Elspeth learns more facts that will aid her in her quest to destroy the weapon machines that previously had caused a nuclear apocaplypse. The review of this Book prepared by Sara. Elspeth Gordie is an orphan because her family were burnedfor sedition, she is a 'misfit' with amazing mental abilities and is sent to the misfit refuge Obernewtyn.
While she is there Elspeth and friends discover an evil plot to overthrow their goverment. The review of this Book prepared by Kate. She has been expecting the summons forever, but Misfit Elspeth always hoped it would never come. Alas, the time arrives and she reluctantly starts her trek to forge an alliance between the paranormal Misfits and the rebels against the Council and the Herders, who want all Misfits dead.
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Elspeth's dreams demand she destroy the weapons of destruction left behind by the Beforetimers when they obliterated their world. She finally understands that she could never lose Obernewtyn, even for the quest. And she must tell Rushton that the Battlegames have been the best thing for them, and it has shown them their true nature.
It is time for Bram to roll for the final battlegame. The number of players is two, and that suits the Misfits perfectly, with the two twins being the best singers ever. Bram tells Malik that that Battlegames test many qualities, and that unless he wishes to forfeit he must choose the two rebels that will sign.
I feel slightly bad for them having to do something they likely were not comfortable with doing and compared to what the twins are about to sing, they look like fools. Speaking of the twins, it instead of the battle song, deals with not the glory of war, but with the tragedy of it. It is an old song song that told of two boys, who were brothers separated at birth and sent to war against one another. Only when one had killed the other, did they understand what had come to pass.
A tragedy indeed. Elspeth had heard this song before, but never like it was preformed there. This rendition had pure rending sorrow, and now empathised it was a song that went greater and deeper than just a song about two brothers. She cried for all the victims of hatred and war. She was not the only one who wept, Kella, Dameon and Freya and many of the Sadorians also wept.
Even a few of the rebels wiped their eyes by the final line, which I will quote.
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As the final notes faded away, the sun set, as if paying homage to the twins and their wondrous song. Malik was dry-eyed of course as Bram stepped up to speak he was wiping his eyes. He says that the rebels offered a song with humour, which can raise the hopes of warriors and boost their courage. But he acknowledges that the Mifits sang a song that ran much deeper, and reached into the souls of warriors and made them question themselves about what they are about to do.
Bram deals with him well, and tells him that though a song may not wield a sword of metal, it can put a sword into the heart that will never rust or blunt. A song can make warriors who are close to surrender get up and fight, it can raise an army, or quell the tears of a baby. He announces that win the setting of the sun, the Battlegames are over! Immediately, Malik demands to know who won, and Bram just stares at him and then tells him that impatience is the least of his faults, and that it is a kind of greed and one day will be his undoing.
He then speaks to everyone. He has been asked to judge these Battlegames, but would like to tell everyone that the games are not a matter of tallying up points, but examining how all the games were played. This makes judging difficult, and can mean that those awarded less points, can end up winning good news for the Misfits. Elspeth is heartened by this news. But it is short lived. For this Battlegame, the decision is easy.
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The games were played to find out who were the better warriors, and whether the Misfits with their unusual Talents were worthy of an alliance. The answer is of course that the rebels are more suited to battle than the Misfits. The rebels are aggressive and turn to violence immediately, and if these men are representative of the full army, are ready for battle. No instict, mercy, compassion or love of beauty would restrain them from their destruction not necessarily a good thing. They are swift, ruthless, decisive and resourceful. They are filled with desire to dominate and abuse maybe good values for a warrior, but not a human.
Remember that these men will have to live with what they do in any war, and they may be all gung-ho now, but how will they feel with their ruthless actions later, or will they be filled with no regrets because of their cold-hearted nature? As for the Misfits, Bram continues, that if they are representative of their fellows, they are no warriors. They care too much about life and one another to be ruthless killers. And they are not inspired by the glories of war, and are filled with sorrow at the death of friend or foe, whether that be beast or human.
