The Bone Queen[ edit ] A prequel, published in The promising young Bard Cadvan summons a revenant, the Bone Queen, which causes him to be exiled. Cadvan and his friend Dernhil the poet must then track down and vanquish the Bone Queen. The Friendship short story [ edit ] A prequel story of how Cadvan and the healer Bard Saliman became friends. She is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great mystics known as Bards , who reveals to her that she too has "the Gift" shared by all of these, by which she is able to command nature to do her will.

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The Bone Queen[ edit ] A prequel, published in The promising young Bard Cadvan summons a revenant, the Bone Queen, which causes him to be exiled. Cadvan and his friend Dernhil the poet must then track down and vanquish the Bone Queen. The Friendship short story [ edit ] A prequel story of how Cadvan and the healer Bard Saliman became friends.

She is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great mystics known as Bards , who reveals to her that she too has "the Gift" shared by all of these, by which she is able to command nature to do her will. Cadvan soon discovers that her mother was Milana of Pellinor, the leader of the First Circle of the sacked School of Pellinor, of whom it was previously assumed that there were no survivors.

Knowing this, Cadvan decides to help her escape, believing that it might not be random chance that he came upon the only known survivor from Pellinor. Cadvan takes her to the School of Innail, to make the presence of a survivor from Pellinor known and to establish Maerad a Minor Bard of Pellinor. During their time there, Maerad obtains a long-forgotten prophecy concerning the Foretold One who will defeat the Nameless One. This Nameless One is a corrupt political leader, formerly called Sharma, who discarded his own truename in order to become immortal.

Twice has he attempted to conquer the land of Edil-Amarandh, and he has twice been vanquished. His last bid for power is the one in which the Foretold One, Elednor, Edil - Amarandh naor Fire Lily of Edil - Amarandh, will defeat him, leaving him dead or helpless forever. After their brief but enjoyed stay at Innail, Cadvan takes Maerad across the country of Annar to the city of Norloch, intending to have her instated as a full Bard and given her Name, and also to see his old teacher Nelac.

He is revealed as the one who had Pellinor destroyed and who sold Maerad into slavery. Largely as a result of this, though also because of his own misogyny , this Bard refuses to admit that Maerad is the Foretold One, or even to let her be instated as a Bard. Maerad also begins to explore her powers and their full potential , producing some humorous outcomes.

Their peace is shattered by dark events at the annual "Rite of Renewal" and the news that they have been named traitors to the White Flame after the shocking revelations of The Gift, which causes them once again to flee. Their journey is constantly blighted by setbacks, and by the constant threat from both Arkan and other Bards.

The events in this book occur during the same time as the events of "The Riddle". Hem has difficulties fitting in this strange land; he does not know the local language and finds it hard to make friends after being a loner for many years. All the while the Nameless One is building his armies to the east; thus, the threat of war is growing.

In this climate , Hem makes his first friend in the form of a girl, Zelika from the eastern school of Baladh, and begins to discover his own unique talents and his place in the "Treesong".

He meets the Elidhu, Nyanar from whom Hem will learn one half of the Treesong, to be combined with the half Maerad learns from the Winterking. In a desperate race against the dark, Maerad must try to solve the final riddle of the treesong. Only then will the Nameless One be defeated and peace restored to the Seven Kingdoms.

But Maerad only holds the key to half the riddle - her long-lost brother, Hem, has the other. Before embarking on a perilous journey to find Hem, Maerad must first wage an epic war against the Landrost. And Hem, fleeing the advances of the Black Army, must endure betrayal and mortal illness in his search for Maerad.

But the Dark grows ever more powerful - will brother and sister reach one another in time or will all be lost in a final, apocalyptic battle? Command of nature is wielded by use of the magical language known as the Speech, which all life-forms understand and which any human may learn as a means of communication as in the region of the Suderain, where it is used by politicians in discussion , though only those born with the Gift can use its words as a means of supermundane power.

