One of my favorite pastimes is reading.
I love to escape reality for a bit and immerse myself into a different world. Because of my love for escaping, my favorite genre to read would be Fantasy. Magic, lore, the struggle to find the balance within, it excites me. Everyone knows the popular stories: Harry Potter, Books of Narnia, the fantastical journey that is The Lord of the Rings. There is one particular story, however, that hasn’t received the credit I believe it deserves: The Pellinor series by Alison Croggon.
The Books of Pellinor tell an epic of a family torn apart by corruption and two characters must find themselves as well as learn the role they must play in order to save the world. I know, sounds like every other fantasy out there. Give it a chance. A few key factors makes this story worth the time and worth the love.
1. If you are fan of music you would like these heroes.
The Bards are, I guess, what you would call the good guys. Bards are exactly what they are. They are poets, musicians, authors… In this story, music, and those who wield it with the tongue, have special powers. Music can heal the sick, mend the broken, and provide the knowledge of what was and what is. These individuals have such a deeper knowing than those without the Bardic light. The knowledge is not meant to be kept but shared with everyone. The Bards play a role of civil servants to their kingdoms.
2. The main protagonist is a female.
There are a few protagonists throughout the story, but the hero of this epic is played by Maerad: a young girl who goes through many obstacles. Not only is the main character a girl, but this is the first series I have ever read that mentions the female menstrual cycle. Yep, Maerad gets her period for the first time in these books. It’s in a hilarious scene that if you’re a women and never got “the talk” before your time came, you can relate to extremely well. This isn’t the only thing that is badass about having a female be the hero.
Maerad goes through many trials but never to find the one she loves. It is important to know that there are themes of love in this story, but it is never the journey to find love. Let’s face it, in today’s stories if a woman is the protagonist it is usually a love story. Girl meets boy, girl goes through shit, girl gets boy in the end, maybe girl and boy get torn apart. Blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong; that isn’t bad. But it is so generic. If women as a whole want equality, give us stories where the girl is the chosen one and having a relationship isn’t the overall goal in life. This story gives you that.
Also side note: the other women in this story are badass. Zelika is fierce, Silvia is a leader, Hekibel is smart, Nerili is proud, and the list goes on.
3. The characters are incredibly diverse.
As we already know, there is a female protagonist. There are also characters described of every race. Main characters, important characters, all look different and sound different. As so many know, representation matters. In this story,ff there is someone everyone can relate to.
4. It deals with deep social issues.
Themes that are explored throughout the stories include: racism, ableism, sexuality, abuse (mentally, emotionally, and physically), PTSD, and the importance of nature. The story deals with these themes very subtly. The commonness of racism, and the mental state of someone suffering from PTSD gets acknowledged and examined throughout the story. It makes these stigmas known and shines a hopeful light at a better future. These characters are everyday people, even if one(?) is the chosen one.
5. The descriptions are mouth-watering.
Every description of a town or a festival or a feast is breath taking. I can see the vision in my mind. I have never craved mushrooms so badly before, and I HATE mushrooms (THE MUSHROOMS THE MUSHROOMS). The baths seem luxurious. The people are descriptive. This story is truly a feast for the eyes.
The Pellinor series is truly one of my favorite fantasy epics to adventure on.
There are five books in total in the series with one short story. My personal favorite order to read them would be when they were published. To have all that you need in the character relationships I would recommend reading the stories in this order: