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THE RIDDLE by Alison Croggon Kirkus Star

THE RIDDLE

The Second Book of Pellinor

By Alison Croggon

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-3015-2
Publisher: Candlewick

Maerad’s tale continues, luminous, desperate and bold. She and Cadvan run from the corrupted Light and the ominous Dark, staying with friends and beginning Maerad’s formal schooling but dashing off when pursuit gets close. They head north, seeking the obscure Treesong, which holds the mystical answer to a riddle they don’t understand. 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. Trapped in the Stormking’s seductive castle by both ensorcelment and confusion, Maerad struggles alone to decipher riddles and choose her next step. Croggon’s world is rich and passionate, brimming with archetypal motifs but freshly splendorous in its own right. Supremely satisfying. (pronunciation key, rune key, maps, appendices) (Fantasy. YA)