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The Gift (Pellinor) by Alison Croggon
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The Gift (Pellinor) (original 2002; edition 2004)

by Alison Croggon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,463385,110 (4.11)55
Member:blucatgirl
Title:The Gift (Pellinor)
Authors:Alison Croggon
Info:Walker Books Ltd (2004), Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, Read 2013 (inactive), Traded
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read 2013

Work details

The Naming by Alison Croggon (2002)

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» See also 55 mentions

English (37)  German (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
couldn't finish reading. too uninteresting and boring and tedious. ( )
  ayliang | Jun 11, 2014 |
T'was great - fab imagery and well-build characters. Enjoyed it and wouldn't mind reading the sequel... ( )
  wendyburrill | Mar 3, 2014 |
I love Alison Croggon's "Pellinor" series. The characters are deep, multi-faceted and memorable, and the story carries you avidly wherever she wishes to take you. I've read "The Naming" twice and intend to read the others in the series again, as well. ( )
  JaneStarwood | Apr 28, 2013 |
(Note to self): I think I read this one before. Don't think it grabbed me.
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
THE NAMING begins as Maerad, a slave girl from a tiny northern village where even the local lord lives a hard-scrabble life, is plucked from a life of hopeless drudgery by a traveling Bard. The Bards are magicians, and also the ruling elite. They make the laws, collect the taxes, and in return use their abilities to help the land and its people flourish. The traveler, Carvan, realizes immediately that Maerad is also a Bard - and he realizes soon after that she may be much more than that. He is honor bound to rescue her from enslavement, and find her a new and more welcoming home.

The rest of THE NAMING recounts the very long journey that Carvan and Maerad make to the capital of the realm. There are stops along the way, and a few adventures, but equal space is devoted to their endless plodding through rough wilderness.

Maerad is young, and she seems young. While slavery has accustomed her to hardship, it hasn't made her any more mature than the average sixteen year old. She is naive and temperamental. She is also, to be frank, rather boring.

Cadvan walks a fine line traveling alone for months with a pretty young girl who is entirely in his power, and perhaps that is why he is always calm, upbeat, and distant. He spends months alone with Maerad, but they don't talk very much - Cadvan lectures her on history, on Barding, on his worries for the future. Almost any other kind of behavior would have been creepy, but it was...boring. And left a lot of space for endless descriptions of the passing landscape.

What irritated me perhaps most of all was Croggon's handling of magic in this fantasy world - called "the Light," and manipulated by way of "the Speech." The Speech cannot be learned - it comes to you one day, resulting in instant fluency. Maerad's use of magic is chaotic and uncontrolled at first, but after a certain point she starts performing complex spells without any instruction or preparation. It's all too easy - and that makes it harder to like Maerad, who has such incredible gifts but never really seems special.

THE NAMING has all of the characteristics of a gripping adventure novel, but I was never sucked in, never desperate to turn the pages, never afraid that things would go badly for our heroine, never thrilled by acts of heroism. It was disappointing. ( )
1 vote MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
One is the singer, hidden from sunlight

Two is the seeker, fleeing from shadows

Three is the journey, taken in danger

Four are the riddles, answered in treesong:

Earth, fire, water, air Spells you OUT!--Traditional Annaren nursery rhyme Annaren Scrolls, Library of Busk
Dedication
For Josh
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For almost as long as she could remember, Maerad had been imprisoned behind walls.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763631620, Paperback)

Australian poet Alison Croggon brings an eye for sensual detail to this heroic fantasy that follows the genre's familiar formula: A humble person is caught up in extraordinary events and led (or sent) on a journey by a wise figure, only to discover eventually that he/she is destined to save the world in an ultimate confrontation between the powers of good and evil. In this case the young person is sixteen-year-old Maedra, who is rescued from slavery by the Bard Cadvan. They share an exhausting journey toward Innail, one of the Bard schools and strongholds that govern the land, and Maedra grows to trust Cadvan as he reluctantly reveals his magical powers in several ambushes from evil creatures. But under duress she, too, begins to discover that she has a Gift--and more. After she has learned to read, ride a horse, and handle a sword at Innail, they set out on another dangerous trek to the prestigious city of Norloch, where Cadvan hopes to consult with his mentor Nelac to confirm his conviction that Maerad is the One who was Foretold. Many other characters and creatures come into this tale, as well as mystical intimations and dreams, and lavish descriptions of landscape, food, clothes, and room furnishings. In the tradition of Tolkien, a whole history of an ancient language and culture undergirds the story, and Croggon has even provided appendices of that history, a pronunciation guide, and an invented bibliography of her sources. Die-hard fantasy fans who can forgive its slow pace will enjoy this richly imagined story and look forward to its sequel, The Riddle. (ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A manuscript from the lost civilization of Edil-Amarandah chronicles the experiences of sixteen-year-old Maerad, an orphan gifted in the magic and power of the Bards, as she escapes from slavery and begins to learn how to use her Gift to stave off the evil Darkness that threatens to consume her world.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Candlewick Press

Three editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763631620, 0763626392, 0763636657

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