So I promised to post this audio and I can finally deliver, as I have now listened to/edited it. The audio is IC's first spoiler discussion of TRQ with fans (in particular Nef) at The Black Friday Pancake Meet, Sydney on the 13th November, 2015. Just a warning that IC has some specifics mapped out for Elspeth/Rushton's future which might disappoint some people, so up to you if you want to listen.
Sian I like your thoughts on the low birth rates. After listening to IC's spoiler discussion, she thinks "it [human procreation] needs to, in the world, I think we will deal better with the rest of the world, if there was less of us". So that sounds like the reason for the low birth rates.
Am I the only one who thought that the Brildane were pretty much wasted? We were constantly told how important they were for the quest, but in the end they didn't really do much apart from having their members killed. I kept waiting for them to appear in Redport, but they just got caught in a hole. Wouldn't it have been poetic justice for Ariel to have been ripped apart by Gobor who he had tortured all those years ago, instead of some lame death caused by Lidge!
This is my first post. I've been reading the series with my daughter since she first encountered Obernewtyn in primary school about 5 years ago. Even at the end, I don't know that I can completely reconcile how a series can be so compelling, while riddled with continuity errors and plot holes. Ah well...
As I see it, there were a few things I hoped the book would deliver on: restoring Dragon to her throne; Elspeth confronting Sentinel; Elspeth confronting the Destroyer; Elspeth establishing the freerunning barud. I was a bit disappointed: Dragon charges in on Gahltha while Elspeth isn't even there, it isn't reallypossible for Lidgebaby to be the Destroyer, because the Destroyer is actively seeking Elspeth before Ariel acquires Lidge as a null; Elspeth doesn't really need to go to Eden. The Sentinel story is much stronger, because the idea of machine intelligence is built up through the Habitat section and invoked at the key moment. But did anyone else think there was a missed opportunity? Sentinel is sentient, so if it has a mind it might have a spirit, and if so Elspeth can draw on her black sword to persuade Sentinel to act through that channel...
Here's a thought I had recently, does anyone else thing Dragon is a clone? She's the spitting image of her mother and she doesn't have a father. If you know genetics you also know that red hair is a rare trait, so its unlikely that every historical red queen has had that red hair without some genetic manipulation or controlled breeding. Possibly part of the legend of the red queen, just the same woman ruling for hundreds of years?
Yeah Dragon is fascinating, because I swear there was a mention that she looked just like the first Red Queen on the carving. So is that just coincidence that she ends up like that, or is there something more to it? Maybe her 'mother' couldn't have any children, so there was a Beforetime clone or something of the original (who, is it Queenie from the snippet we got???) and she activated that? Who knows. So many questions left to be answered and theorised about.
soooooooooo, so much to talk about but one practicality:
As happy as i was that Rushton and Elspeth both survived and are able to be with eachother they have basically left the rest of humanity and everyone and the land they love forever. And also a practicality issue, Elspeth and Rushton and their children (which i assume they will have) will all die alone. Their children will never meet people and fall in love and be a part of society and all that. Kinda sad tbh
Isobelle has said in subsequent interviews that she doesn't believe that they will have children. In addition, she has said that others may come to visit them, plus they have a computer there,so they may all connect up by some sort of skype haha
I'm glad to hear that Isobelle thinks Elspeth's not planning to Krang out babies now that her quest is over - she does not have a nurturing nature, which is one of the things I related to about her. I also think there's a lot of ways they could get out of Eden in the end I mean they've got two super computers, one of which has a robot body, and whole beforetime science institute at their disposal.
