The Riddle (Pellinor, #2)
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The Riddle (The Books of Pellinor #2)

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  12,486 ratings  ·  414 reviews
A young woman embraces her power—and her destiny—as the thrilling quest begun in The Naming continues!

Maerad is a girl with a tragic and bitter 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 fractured kingdom erupts in chaos. The quest leads Maerad ov...more
ebook, 528 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by Candlewick Press (MA) (first published November 1st 2004)
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Monica
Ugh this series is so hard to get through! I like the actual story, and I appreciate the amount of work it must've been for the author to create this world--heck coming up with the names alone must've been exhausting--but gosh! It was ridiculously tedious to read. I thought the second installment would've been easier to get through because by then the author had the background laid out, but...nope. I just can't remember all those names, and the descriptions of every little detail of her surround...more
Ticklish Owl
I'm commenting on the entire series as a whole, not just this book.

I liked this series and might read it again at some point. The writing is good, the plot is (mostly) well paced, there are plenty of likable (albeit predictable) characters, and some interesting world/myth building. The appendix in The Singing touches on the background of a few characters. I would have enjoyed it if those details had been integrated into the story.

The problem with the majority of fantasy novels is that they all d...more
Allison
The Riddle starts out exactly where The Naming left off. It is still largely a travel-quest story, but the havens are fewer and the stakes are much higher than before. I found this second installment did not remind me as much of Tolkien as the first. I believe it's because the story leaves the haunted lands of barrows and wights and the enchanted forests, and pursuit by the Dark is less immediate.

The story grows in leaps and bounds, really taking off in its own direction, and Croggon outdoes he...more
Heather
I loved The Riddle, Croggon's second in the Pellinor series, even more than the first. For one, she worked through that tricky issue of pacing that plagued her first book. Admittedly, The Riddle is best read and followed in large chunks of time -- it's not the kind of story that's easy to pick up in little 20 page snatches -- but there's still a much steadier, more enjoyable pace happening here. And second, while Croggon convinced me to give Maerad a chance to be enjoyable in the first book, she...more
Kristen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Recently I decided to re-read the Books of Pellinor series by Alison Croggon. Currently, I am on Book 2 The Riddle. This re-read adventure was mostly inspired by the fact that I had received the final 4th Book in the series as a present at Christmas time and when I finally got around to picking it up to put an end to the series I realized I had no clue what had happened in the previous books. This is one of the reasons I try to shy away from series books until most if not all of the books have a...more
Chris
Christopher Booker’s ‘The Seven Basic Plots’ suggest that the more different archetypal narratives a novel includes the richer it becomes (Booker admires ‘The Lord of the Rings’ for this), and on this basis Croggon’s Pellinor series must be rich indeed. ‘The Riddle’ includes the themes of the Quest, Overcoming the Monster, Voyage and Return and Tragedy, while it is only a matter of time and two more novels before we must surely encounter Rags to Riches, Comedy (in the classical sense) and Rebirt...more
Emily
This particular book had a few more...'boring spots' than the last one, yet was more exciting than The Naming...maybe this is because i like the whole Maerad+Arkan=<3? thing ( but it wasn't profound or a big deal really ).

i liked the fact that this book takes place in an entirely different environment than the last one, seeing Maerad travel through the icy cold of the North and the seas of the...West (i guess)?? I hope the third one will keep that up.

I am also afraid at Maerads moods..is the...more
Dune Elliot
I had enjoyed reading The Naming far better than this book and finished the first pretty quickly, however I just couldn't get into this second of the series.
Croggon continues Maerad and Cadvan's quest but it feels like one LONG continuous journey that really isn't getting anywhere. So much of the book is "let's go here" and then "what we need isn't here, let's go there" and so on. It got to the point where I wanted something important to happen and nothing did. I know that the end of this book i...more
Kelsey Hanson
This series frustrates me. It's only an okay series when it could have been a great series if there was a little better execution. I think I've finally figured out a few things that keep me from loving this novel.

