I'm reading the orange spine version (I first read the library copy which has the same cover but was before the orange spine). I've only read the first chapter and there already seems to be so much I've forgotten (which is good for me, I'll enjoy the reread more). On the first page of chapter 1 it mentions that Herders have the ability to see ghosts. Is this designated a talent later on? (more a note to for myself to check back when/if I find out for myself :P).
Yes Agy, I wondered that too about the Herders! Do they 'see' ghosts because they have some sort of misfit ability themselves (like...futuretelling, I suppose - or the ability to access the dreamtrails on some level, even if they aren't aware of it)? Or are they just ridiculously superstitious and see things? Jik was training to be a Herder and he had ability - I have to wonder if they really knew about it and were counting on using it?
I don't think the Herders have any sort of talent. It would freak them out too much. I think it's more just superstition.
I've finished with Obernertyn (and Farseekers and Ashling) and I still love to read it. Ariel is such a horrid boy. I always wonder what happened to Sly Willie. He just seems to disappear after Obernewtyn.
I always thought it was actually more like /some/ had a talent and they unwittingly caused the assumption that Herders could see ghost, which led to a whole lot of copycats pretending (even convincing themselves) that they could too--because it had simply become expected.
Anyway, ever since the first time I read Obernewtyn, I have been expecting more to come from the Silent Vale, and rereading it now has, if anything, just increased that opinion. The occasional references to the Silent Vale in some of the other books just drive it home. Something has to be/have been down there.
I think I agree with Shonk. I suspect there are more people with a little bit of Talent in the Land then you would expect. Think of Brydda in later books with his 'knack' of knowing people are telling the truth and his 'premonitions'. Perhaps most people are on the verge of developing their Talents, and the Herders' over-zealous training just make them more disciplined and so more in tune with what they're feeling - ironically.
Do we know how old Jes and Elspeth are at the start?
SPOILERS FOR THE OTHER BOOKS BELOW MAYBE
I finished it (again) the other day. so glad that the magic is still there. I have been making pencil marks where I think things might be relevent later on, like when she first sees the doors, and when the various masters of obernewton are mentioned. Pretty sure someone on here had a chart or something a while back.
I have noticed a few times that Elspeth has shown empathic ability. I assume that after this book Isobelle started more clearly defining abilities.
it was really hard to find this thread, btw, I ended up needing to find the link of the facebook page.
It has been presumed that Elspeth is 14 and Jes 16. Just a guess though
Okay, I am DETERMINED to get through this series again. Every time I begin a book lately I just lose interest but I am pleased to find that with Obernewtyn I am finally rekindling my inner bookworm.
I am reading the version that came out as a trilogy with The Farseekers and Ashling. I am up to Chapter 6 or 7 - Daffyd has just been introduced.
Initial thoughts are:
I never really read the introduction so suddenly a whole lot of stuff makes sense!
I am curious about why Jes and Daffyd have natural mindblocks and if it means they have inner secrets that are revealed later in the series ( I forget if they do or not).
I also think the Silent Vale has something sinister going on, like the previous comments.
I am also determined to get through this series before the next book - stupid real life and work distracting me!
I am up to the part where Elspeth meets the doctor for the first time.
I started re reading them as soon as we got the release date! I'm up to ashling - the part where they got to sador. I've planned it so i've got two months to read each of the bigger books. With school and everything I know I'll need it!
A few things I've noticed:
1. Elspeth and Rushton's relationship throughout the books. When I first read them i didn't take any notice of how elf and rushton treat each other. SPOILER It was only at the end of ashling where they actually tell each other how they feel that I knew they liked each other.
2. Like everyone else the silent vale seems to be an important part of the books. Though i've always thought this and when I first read them I thought the book would be about finding out whats down there! And wouldn't it be kind of cool to end the books where they started?
3. There are so many details that I've forgotten about! I wont go into detail because I don't want to spoil anyone but there are so many little bits and pieces that I had forgotten.
4. How much I love the second book and what happens in it. All of the characters that are introduced, the events that happened, how fast paced it is. It's probable one of my favourites in the series.
5. How they are fighting for equal rights for not only the misfits, but also the slaves, the gypsies, the people from sador, the defectives, the animals, everyone. The fight for their freedom is such an important part of the books aside from her actual quest.
And I think thats all I can come up with right now. :)
Has everyone finished? Do you mind if I start a June thread?
Sorry to be late to the party but I just wanted to see if anyone noticed what I did at the end of the book?
I have read Obernewtyn more then I can count but for some reason it only stuck with me this time.
