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Hem, Maerad's brother, heads into the heart of civil war as the forces of the Black Army gather to launch their attack on Annar. It is clear that once Annar falls, the Seven Kingdoms will soon follow. Ages 13+
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Product details

  • Paperback | 504 pages
  • Penguin Books Australia
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • 0143002147
  • 9780143002147

Review Text

Croggon backtracks along her time line to chronicle Hem's grueling and poignant struggles during The Riddle (2006). Hem's in Turbansk, lonely and belligerent, resisting his Bard schooling. The poisonous Dark threatens the Suderain, and the Black Army marches on Turbansk. As battle begins and the city is besieged, Saliman allows Hem to stay rather than fleeing with the other children. Hem's healing powers emerge, and readers see that he, too, has a predestined role in saving Edil-Amarandh - fully as cryptic as Maerad's role. Escaping the city, living in caves and training in spy techniques all help Hem when he secretly joins a rank of child-slave warriors. By the end, Hem is scarred and saddened forever, but an Elidhu has given him luminous new knowledge in the form of music that may help Maerad complete the Treesong. Saliman's love sustains Hem through these oppressively grim times. This serious penultimate epic, filled with Tolkien-like images, is emotionally astute and brimming with vivid detail. (map, pronunciation key, appendices) (Fantasy. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

11,092 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 36% (3,943)
4 36% (4,013)
3 22% (2,461)
2 5% (553)
1 1% (122)
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