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    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    The Naming by Alison Croggon
    Maerad, a slave living a poor excuse for an existence, is discovered and rescued by the wandering bard, Cadvan, when he perceives something special about her. As he begins to learn who she is and discover her powers, he becomes convinced that she is a necessary player in defeating the Dark, one of whom legend foretold. He takes her to a barding city and school, where for a short week she is taught in the ways of the Bards. But there is trouble, distrust, and divisions among the bards, and they leave, on their way across the perilous land to Norloch to meet the head Bard and be given her bard name so she can be truly trained in all of her powers. It's a journey full of danger, desperation, and hidden truths, and Maerad begins to learn the extent of her powers and, her true history, and part of what her future holds.
    The first of a coming quartet (three have been published so far), this is a wonderful introduction to a very promising epic fantasy. The writing is lyrical, the adventure is intense, the battle between Light and Dark is dangerous, and everything else is honest and magical. Anyone who's been following the blog will know that around the holiday season, I love to curl up with heavy, engrossing epic fantasy tales -- this one did not disappoint. Good vs evil, magic, creatures and beasts, music, learning, danger, questing.... I've finished the first and can't wait to begin the second, have the third on order, and hope that Alison Croggon gets the fourth published soon!

    For more fantasy reads, visit the More Than Magic Mirrors site.

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