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The Naming (Pellinor Series #1)

The Naming (Pellinor Series #1)

4.6 220
by Alison Croggon

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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,


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.

Editorial Reviews

Sixteen-year-old orphan Maerad leads a miserable life as a slave until the Bard Cadvan rescues her from drudgery. In Annar and the Seven Kingdoms, Bards are the keepers of the Light, born with the Gift of the Speech wherein lies the knowledge and forces of good that help mankind and Nature. Groomed in the Schools, Bards are the forces of Light that combat the Dark's evil power. Traveling together after fleeing the settlement of Gilman's Cot, Cadvan realizes that Maerad is a Bard. Cadvan is journeying to School at Norloch to see his teacher Nelac; he hopes to have Maerad instated as a Bard. Through folktale prophecy, prescient dreams, and an ancient parchment, it becomes evident that Maerad is the Foretold, the Fated One, who will ultimately triumph over the Dark. As Cadvan and Maerad travel through Annar, they are beset by Hulls, wers, and a wight, all minions of the Dark. They also encounter an Elemental spirit and kind residents who help the voyagers on their way. Croggon creates a superb epic fantasy in this first book of the Pellinor series, which is evocative of both the Arthurian legend and The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the added twist of a female protagonist. Compellingly readable, the story offers the reader both richly developed characters and descriptive prose that sparks the imagination. A plentitude of action and plot surprises ensure a riveting read. Unbelievably fine, this book represents fantasy storytelling at its best. This exemplary novel is sure to appeal to all fantasy fans. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Candlewick,528p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Rachelle Bilz
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-In this first volume in a projected quartet, Croggon has created a world that is both authentic and exotic, welcoming and frightening. When 16-year-old Maerad meets a man named Cadvan, she is catapulted from her life as a slave to an epic destiny. Cadvan is a Bard, one of the magically gifted Starpeople, and he begins to teach her about her own gifts and abilities. He believes her to be the prophesied One who will oppose the Nameless, the dark power working toward the destruction of the Bards and the Balance of the world. As Maerad and Cadvan travel, they join forces with Hem, a mysterious orphan, and learn that the Nameless's influence reaches far into the world of the Bards. Encounters with great mythic figures of their world and threatening evil forces add to the epic flavor of their journey. Maerad's story is presented as a translation of the great epic of a lost civilization, and explanatory appendixes add to this fantasy's realistic feel. Maerad is a strong, bold, and appealing character, and her lack of knowledge about her world provides a framework for Croggan's background explanations. Supporting characters, including the Bards and those who oppose them, are given realistic traits and flaws. While some coincidences in the plot may stretch readers' belief, they are integral to the story. Maerad seems a kindred spirit to Tamora Pierce's Alanna, and her story will find a welcoming audience among readers looking for a challenging and fully realized epic adventure.-Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lush, vivid epic fantasy about a slave who becomes pivotal to a vast land's survival. Sixteen-year-old Maerad toils with no hope of freedom or human connection until the day a strange man shows up in the cow byre. Though wounded, he arranges her escape. Cadvan's a Bard, one of the special people in this land who use learning and inborn magical power in the service of good. Maerad's one too, though she never knew it and is ignorant of its workings. Old enemies of the Light are reappearing and Cadvan senses that his discovery of Maerad is no fluke. Evil sweeps the land both blatantly and insidiously as Maerad and Cadvan journey through a grand School and across the wilds, seeking help and clarity and battling foes. Croggon's characters and environmental descriptions glow with a romantic sensibility and resonate beautifully with archetypal connections to Tolkien. Maerad's path to her destiny will be awaited eagerly. (pronunciation key, map, appendices, poems) (Fantasy. 12+)
From the Publisher
"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

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Pellinor Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
870L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Naming

The First Book of Pellinor
By Alison Croggon


Copyright © 2006 Alison Croggon
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0763631620

"Maerad," he said at last, "if the Dark knows what Dernhil knew, we are in worse trouble than I thought. By the Light, I wish I knew what happened last night."

