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 am currently supposed to be finishing No. 3, The Crow.

The Gift, Part One, came out in Australia in 2002 with Penguin Books and in the UK (Walker Books) last year. It will appear as a hardback in the US next May, 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 here are some 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 last year, and is due out in the UK in May and in the US the following year. 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 well on its way, and hopefully will be in shops later this year. I'm almost really excited by it (I'll be properly excited when I finish, I hope). The final book will be called The Singing. I think. I'm not quite up to imagining it yet.

There's more info, including a couple of sample chapters and appendices, at my website.

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.