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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2013
I have read Edda, Beowulf and Paradise Lost and I have to say that I fail to see the striking resemblance to Tolkien which Alison Croggon claims is there.

However the plotting, ideas and many of the characters in Croggon's series are not just similar to Tolkien (or Ursula Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea series) they are completely stolen. If these books were a song they would be subject to a court case. The Black Riders, a Dark Lord, woodland elves.... Other reviewers here have shown how the series is derivative in more detail. All I can add is that it's all so predictable... and so sad that such books get published when there is so much great stuff waiting on editor's slush piles. That the author is a journalist and editor herself speaks volumes about how nepotistic the publishing world is.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2004
I found this book while I was visiting Hong Kong. I bought it because it was boring at the hotel. I ended up discover the best fantasy book ever. There are lots of magics. If you read Lord of the Rings or Eragon, you would simply love this book. The reason I think this is the best because there is much more adventures in this book than any others. I like the way the writer did the book because it makes the book seems come to life. I recommend this book to anybody who likes to read fantasy.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2006
I couldn't put this book down. The characters and places are interesting, and the story is totally absorbing. I was immersed from start to finish. I'm an avid reader, and cannot rate this highly enough. I am definitely going to read the rest of the series.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2005
This book was so good. I found it by chance and bought it, not expecting much. Alison Croggon is a really good writer and knows how to keep people engaged throughout. If you like mystical books, like Garth Nixs or Phillip Pullman than I would say you'd love this. I can't wait for the new one to come out and I HOPE that there are many more to come!
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2005
I think this book is up there with Lord of the rings and His dark materials, it is one of those books you can't put down! can't wait for the next instalment! It actually makes you think that this is part of our history. This book is a must read!!
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Sorry, I have to give this a negative review. I have fought my way to the halfway point of this book and am strongly considering giving up, which is unusual for me. The characters are bland and flat, with inexplicable mood swings (sudden tempers for no obvious reason, impatience followed by patience in the space of a paragraph). The author, frankly, is not especially skilled. I imagine the writing could have been rescued with the help of a good editor but unfortunately one was not in attendance as appalling non-words like 'subduedly' will evidence.

This looked like my kind of thing but it was a disappointment. It gets one star for the cover design which is contemporary, piqued my interest and resists the dreadful fantasy landscape scenes that so many titles of this genre are blighted by.
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8 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2006
I am SO sorry, the review by me before was completely wrong! i LOVED your book, it was stunning.
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7 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2007
This is the story of Maerad the magician bard's struggle against evil with her charismatic and endearing mentor, Cadvan.

The Gift was a very good start, but The Crow is the third installment to the Pellinor trilogy and the story is left hanging... still awaiting the conclusion... a fourth book in the trilogy??

This is a very good story indeed, it just doesn't have an ending, which is a pity.

I suggest that you don't buy this book or it's series until the ending is published (in ?2008).
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2008
First, I did like the book. Am currently reading the complete series and as a whole: I am liking it.
The only thing I found, is the similarities between this story and some other authors' work.
One example: A fort where the housing quarters are within the walls and the lead character finds a part of their family à The Algar Fort in the Belgariad books? Garion finds his cousin?
There are more of these similarities, even in the naming of some of the characters/places I am reminded of Eddings' and Robin Hobb's work which I found to be somewhat distracting at times. At different times I found myself thinking of "Ulgo-Land" or imagining Fritz or Garion in some scenes. One storyline is starting to remind me of the Black Magician trilogy.

I guess that is the "danger" with reading mainly one genre of books, you're bound to start seeing these similarities.

All in all, a pleasant read though. You will find yourself rooting for the main characters and I am not sorry about purchasing the complete series in one go.
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34 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2006
I recieved this title as a Christmas present, and was really looking forward to it, only to find that this is the only book I have read which I desired to burn.
I know this may sound a little extreme, but please hear me out. Being a die-hard fan of the Lord of the Rings books, I couldn't help noticing certain...similarities between the legendary works of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Gift. Well, look at the trilogy title. Pellinor. Ring any bells? Pellenor fields... Use of the flower name, Elanor also struck me, alongside other figures of Elvish speech.
Maerad escapes with Cadvan and the take shelter in a deserted guardhouse of stone, on a hill. They are attacked during the night... my goodness, what a mirror image of Frodo at Weathertop! So from this point onwards the book became like a game to me, seeing if I could spot other coincidences.
I was not disappointed. Later a story is told of Laurelin (an ancient gold tree in LOTR), who is the Last King of something. He rides into battle against evil with no hope of success, they are overwhelmed and guess what? The 'Nameless' One breaks his sword! Need I mention Sauron and Elendil? And there is also existence of an Ice Witch, who came from the North, and covered their world in ice! I know for a fact that Jadis came from the North and placed Narnia in eternal Winter!
And so the list goes on, and as you have guessed I was offended and upset, as I had such high expectations from this book. Later we find our characters wading through marshes that were once a field of battle, are deathly silent, and Maerad is told to never follow the marshlights, else she may find her own death there! Even if you have not read the books, you cannot fail to spot such coincidence in the films.
To end my case, I shall also tell of our characters getting ambushed by bowmen in some mysterious woods, and taken to a secret land, cut off if you will from the outside world and its troubles. The ruler of this land is Lady Ardina, who bears no crown etc, and has very long pale hair. She is also very beautiful, and for those who haven't read the Silmarillion I will present to you a little knowledge on Galadriel. She is bound to Middle Earth and forbidden to sail into the West as she displeased the Valar ages ago by disobeying them. Her punishment is lifted at the end because she shows that she has no desire for the Ring. So Galadriel was 'encumbered with a doom alone of all her kind' to quote from THE GIFT! Lady Ardina also posseses a mirror in her room, made of stone. It fills with water, and in it you can see the present and past, or something like that. Can anyone see where I'm coming from? Galadriels Mirror?
There is also a pleasant little love story, which you'll see also is very coincidential. An immortal called Ardina falls in love with a mortal, Ardhor. She had to choose whether to die or to watch her love die whilst she lived on eternally.
So ends my review, and I really hope this was helpful in persuading any readers of LOTR or watchers of the films not to read and be insulted by this as I have been. This book had my attention briefly with another little love story, but once the only character I cared for popped his clogs and all these points I have laid before you unravelled I resolved never to read it again. Thank you for reading. I also hope that my review has put the question in your mind; could all this just be coincidence?
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