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The Stone Key

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There was a great crash and wood splintered...I had a brief glimpse of a group of Herder priests, bald and robed, peering at me, and then the sundered remnants of the locker door were torn aside and a rough hand reached in to haul me out by the hair. A Hedra captain stared into my face with eyes that burned with a fanatical fire above a thin nose and a lipless slash of a m There was a great crash and wood splintered...I had a brief glimpse of a group of Herder priests, bald and robed, peering at me, and then the sundered remnants of the locker door were torn aside and a rough hand reached in to haul me out by the hair. A Hedra captain stared into my face with eyes that burned with a fanatical fire above a thin nose and a lipless slash of a mouth... "You will die in great pain and very slowly, mutant," said the Hedra master. When Farseeker Guildmistress Elspeth Gordie sets out from Obernewtyn to travel to Sutrium at the end of wintertime, she quickly learns that not everyone welcomes the changes brought about by the rebellion. Captured by an old and vicious enemy, she is drawn deep into the heart of the Herder Faction, where she learns of a terrible plot to destroy the west coast. To stop it, Elspeth must risk everything, knowing that if she dies, she will never complete her quest to find the weaponmachines that destroyed the Beforetime. But if she succeeds, her journey will lead her to the last of the signs left for her by the seer Kasanda... Librarian's note: Penguin Australia is publishing the Obernewtyn Chronicles in six books, and The Stone Key is book five. In the United States and Canada this series is published by Random House in eight books; this Penguin Australia book is split into two parts and published as Wavesong (Book Five) and The Stone Key (Book Six).


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There was a great crash and wood splintered...I had a brief glimpse of a group of Herder priests, bald and robed, peering at me, and then the sundered remnants of the locker door were torn aside and a rough hand reached in to haul me out by the hair. A Hedra captain stared into my face with eyes that burned with a fanatical fire above a thin nose and a lipless slash of a m There was a great crash and wood splintered...I had a brief glimpse of a group of Herder priests, bald and robed, peering at me, and then the sundered remnants of the locker door were torn aside and a rough hand reached in to haul me out by the hair. A Hedra captain stared into my face with eyes that burned with a fanatical fire above a thin nose and a lipless slash of a mouth... "You will die in great pain and very slowly, mutant," said the Hedra master. When Farseeker Guildmistress Elspeth Gordie sets out from Obernewtyn to travel to Sutrium at the end of wintertime, she quickly learns that not everyone welcomes the changes brought about by the rebellion. Captured by an old and vicious enemy, she is drawn deep into the heart of the Herder Faction, where she learns of a terrible plot to destroy the west coast. To stop it, Elspeth must risk everything, knowing that if she dies, she will never complete her quest to find the weaponmachines that destroyed the Beforetime. But if she succeeds, her journey will lead her to the last of the signs left for her by the seer Kasanda... Librarian's note: Penguin Australia is publishing the Obernewtyn Chronicles in six books, and The Stone Key is book five. In the United States and Canada this series is published by Random House in eight books; this Penguin Australia book is split into two parts and published as Wavesong (Book Five) and The Stone Key (Book Six).

30 review for The Stone Key

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.

    This book embodies everything that gives fantasy a bad name. - Authors under pressure from fans to finish a series, so write quickly and without really wanting to do so. - Huge, complex plots balloon out of control, resulting in massive doorstop books full of useless prose. - Total lack of character development/anything good about the writing due to the necessity of finishing fast and keeping the book a vaguely manageable size - Badly edited; full of glaring contradictions. As a result, Carmody reso This book embodies everything that gives fantasy a bad name. - Authors under pressure from fans to finish a series, so write quickly and without really wanting to do so. - Huge, complex plots balloon out of control, resulting in massive doorstop books full of useless prose. - Total lack of character development/anything good about the writing due to the necessity of finishing fast and keeping the book a vaguely manageable size - Badly edited; full of glaring contradictions. As a result, Carmody resorts to tired cliches and goodness knows what else. Like Harry Potter and many another fantasy series, it is an insult to the books that preceded it. Don't read it. Of course, I knew all this before I started, and read it anyway. I needed to know. She's got us all by the balls, because I started reading this series when I was twelve and I'm still reading it and I'll be reading the next one too because I just freaking want to know what happens at the end.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    As an avid book reader, I have this firm belief that re-reading books is such a waste of time as instead of going through the same story, there are thousands more to go through and experience. However, this belief of mine did not hold true when I was younger. Back then, most of my reading experience were through re-reading some (if not the) best books in my life that really ignited my passion for reading. The Obernewtyn chronicles was one of these books that I have re-(re-re)read and is one of t As an avid book reader, I have this firm belief that re-reading books is such a waste of time as instead of going through the same story, there are thousands more to go through and experience. However, this belief of mine did not hold true when I was younger. Back then, most of my reading experience were through re-reading some (if not the) best books in my life that really ignited my passion for reading. The Obernewtyn chronicles was one of these books that I have re-(re-re)read and is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. Carmody knows her forte, writing in exact detail and creating the right formula for an adventurous, imaginative novel in which fans are continuously holding their breath for the next adventure. And hold their breath, they did. The Stone Key has finally been released (much to the excitement of fans waiting for almost 10 years since the previous novel). The post-apocalyptic novel continues with the misfit, Elspeth Gordie going through series of adventures in order to fulfil her destiny as the seeker in order to save the world. The best thing about this novel is how Carmody's fantasy formula is different from the rest. No wizards or dragons but still maintains enough magic to entice fantasy lovers. Most of all, Carmody subtly presents a dilemma within our society how the mixture of mistreatment of prejudice, discrimination and carelessness between humans, animals and the environment can easily destroy the world we live in. Whilst journeying with Elspeth, I could not help but believe in the possibility that her world is real (or could be). However, reading this novel was such a journey for me, a mixture of emotions but most importantly, it held its own at the end. I was in much excitement and awe with not believing that the book has finally arrived! This then was followed by high anxiety by not remembering most of the plot having not read the series in over 3 years, and with the instilled code I have, I believed that re-reading the whole series was not worth it and that I would remember in time. Remember I did (slightly), which came in the right time for me in order to enjoy the adventures that laid ahead. Although, as much as I love thick novels (it comes as prerequisite for fantasy novels, the bigger the better) I could not shake the feeling that there was just too much stuff going on and that I just wanted the novel to end. In remembering most of what's going on, instead of getting answers, I got more questions - I guess this was Carmody's purpose, teasing her fans until her next instalment. In the end, I have to say 'The Stone Key' was excellent but because of me not being familiar with the story, I did not get as much as I could of. So reader's discretion: please read at least the last novel ('Keeping Place') before reading 'The Stone Key' - the more into it you are, the better your experience. Overall, thank you Isobelle for finally releasing this novel, please, please, please don't wait another 10 years to release the next one - can't wait!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alsha