Individual Bards have differing strengths of power, which determine the limits of their command. All Bards live according to a code of honor known as the Balance and belong to a faction known as the Light, which is sometimes mythologized as a deity. Because Bards are thoroughly schooled to the ideas of the Balance, they are often perplexed by greed and selfishness. All Bards are given an education in the three disciplines of Reading, Tending, and Making, which make up the Bardic way of life.

Different Bards adhere to different aspects of these three arts, which overlap and are therefore versatile. Each Bard has a particular speciality within the arts that is central to its life; specialities including both mundane activity and psi phenomena.

The word "Bard" refers to a talent and liking for music which all Bards share. Frequently, they are poets, whose poetry reflects beauty and mortality. In the diverse societies of Edil-Amarandh, Bards perform roles variously resembling those of musicians, artists, scholars, priestkings, healers, caretakers, protectors, political advisors in which role they have great influence , mystics, and shamans.

All human mystics who appear in the story are Gifted, though not all are considered Bards, given that some of them may not have received training in the Three Arts or schooling in the ethics of the Balance. Bards age slower than regular people do, starting when they turn 20 years of age, [1] and have three times the lifespan of other people. Elidhu - Faerie-like creatures who predate humanity in Edil-Amarandh, they are called Elementals by the Bards.

The Elidhu have enormous power and can breed with mortals if they so choose. The power of the hybrids is higher than the average of the two components: Maerad is stronger than the midpoint of the average Bard and the average Elidhu.

The Elidhu generally have little interest in the goings on of the mortal world and are seen as neither good nor evil, with two notable exceptions. The Elementals also have a variety of abilities uncommon to humans, though these, in turn, seem to vary among individual Elidhu. Ardina is shown having taken the form of a wolf an ability inherited by Maerad , and sometimes appears as a "moonchild"; a celestial fairy able to hover upon the air, travel great distances within minutes, and heal wounds with a touch.

Arkan is shown creating deceptive illusions, producing light from no apparent source, and commanding the weather. Landrost, spirit of the mountain, summons strange demonic life-forms called "wers" to his aid and can direct them by his will. Nyanar, a forest Elidhu appearing in The Crow , is able to change shape with ease and identifies himself with and as his environment.

Bards, even those such as Cadvan and Saliman, often show a distrust of them - judging them as fey and amoral beings near-totally beyond human ken and concepts such as good and evil; a judgement that, with the notable exceptions of Ardina, Arkan, Nyanar, and the Landrost, is essentially accurate.

Maerad - an adolescent girl around sixteen years of age at the beginning of the series. She grew up with her mother, Milana, in Pellinor as young child before the sack of their home. She is discovered by Cadvan, a powerful Bard of Lirigon who rescues her and tells her that she is a Bard, a person with the "Gift". As the books progress her relationship with Cadvan progresses and at the end of The Singing the two are a couple. He appears to be around 35 years of age, but is likely to be around 70, because Bards live thrice as long as do other people.

He is tall and slender, with black hair, dark blue eyes, and an aquiline nose. Cadvan is known to have disastrously handled evil magic in his youth; to have been a worker against the powers of Darkness ever since; and to have extensive knowledge. It is also revealed that he has a preference for coffee , which exists in the novels as "a drink from the Suderain" probably a reference to the Middle-Eastern origins of coffee , a stronger liking for mushrooms, and the innate ability to provoke revelations of truth from other people, even if they are not aware of knowing it.

This ability is called "Truthtelling" by the characters. Sharma — commonly known as the Nameless One, Sharma is the chieftain and would-be sorcerer who eschews his own true Name in order to become immortal. He is a lord of Darkness, the evil force that threatens Edil-Amarandh, and is obeyed by several other evil beings, among them the mountain spirit Landrost and the Winterking Arkan, although Maerad has reason to believe differently of Arkan in particular.

According to the prophecy, Sharma will attempt thrice to conquer the world, only to be vanquished during the third attack, which is the setting of the story.

Because of his dark skin, he is seen with some racism by Bards less wise than himself. Enkir — First Bard of Norloch, capital city of the domain called Annar. Enkir is a rigid, self-opinionated figure whose arrogance and bigotry appear to have increased immensely since his rise to power. He harbours Cadvan and Maerad during their time in Norloch and later helps initiate Maerad as full Bard.

