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The Riddle: The Second Book of Pellinor

Review

The Riddle: The Second Book of Pellinor

THE RIDDLE picks up where THE NAMING left off: chaos reigns in Annar and now Maerad and her mentor Cadvan are in exile and on the run from the Light and the Dark. For Maerad, it is a bitter reminder of her early childhood --- betrayed by an old enemy and separated once again from her younger brother Cai, now known as Hem, who has gone to Turbask with the kind Saliman. For Cadvan, it seems that the Balance he has worked hard to help maintain is about to be broken.

With the help of Owan d’Aroki and his boat, The White Owl, Cadvan and Maerad travel to the Isle of Thorold to visit the School of Busk, where Cadvan seeks to find knowledge that could help unravel The Riddle of the Treesong, which may be the answer to restoring the delicate balance between the Light and the Dark. There, Maerad is introduced to the lively Thoroldians and meets the old Bard Elenxi and the First Bard Nerili, both old friends of Cadvan. While Cadvan searches for clues about the Treesong, Maerad continues her studies of Barding and welcomes the lively atmosphere of Busk.

Then Midsummer Day arrives and something goes wrong during an ancient ceremony, causing Cadvan and Maerad to go into hiding once again. While waiting for news from their allies about what is happening in the other Kingdoms, Cadvan and Maerad discover a surprising clue about the Treesong, one that gives them more questions than answers.

Meanwhile, Maerad discovers powers that neither she nor Cadvan could have predicted. As the quest intensifies, Maerad begins to have doubts about herself and her true purpose, which threaten her relationship with Cadvan. Then something unexpected happens, and Maerad finds herself facing greater enemies than she has before --- which includes the alluring but dangerous Winterking --- and perhaps the greatest of all being herself.

Alison Croggon doesn’t disappoint as her elaborate storytelling continues to create excitement and intrigue. With many twists and turns, THE RIDDLE answers some questions while giving readers many more to figure out as this epic quartet progresses.

Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on August 8, 2006

The Riddle: The Second Book of Pellinor
(The Books of Pellinor #2)
by Alison Croggon