The second book in the highly acclaimed Pellinor series Maerad is a girl with a tragic and bitter past, but her powers grow stronger by the day. Now she and her mentor, Cadvan, pursued by both the Light and the Dark, are seeking the Riddle of the Treesong - the key to restoring peace in the ravaged kingdom. Maerad's epic quest continues as she travels from terrifying seas to vast stretches of glacial wilderness, drawn ever closer to her enemy the Winterking - the strongest ally of the Nameless One and the greatest tyrant of them all. Alison Croggon. Alison is an award-winning poet whose work has been published extensively in anthologies and magazines internationally.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Riddle by Alison Croggon. 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.

Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published August 8th by Candlewick Press first published May 2nd More Details Original Title. The Books of Pellinor 2. Maerad of Pellinor , Cadvan of Lirigon. Other Editions Friend Reviews.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Riddle , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.

Start your review of The Riddle. Mar 11, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: a-failed-romance , all-that-buildup-for-nothing , dark-haired-male-entity , the-great-fantasy-road-trip , how-very-original , gothic-fiction , a-fine-romance , actual-chaste-romance-in-ya , whine-and-cheese , because-bad-boys. We begin right where The Naming left off, with Cadvan and Maerad escaping the Edil-Amarandh mainland on a ship bound for the islands.

Among the Islanders they find many allies, but witness frightening omens. On the open sea they are harassed by magic, sent by an entity whom Cadvan identifies as the Winterking. Some of this is her competitive nature and nascent powers. She feels warm and cold at the same time when he looks at her…it bothers her when he spends much time with other women…the mildest criticism of his stings fiercely… When a freak accident that might not have been so accidental happens in the mountains, Maerad assumes Cadvan is dead and begins to wander alone.

Her rambling path will help her learn more about her family and her powers, and eventually lead her into the lair of Arkan the Winterking himself. And he is quite different from what she expected… Content Advisory Violence : Our main characters and their friends are attacked by the forces of the Dark, and fight back with gusto.

Maerad is terribly wounded and captured by Viking-like raiders. Sex : Maerad feels very awkward with the two different men she develops crushes on. Language : Nothing. Substance Abuse : Social wine drinking as befits the pseudo-medieval setting. Nightmare Fuel : Not recommended for people who are afraid of avalanches. The Storm Dog was pretty scary too. Conclusions When I finished The Naming , I figured that Allison Croggon had established her universe and characters and could now move on to more exciting material.

Unfortunately, The Riddle appears to have wandered off course. On the surface, nothing appears to have progressed. Our characters are still wandering with no clear direction. Meanwhile they get pursued by generic agents of evil. In between flights and fights, they sit at the hearths of various allies, eating well and reciting poems lifted from Tolkien and droning about how sad everything is.

In the first book we learned that she has a hard time trusting men, after one tried to rape her in the settlement where she was held as a slave. Even though her teacher has been nothing but kind to and protective of her, she is still a little afraid of him, especially on those occasions when he acts tenderly, and she suspects that he might return her feelings. Arkan sulks so much when Maerad asks him about a Bard who lived hundreds of years ago that she concludes the two must have been romantically involved.

But he claims to love Maerad and proposes to her, and his anguish when she leaves reminds me more than a little of the Beast when Belle left. So this book, while its prose is well-crafted and its main characters likeable and compelling, is a chore to complete. Tolkien could even make the reader believe in kindly lands that were no more, such as the opulent Dwarven Halls of Erebor and Moria.

Each of these places had its own culture and mood; if anything, it was the dark passages between these places that started to blur together. George, cheeky and clever and loyal unto death; Thayet, noble and gracious; Alanna, the spitfire with a heart full of insecurity; Numair, vain and secretive and romantic; Daine, empathetic and feral; Keladry, whose altruism and self-control as a young teen outshine that of most adults.

The overarching storylines are just a way for these lovable folks to interact. Watching them build friendships and rivalries, flirt with each other, and learn from each other is more than worth the admission price. By a wide margin, this wandering mage and his angst-ridden pupil are the best part of this series.

I loved watching the growth of their friendship, in spite of their both being afraid of opening their hearts, in The Naming. I loved the hints of romance in that book, and the stronger ones in this. That is where the emphasis should be. The many moments of friendship and blossoming love between Cadvan and Maerad are enough to carry the first third of the book—sometimes these are even lightly humorous—but after the two are separated, all fun disappears from the story for several hundred pages.

Arkan, while an interesting-enough fellow, lacks a clear motivation. He needed to be highly developed to make up for the Nameless One being traced-over Sauron, but while the Winterking was meant to be enigmatic, he comes off as blank instead.

He reminds me of both Jadis from Narnia and Jareth from Labyrinth , but both of them are much better defined. Cadvan actually cares for all of Maerad—he enjoys her company as a friend, he honors her gifts as a fellow mage, and he cherishes her beauty and heart as a future lover.

When you have a Maxon, a Morpheus, or a Cadvan, the love story is a foregone conclusion, and that is just fine. And the last book appears to be even more wandering around and vague magic words and very little romance. So tell me, friends, is it worth continuing? View all 4 comments. May 16, Kerry rated it it was amazing.

A wonderful second adventure for Maerad and Cadvan as they now search for the Tree Song. A story filled with danger, thrills, death, magic and love.

There are many difficulties for Maerad to overcome and she faces loss, despair, confusion and has to do some deep soul searching to keep herself alive. I can't wait to find out what happens next. A great read and wonderful series. View 2 comments. Aug 30, Rusty's Ghost Engine also known as Review to come. Nov 13, Monica rated it it was ok. 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 I just can't remember all those names, and the descriptions of every little detail of her surround Ugh this series is so hard to get through! I just can't remember all those names, and the descriptions of every little detail of her surroundings got to be too much.

Ok fine because shes 16 or 17 she can be an angsty girl but i still didn't buy her "love" for the winterking given her mistrustful characteristics. I would've liked a much more stripped down version that focused more on dialogue instead of all the surroundings, but oh well. Oh and her reunion with cadvan left much to be desired. The one person who actually protects her and cares for her doesn't get her Love return--at least not enough. I get that it's building up, but come on.


The Riddle: The Second Book of Pellinor

Maerad may hold answers in herself as well, but cryptically. Her full self has three layers: Maerad, former slave and current Bard; Elednor, foretold to confront the black chaos threatening her continent; and something deeper and more powerful, an Elidhu elemental, possibly pre-mythic being. Her magery skills are crucial to the quest but not strong enough to elide the Elidhu Stormking, who sends stormdogs, ice creatures, landslides and thugs to kill her protectors and kidnap Maerad. Supremely satisfying. Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.



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The Riddle

As happens from time to time, I have recently found myself ignoring the copious amount of fantasy books on my shelf. Sometimes it all just gets too much, and I have to revert to my Star Wars novels. However at the completion of Darksaber, I decided to make myself a pile of books that I was to read. On top, was Alison Croggon's The Riddle.

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