    It is a huge relief to be done with this thing. What a waste of time. I no longer have any desire to finish this series. I'm going to keep the first three that I love, consider them ideally suited to being incomplete, and forget about the rest. This one was bloated with the author's boredom and it couldn't have been clearer that she just wanted to get through the story. Difficulties were solved in the most expedient way every time, full of deus ex machinas and inconsistent mind-power solutions; It is a huge relief to be done with this thing. What a waste of time. I no longer have any desire to finish this series. I'm going to keep the first three that I love, consider them ideally suited to being incomplete, and forget about the rest. This one was bloated with the author's boredom and it couldn't have been clearer that she just wanted to get through the story. Difficulties were solved in the most expedient way every time, full of deus ex machinas and inconsistent mind-power solutions; the main character has become a self-important little twat; the romantic tension was a mutant of its former compelling self; there were more irrelevant side characters with ridiculous names than grains of rice in the canister in my cupboard; and the writing was just plain bad, especially the dialogue. If anyone needs an example of why "telling" is bad storytelling, look no further. Entire plotlines were summarized by convenient character speeches: "This is what happened." There was exactly one paragraph that momentarily reminded me of the old style, but it was fleeting and not even important - just a random description of some landscape. The death of a friend was glossed over and sapped of all poignancy. In 1000 pages, there wasn't a single sentence or image I would take out of it with me. It saddens me to once again be confronted with the soured fruits of an author I used to love.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This review contains spoilers. The spring thaw has come again to the Highlands and Elspeth is once again leading a group of Misfits to Sutrium, the capital, in time for the first elections since the Rebels freed the Land from the oppressive Council and the fanatical Herder Faction. But not all the Rebel leaders want to relinquish their power in a free election, and the Rebels have a tenuous hold on the Land west to the Suggredoon. On the opposite banks, Soldierguards and Herder warrior priests ca This review contains spoilers. The spring thaw has come again to the Highlands and Elspeth is once again leading a group of Misfits to Sutrium, the capital, in time for the first elections since the Rebels freed the Land from the oppressive Council and the fanatical Herder Faction. But not all the Rebel leaders want to relinquish their power in a free election, and the Rebels have a tenuous hold on the Land west to the Suggredoon. On the opposite banks, Soldierguards and Herder warrior priests called Hedra man the new border, and with their ships burned by the fleeing Herders, the Rebel alliance has no means of attacking the West and freeing the citizens there. There are problems with the Rebel leader Vos, currently holding Saithwold, who has barricaded the people in the town and is censoring communication going to and from the area. When Elspeth and Zarak, another Farseeker, take a detour to see Zarak's father, Khuria, she learns that Vos is merely a puppet for her old foe, Malik, who is using Saithwold's isolation to work out an invasion plan with the Herders. In working to defeat him, Elspeth finds herself trapped on one of the three ships the Herders use, and on her way to Herder Isle. Luckily, she isn't the only Misfit who snuck aboard a Herder ship - a number of Coercers disguised as Hedra are also aboard, and together they work to take over the Herder Faction from inside, discovering hoards of dangerous Beforetime weapons and a library of Beforetime books for the priests to study - books they publicly denounce and burn on the Land. From the One, the mad, obese leader of the Herders, Elspeth discovers that Ariel has gone to the West coast with plague seeds, to unleash a plague that will kill everyone. She is desperate to stop him, her nemesis, the Destroyer to her Seeker, to save the people trapped in the West. As a summary, that's just the tip of a mighty iceberg. Truly there is so much happening in this book it's hard to know where to start (though I've already given away quite a bit!). This was the first time I've read this volume (book 5 in the Obernewtyn Chronicles), and I knew nothing going in - I didn't even read the blurb on the back. It was full of nail-biting tension, mystery, excitement, adventure, danger and discovery. The plot really moves forward, and there are many changes. I was stunned and delighted that Elspeth infiltrated the Herders - and before the Coercers appeared to save her life, I felt such fear for her. Actually, the fear didn't end then either. I can't remember when was the last time I was so emotionally and intellectually engaged in a story - really feeling it, y'know? The atmosphere here is just so compelling and vivid, in that stone fortress of a compound/cloister, a mini city in its way, with secret passages in the thick stone walls and mute "Shadows", slaves, many of them with their tongues cut out, who Elspeth realises belatedly are all female. It's quite interesting, actually, that for a story that shows time and again that things aren't black-and-white, that life is more complex than that, the Herder Faction truly is out-and-out evil. Ariel, though, is becoming a very complex character. I think he must be quite mad - what's the word that was always used to describe him? Defective, that's it. A Misfit term, one used when the Misfits don't have any powers - though it turns out he has a twisted form of Empathy and Futuretelling powers. You can really start to see the pattern of the dance he and Elspeth are playing now. She knows that he knows she is the Seeker, and she figures out that the reason he makes sure she's never killed or harmed, is that he needs her to find the Weaponmachines, and if she fails to turn them off or whatever she needs to do, it will be his turn, and he'll set them off and destroy the world. So far, his only motivation is his own kind of insanity. One thing though, on this topic - considering how much time Elspeth spends thinking through things, going over the clues and connecting the dots, the one thing she hasn't mentioned in a long time is the one thing that started it all: seeing Marisa Seraphim's map of the Weaponmachines cache, seeing exactly where the weaponmachines are located. She's never shared with us any details of this - whether it's a place she recognises, or what exactly she saw (and how did Marisa come by it, anyway?). She is instead on a mission set out by Kasanda, the Beforetime Seer - Cassy Duprey - to find the four clues Kasanda