a great fantasy series if you enjoy real characters, beautiful writing and a Tolkienish journey coming of age story. Can't recommend this book series enough. It just ticked all the right boxes.
The characters were amazing, very real with faults etc. although the MC is 'the one' and 'all powerful' - she struggles with the morals and wrongness of her powers and certainly isn't viewed as the 'hero'. Even supporting characters are fully developed and potent.
Worldbuilding was great - with appendices and stories as if the author happened upon ancient artefacts.
Plot was typical fantasy - journey to safe the world etc. but it was well done.
Mixture of poetry, mythology and the beautiful writing provided a fantastic mix to read. You know this author is both a good writer and someone who takes the genre seriously!
Here is a blurb/summary: The Gift (published in the U.S. as The Naming) begins with Maerad, in "Gilman's Cot" as a slave, where she has been for many years, with few memories of her former life, her mother having died several years before. She is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great mystics known as 'Bards', who reveals to her that she, like him, possesses "the Gift" shared by all of these, by which she is able to command nature to do her will. Cadvan soon discovers that her mother was the leader of the First Circle of the destroyed School of Pellinor, of whom it was previously assumed that there were no survivors. Knowing this, Cadvan decides to help her escape, believing that it might not be by means of random chance that he came upon the only known survivor of Pellinor.