Book Review: Name-Given by David McLean

Title: Name-Given (Riddle-Quest #1)
Author: David McLean
Genre: Action, Adventure, Middle School 
Publisher: Delta Psi
Publication Date: 1 April 2013
Pages: 152
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Cast into the night, four young travellers must venture from the comfort of their villages to find their names. Each has a staff, a challenge and a history of riddling to help them on their way. But the press-heavy sounds of animals approaching, the limb-sky of the forest and the fear of the unknown are all about. How will they survive? The answer may just be in the riddle – “What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?”

My Review:

In a world where riddles are a way of life, young people must undergo a quest to find their name – and their position within the village. Meeting up with other young travellers also searching for their names, Stumbler and his new companions riddle their way through the forest and towards their futures.

I love riddles and one of the best things about Name-Given is the way the riddles interspersed throughout the novel are not just entertaining to read but are imperative to the plot. The language used is easy to read and very inventive at the same time – the short hand compound words (like Name-Given, heart-warm and pocket-close) which McLean created for his characters are so simple and yet so clever. The characters evolve throughout the short novel constantly learning more about the world, each other and themselves as they journey on their quest.

This is a quick and fun book which I think would appeal to younger aged readers.

Thanks to Delta Psi for the review copy.

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