So, just spent the last month reading an hour or to before bed and then last night banished husband from my room as I crammed in the last 3 chapters without interruption. Things I liked: - The absurdity that God being a computer that controls habitat and the habitat culture that had evolved from directions given by Hannah - Elspeth speaking to God finally and making a fairly easy escape - Subterranean cities were pretty cool, though I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced everything was in perfect working order after so long - I also liked that Elspeth was all like "hey thanks Hendon, now get back to work". - Reunion with Matthew (though this took way too long to happen) - Reunion with Rushton, but why does IC always leave him to the end of every book like an afterthought? - Brunt was pretty cute - Revelation Maruman is centuries old (though the bandaged kitten made me sad) - Swallow & Ana's relationship. But why did he have to die? Why not Daffyd or Gilaine who we're less likely to care about? - Underground passages. Always mysterious/scary & cool - Sentinel being the Entina. Yep shoulda seen that one coming
Things not so much liked: - way too much time in Habitat - way too much GNAWING. Got more confused reading Elf's musings than I did without them. - rushed ending, seemed like they got to Redport and so many stories left untold - Dameon professing love for Elspeth. I almost wished if we'd found out that it wasn't through him kissing/telling her but some other irrefutable way - The Darkest Door (returning to the room after the Ariel death scene). "Shut down please. Done." Wait.. what just happened? - WTF is Rushton's story? Why give us a glimpse and not tie it back into the story? - White faced lords are peaceable and part of the quest? Come ON!! Weak. - Why not tell us what the sceptre does? Furthermore, why did we miss the whole Raising the Dragon? Had Elspeth someplace else to avoid writing more chapters? - The quest is not over says Maruman 3 chapters from the end. Then animals run out of the city and then after weeks of nothing (that takes 4 pages up) the book finishes whilst they're still on the journey there. Or is that the point? - And how is denying Elspeth a choice to her own destiny finally, a reward? - Elspeth & Rushton: would have liked to hear them talking more after they'd reunited, despite Elspeth's emotional retardedness sometimes she admits to being moved to tears when thinking of Rushton. Why didn't we get the emotional reunion that surely happened before they got jiggy with their mind%^&* later in the book?
All up sounds like I'm quite negative, but I did enjoy it but there are so many things left unresolved. My main gripe is that after 40 years the ending feels so rushed, and whilst things generally resolved, we didn't get the chance to experience how, when why of it as a lot was glossed over in the last 10 chapters.
I hope that in future now the deadline has been met that IC writes a fuller version to fill in all the gaps, like a director's cut.
Sidebar, do you like sushi? [act]waves sushi enticingly[/act] [act]Sidebar gobbles sushi and licks non existent lips[/act]
Ok so I'm finally sharing my thoughts about The Red Queen, more than a month after I finished the book !dodge
Negative comments: ~Too much time spent in habitat ~The Destroyer's role was a little too minor for my liking ~More Ariel needed! Even though he was evil, he should have had a more major part ~The Jakoby and Seresh reunion was too short ~Gavyn and Swallow dead- NOOOOO
Positive comments: ~Loved the idea of cyropods- explained a lot (I thought) ~Daemon finally confessing to Elspeth ~Elspeth and Rushton didn't have to be separated in the end after all ~How all of the characters had changed, especially Elspeth and Dragon ~The technology- God being a computermachine and Sentinel listening to Elspeth ~New Elder ~Meeting Matthew after so long ~Beautiful descriptions, I found I could really visualise things happening
Other: More books please! There are so many loose ends with other characters and I want to know what happens to them all. Honestly, even with the Beforetime Chronicles, there could be quite a few more series and I want to know more about Eden as well. If it was a reward to take Elspeth there, then whatever happens there must more than make up for Elspeth leaving everyone she knows and loves behind
I'm a new member to the Obernet forums but a long time lurker, and have been reading TOC for the majority of my life now! I finished The Red Queen a few hours ago in the wee 1:30ams after a full week and a half of power reading through the entire series.
For the most part, I liked the book quite a lot though it did drag quite a bit at times. Some of the greatest characters were introduced and I was thoroughly pleased with how all the small Beforetime snippets ended up coming together in the end.
Issues and questions I have: The flow of the book - I actually think that The Sending had a far more consistent pace that was easy to enjoy. I found myself getting incredibly agitated throughout the first third of TRQ in a way that I have never experienced before with TOC, particularly in Habitat, because I felt there was so much repetition and time spent on going back over things. I think the entire rest of the book once they got to the Red lands suffered with pacing issues, and it seems quite easy to tell there was a lot that wasn't as fleshed out as it could have been/should have been to be a completely rounded finale. I understand IC was running short on time and couldn't extend the book any further, but it still reads to me like the first and second parts of the book were were the majority of time was spent, and the third was a bit of a rush job. Brydda was one who suffered substantially from this, I think. He was mentioned very clearly in a Rushton true dream and then never brought back up until the very end, despite being in the same location.
