Abigail Jones's Reviews > The Sending

The Sending by Isobelle Carmody
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's review
Dec 04, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 04 to 18, 2011

I don't quite know what to say for The Sending. Originally, it was created to be part of one larger final book, although I don't know what it would have been titled. It was decided that instead of publishing the finale` as one thing, however, that the final Obernewtyn book would be made into two.
I think this explains a lot of The Sending's overall climatic fault; it didn't have one. There wasn't really a steady building of tension; it just seemed to me at at around page 700, Isobelle gave up and threw in a hurried 'THE END' halfway through a sentence. Of course, this is because of my earlier mentioned two-books/one-book dilemma. As the first section of a larger book, The Sending works magnificently. The writing is, as always, magnificent, and characters well beloved and developed, and the plot is of course complicated and attention grabbing. As the first half of of an extremely long book, I would give The Sending 4.5/5 stars - as a book on its own, though, despite some fantastic elements, I think that the absence of real climax would lower it to a three (but it can have a four because, come on, it's Obernewtyn).
There were about four main plots going on at once in this book; the first that Angina and Miky, the Empath twins, have fallen sick and Elspeth must save them from death; the second, a prophecy that the dead Sadorian, Straaka, will come to her in a vision to reveal the whereabouts of the Coercer Miryum and his bones; the third, discovering Dragon's whereabouts so that she can be taken to the Red Land where she belongs; and the fourth, of course, Elspeth's *Long Awaited* summoning from Obernewtyn into the high mountains to begin her quest and leave the land forever.
There's a lot of planning in this book, and not much action. You'll find pages and pages dedicated to describing Beforetime visions, Elspeth plotting out the lives of Cassandra, Hannah and Jacob in her head, describing theories about where the signs are, who put them there, how, when, where, why. I'd say a good percentage - at least 1/3 - is simply Isobelle listing out the different possibilities as to the lives of Beforetimers who are long since dead.
And, yes, Swallow comes back. Just be warned, The Sending is heartbreaking at times. Come on, you can't say you didn't cry at that Rushton scene....
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