July 13, 2010

Pellinor Series: The Naming – by Alison Croggon

The Naming is the first book in the Pellinor Series by Alison Croggon. The story is told by Maerad, a young woman who is rescued from her life and shown a whole new world outside where she was held captive. She learns that she is a bard and has a very special Gift from the man who rescued her, Cadvan. Her journey in The Naming is one that lays out the basis for the rest of the series, and one that is sure to capture all of those who read it.

Book Description

“Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She doesn't yet know she has inherited a powerful gift, one that marks her as a member of the noble School of Pellinor and enables her to see the world as no other can. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true identity and extraordinary destiny unfold. Now, she and her mysterious teacher must embark on a treacherous, uncertain journey through a time and place where the forces of darkness wield an otherworldly terror.

The first book in a projected quartet, Alison Croggon's epic about Maerad and her remarkable yet dangerous gift is a beautiful, unforgettable tale. Presented as a new translation of an ancient text, THE NAMING evokes the rich and complex landscape of Annar, a legendary world just waiting to be discovered.

In the classic spirit of epic fantasy comes this glittering saga of a young girl who learns she possesses an uncanny gift -- and is destined to use it to save her world from a terrifying evil.”
The Naming

My Thoughts

The Pellinor series has been hailed as “an epic fantasy in the Tolkein tradition.” After reading The Naming, I can see why. I won’t compare it to Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter (though I do enjoy both of those series very much as well). I will however say that if you enjoy those stories, or ones like it, then you will almost certainly love this book/series as well.

The beginning of the story you see Maerad as a slave and enduring a very hard and lonely life. Parts of the story, such as this, make it perhaps hard for younger readers to read and fully comprehend what she was going through.

After Cadvan rescues her from Gilman’s Cot, she is thrown into the battle of Light versus the Dark. She learns that she is a Bard, and perhaps even the Chosen or Fated “One” to defeat the Nameless. Maerad doesn’t think it could possibly be her, but believes in her heart that she must go with Cadvan and becomes his student.

Their journey is highly dangerous, as traveling is not easy and the dark forces seek them out everywhere. The places they seek help and where they hide out in the forests are detailed to such a degree it feels like you can see it yourself. Croggan is a fantastic story teller.

The Pellinor series is really an outstanding fantasy story which I can see being picked up for a movie deal one day (hopefully soon).

I enjoyed reading The Naming very much, and I highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys such series. Warning though - be sure to buy the entire series, because once you start, you will want to continue reading.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Naming, Candlewick Press for providing me with a copy for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


T said...

darn - this has been recommended to me before (by you I think?) and it sounds like I need to get my hands on a copy. Of course, I bought two new books this morning and will probably be grounded from book buying as soon as ManOfTheHouse sees them, so it may have to wait!!!

Sheri said...

I'm on the 2nd book right now, and it is really a great series. I don't think I recommended it to you before, because I just started the series... so I guess that makes 2 people now to have told you it is awesome. :)