He goes to Turbansk with Saliman after being found by Maerad on her travels with Cadvan in the first book. Little is known about Dorn, save that he is a member of the Pilanel people born with the Bardic Gift, who traveled south to Annar for his training.

Dorn was killed during the sack of Pellinor. Irc - A white crow rescued by Hem from being killed by his flock. Unlike an albino , he has golden eyes and a black beak. Irc, throughout this operation, acts as a messenger between Hem and the pelican called Ara-kin, who is commander of the birds. There, Irc observes a quarrel between Sharma and his second-in-command Imank and steals a tuning fork that contains half of the Treesong.

During the story, Irc is shown to have an instinctive sensitivity to imminent danger and to be capable of counting up to five, but not above.

He resents being made undignified and enjoys theft, argument, and mischief. Dernhil — A Bard originally trained at the coastal School of Gent, who is first seen at Innail as a librarian.

He teaches Maerad how to read and write during her time at Innail. Maerad, being beautiful, unintentionally causes Dernhil fall in love with and court her; but because Maerad is hostile to courtship as a result of being exposed to and almost becoming a victim of rape , she refuses him and actually punches him in panic. Dernhil forgives her and composes a poem to apologise.

Dernhil then kills himself in order to protect them. Ardina is renowned in human legend for her strong stance against evil alongside the human Ardhor, through whom she is the ancestor of the family called the House of Karn, whereof Maerad and Hem are members. Ardina herself lives a strange, multiple life, wherein she is sometimes a playful, fey,in the forest, sometimes a wise, solemn woodland queen, and sometimes a "Moonchild" a figure that seems to be composed partly of moonlight ; wherein she might give forth useful discourse or sings such songs as describe the different and often contradictory facets of her character.

The fact that she has multiple personalities is revealed only to Maerad and thereby to the reader , because Cadvan would not "brook contradiction". She acts as a haphazard guide and savior to Maerad and Cadvan at certain points.

His power, and indeed his essence, is in the ice, the snow, the winds, and the mountain where he lives. He is a prominent, albeit ambiguous figure in the legends of Edil-Amarandh; often he is a villain, or a personification of Ice Ages.

In either role, he is sometimes an ally of the Nameless One. His views of life are very different from those of humans, whom he holds in some contempt. In The Riddle, he has Maerad captured and holds her in his palace, surrounding her with illusions of a luxurious interior which are only dispelled when she plays her lyre.

Here, the relationship between them begins to develop along the lines of a slightly romanticized version of the Hades and Persephone story. Because of their contradictory purposes, Maerad escapes him. In one of the earlier chapters of The Singing, Arkan is shown contacting Maerad by telepathy , scoffing at her fear of the creatures Sharma has sent against her.

It is he who reveals the Treesong to Maerad, and a suggestion exists that he did so moved by his own attraction to her. Dharin is a cheerful, confident young man who has long been a trader among the Pilanel and their neighbors. Their means of transport is a dogsled whose dogs are loyal to Dharin.

During their return from the people whom they have consulted, Dharin is killed by the barbarian tribe known as the Jussacks, and Maerad taken prisoner. His death is said to have been foreseen by Sirkana, who is a Bard, with no formal training, only the "Voice" and the "Sight",which is the special power of foresight. It is very rare, even among Bards.


Alison Croggon

I loved The Riddle with a few notable exceptions with parts near the end. But I might as well be honest. I did not like The Crow. It took me a long time to pick this one up and read it, and Ill be honest, it was because of the lack of Cadvan and Maerad. I really got wrapped up in their story, and I was none-too-pleased to realize they werent in The Crow at all, but I decided to give it a chance anyway, and I was disappointed.


The Crow (Pellinor Series #3)

He wiped it away and reached for another mango. It was so hot. Even in the shady refuge of the mango tree, the air pressed around him like a damp blanket. He leaned back against the trunk and let the sweet flesh of the fruit dissolve on his tongue. These mangoes were certainly the high point of the day. Not, he thought sardonically, that it had been much of a day.



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