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

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  20,250 Ratings  ·  1,319 Reviews
Note: Published as The Gift in Australia.

Australian poet Alison Croggon brings an eye for sensual detail to this heroic fantasy that follows the genre's familiar formula: A humble person is caught up in extraordinary events and led (or sent) on a journey by a wise figure, only to discover eventually that he/she is destined to save the world in an ultimate confrontation bet
Paperback, Australian Edition, 465 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Penguin Books Australia
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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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Apr 10, 2010 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2007 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2008 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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
Jun 19, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
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
Jul 26, 2008 Marya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fantasy
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.
Jul 08, 2012 Kumakani rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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?"


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
Jan 31, 2009 Mekerei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
May 22, 2016 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have gone straight onto Book 2 in the series.
A tale of a young woman rescued from slavery, who is found to be someone special with hidden talents. Her rescuer helps her find out who she is and to develop her skills and talents. Their journey is arduous, thrilling and fraught with danger at times.
A thrilling magical fantasy story and a great start to the series.
I LOVED these books. If I could give them 10 stars, I would. The writing was BEAUTIFUL. I have never felt so at home in a book before as I felt in these. Rich, vibrant descriptions and characters and amazing story!!
Feb 20, 2014 honeybee rated it it was ok  ·  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
Mar 27, 2008 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Catherine Ford
Aug 06, 2015 Catherine Ford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book had a very old-fashioned feel to it. By that I mean it was written in a similar fashion to Lord of the Rings. I quite enjoyed it. Full review to come!
This was an interesting series to me when I read it. It contained intriguing characters and despite having been set in the YA fiction section it read more like it was targeted at a slightly older readership. Its monsters, its world, its villains and its prophecies were like The Lord of the Rings but were their own creature.

I still remember the creatures that were so well described. And the idea of how the titular character's gift worked was fascinating compared to magic systems I've encountered
Shaun Duke
Dec 25, 2008 Shaun Duke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2008 Sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2016 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically every fantasy owes its existence to Lord of the Rings, but some take it to a whole new level. The Naming is straight up LOTR with Chosen One plot. Most of the characters and settings have direct parallels to LOTR, and not even in the archetype-way. You can say that Dumbledore and Gandalf fill the same mold, but Lady Ardina and Galadriel are the same person. Also Hulls are Black Riders. And Nameless One? Psssshhhaw his name is Sauron. And Cadvan's past comes beat for beat from Wizard of ...more
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
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
2.5 stars

This one's going to be a tough one to review!

This book was very well written with incredible world building and even an appendix at the back explaining the history of the world further. Which I liked as I always love to get into a good fantasy world, but I felt things could have been edited down a bit. Like the descriptions, I felt this book described non-magical everyday situations in far too much detail when only a brief description was needed. I also felt the characters could have h
Nov 30, 2011 Shoujo85 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
** 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
Tanto viaje cansa. Incluso al lector.

Ojalá este desarrollo cambie para las próximas entregas.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Jun 14, 2009 colleen the convivial curmudgeon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coworker
Recommended to colleen the convivial curmudgeon by: People who like LotR-lite
I'm being generous by giving this book 3 stars. I think it's probably more of a 2 1/2, and that's only because it did get better at the end.

The keyword for this book is slow. Everything about this book is very slow paced. Now, I don't always mind a slower pace, as long as we're given something to fill up that time. If it's a slow book plot wise, but has interesting characters and character development, then I can be ok with that. But we don't really learn a lot about the characters. What we do l
Aug 30, 2009 Daria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 11, 2008 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2012 Abbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 15, 2011 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Pellinor fans!!!: Cadvan of Lirigon 27 65 Dec 14, 2014 10:01AM  
What's The Name o...: solved it was the pellinor series [s] 1 18 Jun 28, 2014 04:33PM  
if this were made in to a movie would it be better then harry potter 18 78 Jan 04, 2014 04:06AM  
What's The Name o...: Story with a powerful mage girl and a harp. [s] 5 45 Nov 19, 2013 08:50AM  
The Readers Society: The Naming 8 10 Jul 04, 2013 11:08AM  
Is this part of the Pellinor Series? 3 62 Jan 29, 2013 08:02AM  
  • The Waterless Sea (The Chanters of Tremaris, #2)
  • Fire Arrow (The Songs of Eirren, #2)
  • Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2)
  • The Seer and the Sword (Healer and Seer, #1)
  • Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2)
  • Blade of Fire (The Icemark Chronicles, #2)
  • Close Kin (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #2)
  • Forging the Sword (The Farsala Trilogy, #3)
  • The Bonemender's Oath (The Bonemender, #2)
  • Daughter of the Flames (Ruan, #1)
  • Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)
  • The Far West (Frontier Magic, #3)
  • The Safe-Keeper's Secret (Safe-Keepers, #1)
Like Alison's Facebook Author Page for updates and for details on forthcoming books.

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 named one of the Notable Books of 2003 by the Children's Book Council of Australia.
More about Alison Croggon...

Other Books in the Series

The Books of Pellinor (4 books)
  • The Riddle (The Books of Pellinor, #2)
  • The Crow (The Books of Pellinor, #3)
  • The Singing (The Books of Pellinor, #4)

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