|Submitted by Mistress Maerad |
(Jan 08, 2008)
This book is absolutely amazing!
I almost cry every time I think of it, for I remember the day I bought it clearly. I was at a book fair, and I was a little disappointed at the selections. The only one I was actually considering was The Gift, but I was a little dubious about that one as well. My mom was getting fed up with my indecision, so she just bought if for me. But man, I am so eternally grateful to her for doing that!
I picked it off the bedside table, slumped on the bed, and began to read. Guess what? I finished it in 2 days. It was so good! The book begins in the desolate Gilman's cot, where Maerad is a slave who barely remembers her past. Then suddenly Cadvan of Lirigon, a bard (like a mage), is introduced while Maerad is milking a cow. She sees through his charm of invisibility, and after a rocky start filled with tension, they both already begin to trust each other. But then he offers her what she hungers for most: freedom. After almost missing the chance, she decides to go with him, and the book begins. They fight off evil wers, creatures like wolves with wings, travel through mountains with the help of a mountain lion, and travel to the fair city of Innail where Maerad is met with love and caring, something she never experienced before. But in an exciting turn of events, Maerad decides to leave Innail to go on with Cadvan to Norloch. Cadvan secretly believes that she is the foretold, the one who will save the world of Edil-Amarandh, the world of the bards. After telling her this, she balks at the idea, but as they journey on their quest together, she begins to accept it. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens, though, because I won't give anything away!
Alison Croggon has a unique style that reverberates with beauty and clarity in every way and form. Her descriptions--oh, her descriptions!--were marvelous, flowing and intricate, but always with a focus. Her characters are charming, and they were so life-like! Cadvan has an amazing wit and sense of humor, but his more withdrawn side makes him seem full, like a real human. Maerad's reluctance to be the "saviour of the world" and craving to be normal are a perfect picture of a woman (or rather, girl) her age. Her names are different and wonderful, and the craftsmanship of the work is indescribable. I love this book, it is my favorite, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fantastic read that will keep you captivated and wishing for more. Three cheers for The Gift!