I have now finished the third volume of the Pellinor quadrilogy written by Alison Croggon and I think I’ll just stop there! Despite raving reviews on Amazon, I cannot see any depth or appeal in this series. Given that I am more and more disgruntled with fantasy books, this may be a sign of getting old or simply a statistical consequence of reading any fantasy book found on forays to the bookstore when abroad or on Amazon when at home: there is a percentage of poor fantasy books and I am bound to hit some unless warned beforehand… (The first one I ever hit was the Shannara series, where I had trouble finishing the first trilogy!) Anyway, the Pellinor series lacks depth, imagination, and style. After three books, the main characters are still two-dimensional and their points of view are most often so superficial as being useless. The various aspects of the plot are not particularly novative compared with the competition: magically gifted youths, discovered and tutored by old (and grumpy) ones, are suddenly shown to be the only solution to save the World. When being separated from their tutors, they suddenly find the strength and resources to fight Evil on their own, while loosing some of their earlier innocence… Sounds familiar?! The style is also very pedestrian and akward, while the setting of the local universe is quite poorly done. As in the worst fantasy scenarios, the arch-evil ennemies have absolutely no depth but unlimited magical ressources, which makes the battles against them quite boring. So, end of the series! I have now started Hammer of God, the third and final volume of the Godspeaker trilogy by Karen Miller which, while being less enjoyable than the excellent first volume, Empress, is nonetheless a good treat! (To be discussed later.)

4 Responses to “Pellinor”

  1. Sorry to sound so negative! But I really could not find a driving force in the novels… I agree that the main character Maerad has some compelling features and that her awakening to new powers under dire circumstances is rather grasping but the surrounding characters are often missing in depth and the bad guys are simply caricatures of bad guys! I also find the dismissal of secondary characters very peculiar in that their death is not directly felt by the main characters, I find this particularly striking in the third novel when Hem learns about Zelika’s death. But, anyway, my main objection to the plot is the poor rendering of the evil forces. Obviously, this series does not belong [for me] to the same category as The Lord of the Rings, which somehow stands by itself because of the depth of the society and the myths Tolkien created as much as because of the depth and complexity of the characters, good and evil alike. Just to set the level of my disappointment, this is only the second fantasy series (after the Sword of Truth series) I could not complete…

  2. Enojada Says:

    How could you say that? The Pellinor series shows a depth of character and surrounding that has hardly been seen except in books such as C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Series and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. These series, in quality, is very similar. True, there might be a little bit of Mary-Sueing going on, but honestly, Ms. Croggon gives so much feeling and emotion to her characters that it feels as if the reader is actually there. I will admit that everything will have negative critiques, but I think that some of the points you make are clearly debatable. There is such rich description in this story that I can practically feel the wind howling around me and see the Hutmoors stretching on desolately before me. Perhaps almost every piece in this story line has been done before, but what hasn’t? Think of something and I’m positive it’s been done before. What makes the Pellinor series so beautiful and piognant is the sweet style of the writing and how well the words are put together. The story is one that many will never tire of.
    What you have to say is interesting, but I disagree with it almost 100%.

  3. […] this is less unusual in that it appears in many other fantasy novels, from Harry Potter to Pellinor, but in the current case this is fairly compelling and convincing. The focus on chemistry shows […]

  4. Thanks for the link! :-)

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