Book Six – The Sending
So first I’d just like to say that you should check out my Predictions for The Sending here, but this post serves as an introduction to The Sending and I’d like to share my story/history with The Obernewtyn Chronicles.
But first (even though this is second) we must really clear up a few things. I am reviewing/talking about the Australian Penguin/Viking Edition of The Sending, which is the cover you can see to the left. This was released on the 31st of October 2011 (story about that below). Now for the latest developments in the international release of The Sending (and for talk of the release of The Red Queen- the final book in the series, tentatively late this year or early next) go to Obernewtyn.net that is the best place for all your news. But as far as I know, in other countries, The Sending has not been released. In fact, I have heard discussion that in the US (publisher Random House) and UK (Bloomsbury) aren’t going to publish The Sending at all, except in ebook format. Even then, there has been a lot of talk that once again they have decided to split the books up, and I’ve mentioned before that this is going to cause some difficulty, since the planned release of Part Two of The Sending (Aus version) would be called The Red Queen which is the final book of the Australian Version, which is really confusing. Isobelle Carmody is trying to sort it out, and it is outside her control and is not her decision, so don’t go writing angry emails/letters/tweets to her (or for any pushing back of the release date of the final book!). And sadly the release isn’t until at least June! So your best bet is to find an Australian online store that ships internationally, you might have to pay a bit for shipping, but you’ll actually get the full version (as the second part has no release date in sight) in print, and you’ll get it now!
So as a recap, internationally The Sending is going to be split into two, The Sending (which due to an earlier split of The Stone Key will be book 7) and The Red Queen which may be called The Waking Dragon (Which shall be book 8). And then there will be the final book The Red Queen (book 9, which may or may not be split up itself!). The cover for The Sending (Random House) is to the right. If you are still confused check out this post on Obernwetyn.net for a list that might help you. Honestly it is very confusing, but hopeful it will be all sorted out eventually.
EDIT: Just got word from Isobelle Carmody that the book is now out of print, that means that there are no more copies in the warehouse, there still are copies available at stores, but this has reduced the likelihood for our international friends finding a copy. It will be reprinted later this year. However if you are feeling lucky/creative go over to Obernewtyn.net where there is a competition to win a signed copy of the book, by just discussing your first memories of reading the series, all you’ll need to do is pay for postage if you are successful. Find out more here, and you have until the 28th of Feb, and you need to be a member of the site. Good luck!
Onto the Australian cover, which sees Elspeth and Maruman walking down some sort of ‘road’ which looks a little like a desert, and there is the moon in the background (THAT moon again!). I have no idea what the significance is, but as always it is a beautiful cover. And the American cover, we have wolves. And if you look on the back (avert your eyes from the blurb!) you can see the silhouette of more wolves. So two symbolic features, a wolf and the moon, which were both prevalent in The Stone Key.
Inside we have a number of acknowledgements which I don’t think we’ve really had in the last few books, but I guess coming to the end of a nearly life-long series (Isobelle started this when she was 16!) there are a few people that really need thanking for making it possible to reach the end (because I’m sure there are plenty of series that end up never ending, actually I don’t know about that, I’ve never seen one, but I’m sure there are a few series that publish the first one or two but never end up publishing the rest of the series). Plus there is a dedication, which we have seen before, but to a different person. I think it would be amazing to be acknowledged in a book, but they always make me wonder, especially the cryptic ones, what is the author talking about or referring to, because sometimes it isn’t obvious.
There is as always a map, and I opened it before really quickly closing it again, because I saw it was a new one and that’s what I was interested in. It is new and has new places, I only saw the one place that I already knew existed so that’s okay. But I have no idea what else it says or reveals, so I’ll have to wait until I’m done to have a look at it. But that is really it in terms of this standard introduction, but now I want to talk about how I started reading the chronicles, the story about buying The Sending and why I haven’t read it until now.
I honestly am not sure when I first read Obernewtyn, I know it was sometime after the release of The Stone Key, or around that time, so sometime 2008. One of my friends had read it, and she was recommended by our teacher librarian to read it. I soon followed, and ended up reading The Stone Key before she did. We both loved the series, and discussed a few theories, and kept track of the developments with The Sending. Unbeknownst to us, we didn’t realise that The Sending would be pushed back a number of times, if only we had paid attention and checked the release dates of the other books, we could have seen that we were probably in for a long wait. Okay three years, is nothing compared to those people waiting after The Keeping Place, I cannot imagine how they survived, Obernewtyn.net is probably their saviour, but I’m guessing a number of people stopped there and have almost forgotten the series. Or they are waiting for the entire series to be out, so they don’t have to reread to remember what on earth happened before, which is exactly what my friend has decided to do.
Part of the reason why it has taken me over a year to get around to reading The Sending is for that same reason, my friend and I wanted to read it together so we could both discuss things, but then of course The Sending turned out to be the penultimate book, which meant that my friend wanted to wait until they were all out, while, I wasn’t so sure. But I waited, and I started a blog, and decided that eventually I would blog through them, hopefully in time for The Red Queen, and turns out, there will most definitely be a break in between The Sending and the final book, since it is not going to take nearly a year to read this one book. And honestly The Obernewtyn Chronicles have been a great series to fill the gap after Harry Potter. I grew up with that series, and I’ve continued to grow up with the Chronicles. And thankfully this one is still going, and I will continue to grow up with them for some time yet.
As for the story of when I actually bought The Sending. I find it somewhat funny but I believe it was the day before the actual release date, I had seen on Obernewtyn.net (sounds like I’m really plugging the site, well I am, it’s amazing) that a few libraries and even a few stores had copies of the book available before the proper release date. And this is because unlike one of the Harry Potter books, The Sending was not embargoed, meaning stores could sell them when they got the shipments. Having seen this, it wasn’t long till I went down to a department store, since it was the closest place that sold books, and quickly went to check if they had a copy. And they did!
There was only a single copy, and it was at the bottom of the shelves. Without even thinking I immediately ‘jumped’ down and clasped the book. There actually were a few people around and I think I got a few weird looks at this grown person jumping to grab a book. But honestly I couldn’t have cared less right then. I had The Sending! And at that point I knew I wasn’t going to read it then, and I still didn’t care because I HAD IT! I was so excited, it was just like going out to get The Deathly Hallows except there wasn’t any waiting around to buy it and no queue. It seemed like fate since there was only one book in the store, but maybe that’s just pushing it!