Ashling by Isobelle Carmody



Title: Ashling
Author: Isobelle Carmody
Series: The Obernewtyn Chronicles #3
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: 1995
5th sentence, 74th page: Dragon froze, blue eyes livid with fear.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Synopsis

Sometimes dreams were gateways through which messages might come. Beasts called them ashlings: dreams that called…

The powerful farseeker Elspeth Gordie is sent to Sutrium, seat of the totalitarian Council that rules the Land, to seal an alliance between the secret Misfit community at Obernewtyn and rebel forces.

She travels from the mountains reluctantly, for at any moment the long-awaited summons may come from the oldOnes to find and destroy the dormant weaponmachines left by the Beforetimers. The journey takes her far beyond the borders of the Land, across the sea and into the heart of the mysterious desert region of Sador. Here she discovers that she will need help to destroy the weaponmachines.

But before her dark quest can begin, Elspeth must learn the truth of her dreams: she must understand why the Beforetimers destroyed their world…


I thought that Ashling was the book where The Obernewtyn Chronicles really found their pace. Elspeth’s quest begins to gain traction, alongside the Misfits journey to acceptance. The parallel tales of the two missions begin to really make sense and it is easy to understand how Elspeth’s fate is intertwined with the fate of all of Obernewtyn (and indeed, the world).

Not only did the storyline become a lot more complex and intricate, and very quickly, the cast was expanded in the first few chapters. But that’s great, because it gave me so many more people to love and hope for. It did take a lot more concentration to read though than the first two books in the series. I wouldn’t recommend reading Ashling if you are studying for an exam or trying to write an essay – it’s just WAY too difficult to keep track of everything and be productive in your own life. At least for me, anyway.

I loved the change of scenery in this book – it honestly took my breath away. Or at least, the way I imagined it made me wistful for a country and world that I have never had the pleasure of seeing. Carmody’s words and descriptions were just so stunning and masterfully written that the Sadorian desert became a very realistic destination. Which, after all, is really what you want in a good book. Or at least, it’s one of the things that I really enjoy.

There’s so much to love about this book, but for me, the best part was how Carmody used the Misfits and the Rebels to highlight two very different realities. The peaceful Misfits are about life, love and peace, but the Rebels on the otherhand were far more violent and, for me, much harder to connect with. The juxtaposition between the two groups really reminded me of the fact that “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

<- The Farseekers Review The Keeping Place Review ->
Image source: Penguins Books

Book Review

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