I am, not surprisingly, most late to this party. And after spending a ridiculous amount of time just now reading this thread I find myself unable to add anything serious to everyone's speculations. So I won't.
Instead here are three trivial thoughts I have had in the aftermath of The Sneding (in spoiler tags for effect):
1. Lidgebaby really annoys me. (Not related to The Sneding at all, but indeed a thought I have had in its aftermath.)
2. For no logical reason I was bothered by Amehdri always having a concoction to remedy everything.
Oh affected by taint sickness? Amehdri will save you with all his mehdical tisanes. Oh what's this, you have a slight headache? Don't worry. Amehdri has already been brewing a tea for that exact purpose, before you even had the headache. Bad digestion? Here's a herbal tea. Slight nausea? He has a tea for that. Got crushed in a cave in? Here's some more tea. Eaten by a Rhenling? I'm sure he has some tea for that too.
3. Anybody for an Efari Safari? Whether it's crazed bloodthirsty Rhenlings or taint-devouring bugs that take your fancy these automated robots will guide you through all the strange creatures that Elspeth and her gang passed in their journey.
*Deluxe tour includes being zapped and taken to the Eden Project where all creatures can be appreciated behind the safety of the thick clear plast walls of a stasis pod
lol you won't believe how dumb I am.... I have been waiting for the new book on Amazon to get it for my Kindle - but since my country is set to the US - naturally whenever I checked - the book wasnt available yet. Quite by accident I discovered just a few days ago that the book actually came out MONTHS ago.
Anyway - I only have a few comments about the book - and when/if figure out how to hide spoilers - I'll add them.
Just type your whole thing, then highlight it and click on the little face with huge eyes down the bottom :)
Wow! I’m surprised by how many people were disappointed by the Sending. I thought it was a great read and well worth the wait.
Some thoughts/theories that arose upon completing the book:
Firstly, it was lovely to see Min included in the dedication, to both The Dark Road, and The Sending. Kudos!
At the end of The Stone Key, when Elspeth is reading Kasanda’s message on the laptop, Cassy states: “How strange it is to speak of time, when I have defied it once, and in more than one way in my life.”
Following The Dark Road and The Sending, it is fairly common knowledge now that one of the ways Cassy defied time was when she was suspended in cryosleep alongside Hannah Sr and the Reichler Clinic trashers/Twentyfamilies ancestors. However, I keep coming back to how else Cassy defied time. In the memory dream when Hannah Jr speaks of grass and asks about Merimyn, Cassy hesitates before giving her explanation of why Merimyn only appears in Hannah’s dreams. I’ll get on to Maruman/Merimyn shortly, but I think this will prove to be a very important foreshadowing of the other way Cassy defied time. We know from The Keeping Place that Elspeth’s spirit revisit to her arrival at Obernewtyn changed the dreamtrails, and left her memory in such turbulence that she was not able to visit it again. (I don’t have exact quote on me, but it is referred to in TSK). I wonder whether changing the dreamtrails actually changes the past, and whether this is another way of defying time? Either way, I think the evidence all points to the dreamtrails playing a significant role in Cassy’s abilities to leave clues for Elspeth, and defy time in more than one way.
Am I the only one that was a bit confused why Maruman was being so nasty in The Sending? I know he’s always been fey and twitchy, but seriously! With the additional comments about how much better his coat was, and how much younger he looked, I almost wonder if the Maruman in The Sending is actually from an earlier point in his own timeline. There’s still no clear understanding yet of exactly what seliga means – my theory is that perhaps Merimy/Maruman is able to travel through his own timeline somehow by using the dreamtrails, and that perhaps the Maruman journeying the Dark Road with Elspeth really is younger than the Maruman that journeyed to Sador with her. Then again, maybe for once Elspeth’s theories are correct, and Nerat taught his body how to heal itself.
Innle legend and the Agyllians
As soon as we heard about the Eden complex from Dr Ruth, I immediately connected it with the legend of Innle leading the beasts to freedom. We know Elspeth has been tranquillised by either a robot or a Citizen-God-type Beforetime, and suspect she has been put into a cryopod. If the Eden Complex is in fact the Shining City sought by Jacob, and Elspeth manages to free herself and release the animals suspended there, she would literally be “leading the beasts to freedom.” Whether this fulfills the promise of the freerunning barud, or whether that quest will continue further remains to be seen, but I think there are a few too many coincidences for it all to be unrelated.
