September 13th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Books of Pellinor
FAQ's/ How to get the books ASAP!/ Map To The Forum/ Book Info
I thought I'd post some general info on my books. I've been writing for many years, full-time for the past decade (yes, I am a rare magical beast, a full-time poet). But I'm a bit of a newbie at fantasy. I like the peculiar torment of writing long novels; I'll be doing more of them.
At the moment I am working on the Pellinor series. There will be four of these, and I have just finished No. 3, The Crow.
The Gift, Part One, came out in Australia in 2002 with Penguin Books and in the UK (Walker Books) in 2004. It came out as a hardback in the US May 2005, with Candlewick, but we had to change the title to The Naming as Ursula Le Guin recently brought out Gifts. The Gift was shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards and is nominated as a Top Ten Read by the American Library Association, as well as gathering a starred review for outstanding merit from Kirkus, a hefty trade review journal in the States. And here are a couple of reviews-
"In The Gift, Alison Croggon has crafted an elaborate and beguiling world of legend. Densely and vividly patterned, the book leads us across the varied and menacing landscapes of the seven kingdoms of Annar. The terrain is peopled by Bards and slaves, by the monstrous Kulag and the treacherous Hulls, by packs of wers whose howls are "the very sound of un-life ... neither dead nor alive, but caught in a tormenting void between".
This is prose that shows not only how well Croggon writes, but how effectively she holds her nerve. In such fantastical imaginings as hers, the risk is always of the risible.
In fact, Croggon passes her work off as history, replete with bold and detailed appendices on pronunciation, on history - especially the tragic millennium of the Great Silence - on the composition of the seven kingdoms and on the Speech - 'defining attribute of a Bard and the central mystery of the Knowing'. ...
While The Gift is resolutely Croggon's own invention, it is full of echoes and glimpses of other fantasies of lost, past and future worlds. Thus we have the Dark (side) and the (chosen) One, magical powers and medieval settings.
This is a quest narrative, one of the most durable and enchanting kinds of story, as old as Odysseus and Arthur. Croggon tells it fluently and confidently. She mixes the unavoidably sombre and formal - "you bear black news" - with the bracingly colloquial. The novel is the latest, unpredictable move in a career that has seen Croggon as a poet, controversial theatre reviewer and librettist."
- The Sydney Morning Herald, 2002
"... a magical story that is reminiscent of Tolkien. This is a tale with passionate, inspiring characters, an enchanting protagonist and vividly described landscapes. The Gift is a powerful story and marks the beginning of a series of a great series of fantasy novels that will delight fans of Garth Nix and G P Taylor."
- The Bookseller, February 2004, UK
The Riddle came out in Oz late 2003, and in the UK in May 2005. It's due out in the US in November 2006 (sorry, guys) after the paperback release of The Naming. Blurbs are, well, blurbs, but here's the Penguin one for it:
Maerad is a girl with a tragic and bitter past, but her powers grow stronger by the day. Now she and her mentor Cadvan, pursued by both the Light and the Dark, are seeking the Riddle of the Treesong. This mysterious Riddle holds the key to restoring peace to her ravaged kingdom and defeating the enemies she is fated to battle.* But what is the true nature of those enemies, and of the Riddle?* Or is Maerad herself the greatest riddle of all?
From terrifying seas to vast stretches of glacial wilderness, The Riddle moves through a legendary world steeped in the rich and complex cultures of Edil-Amarandh. Maerad’s journey, which began in the highly acclaimed novel The Gift, continues towards a mysterious end.* For surely now she will meet the Winterking, the author of her sorrows - and ally of the Nameless One, who is the greatest tyrant of them all . . .
The Crow is due out in both Australia and the UK May 2006. The final book in the series will be called The Singing. I think. I haven't written that one yet.
There's more info, including a couple of sample chapters and appendices, at my website - alisoncroggon.com .
In the UK and the US, the Pellinor books are published as YA fantasy, in Australia as adult fantasy. I guess that means they're "crossover". Either that, or people can't decide what they are.
Books of Pellinor Blog
Last edited by Gemini; December 11th, 2007 at 11:36 PM.
