Isobelle Carmody Reviews: Darkfall, Book One in the Legendsong Trilogy

Review by Fate. Back to all Isobelle Carmody Book Reviews [hr][/hr] DarkfallA moonlit swim, an ancient prophecy: two triggers that begin Isobelle Carmody's 1997 novel Darkfall, and the series of events that befall Australian twins Glynn and Ember Flanders as they are each swept out of their world and into another. In this spellbinding first novel of the Legendsong Saga, Carmody has created a fantastical parallel world rife with all the politics and legend of our own. The twins’ story begins as they are both whisked through a portal in the ocean and into the world of Keltor; a place where all stories began with the Legendsong, a written history detailing the existence of two tragic heroes, Lanalor and Shenavyre. This story, told through the ages, speaks of an ‘Unraveller’, a savior who will free the Unykorn, the pure and Firstmade creature, from the capture of the Chaos spirit. DarkfallHowever, the story of Glynn and Ember takes a much more complicated route. Glynn, recovering from the unexpected suicide of her beloved martial arts instructor, is saved from drowning and taken to a place where men walk the winds and stones carry visions of the future. Ember, gifted with exceptional musical abilities, is dying of an inoperable brain tumour. Discovered by a soulweaver, a woman votive to the isle of Darkfall, a region fallen out of favour by the diplomatically scandalous, she learns of those who can ascertain truth from prophecy. From the tunnels of Acantha to the Holder’s, or ruler’s, household on the island of Ramidan, the sisters find their way across Keltor and are embroiled amongst players in a worldly battle, including the Chaos-worshipping cult of the Draaka and the Robin Hood-like figure of someone known only as the Shadowman. Whilst the storyline can often take complicated political and mysteriously interconnected turns, the characters Carmody weaves give continuous insight for the reader. Glynn's physical and emotional strength intensifies the action; whereas Ember's emotional withdrawal from the world, and her own self, offer a counter in perspective. Two very different chains of events occur on Keltor, told through each twin's unique disposition. Amongst the narrative have been placed 'segue' sections, connecting characters on Earth to those in Keltor; sometimes without apparent links. As Darkfall progresses the significance of these observations, by a detached 'watcher', become points of reflection, revealing the effect on a central event on seemingly minor onlookers. The sad beauty of Carmody's tale is what creates Darkfall. A clock seems to tick on in the background, both for the deteriorating Ember, the purposeful Glynn, and for the reader who can observe, much like the watcher, and segue between characters; essentially embarking on two journeys through the Void and into another world that might not be too dissimilar from our own. [hr][/hr] Back to all Isobelle Carmody Book Reviews

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