left for her, things she will need to complete her task as Seeker. I can only surmise that these things, or information, will help her to disable the weaponmachines, not to find them - since she has that knowledge already, right? But has suppressed it? Elspeth is a character I've always loved, and I felt such compassion for her in this book: the Herders and Ariel did something to Rushton that seems to have killed his love for her. She learns that it's not actually dead, but that Ariel tortured him and turned Elspeth, the very image of her, into a trigger, with Rushton the bomb. Ariel doesn't want to kill Elspeth - he needs her - but he has a lot of interest in causing others pain, always has done. His plan is for Rushton to try and kill Elspeth, but with Elspeth safe, she will instead watch her beloved die. Only by doing something Ariel couldn't have foreseen - his unfamiliarity with love, compassion, generosity etc. renders his forethought weak - can Elsepth save Rushton. They have had such a hard road together, it seems like at the beginning of every book, something happens to tear them apart. One step forward, four steps back kind of thing. Elspeth has always struggled to balance her secret mission with everyday living, with being open with others, especially Rushton. She's been holding herself back, she realises, even when she thought she was giving herself, so that she still seems so isolated and lonely. She's aware, sardonically, cynically, how other people, especially the Misfits, look up to her and mythologise her, which only makes her feel even more isolated. I've been keeping track of her age, and I figure she's twenty or twenty-one in this book - she has changed a great deal over the years, and with each successive book, maturing at a nice, steady pace, in tune with her adventures and self-awareness. It's wonderful character development, and the story wouldn't be the same without such a strong protagonist. The story is awfully long, though. It could probably have been tightened up a fair bit, and there were quite a few typos - names were often wrong (Ode instead of Aris, Port Oran instead of Halfmoon Bay), but I honestly didn't mind very much, it was just distracting and was hopefully fixed for later editions. It's very fleshed-out and involved, and again, it touches upon ideology and social issues. The nature of power, for instance, is always relevant: "It is also that the Faction sets itself up to appear impregnable. That is a defence in itself, for if something appears impossible to break, then no one even tries to break it. But that same appearance of invulnerability is a weakness if those maintaining it believe it, too. Th Herders believed their Compound was so fearsome that no one would dare to enter it save those who had no choice, and so they did not defend themselves within its embrace. In a way, taking over the Compound has been like taking over the Land in the rebellion. The Councilmen had run things for so long they could not imagine truly being challenged, yet most of the Council's power rested on our accepting that it could not be challenged." "When you speak of it in that way, it seems that power is like some ... strange agreement between the oppressed and the oppressor," Elkar said. Cinda lifted her hand, and as it flickered, Elkar translated, "She says that power is not a real thing, like a ship, but an idea. And only by accepting the idea, do we make it real. She says that freedom is the same sort of thing: an idea that is nothing, until people believe in it enough to make it real." [p.481] I love it when Fantasy fiction explores relevant issues and philosophy like this, examining the way society works. It's like Lloyd Alexander said, "Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it." (I really should think about reading one of his books!) Carmody does that and more, which is why she's been my favourite writer since I was in primary school and first read Obernewtyn . Note: I read the Australian first edition. In the UK and North America, this book has been split into two volumes: Wavesong and The Stone Key.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    The last time I finished one of the (soon to be seven) Obernewtyn books would have been three to four years ago. As such when I began this massive book (the 1000 pages is one reason I did not get into it years ago) I found my going slow at first as I struggled to re-adjust to the world of the misfits. However once I did I re-found my love and appreciation of this world. The Stone Key is unusual for a modern day YA novel. It does not move with bristling pace, many of the characters are young adult The last time I finished one of the (soon to be seven) Obernewtyn books would have been three to four years ago. As such when I began this massive book (the 1000 pages is one reason I did not get into it years ago) I found my going slow at first as I struggled to re-adjust to the world of the misfits. However once I did I re-found my love and appreciation of this world. The Stone Key is unusual for a modern day YA novel. It does not move with bristling pace, many of the characters are young adults rather than teenagers and the book is of course 1000 pages long. Add to that the fact that the tone is not quite like that of The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner and you have an intriguing book considering the target audience. What I found particularly interesting having finished this book also is that it reads as a character development novel more than anything. While nothing much new happens in the story and you lose a lot of the fighting and warfare of previous books this actually added to the storytelling as I saw characters be truly morally and mentally tested (ignoring the fact that they have mind powers of course). As such their maturity developed naturally rather than in a forced manner. What anyone interested in starting this series (from the first book Obernewtyn) is that also this series used the whole female first-person protagonist way before Hunger Games and Divergent hit the block. And I must say that I think this series uses the perspective better than either of them. What this series focuses on is one misfit (a young woman with mutant mental powers) who finds herself at a misfit house called Obernewtyn and strives to fix the corrupt post apocalyptic government set ups. There are evil councils, fanatical religious movements, an evil misfit and a few different cultural groups. Think X-Men with a first perspective, semi-scifi and semi-fantasy plot. Oh and throw in a prophecy about our protagonist being the Seeker who will save the world by defusing the Beforetime (our time) weapon machines. Like the sound of that and you are looking for some smarter YA fiction? Then read this. Buy it for 19 or so dollars at your local bookshop.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Allyce Cameron