While I love the theory that Rushton or Maruman will be Atthis’ successor, my money is on the remaining male flamebird in the Eden complex absorbing the memories of all the OldOnes.
On the subject of the Agyllians, was anyone else concerned by how much information Elspeth is suddenly spilling about her quest? Given Atthis’ death, I’m betting that at some point in The Red Queen some of that caring and sharing is going to cost her dearly. Which brings me to my next theory:
Dameon is eeeeeevil!!
I’ve been concerned for a while now that whenever Arial’s empathic Talent is discussed, Elspeth inevitably compares him to Dameon, and exclaims over the difference in their characters. Overkill much? How do we know Dameon isn’t using his very powerful Talent to charm, or enthrall everyone into loving and adoring him? I am still (reluctantly) on the bandwagon of Matthew being the Destroyer, but there’s a lot about Dameon that emerges in The Sending that makes him look like more and more of an option. Some of his questions to Elspeth about the exact nature of her quest made me want to scream out DON’T TRUST HIM!! While I can see that this could merely be part of the unrequited love storyline, or setting him up for a tragic death, there is definite potential for taking on the Destroyer role.
Given that there have been a few mentions of the wave of rock at the spit, I’m wondering if this is supposed to be a hint of the modern day location of the land?
Also, who is the old man with the blue eyes Elspeth visions on the Dark Road? At first I assumed it was Jacob, but now I’m not so sure. After all, Hannah Jr had green eyes like Rushton, and Hannah Sr had brown eyes, so logically Hannah Jr would have had the same colour eyes as her father, Jacob. Does this mean blue-eyed man might be another victim of the Efari, and not Jacob after all?
My money is also on some form of DNA-based identity being behind Hannah Sr’s determination that Hannah Jr bring the bones to rest in the same location. Maybe Elspeth will need to use Jacob’s or Hannah’s DNA at some point of her quest?
I also picked up on multiple references to Elspeth being tired, white, exhausted etc, and took this to be a sign that she’s pregnant. Analivia being trained as a midwife is also convenient…
With the closer description of the sword, my money is on Elspeth needing to return it to either the Entina pit, or to Luthen’s grave – and that it will link in somehow to the code about Luthen’s key being Luthen’s heart.
Finally, it was nice to have the shout out to Marisa Seraphim and the Obernewtyn doors again. Elspeth actually comes right out and confirms that Marisa’s map on the door carvings showed the location of the machines that caused the great White. It would be a lovely call-back to the original novel if Elspeth ended up using Marisa’s map (via the dreamtrails or another memory) to help her locate the Sleeping Sentinel.
On Maruman, absolutely, I was thinking the same thing the whole way through TS.
And I aslo completely agree re: freerunning barud being Eden.
Reading over your comment, I would actually like to know a whole lot more about Maruman. Perhaps if there ever is a Beforetime Chronicles his character will be outlined and explained in more depth. I just think it is a major hint that Maruman isn't who we think he is, and I think he was sent to Elspeth for a reason already knowing things instead of learning them from Athis an the other Agyllians as time went on. I think he knows everything about her quest already because he was alive during the Beforetime. I also wonder if he is not just an extremely intelligent cat but something else. A person reincarnated in the Beforetime?
In TS, there is a mention of a cat having bandages around its head. I presumed that this was Maruman after some dna modification and before being put into stasis.
It's taken me an age to come and say something about this book. It took me nearlly 2 months to read with my thesis and I've been digesting everything, trying to figure out what it is I want to say.
I am torn in half about this book. On the one hand, like The Keeping Place, I think The Sending is very much a placeholder book for the next book's relentless action. The Stone Key was very fast paced and I feel The Red Queen will be the same. In terms of major plot points and developments, I don't feel there were any aside from Elspeth actually leaving Obernewtyn and getting started on "the end."
