Sending by Isobelle Carmody

The Sending: a girl wearing a headscarf holds a cata review by Jade Hounsell

The Sending is the 6th book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles, or the seventh I think for overseas readers. There really is no point in reading this book as a stand alone; you really have to read all the others in the series to understand what is happening and the key characters. Believe me reading the rest of the series will not be a chore; Isobelle really has created a captivating world that is very easy to be lost in.

I have been reading this series since Isobelle made a visit to my school when I was in year 7 and I purchased a book for her to sign, so that’s something like, (oh gosh I now feel really old) 18 years. Each of my books has been read no less then 10 times each and the only gripe I have is that it can take years between books. However once I have my hands on the newest copy I totally forget the gap and once I have finished reading, I totally understand why.

If you haven’t already read the series, and I highly recommend that you do, then most of what I am about to say is not going to make a whole heap of sense. The time for Elspeth to leave Obernewytn and complete her quest to destroy the weaponmachines, has come. The dog Darga has returned which is the signal that she is to leave Obernewtyn and never return. With only the horse Gahltha, cat Marumann and Darga for her company, Elspeth must leave Obernewtyn and everyone in it behind without any warning or goodbye, and that includes Rushton whom Elspeth has finally allowed herself to fully love.

Elspeth is guided by Darga, Gahltha (The Day Watcher) and Marumann (the Night Watcher) deep into the mountains where they must seek the assistance of the wolves whom are suppose to lead her where she needs to go for the next part of her quest– that is if she can first convince them to. The wolves have an overpowering hatred of humans due to the cruelties that Arial inflicted on the pack in years past.

While waiting for the wolves to make their decision as to whether they will help or not, Elspeth makes the surprising discovery that she is not to undertake this journey alone as she had always thought she would. There are several companions waiting for her, all of whom are known to her and some whom she cares deeply for. (I will not spoil it by telling you who!)

Each of these companions has been sought out by the Agyllis bird in their dreams or as a voice in their mind, giving them instructions that have lead them to be here at the same time as Elspeth. Elspeth for her part, knows that each and every one of those chosen would all be there for a very specific reason although at that moment she has no idea what those reasons may be.

In all truth, not a whole heap happens in most of The Sending. It really is a setting up for the next (and I think last) book of the series, The Red Queen. However there is a heap of information and building of characters in this book that will have fans of the series left feeling very happy and eagerly awaiting the next. Also be warned that the ending of this book is a real cliffhanger, something that has never happened in this series before.

Isobelle Carmody spoke to Nalini Haynes of Dark Matter Zine in this interview.

Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: October 31, 2011