"But what does it mean?" asked Maerad stubbornly. Cadvan gazed at Maerad earnestly, as if he were seeing her for the first time. She met his gaze and held it, and at last he laughed gently and relented.

"Maerad, I think you are the Foretold, the one who will come, the Fated One," he said. "Lanorgil was one of the great Seers, and he foresaw you. 'Seek then one who comes Speechless from the Mountains, a Bard unSchooled and yet of this School.' He meant you. The riddle is scarcely hard to answer, and Dernhil was right: it is not chance that it turned up at just this time. The Foretold, in the Lore, is the one who will defeat the Nameless One in his darkest rising. It is an ancient tradition, although now mostly forgotten, except by the Wise, who do not forget."

Maerad listened in tense silence, her heart thumping wildly. Cadvan's words filled her with a strange panic, the same panic she had felt when Dernhil had first shown her the parchment.

"It can't be talking about me," she said, laughing nervously to cover her confusion. "I'm not . . . I'm not important--"

Cadvan paused. "I think Lanorgil, when he speaks of the Fire Lily, means the Name of the One who will come." He quoted Lanorgil's words: "'Seek and cherish the Fire Lily, the Fated One, which blooms the fairer in dark places, and sleepeth long in darkness: from such a root will blossom the White Flame anew.' The lily is of course the sign of Pellinor. But they use the arum lily. The Fire Lily, Elednor in the Speech, that is a different flower."

"But my Name's not Elednor!" Maerad stood up in her agitation. "My Name is, my Name is . . ."

"Maerad, you don't know your name. No one will, until your full instatement as a Bard. And if your name is Elednor, then you are most
certainly the One, as foretold by Lanorgil."


THE NAMING by Alison Croggon. Copyright (c) 2006 by Alison Croggon. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.


Excerpted from The Naming by Alison Croggon Copyright © 2006 by Alison Croggon. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Alison Croggon is an acclaimed Australian poet and playwright. She is the Melbourne theatre critic for The Australian and has received the Geraldine Pascall Critic of the Year award. To date, she has written and performed nine works for the theatre. Her young adult fantasy quartet, the Books of Pellinor, have been published around the world to much praise. She was inspired to write them when her oldest son started reading fantasy novels, reminding her of how much she enjoyed the genre and of her ambition growing up to write a fantasy novel herself.

