Ok so I'm re-reading The Sending (first re-read so 2nd time reading it), and around200 pages in or so where they were discussing
Ariel's history, and Marissa and Alexi and Steven..... it struck me that Steven Seraphim was named as a doctor in Obernewtyn. Which makes it seem a little strange to me how in TS, Dr. Ruth is always referred to as "doktaruth" - come ON, Elspeth, you've heard the word Doctor before - AND you've heard & acknowledged Cassy referring to Doktaruth as Dr Ruth in an earlier book. I guess obvious Oberverse versions of Beforetime words have always been a bit frustrating for me - such as "govamen" when there is clearly a governing body in the Land, and Garth initially gets the word from having READ it in plasts so my brain going "its okay, a post-apocalyptic world set in Europe/UK area several centuries in the future would probably pronounce words differently from how a 20th/21st century American (myself) or Australian (Isobelle & most of the readers who have seen TS) would in normal conversation" gets chucked out the window when you consider the spelling. Now yes, names do change over time - China = Chinon, Tibet = Tiba, Uropa = Eruope, etc. But I swear I've seen the word "government" or "governing" or something of that nature in an earlier book, in the correct context and a modern-day setting as far as they're concerned, so this is clearly a case of people (aka Elspeth and the admittedly oblivious to non-necessitys Teknoguilders) not connecting the dots.
AHA - found it - page 270 of my American edition of TSK (not sure what page it'd be in the Australian edition as I don't have that handy, but it is in TSK as opposed to Wavesong) where they're assembling the local business leaders to select the new Westland Chieftains, various forms of the word are all over the page (and the rest of the scene a couple pages later, for that matter). There's mention of people not thinking they have the skills to govern a city, Jakoby talking of how the tribes governed themselves, and someone asking Rolf on the bottom of page 277 what he knows about governing a city, where he says that if birth and wealth were all that is required they might as well turn governance of the city back over to the former councilmen.I don't see the actual word "government", but it is clear that just about everyone worth mentioning in this chapter knows what government is and what it means, and for Elspeth not to connect the dots that a Beforetime society responsible for ruling over a large body of people might actually be called a GOVERNMENT just seems a bit...... IDK. To be perfectly honest, the continued use of "doktaruth" annoyed me a LOT more, until I started poring over TSK to find the government reference. [/rant]
ANYWHO, back to The Sending. In general, I liked it. One random thought that occured to me, that I haven't seen discussed here yet, is to do with the city of Pellmar is the similarity between the name and that of Pellinor, from Alison Croggon's series set in the distant past. I'm probably way off base, just drawing comparisons because both serieses are written by Australian authors, both were discovered around the same time by me, and both are set in worlds that are nothing a 21st century American/Australian person would recognize. It just seemed like a weird coincidence,
Overall, I'm inclined to agree with the earlier point made about Cinda's observation that not everything a futureteller predicts comes to pass exactly the way they describe. Perhaps the easiest Oberverse example of this I can think of is Hannah being away from Obernewtyn at the time of the Great White so that Jacob had to go after her in order for their bones to be laid together - she saw they'd be together, just she (and everyone else around her) assumed it would be at Obernewtyn, and then that assumption based on incomplete data was wrong. Also, I think Isobelle said something to the effect in one of her interviews - that no matter what she claimed in earlier books, if the character's personality, desires, and story path lead somewhere they'd been forbidden by earlier info, there is always a loophole where it can work out. Like how Maruman said (P 338 from the same edition everyone else has) "You will not/never come back to thisland or thisbarud," that could mean that she won't come back to the Land but she could return to, for instance, Westland or Norseland or Sador, all of which could arguably be different lands where she has friends and loved ones. And we know she gets to the Red Land somehow, because - lets face it - we wouldn't have a forthcoming book entitled The Red Queen if it didn't involve Dragon claiming her heritage, and Dragon's currently with Elspeth. Which is another nod to the "not everything futuretellers describe happens the exact way we expect it to" point, as everyone assumes that because Maryon and Dell have seen Elspeth and Dragon in the Red Land, that means they'll be on the ships from Sutrium - when they clearly won't be, but will find some other way to get there.
I'm trying to think in modern context.... if The Land is most likely evolved from present-day Europe, and Sador (despite being directly to the east) is peopled with descendants of what I suspect to be present-day arabs/muslims who live in a nomadic desert format not unfamiliar to some of their 20th-century ancestors, and Norseland seems to be pretty obviously Norway (or Scandanavia in general) that has undergone a major land-shifting..... hm.... I had this whole theorey all set up in my head where by tilting the map so Elspeth's West becomes our North, Sador (the Middle East) is to the South of The Land (Europe), and The Spit becomes either the Cape of Good Hope in Africa or else its India where whatever destroyed Raq&Turka in the Beforetime opened up a sea passage by the present-day Mediterranian sea - and then I looked at a 21st century world map, and realized that if Sador is south of the Land by modern compass points, then going towards the Spit would have them sailing along the present-day Arctic Sea & Russia towards the Bering Strait. Which.... could work, with some MAJOR climate change ( and I assume a shifting of the poles to transform North into West would definitely change the climate a bit). And then the Clouded Sea would be the Pacific Ocean, and our theorey of The Red Queen's Land being a play on Queensland and therefore located in present-day Australia and Beforetime Tipoda would work out quite well. Although if that's the case, you would think the Sadorians, having been to the Spit, would have some mapmaking recollection of Alaska (northwest Mericanda, in Beforetime language)... but the same (or different) earthquake forces that brought Norseland THAT far south would've certainly been more than capable of pushing Alaska out of viewing range from the Spit. And it could explain the land sightings by the Sadorian ship that got blown off-course in a storm.