Reading this book made me pretty sad, actually. I kept thinking how soon it was all going to be over and how much I don't want to say goodbye to these much loved characters. And much loved they are. I am pretty much to the invested point now, where, after 15 years of me reading, Isobelle could write a story where aliens invaded at the end of TRQ in an illogical plot twist, and I'd still obstinately maintain it all makes perfect sense.
So I guess, yes, I thought the pacing was slow in parts and that maybe editing (in the recap sections) could have been better, but overall I just didn't care, because I was so happy to have a new book with Elspeth again.
Some random notes;
- I thought Swallow was unexpectedly subdued. What was with that? I like Analivia and all, but I'm one of those weirdos who likes Swallow/Elspeth even more. I can't help it. I was 12 when I read that into Ashlings and it stuck ok :P
- I've been telling my friend that Rushton has had a death wish since forever, so it was pretty hilarious that Isobelle FINALLY got me on board with Rushton/Elspeth in the first half of The Sending, only to threaten his imminent death in the cliff hanger ending. Oh Isobelle. You, author, you.
- Dragon turning up made my day! Her way of speaking was weird though. I thought that change was rather abrupt. She spent so long not speaking, and then being comatose, that the voice just felt weird. Actually, alot of the character voices felt a bit weird. Don't know why that was.
- All of the spirit/ etheric double stuff totally reminded me of Katharine Kerr. Memories.
- Black sword was totally wtf? Have to go back and reread as I think I must have missed something. Didn't really get where it came from. It felt a bit inserted in tbh.
- Wolves were love. Loved the links back to Obernewtyn and the start of it all and SHARNA GETS SHOUT OUTS. SQUEEE. Also, the wolf language sounded like Kerr Deverry speak again lol.
- I liked how, because of the first person narrative, we feel the frustrations and joys that Elspeth feels. I liked the way Elspeth had to slink away, and I love that quote from the book's back about "slipping away from a place I had come to love etc"
- I liked the sci fi element creeping into the book in the second half, with all the beforetime references. It reminded me quite a bit of the tv show The Last Train scripted by Matthew Graham. I wonder if the city will be all its cracked up to be, or do we have a Last Train happening? Because if we go for traditional post apocalypic sci fi tropes, that means like half the companions will die by the first quarter of TRQ and if Swallow dies, I will seriously have some harsh words with somebody/anybody/the world.
- If Dameon is the destroyer I will also be mad.
- Analivia and her past I didn't really buy actually. Her character didn't fit that kind of profile. I mean I know she was a minor character but the way she acted throughout really didn't tally with what I understand of repetitive familial abuse. That's not to say that's Isobelle's fault- could well be mine! I am no expert on such a sensitive issue as that, but it is something that struck me on reading.
- Merimyn/Hannah's bones stuff is so intriguing. Can't wait for TRQ now.
Sorry for the ramblyness- I need to write a proper review on my blog eventually. Kinda dreading it...
Dweomeroflight - At last, someone else who has seen/remembers The Last Train! That was a great series.
I found it as a result of my passionate love for all things Nicola Walker, but the deal was cinched when I realised A Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes script writer was involved too.
The second half of The Sending really did remind me of The Last Train quite alot. Still not really sure why :/
Ok, so I have only just read The Sending – like everyone, have been reading the series forever and hanging out for the end. Knew there would be a killer cliffhanger, so was trying to avoid reading this one until The Red Queen came out and could read them both together, but my resolve broke . . . and now that I have read it I NEED to talk about it, but don’t know anyone else who has read OberChron . . . so I googled and found this site – am so grateful – it is fantastic – have been loving reading everyone’s theories about things.
I really liked this book – but I have to say it just left me with the strongest sense of foreboding – the ending is not going to be good, especially for Elspeth and Rushton. I admit to being an Elspeth/Rushton fan, but I am now more convinced than ever that Rushton is going to die/is probably the Destroyer. I read the clues posted on one here given by IC and I think it all adds up to it being him. He is Elspeth’s ‘opposite equal’ (huge talent that he can’t access), they have been inexorably drawn towards each other since the beginning, and even though she loves both Dameon and Matthew, I think Rushton is the only one that she would actually risk the quest for, as already demonstrated in TSK. I think Ariel knows this, which is why he will use Rushton. In TSK Elspeth thinks that Ariel could not have foreseen her actions, but I think it is possible that he could have, and that it fitted with his plans. Ariel was there when she first met Rushton, and he witnessed the instant strange connection between them.
