enjoy it, but definitely not for older readers or fans of Merlin & King Arthur.  In fact, a modern descendant of Merlin doesn’t even arrive in the story to help Arthur’s heir.  This is the first novel in a series, but it’s the only installment I’ll be reading.

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