Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Keeping Place

This is a review of “The Keeping Place”, the fourth book of Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Series. It follows on from “Ashling“.

As Elspeth waits for her inevitable summons to leave Obernewtyn and begin her quest to rid the world of weapon-machines, she finds herself to be a crucial and valued member of Obernewtyn. Rushton has left Obernewtyn in her care while he attends to pressing matters in the Lowlands.

The ever curious Teknoguilders (Scientists and Archaeologists of their time) have discovered the Beforetime activity of diving. They send their own divers below the swirling waters that surround a ruined city located beneath an old mountain, to investigate the remains submerged in the waters. They search for artefacts of the past, but something else entirely awaits them down below.

Meanwhile, Misfits at Obernewtyn are suffering from disturbing and recurring dreams in which a huge, winged, reptilian beast stalks and swoops at them. Many dream of the beast, and Elspeth is curious as to what these dreams could mean.

Elspeth, with the help of Maruman, takes to the ethereal and dangerous Dreamtrails to gain insight into the beast and to uncover a clue for her quest left to her by a Seer of the past. But with the beast stalking her dreams, the trails are a frightening place.

As the days pass and Rushton does not return from his trip, Elspeth becomes increasingly worried. Eventually, a note is found on a dead homing bird that reads that Rushton has been taken captive and will not be released, unless the Misfits provide aid to the Rebels in the forthcoming Rebellion.

Elspeth meets with the Rebels, only to become more confused as it appears that none of them know about Rushton’s disappearance. Fearing for Rushton, Elspeth commits to providing limited assistance to the Rebel force. She stipulates that the Misfits will not willingly engage in violence, and are only offering their aid to prevent needless bloodshed.

The Rebellion proceeds in a confusing way. There are gains and there are losses, victories and betrayals, happiness and sorrow. Will Elspeth find Rushton? Where have the Herder Priests disappeared to? And will the beast that haunts their dreams ever be dissuaded?

An interesting book, full of reflections on humanity, technology and animal rights- Carmody makes us think!
In this book we learn more about Obernewtyn, how it is run, and how hard it will be for Elspeth to leave it all behind. Finding the courage to stand up for themselves, and to do the right thing has never before been so hard for the Misfits.

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Ashling

This is a review of “Ashling”, the third book of The Obernewtyn Series by Isobelle Carmody. It follows on from “The Farseekers“.

After rescuing a brazen gypsy woman from being burnt alive at the stake, Elspeth is informed that the woman must be returned to her own people or Obernewtyn, and Elspeth herself, will suffer the consequences.

Elspeth makes another journey to the Lowlands disguised as a gypsy and is accompanied by fellow misfits Matthew and wild-child Dragon, and her beast companions: horse Gahltha and cat Maruman.

The city of Sutrium where the gypsy’s kinfolk are believed to reside, is a dank and awful place. Gypsies, as wanderers in a land frequented by outbreaks of the plague, are not treated kindly, and Elspeth’s disguise becomes a dangerous one. Once the gypsy woman is returned to her people, Elspeth learns more about the gypsy culture and their history, and finds them to be more intriguing than she ever could have imagined.

Elspeth and Brydda (her rebel friend) begin a foray into the terrible world of slavers in an effort to discover more about this dark trade that deals in human trafficking. They suffer heart-wrenching losses as they attempt to learn more about the man who calls himself ‘Salamander’- the imposing and highly mysterious head of this black operation.

Elspeth enters into negotiations with the various Rebel Leaders from across the land, attempting to cement a place for herself and the misfits from Obernewtyn in the rebel’s plans for a revolution against the dreaded Council and Herder priests. But not all of the rebels are as accepting as Brydda, and Elspeth and her friends must prove their worth. They journey to the newly discovered foreign land of Sador, where they engage in the formidable Battlegames to secure their place in the upcoming Rebellion.

It is here in the exotic land of Sador that Elspeth learns more about her mythical quest to destroy the weapons from the Beforetime that created the deadly and cataclysmic Holocaust.

This book reveals more about the extraordinary powers wielded by Elspeth and the misfits, the prophecy that surrounds her and her mythical connection to the beasts of her world. It is engaging, action packed and deep. With many more pages than the first two books, this novel is a treat for the eyes and the brain.

PS. Did I mention that I love Isobelle Carmody?

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The Farseekers

This is a review of “The Farseekers”, the second book of The Obernewtyn Series by Isobelle Carmody. It follows on from “Obernewtyn“.

Having freed Obernewtyn from the control of power hungry sadists, Elspeth and her misfit buddies wish to expand their horizons, develop their abilities and learn more about the authoritative powers of their world; the totalitarian (their way or the high way) Council with their armed soldierguards, and the mysterious, dogmatic, zealous Herder priests.

They mount an expedition to the lowlands, with three purposes: to locate a misfit talent whose identity is unknown, to infiltrate the Council and to examine pre-holocaust ruins for Beforetime texts and artefacts.

Elspeth and her companions engage in many adventures during this expedition. They experience entrapment for a period, in the camp of exiled and believed-to-be-dead ex-Herder priest Henry Druid. They are washed up on the shores of Seditioner supporters Katlyn and Gruffyd Llewllyn before meeting their Rebel Leader son Brydda. They rescue escaped misfit Herder acolyte Jik and trek home to warn Obernewtyn of impending disaster.

Elspeth is separated from her companions due to her horrific injuries sustained in the course of the first novel. She is rescued by giant birds with mind-speaking powers and informed that she is indeed important in the bigger scheme of things.

This is possibly my favorite book of the Obernewtyn Series. Characters are fleshed out, and the reader learns more about this strange and dangerous world outside of Obernewtyn.

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Obernewtyn

The sixth book of The Obernewtyn Series “The Sending” is now out! I was lucky enough to meet Isobelle Carmody at a signing of her new book. She was lovely! I decided to read the whole series from the start before I began the new book.

Obernewtyn
This is the first book of Carmody’s Obernewtyn Series. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this series follows Elspeth Gordie. Elspeth is a misfit (think mind powers of X-Men proportions) and an orphan. The world is a dark place, and misfits are shunned. Little is known about them, and they are thought to be disabled and dull-witted. Many misfits are sent to Obernewtyn, an institution reminiscent of an gothic Asylum.

When Elspeth is sent there, she thinks that all of her worst fears have been realised. But she finds companionship and comraderie and realises that things aren’t quite what they seem at Obernewtyn and maybe she is destined for bigger things after all.

This novel is quite dark but is laced with hope and promises of better things to come. I love this series, I began reading these books for the first time when I was 13, and I have never grown out of them. It is an awesome addition to the fantasy genre, from a stand-out Australian author.

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Hi Everyone!

Hello All,
This blog will be all about the books I have read recently, and in the past. I hope you will enjoy reading this, and I hope it will broaden your reading horizons. 🙂