Sending 7 (Obernewytn Chronicles)
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Note: This is the Australian version. It includes the seventh and eighth volumes in the American series. The second half -- The Waking Dragon -- will be released later, so this is actually two book in one volume.
In the previous volume, Elspeth sets out from Obernewtyn with two wagons taking the gypsy healer Darius back to the Twentyfamilies. Two soldierguards were going along to Sutrium, where they would be testifying against Malik in his trial. The wagons were also taking Garth to the settlement near the city under the Tor.
Kella was also returning to Sutrium. Kathlyn was returning to her home near Rangorn and Zarak was visiting his father near Saithwold. Dragon was included on the journey at the insistence of Maryon, the Futureteller guildmistress.
They dropped Garth off in the White Valley, camped there overnight, and returned to the main road the next morning. When they reached a small hamlet along the road, Elspeth sent one wagon ahead and stopped at the inn with Zarak. Elspeth had been there before disguised as a gypsy, but none should recognize her now.
Elspeth got breakfast for herself and Zarak and talked to the woman tending the bar. She learned that the road to Saithwold was barricaded by order of Vos and none could enter or leave. Then Elspeth and Zarak departed to rejoin the other wagon.
In this novel, Elspeth Gordie is a Misfit who leads the Farseeker Guild. She has many Talents and has been told that she is the Seeker who will find the weaponmachines of the Beforetimers.
Rushton Seraphim is the Master of Obernewtyn, leader of the Misfits. He has some weak Talent.
Maruman is a mutant cat. He has been with Elspeth for many years. He is getting old and lazy, but he is also her contact with the oldOnes, the Agyllian birds. He is Elspeth's Moonwatcher.
Gahltha is a stallion. He is Elspeth's Daywatcher.
Dragon is an youngster who was found by Elspeth on the West Coast. Nothing was known about her, but Elspeth has dreamed that she is the daughter of the Red Queen.
Ceirwan is the Farseeker Guilden. He is being considered as the Farseeker Guildmaster of Oldhaven.
Dameon is the Empath Guildmaster. He is blind, but can see through other eyes.
Maryon is the Futureteller Guildmistress. Elspeth has negative feelings of manipulation about the futuretellers.
Garth is the Teknoguildmaster. He supervises digs in the ruins of the Oldtimers. He passionately desires knowledge of the Beforetime.
Freya is an Empath-Enhancer. She increases the Talents of anyone near her.
Javo is the master chef at Obernewtyn. He is very protective of his territory.
Gavyn is a young misfit with an undefined Talent. He is always found in the company of Rasial, a white ridgeback hound.
Angina is a young misfit who was shot with an arrow. He has been lying in a coma for many weeks.
Miky is Angina's twin sister. She has been in a coma for a few weeks with no apparent cause.
Dardelan was the Rebel Chieftain in Sutrium and is now the High Chieftain of The Land. He wants to make Obernewtyn a province, with Rushton as Chief.
In this story, Elspeth is dreaming about Dragon. She tries to break the dream, but it holds her in like a cage. Then Angina appears in front of her and pleas for her to use the black sword to save his sister.
A shadow falls over her and she dives away from it. She reaches back with a probing thought, but doesn't find a mind. There is only a vast darkness full of power.
A violet spirit-form with red and blue streaks appears beside her and tells her to wake. She cannot force herself awake, but it jerks her into another dream. She is floating above a desert when the shadow comes for her.
This time she coerces herself awake. When she opens her eyes, Elspeth has a splitting headache. The thunderstorm outside doesn't help.
As she makes her way through the maze, Elspeth realizes that she had only been dreaming of trying to awake herself. Then she had finally forced herself awake. She dismisses the dream as a nightmare.
Elspeth notices Gavyn gazing into the eyes of Rasial. They are bonded somehow. She thinks that Gavyn is an enthraller, but Rasial seems unlikely to be thralled by anyone.
She also thinks about Angina and Miky. She had visited the boy and his sister the day before. Nothing seems to help them recover from their comas. When she reaches the house, she writes a letter requesting Dameon to return and help the twins.
Elspeth is very busy with the Moon Fair in addition to other matters. She is also worried about Maruman, who disappeared soon after their return to Obernewtyn. She rides out on Gahltha to probe for the cat throughout the area, but cannot find him. She decides to consult Maryon about his location.
When she returns to her office, Ceirwan brings a load of wood for her fireplace. She tells him to let the Futuretellers know that she will be visiting later in the day. He then asks if she will determine when Rushton will arrive.
Elspeth mentions that she is hungry and Ceirwan says that she should have some of the bread baked by Freya. She is surprised that Javo let her use his ovens. Ceirwan says that Freya told him that the kitchen staff would all benefit from her Talent.