    I will never regret re-reading this series, I fall in love with it every time. The Stone Key especially is one of my favourites with plots and prophecies coming together and wounds being healed. I'll be sad when it's all over, like I've finished a piece of my childhood. I'll leave you with this gem (a bit out of context but still beautiful- Elspeth and Rushton for ever ♡) " Rushton touched my lips, drawing my mind and heart back to him. 'You have left me already,' he said. His eyes were sad. 'I I will never regret re-reading this series, I fall in love with it every time. The Stone Key especially is one of my favourites with plots and prophecies coming together and wounds being healed. I'll be sad when it's all over, like I've finished a piece of my childhood. I'll leave you with this gem (a bit out of context but still beautiful- Elspeth and Rushton for ever ♡) " Rushton touched my lips, drawing my mind and heart back to him. 'You have left me already,' he said. His eyes were sad. 'I may leave you, but my heart has ever been in your keeping,' I whispered.."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Renée Soufflé

    The best in the series so far. I eagerly await The Sending.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sisi

    I LOVE ISOBELLE CARMODY!!!! There I have stated the unstateable (is that a word?). No seriously, as much as I want to wring her neck for making us wait so freaking long for the completion of the Obernewtyn Chronicles and the Legendsong trilogy, damn the woman knows how to keep us coming back. We plunge into action straight away; unlike the 4th book where the start was so tedious it took me 10 tries to read it fully, this installment has so much going on. Carmody can write really crappily and far I LOVE ISOBELLE CARMODY!!!! There I have stated the unstateable (is that a word?). No seriously, as much as I want to wring her neck for making us wait so freaking long for the completion of the Obernewtyn Chronicles and the Legendsong trilogy, damn the woman knows how to keep us coming back. We plunge into action straight away; unlike the 4th book where the start was so tedious it took me 10 tries to read it fully, this installment has so much going on. Carmody can write really crappily and far too leisurely sometimes and there are moments (such as the romance parts) where I can barely read on and cringe because it is SO. BAD. But so much happens in this book that the 1000 pages it takes up doesn't seem like that much at all, and it really is page-turning stuff. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and eagerly look forward to the last one to see once and for all what happens. N.B. One glaring contradition that I noticed that Cathy also noticed, was when Brydda is meant to be in the third ship which never turns up and then he's with them on the land asking questions and then a page later Elspeth wonders what happened to Brydda and morbidly wonders how she would tell his parents that he had died. Hilarious. P.S. And also another bone of extreme contention for me which has nothing to do with the actual story - why did the publisher publish this book SO FREAKING BIG. Honestly, the font is so large and there is a margin of a full inch between text and the edge of the page. What really annoys me though is that if I buy the book then it won't be the same size as the other four I do own. IT WON'T BE THE SAME SIZE. IT DOESN'T MATCH. AAAAARGH. Totally anal-retentive but it is ridiculous. Publish the damn book in the normal size and don't charge $32 for it, dammit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bree T

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It has been nearly a year since the rebel forces combined overthrew the councilmen. Each area has had a rebel chieftain and Dardelan has served as high chieftain but he’s determined to implement a process of democracy and the first elections will be held soon. Also, formal charges will be brought against the rebel Malik by Obernewtyn for his betrayal of them during the uprising and this leading to the slaughter in the White Valley. Elspeth and several others at Obernewtyn are concerned when lett It has been nearly a year since the rebel forces combined overthrew the councilmen. Each area has had a rebel chieftain and Dardelan has served as high chieftain but he’s determined to implement a process of democracy and the first elections will be held soon. Also, formal charges will be brought against the rebel Malik by Obernewtyn for his betrayal of them during the uprising and this leading to the slaughter in the White Valley. Elspeth and several others at Obernewtyn are concerned when letters out of one region in particular seem to be urgently indicating that something is wrong without actually stating it. She and several others decide to travel there and find out what they can. It doesn’t take her long to discover that Malik is up to his old tricks and intends to betray not only just the Misfits this time but the entire rebel force by allying with the Herders and aiding a Herder invasion which is planned to come at a time when no one is expecting it and the area will be at its most vulnerable. The Herders plan to take the land and it’s no doubt that Misfits would be burned at the stake or slaughtered, their safe haven destroyed. By placing herself in Malik’s hands, Elspeth and her allies seek to overthrow the rebel forces currently ruling this area, capture Malik and try and stop the invasion. She is almost killed several times but help comes from an unlikely source, a local man of Chieftain Vos who believes that Elspeth and her people are not mutants or freaks and that she can help. In attempting to halt the Herder invasion, which she has realised will occur much sooner than they originally planned, Elspeth ends up on a Norselander ship bound for the Herder Isle. Once there she is tortured for information and discovers that Ariel was behind not only the capture and torture of Rushton in the year previous but also that he has plans to infect the entire West Coast with a deadly plague that will almost wipe it out. With the help of some coercers masquerading as Herders and the servants taken by the Herders and forced into horrific slavery, Elspeth seeks to stop the terrible things done by the Herders in the name of Lud and break apart their stronghold. Then she knows that she needs to go to the west coast and find the null carrying the plague that Ariel intends to unleash because with her body’s amazing ability to heal itself, bestowed upon her by the Agyllian birds, she is the best chance they have of being able to stop it. Elspeth is still continuing on her journey to find the signs left to her that will enable her to find and attempt to disable the weaponmachines of the Beforetime before the Destroyer can attempt to use them. Elspeth learns that the Destroyer needs her alive because only if she fails will the Destroyer then be able to use the weapons. If the Seeker dies, then the Destroyer will not even get a chance. This aids her several times, and she uses this information to change a scenario and attempt to save the mind of her beloved Rushton, destroyed by the torture he received when he was kidnapped. The Stone Key is the fifth book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles and weighs in at almost 1000p. It took me 4-5 days to read this one and I carefully marked out major plot points, discussions and interesting quotes with post-it notes. And then my 1yr found this book (I still don’t know how) and pulled out every single one of the post it notes! I’m not re-reading the 1000p again so I’m just trying to go off my memory. I’m sure to forget stuff so please excuse any errors or glaring omissions! The last two books I have crammed in right at the end of the month so I made sure to start this one early, given its whopping size. The intention was to read a set amount of pages a day throughout the month and take it at a steady pace. Well. That didn’t happen. At all. I feel that this is the book in which the Misfits and the rebels make the most progress. Their path is littered with successes and failures, in this Misfit camp it’s mostly failures but in this book it seems like they get their win. They uncover the plot of Malik and the Herder invasion and avert it before it can cause too much carnage, they take the Herder Isle, they get the aid of the Norsemen, they avert the plague plot (but as Elspeth later realises, that was just another way in which Ariel chooses to hurt her because he hates her) and they know they need to take Dragon to the Red Land to return her to her throne and start the rebellion to overthrow the slave traders. They gain the aid of ships from the Norselanders and the Sadorians in order to prevent the slave traders coming to their shores. Obernewtyn is being made a village with Rushton as its chieftain and will operate slightly differently in the future. Rather than be a refuge, a way to hide from the world, it will be open and free. They want to establish Misfit communities in other villages and encourage people to come forward and be tested and have their Talents nurtured and trained. The frightening world Elspeth knew at the beginning of the series is changing. There’s still a lot of work, but there’s definite progress. I feel as though this is a book that for Elspeth, contains a lot of personal growth. Although she had bonded with Rushton, she knows that she never really gave her all with him and she was frightened of a joining that would meld their body and their minds. She always held back and when Rushton withdraws from her, retreating to deal with the torture that Ariel inflicted upon him, often in Elspeth’s image, she realises just how much she longs to be with him completely. Even though Rushton, in this book, behaves as if he loathes her, as if her very presence is abhorrent to him, she works tirelessly to find a way to help him remember what happened to him and deal with it, without killing him or breaking his mind beyond repair. It’s exhausting and devastating for both of them, but Elspeth had to face Rushton’s withdrawal from her in order to realise her true feelings and what she wanted and Rushton had to go through it in order to deal with what happened and be able to move past it when Elspeth makes the ultimate sacrifice to him – her life. In re-reading these books, I’m noticing just how odd Dameon’s behaviour is and I’m trying to see if it’s just a touch of jealousy or if really, the guy is completely sinister. Mostly no one is that good and if you re-read a lot of scenes with him in there, there’s a bit of menace or weirdness as an undertone to some of the stuff he says. In this book, he urges Elspeth to ‘put herself in Rushton’s presence as often as she can’ so that Rushton will remember that he loves her. I’m not sure if he gives this advice because he genuinely thinks it will help or if indeed he suspects that Elspeth doing this will lead to Rushton actually losing his freaking mind. As Elspeth discovers later, he was programmed to ‘seem fine’ when he was found, but constant exposure to Elspeth would cause his mind to disintegrate until he cannot separate reality from the torture and he attempts to kill her. Ariel doesn’t want Elspeth dead but Rushton dying in his attempts would’ve served him very well – he has always hated Rushton and it would also have destroyed Elspeth who would’ve had to deal with the guilt and grief. In the end Elspeth is able to overcome what was done to Rushton but had she done what Dameon suggested, it’s quite possible he would’ve cracked earlier, in a situation where Elspeth wouldn’t have had time to think. I don’t know about you Dameon, the more I read, the more you seem like I cannot trust you! Of course I’ve also read The Sending already last year and I’m thinking about his weird interactions in that novel too, as I write this, so I’m cheating quite a bit.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alix

