The Riddle (Pellinor Series #2)

( 147 )

Overview

"Maerad’s tale continues, luminous, desperate, and bold. . . . Brimming with archetypal motifs but freshly splendorous in its own right." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

Maerad is a girl with a tragic past, but her powers grow stronger by the day. Now she and her mentor, Cadvan, hunted by both the Light and the Dark, must unravel the Riddle of the Treesong before their kingdom erupts in chaos. The quest leads Maerad over terrifying seas and glacial wilderness, until she is ...

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The Riddle (Pellinor Series #2)

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Overview

"Maerad’s tale continues, luminous, desperate, and bold. . . . Brimming with archetypal motifs but freshly splendorous in its own right." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

Maerad is a girl with a tragic past, but her powers grow stronger by the day. Now she and her mentor, Cadvan, hunted by both the Light and the Dark, must unravel the Riddle of the Treesong before their kingdom erupts in chaos. The quest leads Maerad over terrifying seas and glacial wilderness, until she is trapped in the icy realm of the seductive Winterking. There, Maerad must confront what she has suspected all along: that she is the greatest riddle of all.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
Alison Croggon writes fantasy novels that keep you on the edge of your chair. Throughout the book, Maerad, the protagonist, is on a quest to find the answer to the Riddle of the Treesong. Although the description of the terrain and various characters gets tedious at times, it helps the reader visualize unusual surrounding areas and minor characters. Maerad, only sixteen, has suffered many more hardships than most people twice her age. Her mentor, teacher, and friend, Cadvan helps Maerad learn magical tricks that will help save her life, as well as help her assume her rightful place in various situations. Once she saved her life and others by singing a lullaby to a ferocious stormdog. She saves her own life from the Winterking by changing her body into a wolf. Many exciting and dangerous experiences follow Maerad's quest to find the answer to the Riddle of the Treesong. Maerad appears almost too good to be true, until during a confrontation she kills another Bard, which is against the society's rules. Cadvin, teacher and mentor, does not approve of the killing and lets Maerad know the depth of his feelings. On one trip a landslide covers Cadvan and his horse, leaving Maerad to believe they are dead. After many long and harrowing experiences, Maerad finds Cadvan and all is well between them. This book is the second in Croggon's three-book fantasy series.
VOYA - Rachelle Bilz
In this sequel to The Naming (Candlewick, 2005/VOYA August 2005), the saga of sixteen-year-old Maered and her mentor Cadvan, both Bards in the land known as Edil-Amarandh, continues. Bards are wizards of sorts, forces of the Light that combat the evil powers of the Dark. Maered is the Foretold, the fulfillment of ancient prophecies about the Fated One who will be the ultimate victor over Dark forces. All of Edil-Amarandh is now poised for war. Rebel Schools of Bards whose allegiance to the Light is questionable have turned against their brethren, and the Dark Unamed One gains power daily. Outlawed by the Light because of rebels and pursued by the Dark, Maered and Cadvan undertake a long, perilous journey over sea, land, and ice, both to save their lives and to pursue their quest for the Treesong. The Treesong is a set of mystical runes lost for centuries and believed to be the key to peace between the Dark and the Light. As in the first book, Maered and Cadvan must contend with supernatural beings such as an ondril, stormdogs, hulls, and iridugals, all minions of the Dark. In the midst of mortal danger, Maered struggles with her identity and purpose after discovering that she is human, Bard, and Elidhu, an Elemental spirit force. Croggon's stellar epic fantasy is a compelling blend of superbly developed characters and beautifully rendered descriptions of Edil-Amarandh. A mesmerizing tapestry spun on a magical loom, it is a superb continuation of a series to recommend to all fantasy fans.
KLIATT
The second in the Pellinor fantasy epic, the riddle is the protagonist herself: Maerad, a 16-year-old Bard who is destined to be the Chosen One. An orphan, Maerad has endured slavery and deprivation, and her brother has been captured. Although she wants to reunite with him, Maerad's immediate quest is to pursue the mystery of the Treesong. To this end, she must travel to the far north. Much of the time, the self-contained Bard Cadvan guides her--until he is buried in an avalanche caused by evil spirits. Alone, Maerad has to fend for herself and trust strangers; she also has to learn about her own powers and possible dark side. Time is precious; the over young Bard must solve the riddle before the kingdom is lost in chaos and evil. Although this volume can be read without the first book, Maerad's undercurrent of longing for her brother seems a bit affected without more back story details. The Riddle is basically a questing story, filled with adventure and loss. Competently written, it has a disappointing end since the character doesn't seem to have grown substantially and the conflict is far from resolved. Nevertheless, fantasy readers will probably enjoy this saga, particularly when it is complete (four volumes are projected). The device of translating the saga from the world of Edil-Amerandh may either delight or turn off readers. (The Second Book of Pellinor.). KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Candlewick Press, 490p. map., $17.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Dr. Lesley Farmer
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
Maerad, who was rescued from slavery and became a Bard in Croggon's The Naming (Candlewick, 2005), has her hands full here. Along with her tutor Cadvan, she has been charged with finding the Treesong, a source of power so ancient that nothing but the barest of rumors remain. Their journey is hounded by agents of a treacherous Bard professing to act in the name of the Light and by an enigmatic entity known as the Winterking, an ally of Maerad's adversary, the Nameless One. At the same time, the protagonist struggles to understand the light and darkness within herself. Deep currents of sorrow, loneliness, and love run through this haunting epic fantasy; Maerad's feelings of alienation and self-doubt will resonate with many adolescents. Appendixes help to further flesh out the characters and cultures of Croggon's Edil-Amarandh, an engrossing world that fantasy aficionados will be eager to revisit.
—Christi VothCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Maerad's tale continues, luminous, desperate and bold. She and Cadvan run from the corrupted Light and the ominous Dark, staying with friends and beginning Maerad's formal schooling but dashing off when pursuit gets close. They head north, seeking the obscure Treesong, which holds the mystical answer to a riddle they don't understand. Maerad may hold answers in herself as well, but cryptically. Her full self has three layers: Maerad, former slave and current Bard; Elednor, foretold to confront the black chaos threatening her continent; and something deeper and more powerful, an Elidhu (elemental, possibly pre-mythic) being. Her magery skills are crucial to the quest but not strong enough to elide the Elidhu Stormking, who sends stormdogs, ice creatures, landslides and thugs to kill her protectors and kidnap Maerad. Trapped in the Stormking's seductive castle by both ensorcelment and confusion, Maerad struggles alone to decipher riddles and choose her next step. Croggon's world is rich and passionate, brimming with archetypal motifs but freshly splendorous in its own right. Supremely satisfying. (pronunciation key, rune key, maps, appendices) (Fantasy. YA)
From the Publisher
"I live," said Arkan with a peculiar arrogance as they walked. "And I do not die. The wind lives, the snow lives, the ice lives, the mountains live. Rick and ice have their own voices, their own lives, their own breath, their own pulse. Do you deny them that?"

