04 April 2008

The Stone Key: Obernewtyn Chronicles 5

by Isobelle Carmody

Penguin. Fantasy, Young Adult, Australian. Paperback rrp $32.95

Reviewed by Tristan Year 8

This is the fifth and latest book in the Obernewtyn series. It is also the longest of the series so far. Fans of this series have had to wait 15 years for this book to come out since the release of the fourth book, The Keeping Place.

In The Stone Key, Elspeth Gordie, the main character, leaves the mountain refuge of Obernewtyn to testify at the trial of a rebel traitor. However, she soon gets mixed up in a plot of invasion. In seeking to stop it, she is made to undertake the strangest and most dangerous journey she had ever made; a journey which brings her to the secretive Herder Faction and the Council occupied West Land. Doing this, Elspeth feels she has strayed far from her most important quest: to find and destroy the weapon machines…

The setting is one of the most interesting things about this book as it is in the Post-Apocalypse era, where a nuclear bomb has destroyed most of the earth and only a few places have survived. It was a very popular setting in the 80’s, when Carmody wrote the first book in the series, Obernewtyn, since it was just after the cold war.

As I first learned, it is very difficult to pick up The Stone Key and read it without having read the first four books in the series. (Don’t worry, after discovering this, I went out and borrowed the first four books from the library.) The reason for this is that a lot of character history and evolving is told in the previous books and The Stone Key is very hard to understand without knowledge of that information.

Anyone who likes science fiction and fantasy and is 12 and above would like this book, especially girls, as females play a huge part in this book. The most powerful of abilities belong to females and the main character is a female. Don’t be put off though, male readers! There are still plenty of supporting male characters in this book.


No comments:

Post a Comment