The First Book of Pellinor
By Alison Croggon
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763626396, 528pp.)
Publication Date: May 10, 2005
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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.
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.
Alison Croggon is an award-winning Australian poet whose work has been published extensively in anthologies and magazines around the world. Her plays and opera libretti have been produced in Australia, and she is also an editor and critic. She began to write the books of Pellinor when her oldest son, Joshua, was reading fantasy. "I had forgotten how much I loved this stuff when I was a kid, and Josh's reading reminded me," she says. "My first real ambition as a child was to write a fantasy novel. One day I sat down and started writing a story. I had no idea what would happen, but one character appeared, and then another, and before long I had to finish the story to find out what happened." That story was THE NAMING. She says she was surprised by how the book seemed to unfold, already formed, before her. "Perhaps it's been waiting to be written for thirty years." Alison Croggon lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her playwright husband and their three children.
"This is an epic fantasy in the Tolkien tradition, with a strong girl hero who is entirely believable in her struggles to master herself and learn the secrets of her identity. I couldn't put it down!" — Tamora Pierce, author of the Protector of the Small and the Circle Opens quartets — Quote
"A magical story that is reminiscent in many ways of Tolkien, this is a tale with passionate, inspiring characters, an enchanting protagonist, and vividly described landscapes. A powerful story that marks the beginning of a great series of fantasy novels." — THE BOOKSELLER — Quote