"No," said Maerad, unable to conceal the sadness in her voice. "But I like flowers."

"I will make you flowers if you desire them."

"They would be flowers of ice. Beautiful, but cold. It wouldn't be the same. But thank you."

They walked in silence for a time through the endless, beautiful corridors, and despite herself Maerad found she was admiring the beauties of Arkan-da with different eyes. The design of the pillars had changed subtly, she thought; she saw flowers within them, all with six petals, but infinitely various and intricate. She was always conscious of the man pacing beside her, although she did not look at him.

"Why do you wish to please me?" she asked, breaking the silence. "You could just as easily cast me into some dark dungeon. What difference would it make to you?"

"It is better if you do not hate or fear me," said Arkan. "Song cannot be made out of hatred and fear. That is what Sharma failed to understand."

"What is needed to make Song, then?"

Arkan turned and looked her full in the face, and Maerad's heart skipped a beat. "Do you not know?" he asked.

Maerad looked down at the floor and watched her feet. She did not want to answer.
_________

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763630157
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/2006
  • Series: Pellinor Series , #2
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 372,148
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.93 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Croggon is an award-winning poet whose work has been published around the globe. She started to write the books of Pellinor when her oldest son, Josh, began to read fantasy, and is currently working on the third and fourth books of the quartet. She lives in Australia.

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Read an Excerpt

"I live," said Arkan with a peculiar arrogance as they walked. "And I do not die. The wind lives, the snow lives, the ice lives, the mountains live. Rick and ice have their own voices, their own lives, their own breath, their own pulse. Do you deny them that?"

"No," said Maerad, unable to conceal the sadness in her voice. "But I like flowers."

"I will make you flowers if you desire them."

"They would be flowers of ice. Beautiful, but cold. It wouldn't be the same. But thank you."

They walked in silence for a time through the endless, beautiful corridors, and despite herself Maerad found she was admiring the beauties of Arkan-da with different eyes. The design of the pillars had changed subtly, she thought; she saw flowers within them, all with six petals, but infinitely various and intricate. She was always conscious of the man pacing beside her, although she did not look at him.

