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The Naming (The Books of Pellinor, #1)
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The Naming (The Books of Pellinor #1)

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  15,764 ratings  ·  1,116 reviews
Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child after her family is destroyed in war. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful gift, one that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfold. Now she ...more
Paperback, 492 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Candlewick Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Elias As of where I'm at in the book, yes- if you enjoyed it a lot, that is, because you never specified how much you enjoyed it, although you implied to…moreAs of where I'm at in the book, yes- if you enjoyed it a lot, that is, because you never specified how much you enjoyed it, although you implied to like it a great deal. But yes, this book is excellent. The story is lovely and Alison Croggon's writing is simply astonishing. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hope
I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading the next book. It is a fairly standard fantasy story - orphan is rescued from a horrible life and is found to be the holder of great power and the possible savior of the nation/world. There are bad guys and treachery and so on. It is a bit uneven in places and there is a bit more repetition that I would like, but otherwise quite good.

My biggest quibble is not with the book but with the many reviewers, here and elsewhere, who compare it to
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Alice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan
-- The Pellinor Series -- (5.5/10) The Naming (Book One)

I found Alison's writing to be rather obvious, full of clichés, and on the whole unsatisfying. When one of the main protagonists almost died, I found myself indifferent as the main characters were of a relatively uninteresting sort. Her analogies were overused (e.g., "eyes as wide as saucers"). The conversations seem contrived, and the emotional state of being of her protagonists are volatile and explicitly stated rather then revealed by th
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Debbie
This book is very slow paced. Most of it is a travel log of the scenery, and the level of detail is much more than is needed. Any potential tension is completely lost in these sections.

I didn't feel like I knew or understood the world very well by the end. We're told a great deal about the landscape, a bunch of intricate but insignificant objects (furniture, etc.), and some ancient history, but very little about the current history and politics which are supposedly driving the character's action
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Becky
I truly loved reading this book, and I re-read it constantly. The plot is teased out through out the book in an expert manner with characters that are believable and loveable. With so many twists and revelations it would be easy for a lesser writer to waver, and yet The Naming (or The Gift as I know it in the UK) is an amazing work of fiction which captures my imagination and heart every time I read it.
A once slave is liberated from her morbid life and thrown head first into a battle between go
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Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
So, I'm going through my reviews right now to make some of them less trollish and whatnot, since when I was 15 I apparently didn't really know how to review books (or bother to capitalize, punctuate, etc.). Anyway ... sadly, I can't do a very good review for this book because I no longer remember it very well. I only remember that it just couldn't hold my interest very well. I really wanted to like it because one of my best friends loves the series ... but, well, she is into epic fantasy and I'm ...more
Marya
The pace is not too slow, but not too quick. The characters are not too bland, but not too unique. The writing is good but not great. But instead of being the baby bear of fantasy novels, this one ended up being very run of the mill. I felt like I'd read the story before (the danger of reading too much in one genre), with nothing in this book making it really stand out. I eventually got bored with it and stopped reading about two thirds through.
Mekerei
"Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in ar. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful Gift, a Gift that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfolds. Now, she and her teacher Cadvn must survive a perilous journey through a time and place where the dark forces they battle with st ...more
Allison
The Naming is a traditional style fantasy with many familiar fantasy elements that are regardless fresh (to my mind), although others might not think so. This is an epic tale of the sort that made me love fantasy in the first place, and I can't say I mind the nostalgia for classic fantasy that this familiarity evokes.

In many ways it did remind me of the LOTR - in the formal tone of the language, the songs, the descriptions of nature (particularly woods), the mood that presses in on you from the
...more
honeybee
Feb 20, 2014 honeybee rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers
Not only was I seduced by the pretty uk version cover of this book (which i listened to in a pricey audio format) but it came highly recommend, so I really wanted to like this book and its fair to say I did like this book...
but only for a little while.

I liked this book very much at the start. The setting in particular. One cant help but wonder how our young Maerad, will escape and what clever way she will find to do so. I found myself imagining the slave settlement a bit like the setting in the
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Ryan
The Naming is from the "coming of age" genre, but is more the "I've gotten through puberty and now am trying to figure out who I am and it would be easier if I were someone magical or famous or something other than I am now". I suppose it is a book of self-discovery, though that isn't quite right either.