Continuity errors/editing mistakes/spelling errors - I hope the 2nd edition has a more polished version with the errors cleaned up, including hopefully the keyword and Swallow's naming/histories.
The kiss - I don't take as much umbrage with it as I believe a lot of others do, because Elspeth had already spent quite a lot of time in TS and TSK beginning to question the level at which empathy turns into coercion. I believe Dameon truly went over the line with his empathic ability into the realm of coercion which showed a) how powerful he is and b) how out of his depth he was in that moment. I don't agree with how it was handled afterwards, though. I thought it would have been good for Elspeth to reflect on that aspect of it in addition to the relationship and compare it to, maybe, Ariel or Dragon's empathatic coercion to show that the dark side of empathy can happen to someone revered. I think it also humanized him quite a bit, and even Elspeth is quick to point out that she had put him on a pedestal.
Dumbing down of powers - Elspeth seemed neutered for a lot of the book, not just as in with mental or physical blocks but also in that she thought not to use her powers in lots of instances where previously she would have. I am not sure if IC thought that this could be considered a stepping stone to Eden, as surely she will only end up needing beastspeaking in the long term, but it did dull a lot of the impact her powers had had in previous books and made her much more pawn-like than usual. Obviously this is a series about a woman whose fate is very set by others, but it seemed more than ever that Elspeth had no agency or decision making (even her "we go north" ends up being smugly taken by Dragon to go east because of visions). I also found it quite interesting how little her powers were required in the most important parts of her mission.
The animals - totally used as fodder so that none of the important human characters died save one or two. I was quite disappointed that the wolves didn't really do much of anything, agree with the above that it would have been amazing to have an animal take part in Ariel's downfall. I also wanted to know more about Maruman and that darn timeline of his (good ol Elspeth never asking the right questions).
Misfits acceptance - Kind of dropped like a lead balloon once she leaves the Land but I hope there is some follow up on whether misfits are the "next evolution" of humanity and end up becoming the norm everywhere. Also, why is empathy so common?
Rushton's mindspace - Rushton was going to die at the end of TKP without the help of Atthis' "this will come with a price" gift", and I was surprised that Rushton played such a critical part after that, mainly due to the way it was kind of portrayed that he could have died at that point and it would have been okay. I think it was probably retroactively changed in TS because of his need to be there to free the slaves but still, it seemed huge for this to have been a previous plot point and then for Rushton to be what stops The Destroyer.
Rushton's story - I hope there is a side-book done from his POV. One of the greatest gripes I have had with the series is the lack of time R/E spend together and indeed how little we actually spend with Rushton at all. The way they told his story in TRQ was so very unsatisfying.
The ending, Eden and the epilogue - I did think that the last 200 pages or so ended up at an absolutely breakneck pace that never let up, even after Ariel was killed. A lot of threads were dropped because of this and there were some fairly major character arcs bought to a close very quickly. I loved the concept of Eden and thought that it was interesting that the Agyllians fed the beasts a sugar coated lie in order to release all of the cryo-animals, but the way it was positioned in order to keep in with the Seeker Leading The Animals To The Promised Land made me really sad for Elspeth. I've watched the video where IC says that if they'd had choice, Rushton would have gone to Obernewtyn and Elspeth would have stayed with Dragon, so they had to be forced to leave but I think that's a complete fallacy. For a woman whose life has been completely dictated by the whims, plans, schemes and carefully laid traps of others, the greatest thing she could have been given as a gift would have been choice. Indeed, I found the entire section where they're frantically running away and saying goodbye the worst thing possible - Sentinel is a fully realised and capable AI and gave Elspeth the choice, but with both it and Maruman not explaining fully everything it entails and Maruman in particular saying that it was all part of her quest, it removed all freedom of choice for Elspeth who is then left at the end wondering why she is there. I also really found it incredibly sad that Rushton and Elspeth end up completely isolated from humanity, essentially. (I know IC also said that they can communicate over computers with everyone else and also that people can visit, but if they can visit than surely R/E can leave? I mean, Sentinel is a capable master as we have seen the other computermachines be, so R/E aren't exactly needed as caretakers. Plus Sentinel can go with them) I think for me, I just really struggle with the fact that after everything she's been through, she's effectively cut off from the world without making a fully informed decision. I would have had no problem with Eden being her and Rushton's choice, it just seemed like an incredible opportunity to give her back power over HER story and making her first real decision, and instead it still remains about her quest, and it's a journey she isn't really needed for. I think given how it ended, Elspeth will always struggle to find her peace without a purpose. Maruman, sorry but you were a bit of a dick. Also, if Elspeth can heal herself, does this mean she'd outlive Rushton?
