Croggon, Alison. The Naming. Candlewick Press, 2005. ISBN 0763626392. $17.99. 466 p.
Reviewer: Lillian H. Heil
Reading Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy fiction;
Subject: Magic--Juvenile fiction; Identity--Juvenile fiction; Orphans--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
This first book of a projected foursome is an excellent introduction to Maerad, Cadvan and their battle to save the land of Lirigon. In The Naming, orphaned Maerad is rescued from slavery by Cadvan, one of the bards of Lirigon. He recognizes Maerad's gift for magic and teaches her, as best he can, how to control it, but her powers are still wild and uncontained. Eventually Maerad comes to recognize her power, but is still not sure how to use it. Croggon ends the book with a cliffhanger: Maerad and Cadvan flee from the most powerful bard of Pellinor who has corrupted the school of the bards--a huge monster about to overtake them.
Croggon's unique heroine provides constant surprises. The plot is fast paced, the villains are exceedingly evil and the battle between good and bad is monumental.
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