    DNF at 8.6%. I could not push myself to read it no matter how hard I tried

  11. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am loving this so far - yes, some clumsy exposition, overly formal dialogue, but who cares - I have loved these characters since I first read Obernewtyn at age 11, 12? And reading this takes me right back to that uncritical age. I have a feeling I will enjoy this book tremendously no matter what. *** I managed to stretch out my reading over quite a few days, which I was pleased with - I adored this book. What a fantastic continuation of the series. Then I went and read this thread at Obernewtyn. I am loving this so far - yes, some clumsy exposition, overly formal dialogue, but who cares - I have loved these characters since I first read Obernewtyn at age 11, 12? And reading this takes me right back to that uncritical age. I have a feeling I will enjoy this book tremendously no matter what. *** I managed to stretch out my reading over quite a few days, which I was pleased with - I adored this book. What a fantastic continuation of the series. Then I went and read this thread at Obernewtyn.net and boggled at all the various theories that fans have developed after reading this book. It's made me want to go through and read the series again from the beginning, and then read The Stone Key again. I loved the way Elspeth has matured and developed in this book, I loved the resolution of her relationship with Rushton (in fact, it hadn't really dawned on me that there were fans that didn't like the Elspeth/Rushton relationship - wah? They are Meant to Be Together!), and the continuation of her quest is most terribly exciting. I loved the part set in the Beforetime complex. Oh please Isobelle, don't take another 8 years with The Sending.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Honestly, I just really really love this book. I know a lot of people who didn't enjoy it, or thought the pacing was off, or picked up on the editing errors- but for me, the storyline and the characters kept me going. We finally get to find out a lot more about some of the looming threats to the land (and to our beloved misfits). The amount of danger and suspense in this novel surpassed the others in my opinion, and yet led way to some of the most touching and heart wrenching scenes. You almost Honestly, I just really really love this book. I know a lot of people who didn't enjoy it, or thought the pacing was off, or picked up on the editing errors- but for me, the storyline and the characters kept me going. We finally get to find out a lot more about some of the looming threats to the land (and to our beloved misfits). The amount of danger and suspense in this novel surpassed the others in my opinion, and yet led way to some of the most touching and heart wrenching scenes. You almost forget about Elspeth having a separate quest as you are swept away in this adventure- until the end, of course. A wonderful book in this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Helen Bookwoods

    3.5* Long-winded in places (1,000 pages!) and things are often re-explained but I love the world Carmody has created and love Elspeth, the one-eyed cat Maruman and the horse Gahlthar. I admire that animal rights are part of the story (can you imagine that happening in Game of Thrones?). I listened to the audiobook, beautifully narrated by the author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    SwEeT MeMoRiEs

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is 1000 pages long!!!! Still not sure whether the book is absolutely amazing or just average...it's definitely not bad!!! I feel for the poor Elspeth when she realised she couldn't live without Rushton...sigh.... This book is 1000 pages long!!!! Still not sure whether the book is absolutely amazing or just average...it's definitely not bad!!! I feel for the poor Elspeth when she realised she couldn't live without Rushton...sigh....