In TS, the bear tells Elspeth she ‘drove the destroyer’ from him. The thing that has been stalking her since Norseland (at least I don’t think it was before than) is shapeless darkness (which fits with the Destroyer having no current form and just being more of a malevolent force looking for the right target to land on). Also, a few times since the Norseland thing, Elspeth has heard a wolf howling at the end of her dreams, and then woken up to find Rushton with her – and he told her that he was referred to by the Herders(?) as Ariel’s wolf. He is still vulnerable to Ariel for the same reasons he was before because, despite everything Elspeth has done to show him how she feels, he still feels a bit abandoned by her, as the conversation she saw between him/Ceirwan/Freya shows (if only she had taken the handfasting wreath!). In TSK (I think), Elspeth says something to the effect that Obernewtyn and Rushton are one and the same for her, so if he dies, all of the predictions about the barud being all finished for her would make sense. There are also all of Elspeth’s musings on the strange things love makes people do. Plus, I think there is going to have to be some kind of atonement for the death of Atthis.
It also makes sense in terms of how the Destroyer might be stopped from doing what he is going to do . . . Rushton will remember the memory she left him, which Ariel, who is not a coercer, will not be able to get to.
Anyway, hope I am wrong, because this is all too sad, and frankly, after reading this series for almost half my life I don’t think I could cope with this kind of ending. I think it will retrospectively ruin the whole series for me. But I think the Destroyer will be someone that is really devastating for Elspeth, which narrows it down a fair bit. Even though Dameon also fits the ‘opposite equal’ thing, I just can’t see it being him. I read somewhere else that IC said he will come into his own or something like that, and I don’t think that means he will turn out to be a bad guy. Not that I think Rushton is one, I just think he is kind of vulnerable to Ariel, and given the current story arc he seems more likely to end up back in his clutches, and I am not sure how when/Ariel would get at Dameon.
Sincere apologies for the massive post on topics that I am sure have been thoroughly gone over already . . . but feel better for getting my thoughts out there though. Thanks for the great site :-)
Your argument makes so much sense, and I have no rebuttals, but I swear I would almost kill myself if that happened. GAH I NEED TO READ THE RED QUEEN NOW
I completely agree that Merivel's argument makes sense. No no no! [act]flails[/act]
I really hope I am wrong. I can't wait for The Red Queen either - it is still so far away though!
I couldn't bear an unhappy Elspeth/Rushton ending, but I am also afraid that's what we might get. Those two were my very first ship and I feel really invested in their happiness. If we must have heartbreak (and i think we must, of some kind) I want Evil Dameon. Evil Dameon doesn't reall seem like IC's style, though.
By the way, I think the spoiler cuts are no longer necessary, especially considering the thread's title.
I haven't been online for literally years.
I've been watching from afar and I thought I'd jump in to say:
IC has already subjected Elf and Rushton to endless suffering!! He was tortured and he nearly killed her and if he becomes the destroyer or dies I will flip every table ever and I would even flip Isobelle over in pure grief.
I think that there isn't much hope for a happy ending here but I don't think I could deal with it.
In nutshell form he's my reaction to The Sending.
I cried from start to finish.
Even though the concept of Elf leaving and having to lone-wolf it through a hugely tainted desert was always in the back of my mind I was so not prepared for her journey AT ALL.
Much of the twists such as AN ENTIRE POSE OF CHARACTERS ROLLING ALONG TO JOIN ELSPETH, ATTHIS DYING, DRAGON, RHENLINGS, THE INTRODUCTION OF THAT FORCE CONNECTION AND A FLIPPING SWORD all made me squint my eyes and twist my mouth. They weren't completely smooth and I wasn't feeling the whole book segway together very nicely.
I am timidly waiting the end and bracing myself.
Gypsy, just a thought you suggest maruman, but there is another HE mind which is close to elspeth, who has a great capacity for storage as a talent, close to death who could be taught to rise high above the dream trails to take on the old ones minds :rolling: once the old ones had been absorbed, his mind would also know how to heal his body.
I have some questions regarding the Sending. I apologise if these have already been discussed.
