The Gift by Alison Croggon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Maerad has lived a lonely life of slavery ever since her family was killed. This changes when a man quite literally appears out of nowhere in the barn she’s working in and offers to help her escape. Unsure of who this mysterious man is, but unwilling to let the chance at freedom pass her by, she agrees to sneak off with him.
Maerad learns that Cadvan is the man’s name, and that he is a Bard—he has magical abilities. Using his abilities, he sees that Maerad has some powers of her own; in fact, he soon believes that she is actually The One from prophesies who is meant to fight the Nameless (a dark power opposed to the Bards and the overall balance of the world). Together, they head off across the land towards the special schools that teach those like them how to harness their power for the good of the world.
This was an enjoyable story, and readers will be sure to become attached to Maerad, who is very much a normal girl with totally unexpected powers. This is the first book of the Pellinor series, which continues with The Riddle, The Crow, and The Singing.
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