The Crow (Pellinor Series #3)

The Crow (Pellinor Series #3)

4.5 100
by Alison Croggon
     
 

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As this enthralling epic nears its climax, the young heroine’s brother discovers his own hidden gift — and the role he must play in battling the Dark.

Hem is a weary orphan whose struggle for survival ends when he is reunited with his lost sister, Maerad. But Maerad has a destiny to fulfill, and Hem is sent to the golden city of Turbansk, where he

Overview

As this enthralling epic nears its climax, the young heroine’s brother discovers his own hidden gift — and the role he must play in battling the Dark.

Hem is a weary orphan whose struggle for survival ends when he is reunited with his lost sister, Maerad. But Maerad has a destiny to fulfill, and Hem is sent to the golden city of Turbansk, where he learns the ways of the Bards and befriends a mysterious white crow. When the forces of the Dark threaten, Hem flees with his protector, Saliman, and an orphan girl named Zelika to join the Light’s resistance forces. It is there that Hem has a vision and learns that he, too, has a part to play in Maerad’s quest to solve the Riddle of the Treesong. As THE CROW continues the epic tale begun with THE NAMING and THE RIDDLE, Alison Croggon creates a world of astounding beauty overshadowed by a terrifying darkness, a world where Maerad and Hem must prepare to wage their final battle for the Light.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up- Following The Naming (2005) and The Riddle (2006, both Candlewick), this volume in the quartet focuses on Hem, Maerad's brother. An orphan under the care of Bard Saliman, he discovers that he can communicate with birds, and a friendship with a white crow proves very useful. War against the forces of the evil Nameless One is imminent. Orphan Zelika, angry and vengeful, joins them but is caught and imprisoned, and Hem resolves to rescue her. Through all this, he discovers that both he and his sister are prophesied to destroy the Nameless One. The Books of Pellinor are introduced as translations of ancient texts. The heavy reliance on Tolkien techniques, conventions, and characters, including maps and appendixes, is obvious. Occasionally, there are long, awkward segments of detailed description. However, epic fantasy enthusiasts will savor the richness of this world, especially if they have read the previous volumes. Naive orphan Hem gradually transforms into a skilled, educated, disciplined warrior. Readers who persevere to the end will feel satisfied with this intricate volume and eagerly await the next.-Amy J. Chow, New York Public Library

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Croggon backtracks along her time line to chronicle Hem's grueling and poignant struggles during The Riddle (2006). Hem's in Turbansk, lonely and belligerent, resisting his Bard schooling. The poisonous Dark threatens the Suderain, and the Black Army marches on Turbansk. As battle begins and the city is besieged, Saliman allows Hem to stay rather than fleeing with the other children. Hem's healing powers emerge, and readers see that he, too, has a predestined role in saving Edil-Amarandh-fully as cryptic as Maerad's role. Escaping the city, living in caves and training in spy techniques all help Hem when he secretly joins a rank of child-slave warriors. By the end, Hem is scarred and saddened forever, but an Elidhu has given him luminous new knowledge in the form of music that may help Maerad complete the Treesong. Saliman's love sustains Hem through these oppressively grim times. This serious penultimate epic, filled with Tolkien-like images, is emotionally astute and brimming with vivid detail. (map, pronunciation key, appendices) (Fantasy. YA)
From the Publisher
CHAPTER I
THE WHITE CROW

A drop of sweat trickled slowly down Hem’s temple. He wiped it away and reached for another mango.

It was so hot. Even in the shady refuge of the mango tree, the air pressed around him like a damp blanket. There wasn’t the faintest whisper of a breeze: the leaves hung utterly still. As if to make up for the wind’s inaction, the cicadas were louder than Hem had ever heard them. He couldn’t see any from where he was, perched halfway up the tree on a broad branch that divided to make a comfortable seat, but their shrilling was loud enough to hurt his ears.

He leaned back against the trunk and let the sweet flesh of the fruit dissolve on his tongue. These mangoes were certainly the high point of the day. Not, he thought sardonically, that it had been much of a day. He should have been in the Turbansk School, chanting some idiotic Bard song or drowsing through a boring lecture on the Balance. Instead, he had had a furious argument with his mentor about something he couldn’t now remember and had run away.

He had wandered about the winding alleys behind the School, hot and bored and thirsty, until he spotted a seductive glint of orange fruit behind a high wall. A vine offered him a ladder, and he climbed warily into a walled garden, a lush oasis of greenery planted with fruit trees and flowering oleanders and climbing roses and jasmine. At the far end was a cloister leading into a grand house and Hem scanned it swiftly for any occupants, before making a dash for the fountain, which fell back into a mosaic-floored pond in the center of the garden. He plunged his head under the water, soaking himself in the delicious coolness, and drank his fill.

