Part One – The Path from Obernewtyn (I guess we are going to see Elspeth’s departure from Obernewtyn, her home)
Here we go! The first word is ‘At’, honestly I did not remember that, but its not that important. But the sentence and paragraph that it begins is most definitely important, and super exciting! I’m guessing that we are in another dream thing, honestly I’m not sure how to classify all these sequences. Sometimes they are actually dreams, sometimes true dreams, sometimes memories, sometimes wanderings on the dreamtrails, sometimes a combination of all of these things. And I guess it can’t be spelt out to us otherwise that would reveal whether it is something that is actually going to happen. Which has gotten me wondering is a true dream certain? I know all futuretelling is not certain, look at Ariel’s in the last book, but are true dreams more accurate than futuretellings? Just wondering.
I do like that even Elspeth can acknowledge when things are dreams, and I guess since seeing Dragon in this vision, it must be a dream. But is this where she actually is, and who was that woman? Then it gets frightening, a weird creature comes up to Elspeth but it has the voice of Angina, and it is asking Elspeth to help them. He says that Elspeth must use the black sword (the stone one?) to save Miky. It is confusing for me, but how confusing must it be for Elspeth, as she escapes and goes into the dreamtrails, and then above them, something she didn’t think possible.
Then pure darkness arrives, and foolishly Elspeth sends out a probe, and finds nothing, but she is caught (maybe I am a futureteller!) and ‘to wake is the only escape’, but that isn’t an easy thing, trapped by darkness. But someone helps her, a violet spirit, who saves her from the darkness, by helping her down, and pushing her into a dream, one where Elspeth is on the black road. She sees this violet spirit, and finds a beastman, with a wolf head, and red wings. She still is not safe as the darkness invades this dream, the only way out is for Elspeth to coerce herself to wake. What a truly traumatic experience!
It seems for poor Elspeth her sleep has become, just like when Dragon was in her coma, a challenge. As if by some symbolism the weather over the years has become more chaotic, just like Elspeth’s dreams? Or signalling the time for the end? Elspeth is going down to the farms, and already we see Gavyn and Rasial in the story, the two of them becoming more and more distant from every beast and human, something is coming for these two. Honestly how they speak is a mystery, but I wonder if they even communicate at all. Rasial is still guildleader of the beastguild, since Avra, I think, is still off with her foal in the mountains, I wonder if she will return before Gahltha must leave with Elspeth (see already more questions!).
Almost as though it is a reminder of all the major players of the story, Elspeth discusses Gavyn and other enthraller’s, a new definition of Talent, a rare one of coercion and empathy. Gavyn, Freya, Ariel, Lidgebaby and Dragon are the only people so far known to have this combination. And honestly all of them are probably important in some way in this book and the next. Even within this group each of them have a different sort of enthralling, and a different level of control on it, I think Ariel has the most control, but both Lidgebaby and Gavyn have the potential to drastically topple him. Sure Dragon is powerful, but the other two are different.
Dameon has yet to return to Obernewtyn, and I hope he does soon, we nee more Dameon in this book, we haven’t had much of him for ages! And the twins, Angina is still clinging for life, his wound long healed, but his emotional/spiritual health has declined. The connection between Angina and Miky has shown a physical result, as Miky herself starts to ail, their fate intertwined. Elspeth still seems to rationalise her dreams, saying it was just her visit that conjured up her dream, but how does she know that it wasn’t Angina showing himself, and pleading her to save them, but how, I don’t know. I’m not even sure what the black sword is. The two of them are in dire straights, as nobody can reach him, and they seem unresponsive to everything, Elspeth has sought help from Dameon, and hopefully he will return from Sutrium where he is helping Rushton in the Red Queen Expedition planning, and know what to do.
Elspeth meets up with Gahltha and leaves the walled farms of Obernewtyn, going for a long anticipated ride. And this is quite interesting because I don’t really remembering hearing about this part of Obernewtyn, where there is forests, and two paths leading from the gate, one that follows the wall and ends up going down to the lowlands, the other goes into the forest and forks. One of those paths we have travelled before, as it goes to the tecknoguild caves, the other goes to the high mountains, and I assume that maybe this is the way to that cave that Katlyn has made into a herb garden. Gahltha though is choosing the path that takes his fancy, as Elspeth is able to put aside her responsibility of leading Obernewtyn, which is set to become a proper settlement with a village and everything! Strange times ahead.
Though this isn’t just a ride for pleasure, Elspeth has something to do, but wanted to explore the high mountains a bit first. Gahltha takes the time to try to scent out Avra and the herd, and it seems that there is no indication that Avra will ever return and lead her guild, but maybe one day. Elspeth is trying to find Maruman, a notoriously difficult task since his brain is difficult already and when he sleeps it makes it worse. I think he must have gone on one of his wanderings since returning, and now Elspeth is trying to find out where he is, and I think this is the first time she has done so. And already we have Elspeth pondering the decisions of the Beforetimers and whether they have actually learn from their mistakes, and I think that they have, but you can never know if something will push them towards making them twice.
As Elspeth finds no trace of Maruman, she wonders if he has gone to the Agyllians, after all it was clear something was amiss. Gahltha reminds her that Maruman is not tame, but I understand her frustration, she was called back and still there is no word as to why, and Maruman disappeared as soon as they got back. Though she should be used to these things by now, it has happened before, and she just needs to wait. Whatever the Agyllians’ reasons for making her return, it will work out soon enough and Elspeth just needs to keep on going with what she is doing for Obernewtyn. But Elspeth cannot help but worry for her old friend, his wanderings have lead him to tainted ground before, and it is possible, but improbable, that he has wandered where he cannot return from. Elspeth resolves to get the help of Maryon and the futuretellers, maybe they would have clues as to his whereabouts, or as to Elspeth’s need for returning. And knowing Maryon she indeed knows that Elspeth is going to come and see her, it’s just what futuretellers do, even if it is annoying! But I wonder what it is Maryon has to tell her, it will be interesting!
I do like how we have been eased into The Sending I was expecting more of a traditional recount of the past events, as has happened in the other books, but thankfully it was well done, and introduced new things, while addressing some of my questions (like Angina). But I’m already so excited for this!