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The Naming (Pellinor Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 220 reviews.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
The Naming is an epic and wonderful fantasy. I was thrilled over every word and loved every minute I spent in the world of Pellinor. Maerad is an amazing and powerful heroine. In the beginning she is a slave, rescued and recognized by the Bard Cadvan. By the end she is a Bard, beautiful and strong. The book journeys through fantastic landscapes and cities. The characters are rich and varied from Light to Dark. I can't wait to start reading book 2!
Marcupio More than 1 year ago
My wife talked me into reading this book. Since she liked it, I didn't think I would. I just finished it last night and have already started the next book in the series. It is a book that is easy to follow. Some of the names are hard to get used to. I would definitely recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I read this book I felt like I needed to read more and more of these type of adventure stories. When I first picked up this book and looked at the cover, I felt it would be just a boring and plain old book with an obvious plot and similar types of characters who are in every normal story. I found out that I was very wrong. As soon as I started reading this book, I immediately got sucked into how amazing this book was and got mad at myself for not thinking it would be good. The book has two main characters: Maerad and Cadvan. During the course of the book, we find out that Maerad is a member of the School of Pellinor because of a powerful gift she has. Maerad escapes from a with the help of Cadavan. There is so much action and adventure in this book with so much detail that you feel like you're part of the book. The setting of this book varies because Maerad and Cadavan travel to so many different places. The first setting is the slave settlement. Many people help Maerad along the journey to finding her gift. The detail and suspense are what I liked about this book. I REALLY recommend this book and want you to read it too! (ages 12 and up)
Kaiyunei More than 1 year ago
It's been a long time since a book has kept me enthralled to the extent I could not convince myself to put it down. Thus, I dub it a rather excellent read. Perhaps its only shortcomings lie in the cliche nature of overall premise, and brief moments of predictability. However it's fairly safe to say that most everything written in this day and age--particularly in adolescent fiction--is not entirely original anymore. And to counteract this, The Naming was bubbling with enough originality and creativity that this common flaw was easy to ignore...maybe even miss by those less read. What most pleasantly surprised me was the level of acute (rather personality driven) humor laced throughout much of the story. And the realistic elements of womanhood actually being included; It caught me off guard, much to my delight and humor. (In all honesty, I laughed at Cadvan's embarrassed-flustered reactions at Maerad's first encounter with "the curse"). Overall, Alison Croggon's The Naming is a very well written and construed story of coming into one's self and coming into the age of adulthood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best I have ever read!! It takes you on an epic tale of fantasy with Maerad, Cadvan, and many other characters. They face peril and danger in this fantastic plot. I reccomend this book to everyone who enjoys the many fantastical worlds of magic and magery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first stated the book I was just reading it cause my mom wanted me to. But after I started reading it the book became enjoyable and I am glad she coaxed me to read it. It kind of has everything in it, sadness, great joy, love, loss, family and all that great stuff.
ZebraStripe More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! Alison Croggon writes very well and captivates the reader's attention throughout the whole novel. It's impossible to put down. I guarantee that once you read it, you'll have to finish the Pellinor Series. Maerad is a slave in Gilman's Cot. One day, she meets a Lirigon Bard, Cadvan, who tells her she should escape and come with him. He believes she posesses the Gift and might very well be the Chosen One, someone who is destined to overcome the Nameless. Cadvan reveals to Maerad of the Light: Bards are keepers of the Light, or balance, and they wield the Gift. Such Gifts are of Making, Reading, Speech, and Tending--all are known as the Arts of the Light because such Gifts maintain the beauty and goodness of the land. The Nameless went against the Laws of Balance, or rules; he gets rid of his name, thus, prevents his death. Together, Cadvan and Maerad embark on a journey to overcome the Black Sorcerers, an army of corrupt Bards named Hulls, and, eventually, the Nameless himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am currently writing my own book, and upon reading this book, I was drawn. I have read many fantasy books, and few have stood out like The Naming. Unlike many fantasy series out there, Maerad faces real issues, such as guilt, and loss. Alison Croggon vividly expresses these emotions, causing the reader to be able to relate, while at the same time maintaining the fantastic fantasy. The second book is merely a continuation of the first, and continues the same wonderfully thought ideas.
vwhis 22 days ago
Wonderful Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many forget that a big part of adventure is travel. This series does not and its wonderous in that way. Written like an enchanting forgotten history, the Books of Pellinor are a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful fantasy adventure with a strong female lead (and minimal unnecessary romantic subplot!) I've read it multiple times over the years and can't wait to read the rest of the series again!
TheReader1908 More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this series you grow up with the heroine. Which of course means you get attatched. Which in turn leads to staying up way too late because you don't want to put the book down. Truely a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book i loved ( and love to ) read over and over. Dramatic and emotional, fanciful and imaginative, this book has it all. From the first page i was obsessed with Maerad's story with Cadvan and couldn't put it down to save my life. Exageration? Not really. Read it, love it, and become obsessed with The Naming and the rest of the books of Pellinor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite series! It is amazing novel and writen beautifully! I recomend it to any and all fantacy lovers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
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Kaitbryn More than 1 year ago
My middle school library had these books and I fell in love with them! I am now well into college and they keep walking into my brain, but I could never remember what the Title was!! After a 7 year search through time, space, internet, and all the recesses of my brain I FINALLY found them again!!!! SOOOOO excited to reread and see WHY these books stuck with me for so long when so many others have come and gone.