1. This is a big one for me. Every character seems to have the same voice. Regardless of class, culture, age or education level every character speaks like he or she is a high lord/lady. There isn't a whole lot distinction in the ways that these characters communicate with each other a...more
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Wheeler
Finished The Riddle this week and enjoyed it as much as the first book. It was less Tolkien-esque than it's predecessor and really increased the tension in the plot and between the characters. It was a good read and I've already started on Book 3. It's lived up to my expectations so far. Well done.
Eloise Kindred
Mixed feelings about this one. After the first 150 pages I was sorely tempted to give up. The story wasn't progressing and I was getting sick of reading about two characters wandering across varying landscapes while refusing to speak to each other. It felt like I was reading a travel guide instead of a novel.
Then, spectacularly, the story changed and Maerad found herself without Cadvan and forced to continue her quest alone. This is where the story really picked up and I found myself glad I kept...more
Tammie
Amazing series! I just can't get enough of it.
Timmmmy!!!
Alison Croggon does not disappoint with The Riddle, the second book of Pellinor. Picking up where the first book left off she keeps the action going throughout the entire book. In my opinion The Riddle is even better than The Naming. There are some added aspects that allow you to get to know the characters better. This and certain events help make the story more believable. The occasional awkward spots that were in the first book were mostly removed. It is an excellent intriguing book that I wou...more
Kayeb
Yes, it is technically sci fi...but written is such a way that it doesn't seem like it, but then again, bokos written from centuries ago that do call on magery etc, often don't seen that out of the realm of sci fi to me. I liked it as well as the first book and look forward to reading the next two in the series. Vivid descriptions of scenery, and place......and I enjoy the trip to this world.


Maerad is a girl with a tragic and bitter past, but her powers grow stronger by the day. Now she and her...more
Cassy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucy Cokes
Technically, I've given this book 3.5 stars. It's slightly better than The Gift, in the way that Croggon has suddenly realised using clichéd and typical descriptions is highly annoying. There were some phrases throughout the book which I thought were quite clever: 'the air crackled with ice' but I also felt that because they were so short and widely interspersed there was no point in recording them.

As with the first book, it only really gets exiting about 300 or so pages in. I found that with Th...more
Rita
A escrita de Alison Croggon é simples e agradável, mas por vezes é pouco elaborada e bela em demasia, afastando-nos um pouco da história. A descrição excessiva das paisagens e da rotina das personagens mantém-se, acabando por descrever constantemente a mesma coisa, da mesma forma. Isto acaba por tornar várias páginas ao longo do livro, em especial no seu primeiro terço, um bocado monótonas e cansativas, não contribuindo em nada para o desenrolar da narrativa.

