''The Obernewtyn Chronicles'' is an Australian series of {{speculative fiction}} novels by Isobelle Carmody set in a world [[AfterTheEnd ravaged by a disaster]] known only as the Great White (presumably a nuclear holocaust). Once the fire stopped raining from the sky, a ruling Council was formed. About the same time, there was a sudden rise in deformed births in both livestock and humans. Afraid of what had just happened, the Council ruled that all mutants, human and animals, should be killed immediately, as would anyone trying to rebel against the Council. They soon founded a new religion, the Herder Faction, which preached the benefits of a natural, puritanical lifestyle and gruesome death to anyone who deviated from the norm.

The books follow the adventures of Elspeth Gordie, a teenage girl in [[OrphanageOfFear an orphanage for the children of executed criminals]]. After establishing [[CrapsackWorld the mood of the world]], the mysterious Madam Vega arrives. She quickly finds Elspeth's secret: she's [[PsychicPowers telepathic]], which makes her a [[{{Unperson}} Misfit]], who are normally used as slave labor on remote [[strike: concentration camps]] Councilfarms. Instead, Elspeth is sent to Obernewtyn, to be part of a research project to 'heal' these Misfits.

The series falls smack dab in the middle of ScienceFantasy, with what is fairly obviously a [[AfterTheEnd nuclear apocalypse]] in the backstory and more than a few [[LostTechnology Beforetimes machines]] being essential to the plot, yet the PsychicPowers and attitude are given a strong {{fantasy}} interpretation. Similarly, the tone is very dark, but [[EarnYourHappyEnding hard work does occasionally pay off]].

