The Bone Queen: Cadvan's Story
The Bone Queen: Cadvan's Story

Series: Pellinor   

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Annotation: Follows the exile of the Bard Cadvan of Lirigon, who is plagued by guilt for his role in unleashing the Bone Queen on the ancient world of Annar, while a young Bard named Selmana manifests unsettling abilities.
Catalog Number: #138258
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: x, 404 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-8974-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-8974-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017942656
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This prequel to the Pellinor fantasy series, which began with The Naming (2005), concerns Cadvan, an enigmatic mage and one of Croggon's best-drawn characters. Taking place after his fateful, youthful fall from grace, events begin with Cadvan in exile, now a cobbler and a healer in a small mining village. Dernhil, a fellow Bard and former rival, persuades him to return to Pellinor, where they discover that the leader of the Bard School is possessed by a malevolent being. Cadvan, Dernhil, and their varied group of allies work together to thwart the ominous Bone Queen in her bid for power and domination in their world. Although setting the scene is necessary, and the backstory is complex, readers new to the series may find the first half of the book a bit slow with its forays into memory, rumination, and conversation. The pace picks up considerably later, when dramatic tension rises, and the larger cast of allies offers possibilities for action on more than one front. A must-read for fans of this high-fantasy series.
Horn Book
A prequel set fifty years before Croggon's Pellinor Quartet (The Naming et al.) explores Bard Cadvan of Lirigon's role in the destruction of Annar and the unleashing of the Bone Queen. The high fantasy style relies heavily on slow, dense prose. The complex plot recommends this more for series fans than as a standalone title for the uninitiated.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 UpIn this prequel to the "Pellinor" series, disgraced Bard Cadvan of Lirigon has retreated to a small mining town after an exercise of magic killed one classmate and left another badly injured. Cadvan, a Bard still in training, severely overestimated his abilities in thinking he could summon Kansabur, the dreaded Bone Queen, without consequences. It took the joined efforts of more powerful Bards to return her to the Abyss. Fellow student Bards Dernhil, Ceredin, and Selmana, as well as older Bards of the First Circle, drink wine and cider, ride horseback from village to village, and hole up in wood-beamed inns during violent rainstorms as they seek to ensure Kansabur remains banished. The detailed maps to the continent of Edil-Amarandh, along with background on pronunciations and translations, draw readers into the Australian author's elaborately constructed realm of Annar. The atmosphere of the novel is J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth mixed with Tamora Pierce's Tortall and a little of the Wizarding World of "Harry Potter" for good measure. Fantasy enthusiasts will find it satisfying to disappear into Croggon's world. This book stands alone and is even more enjoyable in conjunction with the other "Pellinor" volumes. VERDICT Recommended for any YA fantasy collection.Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Schools, Fort Worth, TX
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Croggon takes readers back 50 years before the four original books in her Pellinor series for this prequel about a malevolent spirit breaking into the World.Cadvan, a mentor in the Books of Pellinor, is much younger here. He's living in a mining village, having been exiled from Barding for an act born of arrogant, immature jealousy: he summoned a Revenant, the titular Bone Queen, with sorcery and lost control of her. An arduous banishment seemed to cast her out, but she merely split apart, like Mercury—with some parts finding their ways inside people. The protagonists—Cadvan; his old peer, Dernhil; their mentor, Nelac; and Selmana, a probably teenage Minor Bard and apprentice to the humors of earth, metal, and stone—are given deeply humane characterizations and complex interpersonal histories. Together they tackle the cryptic, soul-breaking task of suppressing the Bone Queen. The Dark threatens; the "tissue between the Circles is broken," opening ways for evil to seep through; and the Bone Queen stalks Selmana with a "suffocating pall of malice." Croggon's humbly exquisite prose weaves splendor into everything, from spells of magery and the frightening, otherworldly realm that the protagonists must tread to the regular World's aesthetic beauty and human emotion (grief, shame, terror, trauma). No pain is romanticized. Either direction of reading—this first, or the original quartet first—will hold beauty. The protagonists here (unlike in the earlier books) are white. Magnificent yet intimate, dark yet tender. (Fantasy. 14-adult)
Voice of Youth Advocates
This prequel to the richly inventive Books of Pellinor series provides the backstory for Cadvan, the Bard who was Maerad’s mentor in her battle against the Nameless One. It begins with a much younger Cadvan in exile, cast out by the Barding community because he used sorcery in a duel with a fellow student, which allowed a Revenant, the Bone Queen of the title, to escape from the Abyss and begin wrecking havoc in the world. After months of pursuit, Cadvan and five other Bards are able to capture and expel her—or are they? As the forces of the Dark gather and portents of doom appear, Nelac, Cadvan’s mentor at the School of Lirigon, dreams of the need for Cadvan’s return, as does the head of the School of Pellinor. Cadvan also receives warnings from Ceredin, his lost love, so he is ready to return when the Bard, Dernhill, his dueling opponent, arrives in the mining community where he has been serving as a healer. The fourth member of the quartet battling the dark forces from Lirigon to Pellinor, Selmana, a Bard in training, is gifted with the Sight (like her deceased cousin, Ceredin) which means the Bone Queen needs her blood to complete her transformation. Fortunately, it also gives her an important edge in the upcoming battle against the Dark. With fascinating worldbuilding, rich mythology, and fully developed characters struggling in the eternal battle between Light and Dark, this epic fantasy is a wonderful introduction to the Books of Pellinor (although it functions fine as a standalone), especially for Tolkien fans or anyone who enjoys erudite, complex, compelling fantasy worlds.—Bonnie Kunzel.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (Mon May 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
School Library Journal (Mon May 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Lexile: 840L

In a highly anticipated prequel to the Books of Pellinor, Alison Croggon captivates fans old and new with her ancient, legendary world of Annar.

After being seduced into sorcery by an agent of the Dark, the promising Bard Cadvan of Lirigon recklessly unleashed the terrible Bone Queen, bringing destruction down upon Annar. Cast out of the Schools of Barding for his crime, Cadvan now lives in exile, burdened by memories of his dealings with the Dark. At his former home, Cadvan’s mentor, Nelac, and his rival, Dernhil, begin to suspect that the Bone Queen may yet lurk in Annar, and a young Bard named Selmana is plagued by an ominous presence and an unsettling new ability to step between worlds. With darkness gathering and Bards giving in to fear and paranoia, a guilt-ridden Cadvan must once again earn the Bards’ trust and Selmana must gain control of her newfound powers if they are to bring peace to the living and the dead. Fans of the Books of Pellinor will savor this glimpse into Cadvan’s past, and readers new to Alison Croggon’s intricately built world will relish The Bone Queen as a stand-alone epic of light, dark, magic, and redemption.

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