The story is fairly straightforward and Potterian. Maerad is an orphan slave girl with some unusual qualities that have kept her from being victimized as most of the young female slaves are. The
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Kumakani
Jul 08, 2012 Kumakani rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone really into high fantasy
Recommended to Kumakani by: Good reviews
I admit, I kind of judged a book by its cover with this one. The cover art was pretty and the spine design was also pretty. The blurb on the back cover made the book sound intriguing and I went home and read reviews. The reviews for this book were mostly positive, so I thought, "Hey, why not?"

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. READ AT OWN RISK.

In a word, this book is: boring. So extremely slow-going. The book clocks in at nearly 500 pages. While fantasy is known for its longer books, I've read some books where
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Sheena
Aug 20, 2008 Sheena rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter
I found this book by chance at the university book store and cannot express how happy I am that I did! I have been craving a good series since the end of Harry Potter and this book definitely got me hooked.

This is a fantasy/adventure novel that reminds me in many ways of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However in this series you have the young Bard, Maerad, as the heroine who follows the classic plot line of a "diamond in the rough" destined to save her world from the utter destruction of the Nam
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Beckett
The Naming has some great adventure and I like the characters, though they're not as developed as I'd like. It felt like this book was more of an introduction to the coming books, a setting of the scene introducing the many characters and the conflict. It's a sloooow-moving book, to be sure.
Nice vocabulary but an overuse of exclamation points! And you know how I am biased towards those who overuse exclamation points! This is a book for adolescents... I wonder how well it goes over with them. The
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Shoujo85
** This is just a QUICK REVIEW of my thoughts on the book **

Largely boring and very typical: orphan girl of mysterious parentage discovers she has magical powers, is shunned by her peers, goes on a journey with traveling mage/warrior and lives at his house. Maybe not quite exactly, but I remember it was very cliché, largely uninteresting and the journey went on FOREVER (“look at this tree, there's another tree, oh see another tree”). Gave it up as not worth reading; couldn't understand why every
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Katrina
I give 3 1/2 stars to this fun read for fantasy lovers. The story is engaging and well written, despite one scene where the characters are running downstairs and, strangely, have to take a breather!

I have to disagree with a review stating that it was another Lord of the Rings with a heroine instead of a hero. Both create a complicated and interesting world, which the main characters are forced to journey through. However, some details in The Naming are unnecessary, which wasn't the case in Lord
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Daria
It was what many made it out to be. A very, very, very, very, detailed world with a very, very, very, very detailed history, sporting some very, very, very, very long appendices (which I hadn't bothered to read). What I enjoyed most were Croggon's poems; she is indeed talented in that area. Her characters were allright - stereotypical, but allright. Most of the time her long descriptions rolled off me like water, and my impatience would cause my eyes to jump to the bottom of the next page. (And ...more
Shaun Duke
The Naming is the beginning of Alison Croggon's well received Books of the Pellinor, a young adult fantasy trilogy centered around the land of Edil-Amarandh. Reading through the appendices reveals that Edil-Amarandh precedes Atlantis as a mythical continent that simply disappeared (presumably, of course, this is all Croggon's creation, but at least it's an interesting way to bring the Books of the Pellinor to the real world). As the first book in a trilogy it does a fine job establishing the plo ...more
Rachael
Really beautifully written fantasy. It felt very familiar - in some ways it was disappointing to read essentially the same story as so many others. Mysterious bard with secrets he won't share, a prophecy of a chosen one that will do the impossible and bring down the gathering darkness. Even a magical kingdom that doesn't want to be discovered. Honestly, this is less an issue of originality and more a reflection of the archetypal qualities of fantasy in general. So this is a GREAT version of the ...more
Marie
Jun 11, 2008 Marie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who enjoy description, have big imaginations,and who enjoy building crescendos of action
Recommended to Marie by: Melissa, who had the book recommended by a co-worker
This book borders on a 3 star and 4 star for me, so in truth, a 3.5.

The story is about Maerad, who we meet as a slave in Gilman's Cot. Maerad wasn't always a slave though. She was born in a place called Pellinor, but Pellinor was ransacked and lost, and she and her mother were taken as slaves. Maerad knows there is something special about her, and uses it to start stories about how she is a witch to keep potential trouble away. One day, a man comes into Gilman's Cot. A man no one else can see. H
...more
Abbie
This was a dull, uninteresting mass of dull, interesting characters who went on dull, unoriginal adventures. 500 pages. It was basically 500 pages. And I was SO BORED.

You know, usually I look down on people who say that a book is 'boring' or that they are 'bored.' I just want to be like, "You are five years old and have no attention span. Stop writing such un-sophsticated reviews."

