I really had no idea what to expect from this novel. I know that I love Isobelle Carmody’s writing, but this is the first truly young novel that I have read by her. It is also, weirdly enough, the first standalone story that I have read. And man, I wasn’t disappointed. This was one of those stories that left me thinking, contemplating and wondering long after I turned the final page. This is certainly one of those stories that lingers long after you finish, in the best way possible.
I finally finished the series! Not only was this one of those series that was a long time in the making (and completion), but it was also one of those series that I bought the last book, and then left it on my shelf for 2 years. Partly because I wanted to reread the entire thing before I put my hands on the final book, but it’s a fairly complex and convoluted series all up. And, quite honestly the last two books kind of drag for me. To the point that I actually skim read The Red Queen. It was okay, but it wasn’t enough to fully draw me into the story and make me just completely digest and absorb every single word.
Finishing this book has been a long time coming. I started rereading the series when The Red Queen came out, and I hadn’t ever quite gotten to The Sending. Over two years later, I finally managed to find the time to actually sit down and read this story. It is intense and quite a long haul, but it is most certainly worth the time and brain power that I put into it. It is going to take me quite a while to finish The Red Queen as well, over a month (much like The Sending), but it is an epic journey, and sometimes spending the time to take an epic journey is definitely worthwhile.
Planes, children and death, three things that kind of freak me out, all combined into one very enjoyable short story. But honestly, I didn’t expect anything less from one of my favourite authors!
Short story collections are always good fun. They’re a great way to discover new authors, and the common thread through them can be so unique and different. Sometimes I even struggle to find the common thread! Not with this amazing collection though. It’s simple. Witches.
I love pursuing Australian authors – after all, I would love to be one one day, and they are my people. So, discovering that there is a book that features not one, not two, but nine of these phenomenal people made me break out in a huge grin. And I wasn’t disappointed. Actually, the main disappointment came when I finished the last novella and had to find a new anthology to go and read.
Strictly speaking, it’s not necessary to read this short story before you read the Obernewtyn Chronicles. Actually, it’s not even necessary at any point throughout the reading of the series. but, if you are like me and can’t quite get enough of the series, then this is definitely worth a read. It tells the tale of the days when Cassandra was first foretelling the coming of the Seeker and how Hannah worked into this story. It’s a great background read.
This is my least favourite of the Obernewtyn Chronicles – it is the slowest of the stories and very, very detail oriented. Not that this is a bad thing, but I like to be swept along with the story so that I forget that I’ve spent three hours reading instead of doing some responsible adult act. Having said that, this detail-oriented approach is so important to make sure that the rest of the story is understandable. When playing with fate and prophecies, it is incredibly important to set up the storyline – every single detail has a great significance that can only rear its head books after it has been set up.
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 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).