Title: The Keeping Place
Author: Isobelle Carmody
Series: The Obernewtyn Chronicles #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian author, Dystopian future, High fantasy, Science fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
5th sentence, 74th page: Ceirwan went to take her by the hands.
‘Look out,’ I screamed. The flying creature lashed out and I stared in horror at Rushton’s bloodied arm. Maruman leapt between us in his tyger form. ‘Let me go to him!’ I screamed.
‘He is in a dream but the beast is not. It comes! Wake!’
After a kidnapping, Elspeth Gordie and the Misfits are forced to join the rebellion against the oppressive Council, using their extraordinary mind powers. But Elspeth must also seek out clues left by the long-dead seer, Kasanda, vital to her quest to destroy the Beforetime weaponmachines. One clue is lost in the past, forcing Elspeth to travel the Dreamtrails, stalked by a terrifying winged beast, with the cat, Maruman, as her guide and guardian. Only there can she learn more of the Beforetimer Misfits and their enemy, Govamen.
Gradually, Elspeth realises her quest is intimately linked to the Misfits’ refuge, Obernewtyn – its past and its future…
The Keeping Place is so far one of my favourite books in the Obernewtyn Chronicles. It takes the fast pace and the storyline from the first three books, but combines it with a rebellion and the blooming of love. Elspeth’s journey takes further steps towards their final end as she uncovers another clue in her ultimate quest. This, combined with war, betrayal and kidnapping just made this book a huge page turner for me.
I love that in The Keeping Place, Misfits finally start to find their place in the world. With the rise of the rebellion and their decision to pursue peace, inspired by their trip in Ashling, they not only find a way to fit into the world. But a way to fruitfully exist within it. When I first read this as an awkward teen, it made me feel like I too could find a place to belong. And not only that, I could find a way to belong in a world that can be especially cruel without being cruel in return. It’s a lesson that I have taken to heart, and tried my best to maintain. I get to belong in the world, and I spend every day trying to do so in a way that has peace and love at the heart of all of my actions.
The other reason that I love this book is that you are finally able to begin to uncover some of Dragon’s past. Her inability to remember a traumatic history really resonated with me. Being unable to remember the bad parts to the point that it begins to leak into reality is something that resonates throughout many people’s lives. But, I think that’s it’s something we all must do – deal with our past and learn to move on from it. Without doing so, it is incredibly difficult to fully embrace life, at least for me.
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