Written by an Australian children's author, this award-winning (in Australia) fantasy-adventure novel is the sequel to last year's Obernewtyn, which was first published Down Under in 1988; this book appeared there in 1990. It takes place in relatively familiar fantasy territoryÄthink Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile without the descriptive power, or Anne McCaffrey without the dragons. Young narrator Elspeth Gordie is a mutant "Misfit" with unusual mental powers. Because, in Elspeth's world, both the oppressive religionists and the semi-governmental Council hate Misfits and hunt them down, her kind has joined together and found refuge on the mountain keep of Obernewtyn. Despite the danger, Elspeth and othersÄincluding a telepathic, human-hating horseÄleave this refuge and undertake a journey to find an enormous book trove, and to save an extraordinarily gifted Misfit. Elspeth also has a mysterious personal quest to fulfill. Carmody's mostly clear, readable style is tainted by awkward "fantasy-speak" dialogue and etymologically curious argot (soldierguards, deathmachines, firstmeal, nightmeal). Better than its predecessor, the novel showcases engaging characters, pacing and plots that may, despite the publisher's adult marketing campaign, appeal primarily to adolescent females. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
After liberating themselves from their control by the totalitarian Council, the psychically gifted Misfits of Obernewtyn attempt to develop their skills without interference from the outside world. When powerful psychic Elspeth Gordie leads an expedition into the distant Lowlands to rescue another Misfit, she also receives a call to find and destroy a cache of ancient weapons, relics of the legendary Beforetimers. Carmody!s postapocalyptic tale of heroism and courage in the face of persecution blends graceful storytelling with appealing characters. Recommended for most sf collections as well as for YA fans of speculative fiction. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.