On the very last page the sentence that got me was "Such power must have a purpose and I thought of a dark chasm somewhere in the mountains and again restlessness filled me".
This may have been discussed but doesn't this mean that the death machines are close to Obernewtyn? Like many I was starting to lean toward the theory that the Death Machines were in the Red Queen's land but really I've always thought it was the Silent Vale but now I'm not sure! Surely this sentence holds some significance?
So I'm on Farseekers now but I finished Obernewtyn last week. I've reread bits and pieces of the series but I'm not one to reread books until I've almost forgotten them. I was 13 when I first read it and I'm 28 now and although I still remembered some of it, I was surprised how much I had finally forgotten. I'm glad I've left a full reread this long. It's still not the same as a first read but I am intrigued by the difference in my views between then and now. Where as originally (and this will be the same for most new read fantasy books) I was more hauled along by the adventure and turmoil Elspeth faced, this time around I was more interested in what each character was thinking about their lives and circumstances and what they thought of the other misfits. And then to step out to the author's level and think what Isobelle was thinking when she first embarked on this series and how she was interacting with her characters and designing her world and if, as she was quite young when she first started writing this (certainly younger than I am now), her imagination and intellect filled a lot of the physical gaps she probably lacked through experience.
Yay! I’ve finally started re-reading the Obernewtyn chronicles! Here are some of my thoughts and bits that stuck out to me as interesting in Obernewtyn.
- The significance of the doors of Obernewtyn – why the cavorting man-beasts? What’s with that? What does it represent? It seems more Narnia-esque to me but how does it relate to the Obernewtyn world? (maybe a reference to the dreamtails or Cassandra – mythology of the Beforetime etc.)
- There was also another door that led to the Doctor’s Chamber – it had a person chained to a tree (significant much?). Symbol of sacrifice or a reference from mythology?
- I liked Rushton in the first book (more so than the following books). He had a sort of cool purpose and drive and I liked him as a leader. He was also the first person to communicate to Elspeth in her mind and save her (totally forgot about this)
- The Destroyer – If Ariel isn’t the Destroyer, than the most powerful option to me (just from reading the first book) is Rushton – powerful mind, though untapped. But I feel, considering Isobelle already went that way in having him brainwashed and tortured in ‘The Stone Key,’ it might be someone else – Matthew? With his obsession with the Beforetimers is a likely fit. Somehow Dameon (at this stage at least) seems too gentle and pragmatic and sensible to be ‘the one who brings destruction,’ My thoughts are: Ariel, The Druid, Matthew, Rushton
- Maruman - There is evidence of him being really old and having lived in the beforetime even in the first book. He told Elspeth so in the beginning, but she thought it unlikely and when he went into one of his fits, he says: “Forever and forever is pain…” which hints that he is cursed (has been tampered and experimented on) to live ‘forever and forever’ or until his purpose is fulfilled. However, I did not get his reference to ‘the flies!’
- The Druid seems to be really important (this book and next) and then seemingly fades out of existence. I wonder why this is. Does he have a bigger part to play? Could he be the Destroyer?
- Madam Vega and Alexi puzzle me – they had such a role to play in this book and then they died – where is the evil equivalent of those two in the next books? I suppose you could say Ariel ‘took up the cause’ after those two, but even his motives are hidden. We don’t really know what he’s up to
- Dameon – There are definite clues as to Dameon loving Elspeth from the first. But what I was struck with this time were the parallels drawn between Rushton and Dameon. They were both transfixed by Elspeth from the moment they first met her. Rushton brushed it off like it was of no consequence and Dameon is blind – so he had an excuse to stare. I think Elspeth must have a powerful aura and energy around her that attracted them intrinsically and immediately when they first saw her. And their questions to Elspeth at the end are also the same – ‘Will you stay?’ (said with sadness and slight bitterness on Dameon’s part as he must have felt some of the undercurrents between Rushton and Elspeth even at this early stage).
So… that’s all for now!! ^_^
I guess I'm a bit late to the party, just started up my reread a couple of days ago. It was refreshing to see the younger versions of the characters again, before everything went to hell. I think my favourite line in the whole book was about something dameon said "dameon mentioned he had never seen the master of obernewtyn before", I sat laughing for like, 10 minutes because I was like, "you don't say (insert image of nicholas cage here), I bet you've never seen rushton either." (Because he's blind)
Edited to add, I just realised I left a no-no one word comment. I was giggling at that line, though. :)
Part way through my reread of Obernewtyn now, and like everyone I have forgotten so much! And it really is nice to reread it and try and pick things out, though a few times I thought Isobelle has been a little heavy on the foreshadowing of something is about to happen, but that's probably more just me being like 'yes, yes, we all know that x is going to happen'.