March 27th, 2006, 11:36 PM
Jate > Skate
How to get the books ASAP
Live in the Americas or somewhere else not lucky enough to have the upcoming books published any time soon? Here are some links to order the books from Australian bookstores.
Angus and Robertson shipping is $20 and the books are only about $24
You can also order it from QBD, shipping is $25.
There is also Galaxy Books, it's about the same price as the others, i'm not sure how much they charge in postage though.
And for those who can wait a little longer, UK Amazon or from Amazon.com
Some more Online Australian Bookstores
Last edited by Gemini; May 23rd, 2008 at 08:57 PM.
May 28th, 2006, 09:48 AM
Jate > Skate
Some spoilers for Gift and Riddle
Q: Will Maerad and Cadvan get together?
A: I can't answer becasue i don't know yet myself!
Q: Towards the end of the Riddle when Maerad discovers her ability to "wolfanize"... how come she didn't hear her third name? Does she not know it yet, and if so, when will she?
A: Her third name is, er, something that's coming up...obviously it can't be given her in the same way that Bards are given their names. So there has to be some other process. It's obviously rather important... Don't want to give anything away, guys!!
Q: Have you got a drawn picture of the mearad you have invisoned? or of any other characters? Could you describe Maerad's looks?
A: No, not one. I don't imagine them like that (which is why it's so interesting to see all your drawings and imaginings here, and also why I like so much seeing what book designers do...) I am a very bad visual artist. Maerad is dark-haired with very pale skin, pretty but in an unconventional way, quite short and slight but wirey and strong for her size. Very blue eyes. She's stubborn, very intelligent and has a bit of a temper. Quite shy, but when stirred feels things passionately. white skin and is slight and small (maybe when Silvia is bathing her? also when Indik is training her?) When she looks in the mirror with Silvia, after she's dressd up for the Welcome Feast, the "fine bones" of her face and her "full mouth" are mentioned.
Q: In the riddle when Maerad meets the winterking i found the fact that she fell in love with him was quite sudden, so why did she love him? was it just a spell or would she still have fallen in love with him even if they had meet in different circumstances?
A: I made that deliberately ambiguous, though I think my feeling is that the attraction Maerad feels is genuine and not manipulated by the Winterking. Just as the Winterking is enchanting her senses with his ice palace, it's possible that he is also similarly confusing her emotions. However, the kind of attraction Maerad feels for him exists in real life, and does happen pretty much all at once - instantaneous, inexplicable and irrestistable. It's one of the cliches of love stories, and like all cliches has a basis in fact. It happens for Maerad when she perceives Arkan's doubleness, when he ceases to be a one-dimensional cipher to her; at once she feels both more frightened of him and, at the same time, a sudden desire for him. Of course, very contradictory: but love on the whole is like that too. It's important, from my point of view, that this desire doesn't take her over, that she is able to leave it without becoming a victim of it.
Q: Did you cry when you wrote about Maerad loosing her fingers? Also, when she gets her "fingers of light" I suppose, will they stay in place of her fingers, or only when she's playing her lyre?
A: Actually, I didn't cry at that part - I knew she had to pay some frightful price, and it's a terrible thought, especially for a musician...I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would feel like to have a hand like that. The "fingers of light" only appear when she summons her magery, so that is now the only time she can play her lyre.
Q: In the Riddle, when Maerad thinks about Dernhill's death (page 8) it says "Despite that love she had spurned him, and when Dernhill had been killed by Hulls - the Black Bards who were servants of the Nameless One - she had mourned both his absence and a vanished possibility that she would always regret."
What does the 'vanished possibility that she would always regret' mean?
A: It means, simply, that she would always regret that she and Dernhil were prevented from being lovers by his death. (Quite possibly, for Maerad, Dernhil is The One: Maerad is by nature very bookish, and the most reluctant of adventurers...but she met him when she was too young, and then too quickly it was too late.)
Q: When is Maerad's birthday and do we see it celebrated?
A: Maerad wouldn't have a birthday, she would celebrate a name day (when she received her usename). To be honest, I'm not sure when it is!
Q: How did maerad end up with elemental blood?