Then, shaking his head like a dog, he surveyed the fruit trees. There were a fig, a pomegranate, and two orange trees as well as the mango, the biggest of them all. He noted with regret that the oranges were still green, and then swung himself easily into the mango tree and started plundering its fruit, cutting the tough skin with a clasp knife and throwing the large stones onto the ground below him, until his fingers were sticky with juice.

After he had eaten his fill he stared idly through the leaves at the blue of the sky, which paled almost to white at the zenith. Finally he wiped his hands carefully on his trousers, dragged something from his pocket, and smoothed it out on his leg. It was a letter, written on parchment in a shaky script. Hem couldn’t decipher it, but Saliman, his guardian, had read it out to him that morning and then, seeing the look on Hem’s face, had given him the letter as a keepsake.

To Hem and Saliman, greetings!

Cadvan and I arrived in Thorold safely, as you may know if the bird reached you. We are both much better than when we last saw you.

I was very seasick on my way here, and Cadvan and I had to fight an ondril, which was very big, but we got here safely. Nerili has given us haven, and you will have heard the rest of the news from the emissary.

I hope you have arrived in Turbansk with no harm, and that Hem finds the fruits are as big as the birds said they were. I think of you all the time and miss you sorely.

With all the love in my heart,
Maerad

Already they were being chased by monsters. Hem knew that an ondril was a kind of giant snake that lived in the ocean.Cadvan was possibly even braver than Saliman, and Maerad (to Hem’s twelve-year-old eyes at least) was braver still; but they were only two, and the Dark so many, and everywhere. And where was Thorold, after all? Somewhere over the sea, Saliman had told him, and showed him a shape on a chart; but Hem had never even seen the sea and had only the vaguest idea of distance on a map. It meant nothing to him.

Hem stared at the letter as if the sheer intensity of his gaze could unriddle its meanings, but all it did was to make the page swim and blur. The only word he could make out was Maerad. And what had Maerad not written down? What other dangers was she facing? The letter was already days old: was she still alive?

Very suddenly, as if it burned him, Hem crumpled up the letter and shoved it back in his pocket. Unbidden into his mind came the memory of when he had first seen Maerad, when she had opened his tiny hiding place under the bed in the Pilanel caravan and he had looked up, terrified, expecting a knife flashing down to slash him to ribbons, and instead found himself staring into his own sister’s astonished eyes. Only he hadn’t known she was his sister, then. That had come later. . . . He remembered Maerad as he had last seen her in Norloch, standing in the doorway of Nelac’s house as he and Saliman rode away, her face white with sorrow and exhaustion, her black hair tossing in the wind. Hem bit his lip, almost hard enough to draw blood. He was not a boy who wept easily, but his chest felt hot with grief. He missed Maerad more than he could admit, even to himself.

Maerad was the one person in the world he felt at home with. In the short period they had been together his nightmares had stopped for the first time in his life. Even before she knew he was her brother, she had taken him in her arms and stroked his face when the bad dreams came. Even now it seemed amazing; Hem would have hit with his closed fist anyone else who took such liberties. He had trusted Maerad from the start. . . .

_________

THE CROW by Alison Croggon. Copyright (c) 2007 by Alison Croggon. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763641467
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/12/2008
Series:
Pellinor Series, #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
197,949
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I
THE WHITE CROW

A drop of sweat trickled slowly down Hem’s temple. He wiped it away and reached for another mango.

It was so hot. Even in the shady refuge of the mango tree, the air pressed around him like a damp blanket. There wasn’t the faintest whisper of a breeze: the leaves hung utterly still. As if to make up for the wind’s inaction, the cicadas were louder than Hem had ever heard them. He couldn’t see any from where he was, perched halfway up the tree on a broad branch that divided to make a comfortable seat, but their shrilling was loud enough to hurt his ears.

He leaned back against the trunk and let the sweet flesh of the fruit dissolve on his tongue. These mangoes were certainly the high point of the day. Not, he thought sardonically, that it had been much of a day. He should have been in the Turbansk School, chanting some idiotic Bard song or drowsing through a boring lecture on the Balance. Instead, he had had a furious argument with his mentor about something he couldn’t now remember and had run away.

He had wandered about the winding alleys behind the School, hot and bored and thirsty, until he spotted a seductive glint of orange fruit behind a high wall. A vine offered him a ladder, and he climbed warily into a walled garden, a lush oasis of greenery planted with fruit trees and flowering oleanders and climbing roses and jasmine. At the far end was a cloister leading into a grand house and Hem scanned it swiftly for anyoccupants, before making a dash for the fountain, which fell back into a mosaic-floored pond in the center of the garden. He plunged his head under the water, soaking himself in the delicious coolness, and drank his fill.