Overall I will need to sit on the book and maybe reread it over the next day or so to really figure out where I sit on it. I think IC has been clever in leaving quite a few open ended threads available for future stories and spinoffs (truly I am not that interested in the Beforetime series because there was just enough for me in the 7 books, I would much rather Rushton/Rebel/Matthew/Queen Dragon books), but the one I really wanted to get a happy ending was Elspeth and I just cant find their isolation to be a gift. Having said all of that, I am pleased that my Rushton/Elspeth ship sails strong into the night and that they ended up bumping uglies not once, but twice!
Spoilers ahead, dance magic dance, here be dragons.
I have soooooo many thoughts, and I thought I would have to write them out... Turns out I don't because many others expressed the same puzzlements and frustrations I did.
One bugging me though is whole salamander thing. Maybe I just read it quickly and missed stuff. Why did Ariel leave Elspeth with Salamander, and in turn why was Salamander not particularly loyal / overly devoted to keeping Elspeth in captivity? JUST WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED BETWEEN ARIEL AND SALAMANDER? Lovers? Friends? Salamander used by Ariel? She is kind of meh to him by the end I swear. She says something about "owing" Ariel that much... What?
What is their story? As far as I can tell they have been in cohoots for over a decade. But none of their relationship was explained and I DO think it mattered because they were powerful as a team, they worked together for years. For a while I thought they were lovers because of Ariels residence in herder island. It made sense to me that Ariel sort of made salamander feel special and loved by him despite her mutations, and that's how he had power over her. That's what I assumed happened. And if it did, what stopped her caring by the end?
honestly it's kind of vital to the whole plot because without the Ariel / salamander combo there would be no ships, no slavery, no land people in the Redland, no bargains forged between groups and factions etc. they were buddies/ maybe lovers for a decade and then salamander just dies with nothing to say about any of it and no real talk with her sister or anything. It does my head in.
I'm sure Sentinel will be able to conect all the computers so that everyone will be able to chat. There will be a number of short stories over time which will no doubt tell us how these things work out.
Hello sidebar, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again. Because on the dreamtrails softly creeping, I saw a vision while I was sleeping. Of the destroyer gone and swallow slain, and of Elspeth meeting Rushton again
Ok, so where to start. This will be the first time that I’ve posted anywhere other than the library in a long time (not since The Sending came out). Unlike a lot of you, I didn’t have time to re-read the entire series again before reading the TRQ, and I don’t know if this helped or hindered things. We shall see. I finished the book about a week ago (I think I dragged out the ending a bit not wanting it to finish). I’ve since spent until now trying to read through all the thoughts on this thread in my lunch hours. Who’d have thought that when I found three interesting looking books in a small book shop I the early 2000’s (Scatterlings, Obernewtyn and The Farseekers) that I would have made so many friends and still be talking about the series after this length of time. Anyway, enough of this sentimentality. The thoughts below are not necessarily in any particular order, but just as I remember things I want to put down. One question: what is this Dark Road short story I’ve been hearing about?
The Pacing Ok, I initially thought that the last half of the book was a little rushed, but on reflection, I just think it just felt that way due to the way the first half went. If you think about films that involve some sort of quest the pacing is quite slow at first and gradually gathers momentum until it rushes headlong into the finale. Maybe?
