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The Singing: The Fourth Book of Pellinor


The Singing: The Fourth Book of Pellinor

Maerad (in her wolf form) and Cadvan travel to Innail, where Maerad hopes to resume her search for answers about her startling heritage and find her younger brother Hem, from whom she was hastily parted. When the companions reach Innail, they discover that the beloved city --- where they sought refuge barely a year before --- has gone through its own share of hardship and despair. With grim reports of schools and villages being destroyed by the Black Army in the North and startling rumors of civil war, Innail worries that it could be the Black Army’s next capture.

Maerad’s arrival doesn’t help allay fears of Dark forces either, as Malgorn --- the recently instated First Bard --- is disturbed by Maerad’s new shapeshifting ability. The feeling of unease is echoed by Maerad herself, particularly when she is reminded of her previous battles with the Dark --- and the deaths that she caused.

Despite the initially awkward reunion, Maerad is glad to be back in the only place that has felt like home. During the all-too-brief visit, the young Bard reconnects with friends and reflects on how her life has changed and what could have been. However, Maerad’s true purpose is highlighted when, as she and Cadvan leave for Til Amon, they have to help save Innail from the terrifying Landrost. Will Maerad’s growing and little understood magical abilities help her succeed, or is she really a bad omen to the Light as she secretly fears?

As Maerad faces fears both real and imagined, Hem continues on his own journey across South Annar. Hem leads Saliman, Irc and Soron to Til Amon. The boy is haunted by the loss of his friend and what he witnessed at Den Raven and the dark city of Dagra. Hem is now more determined than ever to be reunited with his sister and uncover the secret of the Treesong. During the trek, the group meets a trio of traveling players who to everyone’s surprise is unaware of the war raging around them. The two groups depart, but later travel together from Til Amon, which is the Black Army’s next target. The excitement of life on the stage doesn’t last long for Hem, and he is met with more challenges --- illness, war, betrayal --- than most Bards could possibly handle. Will Hem be able to keep his promise and help free the Treesong?

Maerad of Pellinor and Hem of Turbask, along with their supporters and adversaries, face their greatest battle ever. Emotionally charged and richly imagined, Alison Croggon’s THE SINGING gives an amazing finale to an already classic series.

Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on February 24, 2009

The Singing: The Fourth Book of Pellinor
(The Books of Pellinor #4)
by Alison Croggon