Q: Nobody quite knows, but it seems that Ardina had some liaison with an ancestor of Maerad's, the House of Karn. The big love affair for Ardina was of course Ardhor, but I don't think Ardhor is the mortal referred to. After the Great Silence, Elemental blood would be considered scandalous, so it was no doubt covered up.
Q: Assuming that irigan is now in the possesion of the Ice King, will he ever give it back to Maerad? Or will Maerad just get a new sword?
Q: More than likely Maerad will get a new sword.
Q: Could you describe Cadvan?
A: Cadvan is tall and dark-haired, high cheekbones, physically strong; prone to be taciturn, often difficult and argumentative, sometimes arrogant, but with a talent for friendship.
Q: what's Cadvan's sword (Arnost)s name? As in, Maerad's is Iceblade in the speech, so what is Cadvan's?
A: Arnost means sharpness or edge in the Speech
Q: Is/was there anything between nerili and cadvan?
A: It's pretty safe to assume that there was, and that it didn't end that happily, for Nerili at least.
Q: Exactly how old is Cadvan?
A: Cadvan is about 70.
Q: When cadvan looked into maerads eyes on owan's boat that night to ossin, did he mean to show her his love and affiction, if it was that at all?
A: I think what happened in that moment was very complicated. Maerad reminded Cadvan suddenly of Ceredin (she is not much younger than Ceredin as Cadvan remembers her), and by association of what he felt for her. And that may have touched awake whatever feelings he has for Maerad (calm down people, Cadvan is a very complex man...) There's no doubt, I think, that Cadvan feels very deeply for Maerad, and she for him. What that means I don't know; it doesn't necessarily mean romance!
Q: Has Cadvan had any girlfriends other than Ceredin and Nerili?
A: I expect so... he's lived quite a long time. He mentions Il Arunedh with special fondness in The Gift, perhaps there are romantic memories there for him. But to be honest, I don't know.
Q: Did the winterking love Maerad, as she loved him? Or did he just want the treesong from her - and what did you feel about the winterking when you were writing about him?
A: I really enjoyed writing the Winterking, he was really interesting to think about. I don't think there's any doubt that he was manipulating Maerad, but I also think that his feeling for her was genuine.
Q: Does Arkan appear in the singing?
A: I don't think the Maerad/Arkan thing is by any means finished or resolved...so I would be very surprised if he didn't turn up somehow.
Q: How did Clavila die?
A: It was in a horse riding accident
Q: At the end of the gift, theres about 3 pages with lists of books by random people some by maerad and cadvan this slightly confused I was wondering are these lists of books? Are any of the books real?
A: My famous Appendices. You're talking about the footnotes. I have a lot of fun with these... The fictional books are all by people who have initials like mine (A,J or C), or by Bards. There are some real people there too - in The Crow, even some real academics who are kindly permitting me to distort and pillage their very serious essays.
Q: How many books are there?
A: There will be four, The Gift/ The Naming, The Riddle, The Crow and The Singing
Q: We know that the quest is to reunite the two halves of the treesong but can you give any hints as to whether reuniting the song will play a part in Sharmas demise?
A: Yes, it's an important part - but not the whole of it. I'm not going to say anything more - All Will Be Revealed in The Singing...
Q: the crow complety from hem's point of view? Are Maerad and Cadvan involved at all?
A: The events in The Crow take place at the same time as the events in The Riddle - it begins when Hem and Saliman flee Norloch and ends on Midwinter Day. So you already know how Maerad and Cadvan are doing.
Q: Why is The Gift called The Naming in America?
A: A book was released in America called "Gifts" just before Alison's was due to come out and to save the public from confusion the name was changed.
Q: Why did you choose to tell Maerad's story and Hem's story in seperate books, instead of switching points of view in different chapters?
A: Originally The Riddle and The Crow were imagined as a single book, with alternating narratives. I had written three chapters when I did some maths and worked out that the book would have been around 1000 pages long. So I split the narratives into two books, which ultimately, I think, has worked out better. The Singing will have alternating narratives, because now both Maerad and Hem are at the same point in time...
Cutting it off half way through wouldn't have been half so satisfying, for me, anyway. This way I could follow both Maerad and Hem's stories at this point of the book all the way through to an emotional climax.
