Hi, I'm new here. In the past I have casually read some of the threads but have never been a regular visitor to the site, which I love by the way. It seems like such a friendly active community. I also think it is really cool that there is some contact between the site and Isobelle herself.
I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right area or whether it has been discussed before. I have no problem at all with it being moved or closed if need be.
I'm currently rereading the rest of the OC before reading TRQ and the setting of the books is bugging me. I am currently reading through Ashling and have a bad memory for specifics so I can't remember the finer details of the later books. Near the start of Ashling they go to the city under Tor and into the Reichler Clinic for the first time and start to find out more about the beforetime. From the information provided up to this point it would appear the books are supposed to be set in the future of our world because many of the terms and places from the beforetime are very similar to words used now. However, I don't understand why they are similar and not exactly the same. Most of the information the characters have about the beforetime comes from reading about it. Therefore I would think that if it was actually set in our world that places like the Chinon empire would actually just be China and the mistaken code described as Jerman would actually be German (I'm just interested in the spelling rather than the code/language thing as it makes sense that they would believe other languages to be just codes if they had only ever been exposed to one language). Another example is the Govamen rather than Government. If it is supposed to be a different world to ours, why name these things so similarly to the words we use now?
I'm very keen to know what you think about this and whether Isobelle has commented on it before. In terms of spoilers I don't mind about any of the books except for the TRQ because I have read them before but have just forgotten some of the detail. If you need to post something from TRQ could you please put a spoiler warning in the post
It's definitely meant to be set in our world, though the geographical elements are very all over the place. Many an obernetter had spent a long hours attempting to work out where exactly the OC map is in respects to our own world and failed miserably at it.
Apparently Obernewtyn itself is somewhere in Scotland though.
If I remember correctly, Isobelle's confirmed it's our world, but it's set a long time in the future. Long enough that plate tectonics have shifted many of our continents (though, the major shifting of land masses happens during the Great White, and we're never sure by how much, which is annoying when you want to make correlations as it sounds like we both do :P ) and for new alliances to have formed, which would come with alterations to place names as we know them.
If so much time has passed between now and Cassy's time, then we could also assume place names vary due to the evolution of language over time. Europeans speak "Urolish" primarily; the example of Jerman may be what the agreed shared word in the evolved language was for that secondary-language. No idea why, when German suffices, but hey.
Alliance side of things: in one of the books the five powers are defined (and I can't remember if it was explained or not why the five powers emerged - it's a bit hazy - mind is telling me it was a redistribution of borders to settle conflicts? Can't remember). They are:
- Tipoda - based on description, sounds like Antipodean regions - Australia, NZ, Pacific islands.
- Chinon - obviously China/greater Asia.
- Uropa - Europe (hmm. Where does Russia fit in?)
- Mericanda - America plus Canada?
- Gadfia - this one is tricky, because it seems like Gadfia is Africa and the Mid East, but then there's a mention that Gadfia shares a border with Mericanda (so, South America, too?). The five powers didn't have to be single land masses, but were more designated areas of control.
Oh and there's direct correlations occasionally - from as Shonk said, Obernewtyn being in Scotland (confirmed by Isobelle, not sure this is mentioned in-book), to the second Hannah story (Journey) being set in London.