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I kind of felt like I spent this book in continuous argument with some of the plot holes/ethical issues that haven't really been resolved to my satisfaction, but I still love the characters and world, and I read the whole thing in one breathless, suspenseful gulp. I kind of felt like I spent this book in continuous argument with some of the plot holes/ethical issues that haven't really been resolved to my satisfaction, but I still love the characters and world, and I read the whole thing in one breathless, suspenseful gulp.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisamarley :S

    arieal's a cunt, man.... but hott shipfishesses are dolfinns :D and i also did lernededededededed that yeah we figured out whats gonna happen in number 6.. so HA SUCKERS!!! arieal's a cunt, man.... but hott shipfishesses are dolfinns :D and i also did lernededededededed that yeah we figured out whats gonna happen in number 6.. so HA SUCKERS!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Coral

    The first half of this book took me 1 & 1/2 weeks to read. I came very close to abandoning it. But I read the second half in 1 & 1/2 days. Enjoyed it much more. Let's see what the next one brings. The first half of this book took me 1 & 1/2 weeks to read. I came very close to abandoning it. But I read the second half in 1 & 1/2 days. Enjoyed it much more. Let's see what the next one brings.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda ☕ Steeping Stories ☕

    There are truly many novels in this one book. It is gripping and thrilling, full of shocking twists from the start. I teetered between a four and five-star rating. The first two thirds are an enthralling, speedy ride. But the hectic pacing starts to lose its impact as the novel drags on and on. There's a reason books are normally not so long! From roughly the last third, Carmody starts to summarise key action scenes and climactic battles, and I grew tired of hearing about exciting events secondha There are truly many novels in this one book. It is gripping and thrilling, full of shocking twists from the start. I teetered between a four and five-star rating. The first two thirds are an enthralling, speedy ride. But the hectic pacing starts to lose its impact as the novel drags on and on. There's a reason books are normally not so long! From roughly the last third, Carmody starts to summarise key action scenes and climactic battles, and I grew tired of hearing about exciting events secondhand. Elspeth even sleeps through an important sequence of events! It makes sense that Elspeth can't be at the centre of everything—but we're also bound by her first-person perspective and it clearly gets irksome as Carmody tries to navigate so very much in one huge unending tale. But ultimately, I so enjoyed most of this novel. I loved the delicious angst between Rushton and Elspeth (yes, I'm a sucker for pain). I also appreciated the depth their relationship was given. Carmody made me believe for the first time what Elspeth saw in Rushton and why they have such a strong connection. In essence, I finally understood why Elspeth fights so hard for him. Seeing them interact as a couple on-page went a long way. As always, the themes buried into this post-apocalyptic tale resonate beautifully. Scenes of action and reflection are layered one on top of the other just like in the third book Ashling. It's this seemingly incongrous stitching together of breakneck pacing and quieter moments that makes Carmody's series so uniquely enjoyable. 'When you speak of it in that way, it seems that power is like some... strange agreement between the oppressed and the oppressor,' Elkar said. Cinda lifted her hand, and as it flickered, Elkar translated, 'She says that power is not a real thing, like a ship, but an idea. And only by accepting the idea, do we make it real. She says that freedom is the same sort of thing; an idea that is nothing, until people believe in it enough to make it real.' Unlike the earlier installments, The Stone Key ends with less of a resolution than a feeling of open continuation. I'm mystified and excited to see where exactly Carmody is going to tug the threads of her story to. I just know that I'll be heartbroken once this series ends. Book Blog | Writer Website | Twitter | Instagram

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kirstie

    This was exciting for me, because though I read the first two books many many times and book three quite a few and book four just once, this was my very first time reading this book. (I rage quit several series around this time with the intent of waiting until they were completed before reading them all at last). As always Elspeth seems to just jump out of the fry pan and into the fire over and over again and just when you think there's no hope, a miracle happens that makes perfect sense. She does This was exciting for me, because though I read the first two books many many times and book three quite a few and book four just once, this was my very first time reading this book. (I rage quit several series around this time with the intent of waiting until they were completed before reading them all at last). As always Elspeth seems to just jump out of the fry pan and into the fire over and over again and just when you think there's no hope, a miracle happens that makes perfect sense. She does a fair bit of globe-trotting in this volume, with a new parts of the Land she's never been to, Sador, and taking us at long last to the mysterious Herder Isle. The world building as always is stunning. The character of Miryum was sort of written off in this book, after her dramatic events in the previous volume I was eager to see what happened next, and then there a literal throw away line which amounted to "psssh, she probly dead yo". I'm hoping it's a misdirect, because it was really dissatisfying. I'm also starting to get a little exhasperated with things that feel obvious to me that Elspeth tries to explain herself away from what feel to me the logical path. Luckily this doesn't happen too often, and the sheer quality of the rest of the book makes up for it. Plenty of twists and turns and of course, yet more new characters. Ready for the next volume - lucky I have it ready to go now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I finished reading The Keeping Place in December 2015, so it's been a while since I've read about these characters. I stopped reading this series because the last book was yet to come out and I'd read some reviews complaining the other books took a long time to be published. So I decided to wait then the last book came out, but I had to wait for the smaller version to be printed (so my book were all the same size). I finally got my copy, it's probably been over a year and still I haven't complet I finished reading The Keeping Place in December 2015, so it's been a while since I've read about these characters. I stopped reading this series because the last book was yet to come out and I'd read some reviews complaining the other books took a long time to be published. So I decided to wait then the last book came out, but I had to wait for the smaller version to be printed (so my book were all the same size). I finally got my copy, it's probably been over a year and still I haven't completed this series. I think it was the 1000 pages that stopped me from picking it up (and the fact that I want to read the last two books right after, as the characters and story is so complexed that I'd needed it fresh in my mind). So I decided when I came across the audio book, I'd buy that to help me get into the story again. I loved reading along with the audio book, Isobelle Carmody is the narrator and she does a awesome job, I even got The Sending on audio book too. (Would love to reread/listen to this entire series again one day). I think if I didn't have the audio book, it would have taken me alot longer to read. As some parts could drag on, and I was guilty of increasing the speed through boring bits... Not my favourite in the series Ashling still holds that title but still a great read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Claire Di Lorenzo

