Forever ago, Danielle from There's a Book and I set up a read-a-long and discussion for The Books of Pellinor series. I posted my review and everything else, but I went out of town that weekend and somehow slipped up in posting my answers to the discussion questions for the first book, The Naming... Since we're moving on to the second book tomorrow, I'm posting those initial questions today. (Did you follow that? Not sure I did ... )
Anyway, here are my thoughts on these questions:
1. What did you think about the introduction to the book and the possibility of its basis in reality?
The beginning of the book confused me and caused me to really have to think about the world I was going to be entering.
2. What did you think of the characters? Primarily Maerad, but also the supporting cast as well.
I thought Maerad was interesting and elegant yet unwittingly fierce as a character. I enjoyed her perspective, but my favorite of all is Cadvan. I love his mysterious past and sense of angst - the fact that there is something hidden that we can't yet see. Hem/Cai is also a really interesting figure to me - also very tragic at least at this point.
3. Was there any person in particular you cared for more than the others?
I enjoyed Cadvan the most, as stated above. Woo baby!
4. Having read the book, would you have made the choice Maerad did to leave Gilman’s Cot?
I am a big baby who is afraid of taking risks, especially when I don't know the outcome. But I'm mainly that way in the petty, mundane details of life. In the bigger decisions of life I usually act firmly and decisively and with a relative sense of peace. I'd like to think that I would have made the choice to leave. I'm always of the opinion that once you know your own particular brand of misery, you want to leave it. Things might be bad in the new situation, but they could possibly be better, too.
5. Are you surprised by Maerad’s choice to leave with Cadvan knowing where she came from?
I think it's the most logical thing she could've done. Why would you want to stay anywhere being a slave. Of course, her fear of men would have been a big barrier normally.
6. If you’ve read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in part or in it’s entirety did you draw any similarities?
I don't see any major similarities. It obviously had all the traits of high fantasy, but I didn't make that connection. Cadvan is nothing like Gandalf (way hotter and more mysterious). Maerad is a vulnerable but powerful girl. They're off in search of Maerad's identity and the way to defeat the evil powers, but their quest doesn't involve destroy something (that I know of), and it is also a LOT more complex than what Frodo and company had to do.
7. The Naming is primarily a fantasy novel, how would you compare it to other popular fantasy novels out currently and to which ones?
I don't read a lot of this type of fantasy book for reasons that I will mention in the next question. I don't have anything in mind that I could directly compare it to.
8. What aspects of Allison Croggin’s writing did you enjoy the most or least?
I enjoyed the elegant way she characterizes Maerad the most. I thought she was able to keep with what is familiar in this genre without being as long winded and annoyingly descriptive as some others (cough, Tolkien, cough).
Tomorrow I will be posting the discussion questions for the second book. If you are interested in participating in the rest of this discussion, feel free to sign up here.