* * * B
The Naming is a fantasy novel by Alison Croggon. It is the story of a young woman Maerad who is freed from slavery by the magician (called a Bard in this fantasy) Cadvan. Over the course of the book she discovers that she too has magical abilities and is in fact a prophesied messiah. Barring a few weak point in the writing, the book is very readable. After a weak “found history” introduction, the story proper is separated into four parts. The third act borrows heavily from the visit to Lothlorien in “The Fellowship of the Ring”, which I found a bit lame, and some of the mythical elements, as well as Cadvan’s back story, seem borrowed from “A Wizard of Earthsea”. On the whole, this was an easy and fairly enjoyable read. Despite the fact that it is the first in a series, it comes to a satisfying conclusion.