I'm just all over the place with this post, aren't I? And here I'm not even to the Urgent Lemons bit on my re-reading yet. *glancing back at the book* nevermind, just got there. YAY. pausing to read about urgent lemons now. Back soon with more commentary.
Ok now I'm up to the part where she's talking to Kella, and I am definitely in full agreement with the majority opinion here on the hypocritical continuity error of this conversation. Elspeth knew full well in TSK (either version of it) that Kella had no idea Domick was the plague null - if I'm remembering correctly, there's no way she COULD have known, as she was in Sutrium when he was dying, and NOBODY knew who the plague null was on that side of the river until the night of the battle when the rebels crossed over, and that was too close, timing-wise, to when he died for news to get back across the river. Plus of course what everyone has said about Elspeth being such a wonderful example of a close, sensitive, affectionate lover herself.
KK so i'm up to page 321 now.... Elspeth's spirit form has wings??? I guess I knew that, but I forgot it. So then if Darius sees/saw (when she saved Miky's life by severing the twin-bond) a winged humanoid spirit, who one might suppose would look a bit like an angel to one with the eyes to see these sort of things if they have any sort of religious inclination, and then she's carrying a sword.... and now I have biblical references running through my head. Which I am promptly going to push aside, as it's not really worth getting into and I don't have a firm picture of the reference I'm thinking of anyways.
And 20 pages later.... Elspeth's saying that if Maryon had told her she was leaving, she wouldn't have merged with Rushton and they wouldn't have that golden cord between them. Which makes me think the gold cord will be significant/useful in TRQ, to the point that Maryon felt it needed to exist. And on that note, I'm definitely in agreement that hse should've taken the handfasting wreath with her, as a sign that she would've accepted if her quest hadn't taken her away from him.
Regarding Maruman's sudden healing.... I do think the Agyllinns had a hand in it, but I don't think it's to quite the extent that Elspeth believes. After all, a body taught to heal itself would be able to re-grow the patches of hair that she observes he's still missing from forays across tainted ground. And yet, it does make sense that there was something done to him that fixed him up quite a bit, from her observations.
I'm now up to the part where she met with the Bridlane for the first time, and the leader has gone seliga. In regards to Maruman, it makes sense for the word to mean something like "travelling through time" since we know he's also Merimyn who was around for Hannah Jr to play with, but in regards to the leader of the wolf pack.... I'm inclined to agree with Elspeth's assessment on page 439 that "perhaps it simply meant he would enter a trance that would enable him to spirit-travel while he was awake", as this seems to fit. It could also be applied to Maruman going seliga - he wanders off onto the dreamtrails and is able to slip back to wherever he goes, travelling in spirit and therefore unreachable to anyone in Elspeth's world, hence why he is impossible to farseek while seliga.
It is also interesting that she observes that age is not a thing that can be healed (p 447), as this suggests that her body will be allowed to grow old and someday die of old age, even without anyone having to undo the ability for her body to heal itself. Whether she'll be able to have children is another story - a body that treats a tattoo as a wound to be healed would probably not react kindly to having another living organism trying to grow and develop inside of it. I could be wrong on that, though - and I would like to be, because after all Elsepth has gone through in this series, she deserves - after her quest is finished and TRQ is over - to be able to settle down and have a normal life (by her standard of normal, that is).
Ok, backing up a few chapters here and jumping topics yet again, I remember Bruna saying earlier in the book that Sadorians can't read Gadi writing... and yet, she says in the same paragraph that if they figure out which family the book belongs to, they will be able to recite its meaning. (p 55) And it seems to me that it is a VERY small step from being able to recite what some symbols scribed in a book mean to being able to identify those same symbols if they appear somewhere else. Which seems quite a picky definition of being able to read it, in my opinion - although I can then go on and make the counterargument that without my glasses, I am unable to read most of the road signs around here, yet I have lived here long enough that when faced with one I can recite its meaning - because I know what it looks like when I have my glasses on, and I know what it is supposed to say, so even though I can't make sense of the words that are on it because they appear to be a blurry mess, I do know what it says. Which might be similar to the Sadorians not being able to read Gadi - just because they can't identify the symbols doesn't mean they don't know what the book says.
Back to the journey, it's somewhat amusing from the perspective of an omniscient outsider who has already read the book to notice how Elspeth blindly makes assumptions about *who* will be in certain places based on what she thinks she knows, and she's usually wrong on this journey. She thinks they're waiting for agyllian fliers in the valley - they're not, it's the bridlane. She thinks Maruman means the wolves are who they'll meet at the lake who will guide them on the rest of their journey - and yet the first living creatures they see at the lake are Swallow, Analivia, Dameon, and their respective horses. Which goes back to what I think I mentioned earlier about loopholes - just because Elspeth believes something doesn't make it true. Elspeth believed a LOT of things that are already proving not to be true.
