Finally! A book worth recommending!
The Naming, by Alison Croggon, was a recent library booksale score. (25 cents for a hardcover? Don’t mind if I do.) I picked it up this last week to shake the taste of A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon out of my mouth. (Such whining! Such self-consumption! Everyone was only concerned with their own little world, letting the rest of their family spin out of control without any regard. A review for another day.)
Maerad, the protagonist of The Naming, grew up in slavery. When she is unexpectedly found by a travelling Bard, her life is changed when he recognizes the gift in her. I’m still in the middle, so by rights, I shouldn’t be reviewing at all. A mild sort of fantasy, full of the standard fight between good and evil, this book is not for young children, but would be appropriate for 14-17. I’m not big into books that disguise social commentary as utopian fiction, so the description of how the land surrounding the school has no need of policing because after all, if the people aren’t hungry, they won’t steal (or murder or rape, apparently.) Nice thought, but not realistic. Not all criminals perpetrate crime out of need.* But that aside (something I would want to talk about with my child, if they read it) it’s been an enjoyable read, with relatable and beleivable characters. Even better? There are three more books, all already released.
*An odd aside. I have read Thomas More’s Utopia. The concept of stealing being eliminated by elimanating poverty is straight from Book 1 of Utopia. However, I would be cautious as an author stealing ideas from a work that is believed to have been largely satirical. (It is unlikely that the high Chancellor believed in married and women priests, euthanasia, or easy divorce.) Woot.