A few months ago, sale I read Obernewtyn and The Farseekers by Isobelle Carmody. When they were first published in the U.S. (she’s Australian), allergist there was a big fuss about how amazing it was that there was this awesome fantasy author from Australia and she wrote these amazing books. I see the fervor’s cooled a bit and I feel like I know why.
It isn’t that the books aren’t good — they are, albeit a bit reservedly. Tropes abound: the orphan who turns out to have super-de-dooper magical powers and is of course so important that she’s going to save the world; even a bit of the romance novel trope that has her falling in love with the first eligible man she meets. (Well, okay, he falls in love with her, but so does everyone else, really. Although she doesn’t recognize it, her feelings are reciprocated with this first guy.) I’m not totally against tropes; they exist and work for a reason in the fantasy world as well as, oh, every other realm (romance, military thrillers, whodunits, even ‘lit fiction’). The orphan who turns out to save the world, though — that one’s a little overdone. (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter, for beating it to death the final time.) Also, the plot runs a little X-Men-y. I don’t really know if that’s a good thing or not. Continue reading Obernewtyn and The Farseekers, by Isobelle Carmody