"Why do you wish to please me?" she asked, breaking the silence. "You could just as easily cast me into some dark dungeon. What difference would it make to you?"

"It is better if you do not hate or fear me," said Arkan. "Song cannot be made out of hatred and fear. That is what Sharma failed to understand."

"What is needed to make Song, then?"

Arkan turned and looked her full in the face, and Maerad's heart skipped a beat. "Do you not know?" he asked.

Maerad looked down at the floor and watched her feet. She did not want to answer.

________

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 147 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(109)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 147 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome!

    Words cannot express the wonder of this series! The characters come alive. I never want it to end!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Mesmerizing!

    Book two continues Maerad's story but takes her down a darker road. Her powers are growing but her knowledge and experience are lacking. Her mentor and companion, Cadvan, can only guide her so far. Her journey is sad and sometimes terrifying and Maerad must travel almost to the brink of despair.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    The Best

    This Book was one of the best books i have ever read i think other people can have their own opinions but to any one who likes harry potter Eragon and other fantasy books like those with magic and adventure i would recommend you to read this and the naming and the crow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    Although her writing style still isn't quite what I would expect (after reading some of the praising reviews on bn.com), 'The Riddle' is without a doubt much more captivating than 'The Naming'--partially because (1) they aren't moving from campsite to campsite and eating seeds, bread, and cheese for hundreds and hundreds of pages, and (2) the ongoing development of each character draws in the reader to an almost personal level. It's not one of those books that draws you away from social life from the moment you open it until the second you're forced to turn the last page, but it's definitely kept me company while I've had nothing better to do.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Amazing Book

    In all honesty, I find this book to be better than the first book of the series. This is the first time that I have ever been able to say that about a book-- and there are good reasons behind my statement. "The Riddle" contains just about anything you want. Adventure, a number of fights, a good story, and some hilarious moments if you pay enough attention. But by far, the best part of this book was the author's descriptions of the characters' surroundings. Your breath will be taken away by the beauty of Thorold, the sinister ravines, and the vast mountains. This author is by far the most talented I have ever read when it comes to describing the landscape and towns... The only cons of this book were Maerad's almost unhealthy fixation on her brother, her overwhelming self-pity, the fact that the book started out kind of slow, and the cliche element of 'love' that sneaks in. However, you will enjoy this book nonetheless. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Frankie

    Im not your friend but good riddle dude

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Riddle answer

    The present? It always is but it never was because if it was than it would turn into the past!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    The answer to my last riddle

    Tomorrow. There will always be a tomorrow, but it never was tomorrow. I will post another riddle TOMORROW.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Miles

    Bye I love you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Brightkit

    I sorry i thought that... it was to late her eyes were filled with tears she ran off crying to die bright res one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Jonathan

    Oh yeah!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Nikk

    Exactly. Gtgtb...ill b on after church

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Riddle

    He walked into the bar, saw a shipwreck on the tv, went home, turned on the lighthouse light, and killed himself. He forgot to turn on the light. He worked in a lighthouse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    ......

    Oh...tell another

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Awesome. Very surprising twists and turns and it catches you unexpected.

    Wow. This book was like Poof! Read it, began it, enjoyed it, ended it. Awesome ride! The really really unexpected thing was that Maerad likes the Winterking and Cadvan nearly dies. Whoo! Was scary, that part... Anyway the plot was really well and intricately weaved together, the conflict was way strong and the resolution made sense. The story was just plain terrific.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    MORE

    MORE RIDDLES!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    To comment four

    A fossil?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    An excellent sequel

    If you enjoyed "The Naming" then you will certainly enjoy this sequel. A little much exposition for my taste, but I suppose that is something you notice when re-reading them back to back. This book is a story of a young woman finding who she is, overcoming her fears, and discovering self-acceptance. I thought it was well-written and enjoyable. We are finally seeing Maerad growing into herself. The bit with Cadvan killed me, but I will restrain from any more spoilers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Much better!

    This book was much better than The Naming. The plot which was previously so predictable simply blew me away with unexpected twists and events! The author really collected herself for this installment and made a lackluster beginning into a well developed story. You really get to see a darker side of Maerad as she continues her quest. Aside from a few "Oh, yeah right!" moments, I was pleased with the expansion of the characters and the world they live in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    To riddlemaster

    Second round please

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 147 Customer Reviews

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