I didn’t notice any errors when I was reading the books, but then I never do. I think my brain just fills in the correct information as I’m reading.
The Kiss I was surprised at the way Dameon kissed Elspeth (or that he kissed her at all), but I dismissed it I guess because Elspeth did (we see everything from her point of view), and didn’t really think it about it much, until I read some of the comments on here. Not sure what to think now really. I don’t believe he was bad for stealing a kiss, but I do agree he shouldn’t have used empathy/coercion to get her to kiss him back.
Habitat/Midland I had a love/hate relationship with Habitat. I liked the mystery of the place, but wasn’t necessarily as keen on the people. Loved Midland though. I wish we’d explored more of it.
Redport I wish we had more time to delve into the secrets of Redport, especially the infinity towers. I initially imaging them to be some sort of pylon, but they are more likely to be some sort of communications array between Sentinal and BOT.
Elspeths powers (or lack of), The Destroyer, Rushton, etc I didn’t really mind Elspeth’s lack of powers, but that could be because I hadn’t re-read the previous books beforehand. It was somewhat satisfying that she managed to accomplish so much without them.
I still see Ariel as the Destroyer. Lidge was just a tool (as in guns don’t kill people, people do…) being used by the Destroyer. However, Elspeth then makes the assumption that Lidge is the Destroyer so we assume it too (everything is from her POV). Ariel’s death was satisfyingly horrific and painful, if a little quick.
One thing, Am I the only one that didn’t realise Salamander was Jakoby’s sister?! I don’t remember it being explained in the book (Admittedly I could’ve missed something in the early hours of the morning when I was reading) and was left wondering as to Salamanders identity until I read the comments on here.
Rushton’s little side excursion was interesting. I want to know more about these mutant beasts that rescued him. Did the description say that they were humanoid?
Sentinal, Cyropods, and satisfaction I’m glad my (and our theories) were proved correct with Entina being Sentinal (pretty obvious), BOT being on the Moon, Maruman and Merymin being one and the same and being put into cryopods. Can’t remember if we had an existing theory about Dragon being put in a crypod, so I may just have a personal satisfaction of figuring it out early on in the book.
I loved Sentinal. I was prepared to hate it, but I was upset at her apparent death.
Eden and the beast legend The animals were completely used to provide support for Elspeth on her quest. Granted some were given access to Eden (but even then not all completed the journey). More on my thoughts about this below.
Eden – I wish we had seen it. At least Elspeth and Rushton will be together. Remember, it was originally only going to be Elspeth going there, and she had to ask about Rushton coming with her. If she hadn’t she would’ve been all alone.
They will be able to communicate with God, Innes and other installations from Eden, and remember that there was another Glide next to the one they used which could be repaired and put into service. It’s also possible that Kelvar’s Glide is at Eden.
The Prophecy Something has occurred to me. We are shown Cassy, etc having a prophecy of and setting up things for Elspeths quest, and the Agyllians have also added to this. We’ve always assumed that they were the ones who started the beast legend to essentially beguile the animals into helping Elspeth complete her quest. But what if they weren’t?
At the end, we are presented with an evolved AI that can beastspeak. Who’s to say she couldn’t futuretell, and adapted Elspeths quest so that while it was thought that she should destroy Sentinal, Elspeth was actually meant to free her? Sentinal could also have spread the beast legend to ensure that Elspeth completed her quest?
Ok, I may have more to add to everything above when my brain has unmelted…
Did anyone else have the feeling that Dameon and Ana might end up together? He said he was attracted to Elspeth for her courage and sorrow, and Ana has plenty of those, and then he was so solicitous of her after Swallow's death
I really loved the bit where Rushton runs up and tries to stab the INES unit with that rusty javelin. La la la here be spoilers.
Finally finished reading it - on and off since just after the launch (bought it in Kino Sydney the day IC was there). I found all of the Habitat part to be a complete drag and would not read for days or weeks at a time. Even while reading it it was clear that it would have no relation to her quest and I flipped ahead to see how much longer it would drag on for. The only other time I've ever done that while reading a book was in The Sending (which I also thought dragged on unnecessarily).