They are not weak or cowardly, but seem incapable of using their minds as weapons.
He uses their song as an example, which instead of putting fear into the hearts of their enemies, made everyone cry. But the Misfits seem to value all life, and to the Sadorians this is a hard thing to contemplate. He gives them one final thing to think about.
They opposed the alliance with the Misfits because they were seen as inhuman and monsters, but he asks them, which team today has shown humanity and which has shown itself to be monstrous. In the end, he announces the rebels as the winners of the Battlegames, but he does so with no pride or happiness. The rebels cheered, but there was some confusion to that cheering, and Malik was happy to move to the rebel leaders and receive their congratulations.
Elspeth went to tell Rushton that if she had to be like Malik to be a warrior, she would not want to be a warrior, but oddly her legs buckled and Rushton had to move to catch her. Elspeth dreamed of being strapped to the Zebkrahn machine, and her legs were on fire. She dreamed of the Agyllian healer, Nerat, who taught her body to heal itself. She dreamed of the red-haired lady drowning in the ocean, bleeding, of Swallow raising a sword to salute her and of Ariel searching down tunnels to find her.
She dreamed of Maruman telling her she would lead the beasts to freedom and of seeing the dolphins out in the ocean. She dreamed she saw quite a lot of Rushton standing at the doors of Obernewtyn, with Freya in his arms.
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She dreamed of a shining river, that called her name, the Mindstream, that if she went into it, she would die. But, Atthis speaks to her, and warns her not to go into the Mindstream. Elspeth is relieved that Atthis has finally spoken to her, and not through someone else like Maruman or Mayron. Elspeth might share that fate, because she is perilously close, and she must move away. Atthis is holding her but her strength is fading. Atthis explains that a small artery in her leg was severed during the Battlegames, and she nearly bled to death, and they probably Kella stopped the blood, but right now she is too close to death.
Her body has learned to heal itself which explains why she miraculously healed all the time, is that why the tattoo did not work? Elspeth fell a pull to return and live, but she fought against it, because she was not sure she wanted to live. Atthis tells her that the pull she feels back to the world, is because someone wants her alive. She felt the pulling again, and wondered who it was that she was connected to, and drawn by curiosity she was drawn away.
She tries to call out to the person, but there was nothing. She opened her eyes, and she saw a monster, and she fled. Again she opened her eyes and saw Kella, and then Dameon. Then she was lying in a dark, cold room, sitting beside her was the Temple overguardian. The overguardian tells her that she is in the Earthtemple and she has slept for a long time.
What a dramatic turn of events, I did not expect Elspeth to nearly die, especially when she seemed fine. Who was holding her to the earth, was it Rushton? I have no idea how we would find out for sure, but it is good to know Elspeth is well. I wonder if we will find out more about this overguardian, and how they are, and more about the Temple in general!
Even though there is not a lot left, I think there will be a lot to talk about! Have I ever gone over words before? Now I have. When Rushton names Elspeth as their single member, Malik names himself. It is the showdown we have been waiting for! The two were brought to the small herd of beasts that Elspeth had already farsensed and they had to choose their mounts.
Elspeth takes her time and talks to the horses finding out who is fastest and stronger than the rest. Then she spots the little mare, Faraf, who she aided at the city gate when she arrived in Sutrium. Wow, even the horses end up coming back into the storyline somehow, seriously is there nobody who is seen once and actually disappears? Faraf greets Elspeth and tells her that clearly she did not make it to Obernewtyn.
She was captured and sold to the Sadorians, who are better than most when it comes to animal rights, but she still dreams of being free. Malik is growing impatient and tells her to choose already, which Elspeth just ignores. Faraf tells her that Malik has indeed chosen the strongest horse among them, but that Elspeth should choose her because she is small and NOT strong. Elspeth asks her why, and asks if the other horse would let them win, because she is Innle. She says that the horse would, BUT they are going to be fed a leaf, called pickleberry this too has already been introduced to us, has it not, when Dragon was in the market and Gahltha was rearing.