Then she finds a book sent to her by Garth. It is the diary of Jacob Obernewtyn. The pages have been sealed in plastic, but Garth wants it back to print copies.
This tale immerses Elspeth in the Moon Fair. It will be extended to three days. Dardelan will be formally announcing the creation of an Obernewtyn Shire and many normals will be attending.
The American publication of this series split the previous volume into two books -- Wavesong and The Stone Key. Since this volume is also being split, the next book in the American series will bring the volume count to eight. Then the last volume will probably split also, so the total volumes in the American series will probably be ten.
There is much confusion about the second half of this book. The American publishers have been calling it The Red Queen, but that is also the name of the last volume in this series. A later release says that the second half will be called The Waking Dragon.
Elspeth finally allows Rushton to bed her. The next installment in this sequence -- The Red Queen -- has not yet been announced on Amazon. Neither has The Waking Dragon.
Highly recommended for Carmody fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of psionic powers, urgent quests, and thwarted romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
The Obernewtyn Chronicles are set in a post apocalyptic world where the main character, Elspeth Gordie, has been charged with a quest to stop The Destroyer before he can activate the back-up cache of nuclear weapons and destroy the world all over again. Over the previous five books, we have been introduced to the various telepathic powers that have manifested themselves in a wide range of people, most of which having come together under the banner of "misfit" to fight for their right to live as equals in this post apocalyptic world. In the Sending we get to learn more about the world pre-apocalypse as Elspeth starts chasing down the nuclear weapons cache, we can start to make tenuous links between our world and The Land where the misfits live (South America perhaps?). Other than that, the world is quite well established and Carmody doesn't spend much time building it further.
The characters in this story are beautifully written as usual. Despite being told in 1st Person POV, Carmody manages to thoroughly explore each and every character, and by the end of the story you feel like you must know these characters personally. Elspeth has grown a lot since the first book in the series, and its fascinating to see how her decision making process has changed having learnt from her previous good and bad decisions. My only concern with Elspeth in this book is that after the position of strength she was left in at the end of the fifth book, she had a massive regression at the start of the sixth book, racked with guilt and doubt, isolating herself from her friends, and spending way too much time with her own thoughts. Sure she once again finished in a position of strength, but I cant help but feel that this book could have been almost 200 pages shorter if she had just gotten on with the job like I expected her to do, rather than wallowing in self pity. The sheer quantity of doubt and self loathing in her character for almost three quarters of the book made it a real chore to keep picking this book up and reading it.
The story was also very slow in this book, with very little plot progression actually happening over the course of 750 pages. It was only once I reached Part 3 with 150 pages to go that it really felt like this book had moved out of first gear. So what happened with the first 600 pages? I think that Carmody unintentionally wrote herself into a corner over the course of the previous five books by leaving so many plot threads open, and as a result the first 600 pages of this book were spent tying up all these threads. Given that book seven will see Elspeth leaving The Land never to return, all of these plots threads had to be resolved before the main plot could be progressed. A necessary evil. It wasn't all bad, and I was glad to see some of these loose threads finally resolved (ie. Elspeth and Rushton, Miky and Angina), but it slowed the story down to a crawl and often had me reaching for something else on my book shelf.
For all intents and purposes The Sending is an info dump, a book that you will only ever want to read once in preparation for taking on the final book of the series. It was slow, boring, and had very little plot progression, but Carmody's prose and characterisation still manages to shine through as a strength that will keep you going through the hard times. Hardcore fans of the series will love this book, but despite my love for the series I couldn't wait to finish this book so I could read something else. My recommendation - don't read this book until The Red Queen is released. You don't want to be put in a position where you have to read this book a second time.
This book had many trials and adventures, meeting some nasty characters human and non-human along the way, picking up clues for the quest, intriguing dream sequences, and the devoutly-wished, long overdue consummation between our heroine and her man.Cant wait for the last book, due within the year, when Elspeth and her loyal company of human and animal companions reach their goal.I will be there with them, cheering them on, as will the many devout readers of Isobelle Carmody's series.
While this book may not have been as good as the rest, I feel it was necessary to set up the final book. The last two books, if I remember correctly, were set to be released as one. Only, it was too long so the publisher split it.
Therefore, while I get that this one may not have been as exciting as the last few, I think it was still a solid read.
It's with that in mind that fans should read this installment.
I love Elspeth as a lead character. Her determination and strength I think make her a stand out protagonist - someone worth looking up to. Her friends and loved ones more so. There are still a few surprises around the corner. I won't spoil them, but it certainly gets you thinking.