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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.

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About the Author

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.

Reviews

"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 " 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

Gr 7 Up-The first book (Candlewick, 2005) of a projected quartet from award-winning Australian author Alison Croggon centers on Maerad, a former slave who discovers she is a Bard with magical abilities. Croggon creates a believable language and culture to populate her epic, highly detailed, and intricately plotted fantasy world of Edil-Amarandh, where all things are governed by Bards. Bards have the Gift of the Speech, which extends life and allows them to talk to animals. When the Bard Cadvan discovers her in the harsh community of Gilman's Cot, he helps Maerad escape her enslavement and begins to nurture her Gift. A rumbling foreboding throughout the land of Annar creates a disquieting background as Maerad and Cadvan travel to Norloch, the seat of the Light. Along the way, they meet both enemies and allies. Despite some predictability due to fantasy tropes, the story is always fresh and imaginative. Maerad and Cadvan are complex and solid characters. Australian actress Eloise Oxer excels at making The Speech accessible to listeners. Each character has a distinct voice and it is a joy to listen as the strange and beautiful names and terms fly off her tongue. Reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books, this title is perfect for those who enjoy epic fantasy, detailed world building, and strong female characters.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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