I’ve just completed Book Four of this great series by Isobelle Carmody.
To begin the new year with posting the reviews of the three I’ve already read.
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody reviewed by Jill Smith©Jan16
Elspeth Gordie lives in fear. She does not make friends, and keeps to herself. The Herders rule the land. An orphan, sent to gather white stick, a poison from the Great White left by the Beforetimers. Once cleansed, the white stick becomes sleeping potions, or potent medicines, prepared by the Herders.
Her brother Jess had once been close to her. Now he wears the armband of Herders assistant. She gets headaches, this is a worry for them both. As their parents had been burnt for Sedition she and Jess could both meet the same fate. Her secret talent taints her, a Misfit. Maruman an old grey cat has foretelling visions and she can speak to him in her mind. He tells her that she will be leaving the city and going to the Mountains, and that he must follow her. Elspeth is afraid. The rumours she’d heard about the only place in the mountains was Obernewtyn.
Maruman’s prediction that the darkOne would seek Elspeth and take her away come true. The journey is terrifying for the orphan. She leaves Jess behind, believing he does not care about her. His position as assistant Herder would be more difficult with his sister taken away. As they had no proof she was a Misfit, he was safe.
What she finds at Obernewtyn is not what she had expected. She is set to work in the kitchens and made to work hard. She wonders why the lord of Obernewtyn, Lukas Seraphim, did not appear. Madam Vega who had found her and brought her there is. Selmar, another misfit, had gone mad. Elspeth wonders how a treatment used to cure Misfits, could cause such deterioration. When she meets Doctor Seraphim, she discovers him ineffectual. Alexi, a tall flaxen haired man, introduced as the Doctors assistant, is the instigator of the treatments. His eyes cold, with Madam Vega his ally, they were searching for a particular Misfit. Elspeth wonders who runs Obernewtyn?
Her answer comes while she was still trying to hide her talents. Transferred to work on the farm, Elspeth meets Rushton, the overseer, supervising her work with horses. He does not know she could bespeak with the animals but was grateful for her calming influence on the beasts. Her talent, when discovered, causes her to be a subject of investigation. Madam Vega and Alexi, take her to a Beforetimers machine causing the unleashing of part of her talent she didn’t know existed. The result is a mighty upset of power at Obernewtyn and changes Elspeth Gordie’s life.
I’ve been meaning to read this series for a long time. I’m glad I finally did it. This is the first book in a remarkable series. Isobelle wrote this first book while she was at high school!