    Wow... just wow... I love this series. I won’t make this review long because honestly I’ll just be repeating myself. This series is incredible and everything I could ask for. ALSO the reason it took me so long to finish this book is because I started working and this book is THICC so I couldn’t bring it with me to read during my breaks or commute to work, so I opted for smaller books BUT THAT DOES NOT DECREASE THE AMAZING QUALITY OF THIS BOOK I PROMISE I love Elspeth, I realised, because she is Wow... just wow... I love this series. I won’t make this review long because honestly I’ll just be repeating myself. This series is incredible and everything I could ask for. ALSO the reason it took me so long to finish this book is because I started working and this book is THICC so I couldn’t bring it with me to read during my breaks or commute to work, so I opted for smaller books BUT THAT DOES NOT DECREASE THE AMAZING QUALITY OF THIS BOOK I PROMISE I love Elspeth, I realised, because she is so socially awkward which really adds to the humanisation of her character, she is uncomfortable in social situations and yet she can ride a “ship fish” across the sea... I love her. The reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars is simply because (I read this in someone else’s review but I can’t find it to credit it!) everything works out a bit too neatly, there isn’t much death, and everything just seems to fall into place a bit too cleanly.... but honestly I really don’t mind, part of me enjoys it more because I don’t feel much fear while reading, but I do miss the fear of uncertainty. That is such a specific reason but there it is😹 Honestly I just love this series and I’m petrified of finishing it😿

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nanci

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Fifth in the Obernewtyn series, I realized upon looking closely at this paperback that there are two more sequels I don’t own! Fortunately I found them as PDFs online, so while I’m unable to purchase the books at a reasonable price I can still read the tales. Anyway, this 4th book started with Elspeth awakening on the shore of The Land after the ship fish conveyed her from Herders’ Isle at the end of Wavesong. Loved Rolf, Iriny, and the animals that helped Elspeth along the way, the slow reveals Fifth in the Obernewtyn series, I realized upon looking closely at this paperback that there are two more sequels I don’t own! Fortunately I found them as PDFs online, so while I’m unable to purchase the books at a reasonable price I can still read the tales. Anyway, this 4th book started with Elspeth awakening on the shore of The Land after the ship fish conveyed her from Herders’ Isle at the end of Wavesong. Loved Rolf, Iriny, and the animals that helped Elspeth along the way, the slow reveals of more vital bits of info from the Beforetime, etc. I particularly enjoyed the rebels’ successful ruse that happened while Elspeth was with the Misfits in the renovated ruins, showing that important things DO happen without her involvement, lol. Poor Domick; he and Rushton suffered horribly. “There’s no greater magic in all the world than that of Love” came to mind when Elspeth faced raging Rushton in the lab. It was a pleasure revisiting Sador; I’m sure it will turn out that Salamander is the long-lost disfigured sister of Jakoby spoken about in her reminiscence at Templeport, for it seems absolutely everything revealed throughout the books is pertinent.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    Book 5 of the Obernewtyn Chronicles is the longest in the series so far. As Elspeth progresses in her role as the Seeker, her world and experiences keep becoming vaster and more detailed. I feel like the plot got a little lost in some of the details and character interactions. I find myself questioning whether certain plot developments are really essential to Elspeth's journey, or if they have been added by the author to pad out her post-holocaust world. While the series already has a large cast Book 5 of the Obernewtyn Chronicles is the longest in the series so far. As Elspeth progresses in her role as the Seeker, her world and experiences keep becoming vaster and more detailed. I feel like the plot got a little lost in some of the details and character interactions. I find myself questioning whether certain plot developments are really essential to Elspeth's journey, or if they have been added by the author to pad out her post-holocaust world. While the series already has a large cast of characters, Carmody seems determined to add even more - the character glossary in the back of the book was quite helpful as Misfits, rebels, and councilmen are often re-introduced after being absent for long periods of time. But for all my criticism I really enjoyed "The Stone Key" and I'm looking forward to seeing how Carmody ends Elspeth's quest and if she is able to resolve the ever-expanding lose ends that are currently present.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Ong

    Better than Keeping Place... really starting to feel series fatigue though. While an action-packed book, not much in the way of character development. We still live very much in Elspeth's head - and her head is becoming a very boring place very quickly. Perhaps the only sense of development is around her relationship with Rushton, but this unfortunately seems unnaturally forced in the narrative. Would like to see a bit more growth from Elspeth, but difficult at this stage as Carmody has constrai Better than Keeping Place... really starting to feel series fatigue though. While an action-packed book, not much in the way of character development. We still live very much in Elspeth's head - and her head is becoming a very boring place very quickly. Perhaps the only sense of development is around her relationship with Rushton, but this unfortunately seems unnaturally forced in the narrative. Would like to see a bit more growth from Elspeth, but difficult at this stage as Carmody has constrained herself to meet all her 'prophetic deadlines' she created in earlier books. While the use of prophecy, fate and foreshadowing in early books lends itself to weaving an epic tapestry out of a rug it forces Carmody to be accountable to herself as a writer. Meeting each piece of prophecy and foreshadowing now seems a gargantuan task that can only end in disappointment for me. Oh well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    The fifth book in the Obernewtyn series. Although the fourth book was disappointing (long, bloated and unfocused), I had hoped that a ten year gap would result in an improvement in Carmody’s writing. Sadly this book is even more over-long than the previous one, and adds about a dozen new deus ex machinas to the series. The contortions of the plot and insane logic of the series are now irredeemable. I won’t be continuing this much-loved series as it seems to have gone downhill since the third boo The fifth book in the Obernewtyn series. Although the fourth book was disappointing (long, bloated and unfocused), I had hoped that a ten year gap would result in an improvement in Carmody’s writing. Sadly this book is even more over-long than the previous one, and adds about a dozen new deus ex machinas to the series. The contortions of the plot and insane logic of the series are now irredeemable. I won’t be continuing this much-loved series as it seems to have gone downhill since the third book (Ashling).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anna Kosovac

    A brilliant instalment of the Obernewtyn chronicles that I simply couldn’t put down. I didn’t enjoy the previous book in the series and has taken years before finally getting to this one. Downside being that I had forgotten so many of the characters (and by gosh there are many!) But this book truly delivered as a plot-driven action-packed story of Elspeth’s fight against the faction. Loved it and highly recommend! (Btw, you really can’t read this as a stand-alone novel, really does need to be re A brilliant instalment of the Obernewtyn chronicles that I simply couldn’t put down. I didn’t enjoy the previous book in the series and has taken years before finally getting to this one. Downside being that I had forgotten so many of the characters (and by gosh there are many!) But this book truly delivered as a plot-driven action-packed story of Elspeth’s fight against the faction. Loved it and highly recommend! (Btw, you really can’t read this as a stand-alone novel, really does need to be read in order.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh Motbey