Whacky things - The phrase 'ere the end' and then 'ere'. Was that used in any of the other books? At first I found it mildly jarring. By the end of the book, just plain irritating. - Murmuring. Does Dameon only speak in murmurs? I would worry I was going deaf with all the murmuring going on. - That bowl of plums. Really? Why was there so much attention to that bowl of plums which never even gets resolved? At one point I was thinking the book should have been called 'Elspeth Gordie and the bowl of plums' in the same way Deathly Hallows should've been 'Harry Potter and the Small Beaded Bag'. - The weird sexual assault thing. That was kind of gross and not cool. I was reading comments about how Dameon maybe couldn't control empathising her, even if he could have controlled kissing her. Not really an excuse yeah? To use a very blunt and vulgar example to illustrate, maybe a guy can't control getting hard - but he has a choice to not stick it into things. - You theory-people were too good! I'd read theories on this board yonks ago and two that I snap-agreed with were Entina = Sentinel and Salamander = Seresh. So those reveals went *clunk* for me. I don't think I would have put that together myself. This probably also explains why I had no idea there were two Hannahs even after that whole arc wrapped up (didn't read The Dark Road - though probably didn't help that there were long gaps between picking up the book again during the whole Habitat saga). - I actually thought 'would Lidge really still be so young?' For some reason I vaguely thought Elspeth would be in her late thirties at this stage. How old would Dragon be? I was thinking maybe 4-5 in Farseekers, so 18-ish now to not make the Matthew relationship pedo would be workable. Hmm but then I guess that would also put Matthew in his mid-late 30s. Not that there's anything wrong with that..(!)
Really looking forward to Darkbane - I hope it stays tight like the other two so far!
Sidebar filler, lalala, wonder when we'll be able to stop doing this?
You know what? I've never sailed on the Rushton / Elspeth ship - exactly how much time have they spent together in the same room since they met? But they're IT now, and despite Isobelle saying they won't have children, I think they will and that it might be one of those hidden surprises for future books, if we ever sneak a glimpse at their lives through other character's eyes. Bear (no pun intended?) with me here: they are the only two humans in Eden (well...we assume they are. I have a hunch that Cassy is in cryo there, and the last page of the Beforetime Chronicles will be Elspeth waking elderly Cassy up when they arrive in Eden). Anyway, let's say for now, they ARE the only two humans in Eden, because that's all we have to go on right now. Let's also say that they manage to overcome the challenges of an adult relationship, which should be a snap now they can't be distracted away from each other by everyone at Obernewtyn. If either of them are infertile, as has been suggested - they have Sentinel and the computer at Eden, both of which can synthesize a cure to any disease ever encountered over all time periods! Infertility would be a synch. And, assuming that they are on good terms with one another after maybe, a couple of years of being in each other's faces, they would believe they could handle having a child together and that it would only further enrich their lives (regardless of whether or not after the child arrived they separated to opposite sides of the district and Rushton began frantically trying to repair a glide to get him the hell out of there). Yeah, I think a child - but only one child - is inevitable.
(Irrelevant post is irrelevant and honestly, don't take me seriously...I'm certainly not)
So I FINALLY finished the book yesterday (felt like such a bad fan, but had moved overseas and had HAD to read all the other books first so this took awhile) - and the only way to deal with all the feelings was to come back and haunt around these forums. So good to read other peoples thoughts and questions. And just as I have to vent, I will add a few of my own: Like many of you I was heartsick at the ending "reward" - UGH. But I read here someones comment that she would not have been able to leave Maruman and Gahltha - and this rings true to me. She could not have beared to be parted from them, her heart and soul (or soul and heart respectively probably) and for one who long expected to die on her quest this must be some sort of happiness to have these 3 people she loves, and she clearly came to care for Sentinel a great deal. (Im just hoping this "Eden" thing isnt supposed to be too literal like Rushton and Elspeth are not supposed to solely create this new more evolved humanity??) Still feel like the enforced isolation is more punishment than reward. Perhaps its part of the "price" - without Rushton alive, not able to bind the Destroyed, she may have had to use her (underutilised) dark power and lost more friends along the way...
