Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Review: The Singing by Alison Croggon
Before I begin my review, let me first apologize (again!) for not being around the blogosphere much lately. I've been packed with school work and other important things and haven't gotten around to reading much, or writing reviews. So while this review might be a bit shorter than most of my reviews, it doesn't mean I didn't love the book (I think this is my favorite of the 4 Books of Pellinor!). I really want to get my review written before I forget to say everything I want to say, so here goes.
The Singing is the last of the 4 Books of Pellinor in Alison Croggon's phenomenal saga that takes place in a fictional ancient world. Maerad, the chosen, must save the world from the Dark forces that are close to destroying all that is good. Her ever faithful friend Cadvan is with her every step of the way. While the first two books were mainly just about Maerad and Cadvan's journeys and the third about Maerad's brother Hem and his guardian Saliman, book four jumps back and fourth between all the main characters. It is in this book that they must again find each other and unite the tree song. Will they succeed?
As I've said in reviews of the previous books of Pellinor, I don't usually read young adult books (and I'm very picky about the YA I do read), but I absolutely adore the Pellinor books. They are a definite must-read. I put off reading this last book for ages because I love the characters and the story so much that I couldn't bare to say goodbye. I'm happy to report that I LOVED the ending, and something happened that I very much had been hoping for since the beginning of the saga. Read the books to find out what I mean ;)
The characters were further developed in this last book, which I loved. We got to see more of Maerad's powers, but we also got to see her at her most vulnerable. There were times when I was really doubting if Maerad could save the day because of her own fears and doubts of herself. Cadvan comes through to the end as the faithful friend. He's with Maerad through thick and thin, and won't leave her even when his own life is at stake. Hem has definitely grown, and I loved how his relationship with Saliman grew into something even more meaningful. I loved the new characters that showed up in this book as well. Hekibel, a traveling performer who joins Hem and Saliman, was a great addition to the already awesome cast. As always, Irc the bird was great comic relief.
Being the last book in a series about a long quest to save the world, this book was very emotional. There were times when I was close to crying, and there was one particular part where I did actually cry (if you've read the book, I'm sure you know what part I mean!). To me, crying in a book really shows how well the author wrote the characters. I got to know and love these characters so much, and their sorrow became my sorrow. Their happiness became my happiness.
This is a must-read for anyone who loves long, epic stories. I really love how Croggon portrays these books as long lost scrolls of a civilization now forgotten. It adds to the story, I think, and makes it very unique. Her writing is again beautiful.
And now for my two favorite quotes:
-From The Song of Maerad, Itilan of Turbansk (Section: Return): "I will arise, and he will be shakn where he stands, and his sword will be shivered in the dust, For he is blind and knows nothing of love, and it will be love that defeats him."
-Page 161: This next passage for me showed the peril that the characters were in, but also showed their strength and their friendship. It's probably not nearly as meaningful when taken out of context, but still. It gave me chills when I read it :) "Even as he spoke, they both heard the wing beats that heralded another wave of wers. Their eyes met. 'I have always hoped for too much,' said Indik. 'I will say at the Gates, whenever I get there, tonight or some other night in the far future, that sometimes that hope was answered. But even if Maerad manages to stop the death cold, I fear we are too weakened to hold back the Landrost now.' Cadvan nodded, and saluted Indik with his sword. 'It has always been an honor to know you, my friend,' he said. 'And you, my friend,' said Indik."
Title: The Singing, The Fourth Book of Pellinor
Author: Alison Croggon
Date of Publication: 2008
Number of Pages: 454
Source: Personal Copy