Ryan's Reviews > The Naming

The Naming by Alison Croggon
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Mar 27, 08

Read in March, 2008

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. Then she meets a man in the cow barn who no one else can see - again, she has unusual qualities and they become more and more obvious and important - and he helps her escape. They face a perilous journey through dark lands together. She learns about the Light, the Dark, and a host of other things, that lead her to the discovery of her own place in this world. She is, it turns out, the One of a prophecy and her fate is to save the world.

The book is well written and the mythology, language and culture of this world are convincing. The author deals well with the loss of the security of the known that all young adults must cope with as they move from childhood to adulthood. The loss is all the more difficult for Maerad because she was late to discovering the security that childhood should provide. Simply adjusting to the new perspective of adulthood is difficult enough without having bills and broken cars and other responsibilities thrown at you - or being the fated savior of the world.

A bit too much romance for me - but well done and not desperate and negating. I am sad when a young woman can't simply be friends with men - in real life or in literature. But no bee-training. Maerad comes into her powers gradually and fairly believably.

It is part of a series and it seems worth reading the next one.
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