Neste livro, tal como em O Dom, é-nos...more
Jessica
Okay wow! That was one crazy ride!
This book sucked me in so that I felt like I was Maerad going through everything that she was going through. It was always nice to be able to step away from the book and go 'oh ya that's not me', but poor Maerad couldn't do that, and for that I have to commend her for it.
This book was so fun, exciting, laughable, sad, scary, and mysterious. I don't know how Maerad kept it together through most of the book. Just shows how strong of a character she is, and who she...more
Katy Rustemeyer
This book was so brilliant. By now you have a total grasp of all the inner workings & spells and the like. Maerad is still traveling, but she knows a lot more about herself now. The Nameless One, The Winter King, & Enkir of Norloch are all after her and Cadvan. I was extremely distraught through huge portions of this book, I just had to keep reading because I just had to know if certain things were true because in my gut I felt they were not. The writing remained its stellar self, you ge...more
Danielle
Another chapter in Maerad's life begins with The Riddle. It picks up where The Naming left off with Maerad and Cadvan traveling to find the meaning of the Treesong hoping to elude the darkness that tracks them on their journey. Within this journey Maerad discovers that to solve the riddle she must wage war within herself and the world around her. Not only does the Dark seek to capture her, but the Light as well. Neither knowing that their very existence could rest on her ability to solve the Rid...more
Rob
Jan 29, 2009 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: Jenny
I'm starting to wonder how these books compare to the Twilight series, in terms of the number of pages about the internal struggles of the female mind and heart. I haven't read the Twilight series, and part of me is regretting reading these. I would much rather have seen Maerad get in a major battle with Arkan than ... inexplicably have strong sexual desires for him? What was that about? And is Arkan gay? These aren't the kind of questions that great books should leave you with. And yet, I gave...more
Erin
All I can say is: thank goodness for the Winterking. He made this novel much more interesting and saved it from receiving a possible 2 or 2.5 star rating. The book starts off immediately following the events of the previous book. And it goes on much as the first book did. Travel, interesting respite, travel. Even though interesting things would crop up every now and again, the book seemed to be following the same formula as the first and it was hard for me to stay interested. But then, about hal...more
Lynn
Today's post is on 'The Riddle' by Alison Croggon and is the second book in the Pellinor quartet . It is published by Candlewick Press. It is 490 including notes and maps. In this series you really need to start at the beginning to understand the story, the first book is The Naming. The intended reader is Young Adult but anyone with a love of high fantasy will like it. There Be Spoilers Ahead.


The story picks up just where it stopped in The Naming with Maerad and Cadvan fleeing from the great bar...more
Kristina
Hmm. So I am wavering between liking and really liking the second installment in the Pellinor series. A lot of the elements I disliked about "The Naming" kind of faded away and Maerad finds herself in circumstances making her more independent. Still, sections do feel inordinately drawn out while others not so much. A journey to one land might span at least fifty pages, but the return is covered in 10? Regardless, the slight change in the journey was interesting. BUT was it frustrating when (view...more
Kiersten
Ahh, even better than the first book! Whereas The Naming sometimes felt a little too structured - like the author was trying to set up a story according to the "guidelines" of classic fantasy - The Riddle was far more original and dealt with more unique ideas and plot twists. The changes in Maerad were really interesting - instead of being the typical, slightly lost-and-in-distress damsel with powers out of her depth that she sometimes came across as in the first book, she's a fallible, irration...more
Shannon
Book 1 The Naming
Book 2 (this one)
Book 3 The Crow - Hem's story
Book 4 The Singing
Little grittier and convoluted than the Naming. Maerad is running for her life, and at the same time trying to reconcile herself to her powers, her destiny, and find out who she is. Things do not go smoothly for Maerad, and I think the author does a marvelous job of demonstrating the stress she is struggling under. Maerad is no Mary Sue character; you can feel her growing and trying, and sometimes failing. She is tr...more
Adela Bezemer-Cleverley
An excellent second book in the series... I missed this. SO GOOD. Yeah, I really have a way with words, don't I?

Anyway, this book was fraught with emotion and action and magic and beauty. One thing of particular significance is: there is an event in the book, about halfway through, that completely wrenched my heart out (I'm not going to say what because I don't want to spoil it). And while I was reading that chapter hungrily and desperately, I found myself thinking, you know what, I think *this*...more
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Pellinor fans!!!: The Riddle Read-A-Long Discussion Questions 18 15 Aug 20, 2012 09:52PM  
Pellinor fans!!!: The Riddle 3 15 Jul 25, 2011 07:26PM  
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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 Naming (The Books of Pellinor, #1) 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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“Love is one of the true mysteries,' he said at last. 'The truest and the deepest of all. One thing, Maerad: to love is never wrong. It may be disastrous; it may never be possible; it may be the deepest agony. But it is never wrong.” 276 likes
“Never be ashamed of your love," he said gently. "The only thing to be ashamed of is denying your love. That is what makes the shadow grow within your heart; that is the darkening of the Light. And we all have many loves.” 37 likes
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