Q: Can you explain the ageing process of Bards?
A: Bards mature as children at the same rate as normal human beings, but once they are physically mature, everything slows down. So adult life is extended. At 17, Cadvan would have looked like any 17 year old, at 30 he probably looked about 20, at 70 he looks about 30. A middle-aged looking Bard would probably be around 150/200, and Nelac, at around 300 (which is old for a Bard), looks very old - probably around 80 or 90
Q: Do we ever find out Cadvan or Hem's Truenames? Would Cadvan tell Maerad his Truename as a way of proving his trust of her etc?
A: I'm not sure how to answer this...I guess the easiest way is to say, yes, you find out more about names in Book IV
Q: What does Pellinor mean in the speech?
A: Pellinor means roughly "home of the flame", or even "hearth
Q: Do you think you will do another book after The Singing?
I really can't think past The Singing... one thing at a time! I'm not planning another Pellinor book, though I have ideas for other books that will hopefully get written. But you never know. I don't want to put out new books just for the sake of it - it's really important to believe in what I'm writing.
Q: Is the Speech based on any written language? (eg. Latin, Russian etc) or is it from your own head? Is it a complete language? or is it just bits and pieces you've made up to fit the story?
A: I based the grammar, such as it is, on Latin, but the words are not Latinate. It's basically made up as I go along - I have a couple of irregular verb forms, and two small dictionaries, English into the Speech and the Speech into English, so I don't get lost, and so it has some coherency as a language. But I think basically it only exists, such as it is, in the present tense.
Q: Would you like your books to be made into movies?
A: If someone made a beautiful movie out of The Gift, I would be very gratified, but I can't say it has been an ambition for the books - for me, they are books first and last, and books offer an imaginative freedom that movies just can't. I do know something about the movie industry, and I know how difficult it is. For one thing, something like this would require a king's ransom of a budget...To be frank, if someone wanted to pay me a lot of money to make a movie from the Pellinor, which is fairly unlikely, I would be very pleased - I'm a little tired of having no money - although I would have some concern, after Ursula le Guin's experience with the Earthsea adaptation, about what how it was adapted. The fact is that writers really have very little to do with movies, and once the rights are sold have no control over what happens.
Q: Do you have any preferences for the film? (if there will be one)
Q: There a few threads disscussing this, i think alison has posted on most of them
Books of Pellinor as movies???
Who should play Cadvan? IYO
Cadders Cadidates: The Second Coming
Who do you think resembles Maerad?
The movies- should they be animated?
Taking after other books
There were also discussions on most of the threads dedicated to characters, "Cadvan's thread" and "Saliman and Irc's" thread.
Q: If someone offered to animate the Naming/Gift and every other book into movies, what would you say? What are your views on animation? Overall, do you like it? Dislike it?
A: I love anime and am a HUGE Miyazake fan - in fact, own dvds of everything except Howl's Moving Castle. I can't imagine what an anime of the books would be like (who me? I'm only the writer). There's a big thread here arguing about the merits or otherwise of this.
Q: Would you ever try another genre of fiction or just stick to fantasy and poetry?
A: I have actually already written another novel, a very short poetic novella called Navigatio which is a kind of meditation/memoir/outrageous literary fiction, so fantasy isn't the only kind of novel I write. I have also started another novel sort of based on a story that happened when the Conquistadores came to South America, which I would very much like to finish. These would I guess be called adult literary fiction, fwiw... I do find novels kind of addictive.
Q: Will u right another fantasy book? thats not to do with pellinor?
A: I have ideas for a couple, in fact: one a short book (with SHORT chapters) for younger readers, of which I've written five or chapters and hope to finish one day, and one a more adult-type fantasy about a kind of cruel extreme Wuthering Heights Grande Passion.
Q: How do you do spoiler tags?
A: Type [SPOILER] what you want to hide then [/ SPOILER] just without the gap between / and S.
Last edited by Gemini; May 29th, 2006 at 01:18 AM.
September 17th, 2006, 08:27 PM
Jate > Skate
Last edited by Gemini; October 5th, 2008 at 11:30 AM.