"The young father went on to tell Merlin that suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the dragons started attacking the Twydell towns and villages. Tears filled the man's eyes as he remembered the terrible night not that long ago, when the thatch on his family's cottage roof caught fire, and he and his wife and children had to run for their lives."

Proving that old men can still have amazing adventures, Merlin (who is 106) tells his friends the story of where he's been while Avalon was fighting a war with Trajeans, the adventure found in the first book of the series. Although this is book two, it is not technically necessary to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. Other than a bit of initial stage-setting, the characters from the first story don't play any measurable role in this adventure.

On a mission of his own, Merlin discovers a nearby kingdom is under siege by a pair of dragons for reasons only the dragons seem to know. Discovering the heart of the problem is a missing dragon egg, Merlin turns detective as he travels the continent trying to find the real culprit and restore order. Along the way, he meets witches, royalty, and magical beasts, treating each living being with kindness and respect. Throughout the story, it is the wisdom of this character that enables him to delay disaster and create new alliances.

The story is filled with magic and adventure. The concepts are simple enough for a young child to understand, yet complex enough to keep minds working on linking all the pieces together. Language used is also accessible to younger readers without necessarily "talking down" to them. Even in the world of magic and mystery, manners and respect turn out to be the greater forces at work, providing children with important life lessons without being preachy or lecturing.

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