    Mmmm another book down for the Obernewtyn chronicles. Great as usual! I wouldn't say it was my favourite out of the series. In some parts, it dragged on too long for my opinion and I found myself becoming bored with those parts. But all in all, great story and it makes me want to read The Sending right now! Mmmm another book down for the Obernewtyn chronicles. Great as usual! I wouldn't say it was my favourite out of the series. In some parts, it dragged on too long for my opinion and I found myself becoming bored with those parts. But all in all, great story and it makes me want to read The Sending right now!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emilou

    DNF I went this far into the series, and I kept pushing on and on with the story, and I just got so frustrated with all the side quests and other things that kept happening in the story instead of the main character find out what her destiny is that I was just done. I don't think I'm cut out for the high fantasy genre. DNF I went this far into the series, and I kept pushing on and on with the story, and I just got so frustrated with all the side quests and other things that kept happening in the story instead of the main character find out what her destiny is that I was just done. I don't think I'm cut out for the high fantasy genre.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    HOLY CRAP THAT WAS A GOOD BOOK. just had to get it out there... XD This book was my Everest...now i can FINALLY say that i have read a 1000 page book...and better yet, loved it :) Every step through The Stone Key was a magical experience for me. this is, without a doubt, the best in the series so far. Isobelle Carmody has a beautiful quality that sets her apart from so many writers of her time. The world of Young Adult and Fantasy books is filled with angsty teenage tragedies and torturous paranor HOLY CRAP THAT WAS A GOOD BOOK. just had to get it out there... XD This book was my Everest...now i can FINALLY say that i have read a 1000 page book...and better yet, loved it :) Every step through The Stone Key was a magical experience for me. this is, without a doubt, the best in the series so far. Isobelle Carmody has a beautiful quality that sets her apart from so many writers of her time. The world of Young Adult and Fantasy books is filled with angsty teenage tragedies and torturous paranormal romances that blind the community from seeing the real hidden gems. The Obernewtyn series combines the best features of a novel: 1. the writing I believe that a good book must be written well. as simple as that. it doesn't have to be incredibly complex that the reader gets bored, but it must have some element of beauty in it that makes the novel truly special. Better yet, it needs to make you FEEL. a book can evoke emotions like nothing else. Obernewtyn, of course makes the reader happy, makes them feel like they are almost literally being immersed in a real life event, experiencing all that Elspeth feels, our hearts stopping when hers stops, laughing when she laughs. We feel her love and her longing of Rushton. Isobelle Carmody describes each action and adventure of Elspeth with such beautiful, vivid detail that it is hard not to fall in love with her works. 2. storyline the obernewtyn chronicles are defined by a solid, extremely interesting and suspenseful storyline, with a strong, taking-no-crap sort of heroine. every bit of the story keeps you wanting more. combining these main aspects of a good story, Carmody weaves a novel of beautifully written adventure and fantasy. it is neither fast-paced nor slow-paced, or perhaps it is both. the reader never gets bored, especially in this massive instalment, which has a tense plot with plenty of twists and turns. there is a touch of romance also. The storyline is fast paced, but every action is described in beautiful, vivid detail that gives the story many elements. it is a book that you simply want to read, perhaps to escape the world you are currently in or just for a break, just to feel all that Elspeth felt and being able to ride the wind with Gahltha like she did, feel Maruman's claws digging into our shoulders just like she did. but, at the same time, The obernewtyn Chronicles describe a beautiful story with fantastic description that leaves the reader always, always hungry for more and wishing that they were part of Elspeth's world. THE SYNOPSIS (do not read if you have not read the first four novels in the Obernewtyn Chronicles) The stone Key picks up from where it was last left off at the Keeping Place. Rushton is still distant and cold to Elspeth, and she does not know the real reason for this. Rebellion sparks up as the rebel leaders and cheiftains, having already conquered the east coast, try to control their power, and additionally, rivalries between some of the rebels are established as betrayal becomes part of the deal. we saw in the Keeping Place Malik's betrayal to the misfits, a tragedy that broke basically all their trust of them. the rebels have yet to conquer the west coast. Certain betrayal plans are carried out and Elspeth finds herself aboard a herder ship towards the mystic Herder Isle, filled with the incredibly well-trained hedra (herder warriors) who pose a threat to Eslepth, the rest of the misfits, and the rebels. Here on Herder Isle, Elspeth learns of a horrific plot to destroy the entire West coast, and Elspeth takes major risks to avoid this and try to save the people living there. but she is faced with many distractions and obstacles in her path, which prevent Elspeth from her true journey, discovering the remaining fifth sign from the seer Kasanda. Near the west coast Elspeth further discovers and explored the underground ruins from the beforetime, discovering many things she did not know before, that all lead her to her quest as the Seeker. She also discovers secrets of Rushton taht she never could have guessed before, learning more of how he ended up n the Sutrium cloister, and all that happened in the time he was gone. This book will definitely leave you hungry for more- i'm just glad that I own the Sending to be able to plunge right into it. The entire series is a massive page turner. the books themsleves are so precious because they are one of the books that i know i can become engrossed in, become immersed in such a great story that weaves every single thing i love about gout literature that it is impossible for me to put down and sometimes it even makes me wish like i was part of Elspeth's world. The Stone Key was by far the best book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles thus far, combining everything that makes up a great fantasy and young adult novel all into the one book. Trust Isobelle Carmody to wow her fans once again, as she will definitely continue to do, as she works on The Red Queen, said to be released around Autumn this year can't wait!!! Thanks for reading, if you were bothered (a solid effort if you were) and i hope that all else who have read the Obernewtyn Chronicles or are about to can experience quite the amount of magic that i did while i became immersed in such a beautiful story :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    After a slow burn with The Keeping Place, this book is all action, adventure and important plot points. I especially enjoyed learning more about Sador and Salamandar as well as about Cassy and Hannah.

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