Because of this, it is better to ride a weaker horse, so Elspeth is not thrown off. Elspeth chooses Faraf and leads her out, with an almost smug look on her face. Malik seeing the horse she has picked cannot believe his eyes. Next they are told to choose their saddles, and Malik chooses a great solid armour piece, that has sharp metal spurs, Elspeth on the other hand on the advice of Faraf chooses the lightest and deepest seated saddle, and the simplest bridle, without the metal bit.
They return back to the isis pool, and an area of which had been cleared for them. Jakoby repeated what Faraf had already told her how exactly did she know? Did she hear them talking — and for that matter can they understand human speech — probably not. So does this mean she has done this before, or did she learn from the other horses what exactly would happen? They would ride their horses who would be fed the pickleberry and be maddened. Their aim was to last the longest on the horses. Elspeth asks if the horses would die from this pickleberry, like the bear from the drug.
The day was drawing to an end, which means this may be the final battle, and if Elspeth wins, they would probably be equal in terms of the games. Faraf then ate from a bag a servitor gave her, and Elspeth wonders how she could impress the rebels. Elspeth asks Faraf to open her mind so she can block some of the effects of the drug. Faraf agrees but warns that the drug is already taking hold, and her whole body is already twitching. Eventually, Faraf stood still. The horse without warning, bucked and reared, and Elspeth even tried to get into the mind of the horse to assist him you can see that the Misfits are kind and compassionate enough to try to help the rebels, though I think she was more concerned about the horse rather than Malik.
But the drug had taken hold.
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Malik was a skilled rider though, and was able to remain in his seat. Malik saw that Faraf was not moving at all, and decides to become aggressive and make the horse charge straight at her. And the worst thing is, that Elspeth cannot move Faraf out of the way, as she shut down all of her nerves. Malik strikes again, and he is clearly trying to kill Elspeth or at the very least kill Faraf. The next time, the spikes missed, but he was able to strike Faraf in the head with his feet. How can he control the horse so well, as it is still under the control of the drugs?
Faraf was in a bad state and blood was streaming down her face. Malik turns for the next attack, but Elspeth jumps off of Faraf and yells that she forfeits.
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Elspeth did not even glance at Malik who had jumped clear of his horse, who is still affected by the drugs. Now all assembled, Bram says that there is nothing to say as the game was forfeited though I think a lot can be said about the game. Elspeth cannot look at Rushton who had trusted her to win this game. Even if they won the next game, they would not win overall, as in their opinion the rebels have won three games, whereas the Misfits have only won a single game and was that because the rebel was killed before getting to the other side?
Elspeth is tired and all she can do is sit, Freya notes that there is blood on her trews. The next game is set to be announced. I find it unfortunate that Bram did not comment on the events that were able to happen before the forfeiture because there was a lot of interesting things. But she forgot to incorporate Malik into her decision, and forgot that she would be vulnerable as movement was not an option. I think she neglected to consider that Malik was a powerful rider and would take any opportunity he got to harm Elspeth, and he would do anything to win, including kill Faraf and Elspeth.
Overwhelmingly the rebels have shown aggression, and a lack of compassion towards their fellow warriors. Conversely, the Misfits have shown compassion to themselves and animals, but a lack of aggression. Both have their uses, but since this is about battle-readiness, the aggression will likely win out, but of course just because the Misfits lose does not mean they have lost everything. I think this is a learning experience and it is showing them that they are not capable of aggression in a large sense and that they are much more defensive than they are offensive.
Sure some among them would be suited to war, but their talents lie elsewhere and the rebels may realise from these games that they are lacking in some qualities that the Misfits have aplenty. Penguin Books. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 18 September Works by Isobelle Carmody. Darkfall Darksong Categories : Australian novels science fiction novels Children's science fiction novels Australian science fiction novels Australian fantasy novels Australian young adult novels Science fantasy novels Obernewtyn Chronicles.
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