The Farseekers by Isobelle Carmody


The Farseekers

Title: The Farseekers
Author: Isobelle Carmody
Series: The Obernewtyn Chronicles #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian author, Dystopia, High fantasy, Science fiction
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: Then he gaped, seeing the robed man.

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I sensed a ripple in the fabric of the cat’s unconscious mind. i knew I was inside his dreams. I went deeper still. I whispered his name…

Since their takeover of Obernewtyn, the secret community of Misfits has flourished, protected by their remoteness. Believing they have time to marshal new forces before the inevitable confrontation with the totalitarian Council, they work hard to develop their forbidden mental abilities. But in the midst of plans to rescue a powerful Misfit in a distant part of the Land, it is foreseen by a futureteller that the fate of Obernewtyn is inextricably bound up in their quest.

Led by Elspeth Gordie, whose extraordinary powers set her apart even among her Misfit friends, the expedition sets out. Only she knows the enormity of their task. but for her there is yet another challenge as she must fulfil her vow to find and dismantle the dormant deathweapons left by the Beforetimers.


I didn’t know that there was a second Obernewtyn book until I stumbled on it a few years after reading the first. I had always felt like Obernewtyn was well finished. So, The Farseekers did feel a little like an after-thought sequel. But, that didn’t detract from its brilliance and value in any way, shape or form. This book built on a world that I had really and thoroughly enjoyed in Obernewtyn, and further immersed and sucked me in to a new, dystopian reality.

Not only did Carmody build on a pre-loved world, she also played with ideas of destiny and fate. I love the idea that there is something in this world that we are meant to do, meant to accomplish. Although, I don’t like the idea that we are not able to affect our own future – who wants to live a life where you are no more able to change your course than a leaf blowing on the wind? But placing a protagonist like Elspeth as the receiver of such an important and key fate was brilliant. Yes, she has this incredible fate, but she chooses to fight for things in the moment. The future is the future and Elspeth pursues that which is happening right now. The crossover between being master of her own reality, and a pawn in the great scheme of things was really nicely done and very much appreciated.

Carmody’s creation of the different guilds within the misfit community was very well done. Her use of a combination of entirely made up, and modern words made sure that I knew what each guild did from their first mention. It was just yet another reminder of Carmody’s ability to mix our modern reality with a future one. But, the part that I enjoy the most is that it has elements of the past – or at least the past how I imagine it. The burning of seditioners, the over-arching power of one religious faction and a group of elite in power are all entirely plausible aspects of a not-so-pleasant future, but they are also aspects of our own pasts.

The Farseekers was a great story all on its own, but it was an even better bridge and introduction to the challenges that would be faced throughout the rest of the Obernewtyn Chronicles.

<- Obernewtyn Review Ashling Review ->
Image source: Wikipedia

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