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The Riddle by Alison Croggon

Published by Candlewick Press

Pages: 512

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: 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 over terrifying seas and vast stretches of glacial wilderness, ever closer to the seductive Winterking — ally of her most powerful enemy, the Nameless One. Trapped in the Winterking’s icy realm, Maerad must confront what she has suspected all along: that she is the greatest riddle of all. A sequel to THE NAMING, this second book in a captivating quartet about the ancient world of Edil-Amarandh is a sweeping epic readers won’t soon forget.

A young woman embraces her power — and her destiny — as the thrilling quest begun in THE NAMING continues!

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 Riddle of the Treesong. Through arctic terrain, cavernous mountains and treacherous seas she seeks to solve the riddle and discovers there is more to her than she ever imagined as a slave in Gilman’s Cot.

***Please be warned…there are spoilers ahead!***

First of all I need to mention how powerful Alison Croggon’s writing is. No matter whether you’re a fan of descriptive passages or epic tales, you can’t help being trapped in her world once you’ve begun reading any of the books in this series. I could quite seriously not stop thinking about this (and the last) book until I’d finished reading it, and even then I’m still pondering over it. There’s something about how Croggon writes that immediately transports you to where ever the characters are and makes everything else melt away. (So those with small children to take care of may want to read this while they are sleeping. lol)

That being said, yes, it was extremely descriptive writing and if you aren’t someone who typically enjoys that you may find spots where you want the story to pick up. Not many, but I’m sure it would happen. I, in fact am one of those who enjoys lots of descriptions, if it’s done well and this is absolutely done well. I loved being able to almost visualize a map in my mind of all the places Maerad and Cadvan had been and were going to. It was amazing! Also, the scenes in this chapter of the series are gorgeous and helped me to imagine just what it might be like to travel in Antarctica.

As for the characters, there were so many new characters and quite a few from the first book. I can’t help but mention how upset I was that Cadvan was displaced from the story so early on. I couldn’t help thinking that there was no way he could be dead, especially being such an integral part of Maerad’s existence, but as the story continued I could see how it was necessary for her progression as an individual. Maerad needed the time on her own to decide that this was a task she truly wanted to accomplish. It was interesting to see how she changed with each person she met along the way, from her Aunt and cousin to Inka-Reb and eventually to the Winter King himself. Maerad’s change was marked by each and you could see her determination to accomplish what she’d set out to do grow with each encounter.

I’m thrilled to begin the next story in the series, The Crow, as it’s told by Maerad’s brother Hem and I’m so interested to see this world through a new set of “eyes”. The Riddle was an incredible roller coaster of emotion and adventure that I feel that even those least likely to read a “fantasy” novel would fall in love with it’s telling. Allison Croggon’s story telling is beautiful and the Books of Pellinor open your eyes to an entirely new world you’ve never seen before. Brilliant characters, an epic quest and an incredible world make this another wonderful addition to the Books of Pellinor series and one that shouldn’t be missed. One of my favorite reads of the year.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 14 and up. An epic story filled with adventure, riddles and love. One that readers of all types will enjoy and think about for days after reading.

This book was provided for review by the publisher, Candlewick Press. Thank you! Find them on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about their fantastic books!
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13 Responses to Book Review: The Riddle by Alison Croggon

  1. Heidi says:

    I had a hard time getting in to The Riddle but once I did I could’t put it down! I loved these books 🙂 Great review!

    • That’s what I’ve heard from quite a few people. It definitely is a little slower starting than The Naming, but I completely agree that you can’t put it down once you’re into it. SO good!

  2. Lily says:

    I absolutely loved these books!! I wrote about them here:

    http://neverfadingwood.blogspot.com/2007/09/books-of-pellinor.html

    A truly fantastic series. I’m not a fantasy reader, but I read these books on the recommendation of my daughter. I really enjoyed the writing style of Croggon, she is a first-rate writer, and I hope there is more which comes from her soon!

    • It’s funny because I wouldn’t characterize myself as a “fantasy reader” either, but these were so engulfing it didn’t matter. You can’t help but be immersed!

      I’m dying to see what else Croggon comes up with! I’ve heard her chatting that it may be a dystopian novel, which I would absolutely love!

      I’ll stop by soon to see what you wrote about the books very soon! 😉

  3. Gina says:

    Hmm…sounds a bit too epic perhaps for my taste, but I love how you put the author’s writing technique….how it traps you within the pages and passages. Very moving. Great review!

  4. Ooooo sounds awesome 🙂 I want it 🙂

  5. Love this quartet. But wasn’t very pleased when I finished The Crow and realised that the story was hanging. There was no ending!! At that time this series was advertised as a trilogy. It took a few years of waiting before the final book came out. The fourth book in a trilgoy 😀 …By the time The Singing came out, I’ve forgotten the story already. I was pissed off! But Croggon has a very nice “author’s voice”.

    • Oh no! That would definitely be tragic! I can’t believe it was originally only going to be just 3 books (kind of funny it’s now four), but I’m so glad they extended it! I’m dying to get to the end and see where it all ends up. You’ll have to pick it up again soon!

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Miracle Mind Pub and hannah harlow. hannah harlow said: Loved these books. RT @the1stdaughter The Books of Pellinor by @alisoncroggon? You NEED to read them! http://bit.ly/dH54Gn #yalit […]

  7. Suey says:

    Okay, you’ve officially made me not want to give up!

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