OK now its time for my 2 cents on the Destroyer issue. Elspeth saw Ariel on the dreamtrails in one of the earlier books, when he was in a memory of hers that he hadn't been there for originally - and he looked like Ariel. And around page 624 she's talking about how it was unconscious in those days - like how when she saw Matthew on the dreamtrails in the Red Land he looked like Matthew because he didn't know what he was doing. So if the destroyer = Ariel, then when she sees him on the dreamtrails, he should look like Ariel, yes? Except he doesn't. So it's either Ariel merged with soemone else (Ariel "brings destruction", & using someone else who is actually the one who could use the Sentinel computers in the way he desires) the way Rasail + Gavyn in spirit form look like a wolfman, having one combined spirit between the two of them - or else it's someone else whose spirit form we haven't met yet. I don't think it's Dameon (unless he's going to be used by Ariel) because I think that while Dameon is probably a bit deceptive with his empathy - trying to hide his emotions from everyone else, and things of that nature - that with all this talk about the Destroyer and Elspeth's quest there would've been something else to make us suspect him. I'm not exactly sure who I think it is at this point, but I don't think it's Ariel by himself - although I do think he has a large part in it.
Am at the part with the rhenlings now - I too suspected a bat-like creature from the description, and didn't even consider the possibility of something evolved from a rat until I read about Isobelle mentioning it in an interview. My boyfriend used to have a pet rat, and its behaviour was so completely different from anything remotely resembling rhenlings that the idea simply wouldn't have occured to me without it having come from an official source (and you can't get much more official on OberChron stuff than Isobelle), despite the fact that I did spot a reference (p 653) that "they looked like a grotesque merging of spider and rat."
And now Dragon is remembering everything. YAY. Hopefully her birth name will be forthcoming soon in the next book, and am also curious to learn Swallow's name as well. I say her birth name rather than her real name because technically, the name her mother gave her - while important - is not the name she's been using for most of her life. She was a small child when her mother died, and then once she was discovered in Farseekers she has been called Dragon ever since. So I'm sure as far as she's concerned, Dragon is her real name - or one of them, anyways. Just like Swallow is one of that man's real names, but it is not the name he is known by among Twentyfamilies Gypsies where he is the *ahem* Director. (because really, the translation of that title is a little obvious - especially considering Cassy's father was the Director of the Beforetime facility so one could make a case that she was really *not* the first Director but actually inherited the position from HER father - which is almost certainly where she got the title from, at least.)
Bottom of page 726 now.... It seems that while Elspeth can't understand why some of the people are on the journey, and some of us on here are having the same confusion issues, it seems that most of them have been useful at one point or another, or will be at a future point in the quest. We have - 1) Dameon, a blind empath who was able to lead them through the pipe and sense the rhenlings before they could be smelled. 2) Analivia, a midwife by training who also has technoguilder inclinations and obvious healing skills beyond midwifery. On any long voyage it is good to have someone who knows a thing or two about healing, so that when something bad happens to people they can be fixed up. 3) Ahmedri - to quote Elspeth, "why travel with a desert dweller in the desert and ignore their knowledge and skills?" the part of the blacklands they are on is very desert-like, so having a Sadorian desert-dweller as part of her party is useful. Also, he was good with cooking and setting up camp earlier, and it's good to have someone who has a reason for being there that seems to have nothing to do with her quest, because it gives her a tie to the real world and the knowledge that at least one of them will return to Sador - which is only a short voyage from the Land at the proper time of year. 4) Gavyn/Rasail - held off the rhenlings in the pipe. I wouldn't be surprised if this use of his talent makes a recurrance in TRQ. 5) Swallow - it has been alluded to in earlier books that he would be there at the end of her quest (as early as Ashling, if I remember correctly), so his presence isn't that big of a surprise if she's going to have humans on the trip with her. And he obviously knew something of her journey anyways, through the ancient promises and through the dreams & visions he's had in earlier books, so to *not* include him would be almost as bad as if Elspeth hadn't left Rushton with *some* form of knowledge of her quest, even if she did lock it away after the Urgent Lemons scene. Besides, we've still got unanswered questions about him - not the least of which being the name his clansmembers call him. 6) Dragon - I refer to my previous comment about unanswered questions; we've got A LOT of them pertaining to Dragon's background, both recent and ancient. And of course her talents with regards to projecting images will come in handy, and the whole "seek her past. only through her may you go where you have never been and must someday go" bit tells me Dragon has plenty of unfinished business as far as the storyline is concerned - Elspeth still hasn't figured out what exactly it is that Dragon doesn't know that she knows.
And now I'm done with the book and get to wait impatiently for the next book to come out - and for the somewhat sooner event that is my roommate/landlady finishing the series (which i loaned to her after she saw me reading TS) so I can discuss the books with someone local.