Im quite okay with E not figuring out about the two Hannahs (something I had done at least, and I had not even heard of the short story!) I wanted to know more of Kelvar and the Erlinders - I was expecting the sibilings to be perhaps Luthen and the Red Queen.
I too kept expecting for Jes to return - upon rereading I had really noticed how IC made sure to mention him every time, his dark power etc, but now if i recall correctly most of those mentions detail how he held her so tightly at the burning, so it is perhaps foreshadowing the coercion. Which im not sure was needed really - she just struck me more as a real, flawed human, to not be so great with emotions. She doesnt have to have a reason for this flaw.
Im okay with Lidge -I mean, there had to be a reason Daffyd and Gilaine were kept in the story so much, right? I guess if she had destroyed everyones minds in the crypt, been unstoppable etc etc.... the weapons could still have been viable?
Still not sure why the beasts kept sharing their souls (? like the dolphins?) with Elf. Which reminds me I had kinda thought the cryopod Dragon may have been kept in was a dolphin one kept at Orobous (sp?) Still not sure I feel settled on the Innle quest - but then beasts are so selfless they might be happy that all these frozen beasts/Noahs ark type thing were free and ready to build up their own nation, to one day - 700 years from now apparently - connect with the rest of the world who would be more prepared for them? And Sentinel would help pave the way to that progress? She would need a new purpose eventually....
All in all, I found the ending so rushed and weird. I found the ending of the last chapter - the abyss - odd, are we supposed to read it as perhaps death? Its a weird transition into the Epilogue, which is not a proper Epilogue as it continues the journey without ending it. And could not Sentinel, being alive, still cause destruction and chaos?
Still feel unsettled about this ending. I feel more at peace with it with time but still... just off.
Ok, so this is really late, but since I read the first book in primary school when it was shortlisted I figured I could wait a few months while I arranged to have it transported from Australia (not an ebook reader). It gave me time to reread the last two books, though in retrospect I should have gone back further. I'd forgotten how early most of the threads started.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the ending. I was wondering how she was going to tie up all the ends but it worked out pretty well (and the end was a bit rushed). A worthy ending (if you ignore the editing failures). I've read the other reactions here and agree with most of them. However, right now for some reason the thing that really strikes me is that we still don't know what the ancient promises are (unless I missed them somehow). Ok, so maybe they weren't necessary because of Sentinal's evolution and the futuretellers got it wrong, but it could at least have rated a mention. It does mean that Swallow was kind of unnecessary in the end.
Someone asked how it was that we could so love a series that has so many inconsistencies and plot holes. The answer is that despite all of that it's a good story. I saw mentions of a TV adaptation and I dread. I fear that unless you take it on like the Game of Thrones it would be hard to do it justice. And a bad adaptation is worse than none at all.
Finally, my thoughts on the "reward". I prefer to see it in a broader context. Someone has to go to Eden to free the beasts and teach Sentinal, see what can be done to fix the world. If she had not gone, then no-one would have gone to Eden, and then what? So she goes to Eden to see the world renewed, which is possible due to the success of her quest. It does mean that when Ruston says they would no longer be important, he's wrong. Oh well.
Anyway, IC has done her part. I promised myself not to buy any of her other books until she'd finished the series. She's done that, so now I can see what else she has written in the meantime.
Ooh Kleptog - even though the Legendsong Saga is amazing, I wouldnt start that yet as we are all still awaiting the last (?) book for that one. Its not in Ober Chronicles territory but its still painful.
I agree though i love how IC laid so many foundations really early on in the piece. Sure it was rushed at the end but still pretty amazing.
As for the ancient promises - I'm assuming that had to do with Swallow's death. They spoke some words, and by dying he fulfilled the promises. Someone had to die to spur Elspeth into action (from memory of the events in question at least) and Cassy was ensuring there would be the right person there. It may have been nice if that part had been spelled out to us more clearly during the the time when the characters (and readers) were grieving for Swallow though, to help us all deal with it.