Elspeth has mental talents that she must keep secret from a post-apocalyptic world. She can hear the thoughts of humans and animals, and change those thoughts if she needs to. But she can’t protect herself from being proclaimed a misfit and sent to Obernewtyn. Things are not what they seem there, and freedom is not everything it could be.
Elspeth goes from a lonely loner to someone who dares to have friends. Funny how losing everything seems to do that to a person. She progresses rapidly from someone only concerned about saving herself to someone who can and will help others. It’s that transformation that brought me back to this novel over and over again.
I always wonder what might have happened about Jes if things were different. There’s more powers than seem obvious, and I’m certain that given more space (which could happen since Isobelle has promised me a sequel!!!) there could be more explanation of this. Evolution keeps happening afterall.
This is one of my favourite Carmody books. I’ve never reviewed it before because it’s just a given for me that it is fantastic, and what more can I say about it? But my girlfriend had never read it, so we set about having me read it to her as a pre-sleep ritual. Reading it out loud made me appreciate again the gentle nuances of language and foreshadowing of the rest of the novels.
I in fact own two copies of it (the pictured illustration and the plain Penguin classics version). So that totally suited us when we were travelling between two houses and wanted to keep up our reading each night. Note to self though, after I’ve been reading aloud for at least 2 chapters, I start to stumble over words.
5 stars. You expected? Of course I love this novel, and I’ve lost count of how many times I have reread it. I started in high school, and spent the last 15-odd years waiting for the series to be finished. You can read my review of ‘The Red Queen‘, the last book in the chronicles.