Then, shaking his head like a dog, he surveyed the fruit trees. There were a fig, a pomegranate, and two orange trees as well as the mango, the biggest of them all. He noted with regret that the oranges were still green, and then swung himself easily into the mango tree and started plundering its fruit, cutting the tough skin with a clasp knife and throwing the large stones onto the ground below him, until his fingers were sticky with juice.

After he had eaten his fill he stared idly through the leaves at the blue of the sky, which paled almost to white at the zenith. Finally he wiped his hands carefully on his trousers, dragged something from his pocket, and smoothed it out on his leg. It was a letter, written on parchment in a shaky script. Hem couldn’t decipher it, but Saliman, his guardian, had read it out to him that morning and then, seeing the look on Hem’s face, had given him the letter as a keepsake.

To Hem and Saliman, greetings!

Cadvan and I arrived in Thorold safely, as you may know if the bird reached you. We are both much better than when we last saw you.

I was very seasick on my way here, and Cadvan and I had to fight an ondril, which was very big, but we got here safely. Nerili has given us haven, and you will have heard the rest of the news from the emissary.

I hope you have arrived in Turbansk with no harm, and that Hem finds the fruits are as big as the birds said they were. I think of you all the time and miss you sorely.

With all the love in my heart,
Maerad

Already they were being chased by monsters. Hem knew that an ondril was a kind of giant snake that lived in the ocean.Cadvan was possibly even braver than Saliman, and Maerad (to Hem’s twelve-year-old eyes at least) was braver still; but they were only two, and the Dark so many, and everywhere. And where was Thorold, after all? Somewhere over the sea, Saliman had told him, and showed him a shape on a chart; but Hem had never even seen the sea and had only the vaguest idea of distance on a map. It meant nothing to him.

Hem stared at the letter as if the sheer intensity of his gaze could unriddle its meanings, but all it did was to make the page swim and blur. The only word he could make out was Maerad. And what had Maerad not written down? What other dangers was she facing? The letter was already days old: was she still alive?

Very suddenly, as if it burned him, Hem crumpled up the letter and shoved it back in his pocket. Unbidden into his mind came the memory of when he had first seen Maerad, when she had opened his tiny hiding place under the bed in the Pilanel caravan and he had looked up, terrified, expecting a knife flashing down to slash him to ribbons, and instead found himself staring into his own sister’s astonished eyes. Only he hadn’t known she was his sister, then. That had come later. . . . He remembered Maerad as he had last seen her in Norloch, standing in the doorway of Nelac’s house as he and Saliman rode away, her face white with sorrow and exhaustion, her black hair tossing in the wind. Hem bit his lip, almost hard enough to draw blood. He was not a boy who wept easily, but his chest felt hot with grief. He missed Maerad more than he could admit, even to himself.

Maerad was the one person in the world he felt at home with. In the short period they had been together his nightmares had stopped for the first time in his life. Even before she knew he was her brother, she had taken him in her arms and stroked his face when the bad dreams came. Even now it seemed amazing; Hem would have hit with his closed fist anyone else who took such liberties. He had trusted Maerad from the start. . . .

_________

THE CROW by Alison Croggon. Copyright (c) 2007 by Alison Croggon. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Meet the Author

Alison Croggon, an award-winning Australian poet, playwright, editor, and critic, is the author of the first two books in this celebrated epic quartet, THE NAMING and THE RIDDLE.

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The Crow (Pellinor Series #3) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
Book three switches from Maerad's perspective to her brother Hem. His journey is also dark and twisted as he follows a perilous path. Not until the end does the reader understand the importance of his quest.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
I love this author and this series.
Starrdust More than 1 year ago
It is a good break from the first two books. It lets you get a glimpse into what is going on with Hem. I could not put down this book. It leaves you wanting more and you will want to read the remaining books in the Pellinor Series. You should read the books in order to make sure you understand the plot.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book at first is childish, like it is written from a real 12 year old's point of view, but later in the book, in the Den Raven part, Hem matured tremendously since he has endured many hardships so he has hardened. I loved all the characters, but I personally think that Zelika is obnoxious. The plot is well weaved and fully understandable while the multiple conflicts were intriguing. The resolution made sense and was good at explaining unanswered questions throughout the book. There are no other words other than this for this book: AWESOME
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story follows Hem as he grows from a selfish and headstrong child into a clever young man with heroic potential. You can feel the tense situations and feel for Hem as he faces terrible hardships. The plot is unpredictable and will keep you reading to the last page! The author has done a marvelous job portraying Hem with a completely different personality than Maerad. It is a refreshing perspective and lends more to the threat of the darkness growing in the land.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series! Waiting.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fell in love with the books when they first came out and am sad that it is over. Great series and will read again!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its great!!!!
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