A few thoughts:
- There was that weird gray obelisk thing really early on, just curious as to what that was, was it a lamp post? Or an old monument?
- Definitely think The Silent Vale has some possible importance, like there was all the 'vague murmurs' she heard when she threw the stone in, seems weird
- I wonder what the significance of her fall into the water is, was it at all tainted and enhanced her abilities, was it just normal water and she just had a sore head. Cause it seemed like she had a headache for quite a while, and then she had some extra visions, like there was a penetrating yellow eye. What was that?
- Then we had mentioned the statue of the founder of Kinraide (the orphanhome I guess or the city?), is he important?
- The introduction of Maruman was again interesting, cause you almost expect it to be a person, until it isn't. I'm curious as to why he is 'sensitive about birds', and then his hatred of the moon in relation to the great white (I think there has been the theory that's where some weaponmachines came from?)
- And Matthew and Daemon's introduction is wonderful, but I'm becoming more and more suspicious of Matthew being the destroyer, he is too fascinated by the Beforetimers, and thinks that if we had their 'magic' we wouldn't make the same mistakes, so strong signs perhaps?
Finished it now, it's so short!
I did see a few times where things just didn't quite make sense, like in the cave, it never really mentioned Elspeth getting a lantern, and when Rushton was telling Elspeth how to run, he mentioned the drains as if Elspeth knew about things. So there were just a few points where things were a bit muddled. Still loved it though,
The main thing that I found really interesting was at p126 where Cameo "raved about wolves and hidden powers and birds", interesting little mention of wolves so early on!
Also I think I had forgotten that Marissa actually was the one who found the location of the weaponmachines and made the map. I wonder how she did it exactly? I forget if we get more backstory on this, but it would be nice to know more about them, and Alexi and Vega, like how exactly did they come to be here, and what really motivated them?
Do we know how Alexi actually died though? Was it from the others who came to Elspeth's rescue?
And I really echo the above wondering about Sly Willie, and the cook, and all the non-Misfits. Were there people who rejected it all? Were they allowed to leave? Not sure if we found out at all.
I decided yesterday to start the re-read again (after failing to get past a few chapters months ago, thank you, real life), but picked up the Random House edition (2007, was it?) that MK and Fifi got me. I remembered Isobelle saying at the time that she'd done an edit on Ober, Farseekers and Ashling for those editions, so thought I'd read it to check if there's any alterations (rather than go back to my old faithful '94 edition).
Something in the first 5 chapters has me thinking that Jes is aware of his misfit abilities, prior to Elspeth leaving. I'm not to the point where Rosamunde tells Elspeth what happened, once she's sent to Ober as well, but my memory of that point is that there's another boy who arrives at Kinraide and shows Jes how to use his abilities. If that bit is unchanged in this edition, though, you could easily say that Jes also coerced Rosamunde (as we sort of also assumed he did, to save her from their association) into believing that.
Elspeth mentions at one point that she wishes she could read his thoughts, but that he has one of those minds that has a natural mental shield (just like the gypsies...hmm, thoughts for another post). He would be shielding himself, if he was a misfit, not only because he's hiding his abilities in order to get in with the Herders and be considered normal, but also because he's hiding from Elspeth what he's planning.
That his ambition to join the Herders as an assistant is his way of starting to fulfil his promise to Elspeth to have revenge on the Herders and Council, for what happened to their parents. That when he confesses to Elspeth in her cell that he thought only about himself when Elspeth's name was called out to be taken to Obernewtyn, he was about to tell her that he was a misfit as well. That he was scared because it could have easily been him being taken.
Reading about Jes in this re-read makes me hope that we do see him again, in TRQ.
I definitely agree, I want to know how on earth did Marissa learn all these things? Was it just all beforetime books? Or did she remember herself? Or was she a Misfit too???
I had the same thought reading through that it points towards Matthew
I've been wondering for a while if Marisa was being used by the Agyllians, and that's how she knew so much and was able to plant what she needed to. She wasn't a Seraphim until she married into the family so it can't just be that she was related to Hannah (slightly easier to say she was a tool of the Quest if she was directly related). It was one of my questions to IC on our list of Q's that she'll answer after the book comes out (if the book doesn't answer it for us).
Ariel's backstory would be interesting. Something awful must have happened to make him that messed up, surely.