The Books of Pellinor are an epic tale of a girl named Maerad (pronounced MY-rad) who discovers that she is expected to save the world she's only recently come to know as her own. It takes place over the course of a year and a halfs time, during which she goes from being an orphaned slave to a free woman who makes family and friends out of those she meets along her way. She also discovers more enemies than she's known could exist.
Maerad is rescued from slavery by Cadvan, a man who she later learns is a well-known bard. In this world, bards have abilities that are intended for use in service to those they live amongst - abilities to heal, promote growth of crops and herds, and create works of art and song, not the least of these abilities. Most still continue in this service, but some have chosen to turn away from that, seeking instead power over all. The leader of these, most often known as The Nameless One, seeks to destroy and rule all in his path. Maerad and Cadvan soon discover that Maerad has been foretold as the one who is to defeat The Nameless One. As she struggles with this destiny, she overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and grows into a discerning young woman.
These books are intended for a teen/young adult audience, but the level of writing makes them appealing for adults as well. The story is well crafted, engaging and unpredictable. The tale is reminiscent of the Wheel of Time series, though, in my humble opinion, of a better length. Each book is hefty, but with only four, there is an end in sight. :) Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fantasy tale. With the exception of rather dark foes and desperate situations at times that dissuades this from being for a young (preteen or younger) audience, there is little within these stories that could cause offense. I highly recommend that you lose yourself in this series as soon as possible.
The Naming, by Allison Croggan
The Riddle, by Allison Croggan
The Crow, by Allison Croggan
The Singing, by Allison Croggan