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The Crow: The Third Book of Pellinor

Review

The Crow: The Third Book of Pellinor

Since being swiftly parted from older sister Maerad, Hem and his guardian Saliman have been living in Turbask for the past few months. While grateful for Saliman’s assistance, Hem can’t help but get in trouble. First, his time at the School hasn’t been going well. Hem is the only northerner in class, so his appearance, his little knowledge of the local language and customs, and his knack for retaliation towards the taunts of classmates make him an outsider.

Things begin to look up for Hem, however, when he rescues a young fledging crow being attacked by its relatives and later names him Irc. Unlike the other crows, Irc’s feathers are white. Hem’s natural affinity for birds and Irc’s curiosity is just the foundation for a unique friendship that has quite an effect on the world around them. Then, while in the marketplace one day, Hem literally runs into a young girl whose fierce disposition intrigues and repels him. Her name is Zelika, a refugee from the city of Baladh who was cruelly separated from her family after they were murdered by the Dark Army. Zelika seems determined to avenge her family’s misfortune no matter what the cost.

Meanwhile, Saliman begins hearing reports of the Dark Army and their brutal assaults on other cities and villages throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Turbask prepares to fight back, not only to protect their people but also to provide more time for other potential victims. When the true extent of the Dark Army’s deadly power is revealed through reports of a scrimmage in Il Dara, and Turbask is attacked by Deathcrows, Saliman and several members of Turbask’s council come to the grim conclusion that they have to say goodbye to their beloved city. As the war rages outside the city walls, Hem, Irc and Zelika help in the healing houses, where Hem realizes that the profession comes naturally to him. However, with the prospect of leaving Turbask and the tragic losses he has faced, Hem isn’t sure if he will ever have a relatively normal life as a Bardic healer.

The journey has just begun for Hem and his traveling companions, which now include their guide Soron. Along the way, they meet Bards in a secret underground city referred to as the Pit. Here, Hem makes a startling discovery as to what role he plays in the quest for the Treesong. Then a Bard named Hared sets a plan in motion for a mission to uncover information about the Dark’s deadliest weapon, which will change Hem’s life forever.

Fans of the Pellinor series will no doubt want to read this gripping adventure featuring many moments of mirth and horrific heartache. Some of the dilemmas the characters face, particularly Hem’s, seem to be far more intense than those in the previous installments, and readers may find themselves having to put the book down (like I did myself) as they experience a whirlwind of various emotions throughout the journey, particularly in the latter part of the novel. Nevertheless, THE CROW provides enough intrigue to ensure that the conclusion of the series will be just as dramatic when the Treesong is finally brought to life.

Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on September 11, 2007

The Crow: The Third Book of Pellinor
(The Books of Pellinor #3)
by Alison Croggon