However, I have nothing to say for this... except that I was so freaking bored. The characters were one-note and, w
...more
Kerith
May 31, 2012 Kerith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
If you are as steeped in Tolkien as I am this book is going to sound REALLY familiar. Somehow, I didn't mind that this time -- usually it causes me to look for something else to read -- I fell completely under the spell of her beautiful writing and storytelling, and fell in love with her characters more than once. And it was rather fun to be reading on and on and suddenly recognize Galadriel and Lothlorien under a new form, or snicker a bit when her versions of the Nazgul show up, and wonder whe ...more
Rachel
This fantasy story, though unremarkable in plot, shines through poetic description and a likable, realistic heroine.

From reading other reviews I see that many readers were put off by the auhtors' steady pacing and detailed descriptions, but I found both refreshing. Language is Croggon's strong point, and it shows.

Also refreshing to me was Croggon's realistic portrayal of a heroine and all the issues that come with being a female "Chosen One". Sheroes are a dismal minority in the world of teen f
...more
Mwalimu Oduol
The plot of the book was good, if a little repetitive, i mean we've all read one those "hero of legend types book" where the chosen one appears from some unexpected place and takes up the responsibility of saving the world.

Despite this, i rather enjoyed following maerad and Cad van's journey across Annar, and shall definitely finish off the other two..or is it three books in the series.

The travelling bits were a tad bit annoying and occupied large segments of the book which i found totally not c
...more
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Granted I read this book during my recent move so I read it in bits and pieces. That may be negative or positive as I am not sure I could have gotten through all 466 pages without breaks. It was pretty slow but not to the point where I thought about not finishing it. I guess I kept waiting for something to happen and not sure that it did. It is pretty much a journey of a Bard, as this book calls them, which is a sort of a mage and a young woman who had been a slave until he discovered her and kn ...more
Glenda
Oct 18, 2008 Glenda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
Imagine if Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce run into each other at Target and decide to collaborate on a book. "Hey," one says, "You know who would be great for the lore and then language and all that stuff?"
"Tolkien?"
"Yeah. You got his cell?"
This is what they'd write. Loved it.
Adam Veeser-Johnston
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren
I've reread this a couple of times now. I love the premise of the series, set as a faux-historical translation of texts from an imaginary ancient civilization, complete with footnotes and references.

The story of The Naming (more so than the other two currently published in the series) is reminiscent of the Harry Potter series: a young girl possessing magical powers she doesn't know she has is prophesied to be the One who will defeat the Dark Lord (okay, okay, the Nameless One, Sharma, same diff
...more
Heather
Best. Random. Find. At a used bookstore. Ever.

Seriously, I think I've said before, I'm not the kind of girl who will suffer through the sort of adventure fantasies that require maps, language guides, and 30 pages of introduction to the local produce. I'm looking for worlds that are introduced to us with a simple, crisp brevity. And yet, despite the fact that Croggon's novel starts with a nearly inscrutable map, and ends with pages of unnecessary Appendices on her invented world of Annar, I absol
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Muphyn
'The Gift' started off so strong with an interesting and likable heroine, Maerad, held as a slave in a dark settlement who is unaware of her powers, creepy half-shadows, bards with magical powers, and an arduous journey to safety across barren lands.

But then... too many parallels to other fantasy novels emerged (I couldn't but think of Lord of the Rings most of the time, and also felt vaguely reminded of Harry Potter here and there), overly descriptive and detailed scenes followed, and events th
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: solved it was the pellinor series [s] 1 14 Jun 28, 2014 04:33PM  
if this were made in to a movie would it be better then harry potter 20 67 Jan 04, 2014 04:06AM  
The Readers Society: The Naming 8 8 Jul 04, 2013 11:08AM  
Is this part of the Pellinor Series? 3 60 Jan 29, 2013 08:02AM  
Pellinor fans!!!: Read A Long Schedule 13 26 Feb 19, 2012 12:09PM  
The Naming 6 73 Jan 30, 2012 06:00AM  
Pellinor fans!!!: Read-A-Long Questions 60 16 Jan 29, 2012 06:19PM  
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Born in 1962, Alison Croggon is one of a generation of Australian poets which emerged in the 1990s. She writes in many genres, including criticism, theatre and prose.

Alison Croggon is the author of the young adult fantasy quartet, The Books of Pellinor. The first volume was nominated in two categories in the Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction in December 2002 and nam
...more
More about Alison Croggon...
The Riddle (The Books of Pellinor, #2) The Singing (The Books of Pellinor, #4) The Crow (The Books of Pellinor, #3) The Books of Pellinor: #1-4 Black Spring

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