The Keeping Place
Book Four of the Obernewtyn Chronicles, and they just keep getting bigger! With at least 200 pages more than ‘Ashling’ I am confident that this is the longest book I have reviewed so far on here, and that might provide some challenges. The interesting thing is there are only 34 chapters (plus an epilogue), and yet ‘Ashling’ had 44 chapters! With a total of around 750 pages, there are an average of 22 pages for each chapter and that is going to be a stretch. ‘Ashling’ had a much more manageable average of around 12 pages per chapter, and in the end with so much going on I had to split chapters were that length, and for some of the longer ones, I also had to split the chapters. There are two issues with such long chapters. Firstly, I don’t have infinite time to spend on this (yes, I do have a life off-line and I can’t spend hours blogging, even if it would be awesome) and I only have a limited amount of time I can really spend writing and reading, and sometimes life gets in the way (which is sometimes the reason for my splitting of chapters). Secondly, as you know, I tend to write a lot, and such long chapters, could easily run over 2000 words, which is something I don’t really want. I am already not confident if people are prepared to read 1000-2000 words for each chapter, and going beyond that, I think I might find that people just aren’t interested. So I would like your opinion, would you be prepared to have over 2000 reviews of each chapter? Does it bother you to have chapters split up? Do you even care if I write these reviews? Of course we shall have to monitor this as I keep writing, because who knows, there might not be all that much to write about. I do not know for sure. So leave a comment a let me know what you think!
Anyway back to ‘normal programming’, The Keeping Place’ was first published in 1997, four years after ‘Ashling’. My edition was published back in 2007. The books are starting to look formidable, and are seriously starting to push the limits to how thick a book can get (spoiler, the next book breaks the 1000 page mark!) with conventional binding.
The cover is interesting, as it has Maruman curled up asleep at the top, and then a dragon above a sleeping girl/woman who has red hair. The only character I know has red hair is Dragon, which means this is our sleeping Dragon (interesting that there is a dragon above Dragon). Turning the book over there is of course a blurb, but I’d prefer to go into the book without being geared up for a specific event but I can see that there is a girl riding a horse in the background, possibly Elspeth on Gahltha. The significance of the cover is not known, but sometimes there is no significance anyway.
Inside there are the acknowledgements, and there seem to be a few more than last time. Then for the first time, there is a list of characters and a little phrase detailing who they are in relation to the story (i.e. Alad, beastspeaking guildmaster, highlander) now of course there are probably going to be people we haven’t met yet in that list (hence whey I am not reading anymore than the first one) and they may detail something we do not yet know about, so for safety’s sake it remains there. But it is a good inclusion, considering there are a lot of characters (easily over 120) and it can be hard to keep track of them all, so this is a handy little reference section. There is as always, a map, and this time it is the same as the one in ‘Ashling’.
The first post will, as predictable as it is, be tomorrow, now I don’t know how long it is and whether it will have to be split or not. But I hope you can join me, as I start to move into the ‘second half’ of Obernewtyn.