- What is Rushton's 'empty' talent?
- What is Gavyn? Does he have a specific Talent or is he an extreme hybrid?
- (Crazy - not - really - serious - thought #1) Is Rasial the destroyer? She hates funaga !
- (Crazy - not - really - serious - thought #2) Atthis is the Destroyer. Or there is no Destroyer as such and this is all some alternative plot where Elspeth has been fed a pack of lies. This is just me, not forgiving what Atthis did to Dragon, admittedly. But you have to admit that that kind of hiding in plain sight would make sense for a super-villain. (The "pack of lies" alternative would make a lousy series ending structually, but does a super-villain care?)
- If Ariel is not the destroyer, is he the equivalent of Maruman/Galtha in terms of the Destroyer's plot? If so, who is he aiding to be the Destroyer? Jes???
I want to know what Rushton's talent is too. I also want to know whether it is significant that his spirit form is a bear? And if it is, what does it mean?
I just found a book (which I am yet to read) called The Bear: History of a Fallen King by a French historian called Michel Pastoureau, and it is about the symbolic significance of bears. Apparently the early Christians considered bears to be demonic, but that in pre-Christian Germanic and Celtic societies they were considered to embody strength and courage, as well as to be lordly or kingly - and were also thought to be the king of the beasts.
This may of course be completely irrelevant, but it made me think of how it seems that it has so far been left open as to whether Rushton is descended from Kasanda (eg in The Dark Road, it is made clear - in a highly suggestive way - that one of Hannah's daughter's was born after Evander reappeared). If this is the case, he is also descended from the Red Queen's brother - meaning that, like Dragon, he might be considered Red Land Royalty. Which might in some way explain why he has to go to the Red Land rather than follow Elspeth?
I realise in some ways I am probably contradicting my earlier post . . . and if I keep thinking about it will probably come up with ways to contradict myself again.
I am afraid the Rushton theory as articulated above makes total sense. Although I am at the point where every theory makes sense. There is almost no Destroyer outcome that could surprise me.
If Rushton is descended from Kasanda, maybe Rushton is a Kasanda. His latent Talent is being able to mindbond. Do we know if Kasanda had this Talent? Maybe his latent Talent has something to do with Stephen being mentally defective? What was Stephens actual defect, and do all of the Seraphim family have latent Talents?
"Elf's pregant XD - ha, not really, but I'd be a little bit amused if she was. "
I have been thinking this since I read the book, and it is eating at me. Reasons being:
Ana is a midwife. I thought her role was to help Elspeth through pregnancy/birth, but then Elspeth is on her own at the end. Perhaps they get reunited?
Rushton's grandmother the moonwatcher, I believe makes Elspeth's child the Kasanda blood that accompanies her. (need to reread for exact details, but when I finished TS, I was CONVINCED there was no other way, and Swallow being the obvious choice for the Kasanda Blood, IC could get a kick out of surprising us. )
Her healing powers mean the taint does not affect the unborn child. Not sure what role exactly the child plays,have to reread to form that idea!
Sorry if someone else has posed this already, I am catching up on the threads, and had to comment when I saw Mornirkirara's post on like page 3!
I'm not sure though - the prospect raises an interesting (ethical?) question because surely, if Elspeth was pregnant, she would "hear" the baby (the ethical portion being, when does a foetus gain a consciousness of its own)? For that matter I always wondered how a misfit with farseeking abilities would go through pregnancy, whether they'd have a heightened awareness of what's going on, or would they be just as freaked out as the rest of us...
Anyway, I don't think Elspeth's pregnant, mostly because I'm sure she'd be very aware of the little person inside of her, but also because I don't want her to be :P because I hate the whole "have sex once and suddenly pregnant" trope. Yes, sure, it's possible, but it's also not a certainty..
I do like the other points, though, about the possible new Kasanda Blood and Ana being a midwife and all, nonetheless.
There's also the fact that Darga turns up RIGHT after urgent lemons. Elspeth's fear of intimacy is well documented. Perhaps the departure from obernewtyn couldn't happen until she was pregnant ... 😅 I mean, there had to be some catalyst for darga's return.
Nef, OMG, I'm laughing so much!