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The Naming: The First Book of Pellinor

Review

The Naming: The First Book of Pellinor

Sixteen-year-old Maerad's life has been a difficult one ever since she saw her family and their home of Pellinor shattered by war. Maerad and her mother, Milana, were taken as prisoners and forced to work as slaves in a desolate place called Gilman's Cot. Years have passed, and now Maerad is an orphan with only her mother's lyre to give her peace in an otherwise wretched and miserable prison. Then one day, a mysterious traveler visits Maerad and brings surprising news about the girl. The traveler is named Cadvan of Lirigon and says that Maerad possesses a great potential for Barding --- a complex and magical craft in which a person's Gift can be used for the Light or sometimes the Dark.

Maerad is at first skeptical of the stranger, but accepts Cadvan's offer to help her escape from Gilman's Cot and take her with him to the School of Norloch. Maerad is soon on a journey through Annar, which slowly reveals secrets about her true heritage. Along the way, Maerad meets a cast of characters that are as unique as the many worlds of Edil-Amarandah. There's Silvia and Dernhil from the School of Innail, who each give Maerad friendship and knowledge unlike anything that she has ever known before, and Saliman of Turbansk, whose fiery wit and humor are much appreciated.

However, the path of self-discovery will not be an easy one as Maerad --- with the resilient and mysterious Cadvan as her teacher --- begins to learn how to use her amazing powers while on the run from the Nameless One's minions that threaten to disturb the Balance.

With a captivating plot and descriptive imagery, THE NAMING is both familiar and fresh in its originality. The concept of a lost manuscript makes the story seem strongly realistic while imaginative. This is the first book of a quartet that promises to be a favorite among fantasy fans. THE RIDDLE, the second installment in this thrilling fantasy adventure, is expected to arrive in the U.S. in 2006.

Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on May 10, 2005

The Naming: The First Book of Pellinor
(The Books of Pellinor #1)
by Alison Croggon