Follow Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, theatre writer, critic and editor who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her work has been published to acclaim in Australia and internationally. She is the author of the epic fantasy quintet The Books of Pellinor, which have sold more than , books worldwide. The series has since been published in five European countries and to date has sold more than a half a million copies in the UK and US alone. Fleshers, the first book in the science fiction series Newport City she is writing with her playwright husband Daniel Keene, came out in , with Book 2, Pinkers, to follow in Her most recent poetry collection is New and Selected Poems Newport St Books , which brings together work from nine previous collections.

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Start your review of The Naming The Books of Pellinor, 1 Write a review Shelves: organic-fantasy , as-it-began , fantasy , the-great-fantasy-road-trip , how-very-original , orphans , because-magic , high-fantasy , imported-from-australia , young-adult Remember when authors talked about landscapes, and you could tell that they might have actually stepped outside once or twice in their lives?

Remember when the male lead and the female lead in a YA book were allowed to develop a strong friendship and partnership, and any romance was left for the later books in the series?

Remember when male characters admired the beauty of female characters but didnt act like pigs about it? Remember when not every YA novel featured a love triangle? I remember two Remember when authors talked about landscapes, and you could tell that they might have actually stepped outside once or twice in their lives? I remember two series from the last decade that were really popular among my elementary and middle school friends that could be described as Star Wars in Middle-earth.

For over nine hundred pages. If the Inheritance Cycle were a person, it would be a stereotypical nerd boy who likes dragons, mistrusts women, and is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Of the two, I would much rather be friends with her than him. Thane Gilman is a tyrant in his tiny domain. The servants and slaves are afraid to make a run for it, because Gilman keeps fierce hunting dogs and the mountains beyond are full of evil entities and bloodthirsty beasts.

One of these slaves is a young girl named Maerad, a dairymaid who also entertains the Thane and his friends by playing upon her lyre. She has no support network and no hope of escape.

Her luck changes when a strange man from distant parts enters the cow-byre, and she is the only person who can see him. His name is Cadvan, and he is one of the Bards, a group of wise and ideally benevolent mages whom Maerad had always believed were myths. They will learn that a dark power, once thought vanquished, is rising again no way! Content Advisory Violence: Cadvan and Maerad are frequently attacked, and sometimes seriously wounded, by supernatural beings, Bards, humans, animals, and monsters.

They come across a slaughtered family in a wasteland that includes a baby. Some evil creatures order a child to murder his friend, and when he refuses they kill the second kid anyway. A traitorous Bard sets a harbor and most of its ships on fire. Maerad has scattered, disturbing flashbacks, about the sack of her home before she became a slave; a little girl of about five years, she saw her father beheaded, her mother sapped of her powers, and her home burned.

As a slave, Maerad is frequently beaten, and her fellow slaves once tried to drown her in the duck pond. Sex: Shortly before the story begins, a male slave jumped Maerad while she slept and tried to force himself on her.

He did not get far in his attempted rape before she snarled a word of power at him that sent him flying and blinded him for three weeks.

She remembers this incident and panics after a nice young man named Dernhil gets a bit too excited and kisses her. She panics, he apologizes, and they part as friends. Once they get to a hospitable place and are given baths and clean clothes, both Cadvan and Maerad are struck a bit shy, because they never noticed how good-looking the other one was before. Poor Cadvan is the first to see her after this, and gets almost as panicked as she does.

Croggon brings it up three or four more times for no apparent reason. Language: Nil. This was fairly obvious from the way Light and Dark are discussed in the book—much closer to the abstractions of Star Wars than the more Biblical Creation-mythology of Tolkien.

So I wondered why Croggon had to phrase it like that. It sounded rather disdainful of the Abrahamic faiths, and I thought that was unnecessary. However, one can easily skip the appendices without missing anything interesting. Conclusion The Naming is an odd, hard-to-classify book. So what kept me turning pages?

Why the high rating? Because Croggon created two wonderful characters in Cadvan and Maerad. They are noble, they are flawed, they have seen far too much death and darkness and it shows in their behavior.

They want to help the downtrodden, they want to be bulwarks against the encroaching Dark, but they also know how badly a well-meaning plan can go wrong, and they are wary of everything and everyone. It is beautiful when two souls like theirs begin to open timidly up and trust each other. In this book, it happens with perfect timing, with a lot of sweet, tiny moments of respect and friendship that I think and hope!!!

Instead of manufacturing sexual tension and decoy love interests view spoiler [ Dernhil dies hide spoiler ], Croggon simply stands back and lets the reader observe what a great team these two make in every way.


The Books of Pellinor

Cadvan soon discovers that her mother was the leader of the First Circle of the destroyed School of Pellinor, of whom it was previously assumed that there were no survivors. Knowing this, Cadvan decides to help her escape, believing that it might not be by means of random chance that he came upon the only known survivor of Pellinor. He takes her to the School of Innail, to make the presence of a survivor from Pellinor known and to make Maerad a Minor Bard of Pellinor. This Nameless One is a corrupt political leader, formerly called Sharma, who discarded his own true name in order to become immortal. Twice has he attempted to conquer the land of Edil-Amarandh, and he has twice been vanquished. His last bid for power is the one in which the Foretold One, Elednor, will defeat him, leaving him dead or helpless forever. After their brief but enjoyed stay at Innail, Cadvan takes Maerad across the country of Annar to the school of Norloch, intending to have her instated as a full Bard and given her Name, and also to see his old teacher Nelac.


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Alison Croggon


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