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The Singing: The Fourth Book of Pellinor (Pellinor Series) Hardcover – February 24, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—In this concluding volume in the quartet, Maerad and her brother Hem face war, flood, and plague as they try to find one other and defeat the Nameless One. Now they have half of the lost Treesong, the powerful magic song known only in legend and prophecy. Both of them have bardic magic, and they are pushed to the limits of their endurance and abilities as they face an enticing and almost overwhelmingly powerful enemy. The grim tone here, particularly as Maerad begins to perceive horrific visions from the past, is consistent with the sense of imminent danger, and Croggon brings together a variety of elements and characters from the previous volumes to build to a compelling confrontation. Her device of presenting the novels as the translation of an epic from a lost civilization allows her to present details about the lives of the characters after the conclusion of the story and provide background information. While not a starting point for new readers, fans of the series will enjoy seeing the final stage of Maerad's transformation from a slave to her world's savior, and they will once again be drawn into this complex and gripping tale.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
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From Booklist

In the fourth and final book of the Pellinor quartet, the primary focus shifts back from Hem to his sister, Maerad, the series’ heroine. After saving Innail from a desperate attack by the forces of evil, Maerad and her mentor, Cadvan, set out once more on their quest to solve the riddle of the treesong. Maerad and Hem reunite to set their talismans and powers against the increasingly menacing forces of evil. From the refinement of character development to the dramatic portrayal of impending doom, the clearly written narrative creates a fitting conclusion to this epic high-fantasy series. Grades 7-12. --Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Series: Pellinor Series (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st Us Edition edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763636657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763636654
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Croggon writes in many genres, including criticism, theatre and prose. She is the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy quartet, The Books of Pellinor. The first volume, The Gift, was nominated in two categories in the Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction in December 2002 and named one of the Notable Books of 2003 by the Children's Book Council of Australia. The US edition, The Naming, was judged a Top Ten Teen Read of 2005 by the editors of Her new novel, Black Spring, is due for publication in 2012. In 2009, she was named Geraldine Pascall Critic of the Year for her theatre criticism. She is a prize winning poet, described by the Australian Book Review as "one of the most powerful lyric poets writing today."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By G. Ouimet on September 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Young adult fantasy writers of today often shy away from the complicated, Old World, epic writing introduced to readers as a genre with Lord of the Rings. Alison Croggon, however, has captured my full attention in this stunning, post-Tolkien, fantasy that does draw elements from Middle Earth, but twists them uniquely to create something wholly different and equally as enthralling. The similarities are evident; Croggon's Hulls bear an amazing resemblance to the renowned Ring Wraiths, and there are only a certain number of ways you can convey an epic good-versus-evil fantasy battle sequence. However, when you put the similarities aside and focus solely on Croggon's abilities as a fantasy novelist, you find yourself fully engrossed in the captivating tale relayed in the Pellinor series.

Book 2, The Riddle, left us wondering what was to become of Maerad and Cadvan, and Book 3, The Crow opened with Hem-- and continued to track his exploits. That said, it was an immense relief to get back to Maerad's story and the opening battle of Innail does not fall shy of the appropriate amount action for a story line this epic. The novel's center is almost primarily devoted to Hem and his rather unfortunate trials-- a risky move for the plot, considering the weight and anticipation surrounding Maerad's quest--which, although they are entertaining, should not be as much a focal point of the book as they are.

Croggon tries very hard to make this novel deeper than the others, and achieves this somewhat with pages of Maerad's emotional and mental struggles with herself, her powers, and everyone who tries to get into her head. The absence of dialogue is pleasant and poetic, and Croggon uses her talents as a poet to their full extent in clever passages, songs, and snippets of Bardic lore.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Duffy on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
I fell in love with The Naming and all the characters left me breathless. Alison created such a wonderful and real world that it really was wonderful to read. The Riddle was a great sequal and I liked the Crow though that was my least favorite because I missed Maerad and Cadvan's point of view.

Now The Singing: The writing was superb. The first half of the book I loved the battles and catching up with Hem, Saliman, and meeting Hekibel was a treat.
The second half I was a LITTLE disappointed with. I felt Maerad became all powerful and I wanted a big fight. Kind of Lord of the Rings style stunning battle...but that's ok. I felt too much time was devoted to Hem and Saliman and not enough to Maerad and Cadvan. Also I didn't like how Cadvan took a back seat. I wanted to see him and saliman fight the Hulls and not having Maerad take a deep breath thus destroying them...sigh. The time that we did have with Cadvan and Maerad they were always arguing and that was frustrating to read after awhile. I wanted them to be married like Saliman and Hekibel. I felt the ending left me wanting just a little more closure. And I wanted to see them KISS! Not reading it in her memory.

But believe it or not those complaints didn't turn me away from the novel. Those are more like minor annoyances ;-). There were many parts I did love. I love the fact that Maerad and Cadvan did get together and none of my favorite characters died *phew*. I loved getting to know Hekibel and Saliman some more. I loved the tension between Cadvan and Maerad well romantic tension. And again Alison's beautiful writing style just took my breath away! :-) Excellent series Alison look forward to your future writings! Get the Singing you won't regret it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A.S. Blosser on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I reread the entire series before I picked up the newest book (yes, I know it's been out for a while, but I didn't have time to read it), and thoroughly enjoyed it. This final book didn't let me down. While it doesn't have the thrill of the first book, where Maerad was new to everything, it is still a wild ride. One thing I love about these books is how well Croggon writes, and this book is no exception. I love her language, and she makes an enjoyable plot that much better.


One thing I didn't like was that the romances in the book felt a bit contrived. I think most people who had read the books knew that Maerad and Cadvan would end up together, but it seemed just a little contrived. And the insertion of Hekibel into the plot as an interest for Saliman was just sort of "meh".


Otherwise, it was a fantastic ending to the series. This is definitely a quartet that I'm going to read again and again, and I look forward to seeing what else Croggon writes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was absolutely wonderful. Croggon's style has always captivated me, and I greatly respect her ability to write young adult fiction with such colorful, flowing language and attention to detail. While this book is not necessarily perfect what with the sometimes dragging pace and Maerad's characters shifts and mood swings which at times could seem a bit unbelievable, overall, I fell in love with this book. Croggon's style is poetic and, even if her books lend themselves to a slower pace, they are absolutely lovely.

Despite its flaws, if you enjoy a solid, beautifully written book with a touch of poetic language and engaging characters, I highly recommend Croggon's wonderful series.
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