To this point, six books in the series have been published:
* ''Obernewtyn'' (1987)
* ''The Farseekers'' (1990)
* ''Ashling'' (1995)
* ''The Keeping Place'' (1999)
* ''The Stone Key'' (2008). Split into ''Wavesong'' and ''The Stone Key'' for the US/Canadian market.
* ''The Sending'' (2011).
* The seventh and final book will be called ''The Red Queen''.
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!!This series provides examples of:
* ActionGirl: Lots, but Elspeth stands out.
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Teknoguild expeditions consist of these.
* [[spoiler: AIIsACrapShoot: yeah... taking all the immense weaponry of an advanced human race and putting it under the control of a MasterComputer who would ''[[TooDumbToLive use the weapons to annihilate any country that could be seen as threatening the earth]]'' was so not clever]]. The damn thing monitors the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Balance Of Terror!]] Did anyone, [[GenreSavvy besides Cassy]] ''really'' not think this through?
* AllNationsAreSuperpowers: The five global powers before the Great White.
* AnimalTalk: [[JustifiedTrope Animals "speak" in telepathic images]]
* ApocalypseHow: Takes place several generations after a Civilisation Extinction/Class 2 apocalypse.
* YouFailGeographyForever: Carmody has admitted she cut up a map of the world and shuffled it up to create her mental map of the Land. But [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness it's not the kind of series where this is hugely concerning]].
* AstralProjection: A few people, but Elspeth and Maruman are pros.
* BadPowersBadPeople: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]]. Many coercers can stun or cause intense pain, but only one can kill with only a thought. [[spoiler: Two if you count Elspeth's brother.]] They're actually quite nice, once you get to know them. [[spoiler: The protagonist's one too.]]
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: The Seeker and the Destroyer, amongst other things.
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler: Domick/Mika]].
* BenevolentPrecursors: (warning, '''MAJOR SPOILER''') [[spoiler: the Guannette birds, who the Beforetime government first experimented on, with the result that they have mental powers that exceed any human except Elspeth. They stuck around after the Great White and are trying to make sure that humans wouldn't be stupid enough to reactivate the weaponmachines and cause a second holocaust.]]
* BerserkButton: touch Elspeth and Rushton will kill you. If he thinks she is dead (which happens a couple of times), expect him to move through HeroicBSOD to DeathSeeker mode very quickly.
* BettyAndVeronica: Elspeth (Archie) to [[spoiler: Rushton's Veronica and Dameon's Betty]].
* BigGood: [[spoiler: Atthis]].
* BreakTheCutie: Cameo (book 1), and Kella (book 3).
* BurnTheWitch: the Herders just ''love'' that KillItWithFire approach.
* CallOnMe: When, in ''The Stone Key'', she thinks that [[spoiler:she is drowning]], Elspeth calls out Marumanís name in despair. Due to an ancient prophecy, this then unintentionally summons a shipfish (dolphin) who is able to save her. She later invokes this when needing to quickly get from Herder Isle to the west coast.
* CatsAreSnarky: Oh, Maruman...
* ChekhovsGun: there are many in each book, but some span multiple books
** The most TriumphantExample for this series, would be Obernewtyn's doors. Introduced in the very first book, and still paying off in book 5.
** ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: Daffyd.]] You know that short conversation he had with Elspeth at the beginning of book one? It pays off at the end of book two.
*** In fact, ChekhovsArmy comes into play by books 3 and 4. You know all those minor characters that keep walking around and occasionally interrupting things? If there is a description or a name given of them, they ''will'' be significant in some way later on (there is a reason why, for books 3 and 4, [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters there's an index of character names.]]
** ChekhovsSkill: [[spoiler: Darga's ability to sense tainted water]].
** ChekhovMIA: [[spoiler: Ariel.]] In fact, he probably counts as a ChekhovsBoomerang, considering the number of times seemingly insignificant things related to him at the time being ridiculously significant later.
*** Also [[spoiler: Darga and Elspeth herself at times]].
** SomedayThisWillComeInHandy: combines with ChekhovsGun - if a concept, objective, or skill is talked about, shown, or demonstrated in passing at the beginning of the book, it ''will'' come in handy later. Sometimes even books later.
** YouWillKnowWhatToDo: [[spoiler: Atthis, Marylon, and most of the futurteller Guild operate on this premise]]. Expect Maruman and Gahltha to hand out similar predictions. They show up so often that it becomes a constant source of irritation and frustration for Elspeth (but she's GenreSavvy enough to know that if they say something seemingly small or insignificant it will probably have weight later on).
** ChekhovsBoomerang: the Guannette birds, Obernewtyn, the front doors of Obernewtyn, and the wolves.
* TheChosenOne: [[spoiler: Elspeth]]. For about[[ProphecyPileup four different mythos and counting]]. The [[ResignedToTheCall only one she's actually accepted]] is [[spoiler: [[BigGood Atthis and the Agyllians']] prediction. The rest [[RefusalOfTheCall she's refused to accept]], despite the [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive fact that they frequently turn up on her doorstep]]]].
** Also in direct opposition [[spoiler: Ariel]] as TheAntichrist. [[spoiler: no, seriously, he crossed the MoralEventHorizon half-way through book one and he's still going.]]
* CorruptChurch: the Herder faction. They skate the line of ReligionOfEvil but don't ''exactly'' cross over because the baseline values they exposit aren't specifically evil (although warped beyond belief), and their work is in the name of a benevolent (if harsh) god who looks after and loves the people who follow him. Unfortunately their pitch is that their god (and hence them by extension) can damn the ones who don't follow them. They preach that their way is the right and good way, and anyone who says otherwise is lying, insane, or possessed (by [[WindmillPolitical demons]]). However, their end aim is total domination, suppression of anything resembling free will, and zealous power complete with concentration camps, denouncements and burning alive anyone who is different or who opposes them. They [[KnightTemplar honestly think they are helping the Land to a good end, free and pure to be worthy of Ludd]]. Everyone else who ''isn't'' delusional thinks they are tyrannical oppressors whose [[ColdBloodedTorture torture skills]] are horrific enough to earn the entire order a permanent place beyond the MoralEventHorizon.
* CrapsackWorld: Between the oppressive Council and the toxic Blacklands, there's not a lot of room for hope in the Land.
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: Blocking pain. See {{Determinator}} below
* {{Determinator}}: Coercers can force ''themselves'' to [[HeroicWillpower completely ignore pain]] for brief periods. When their concentration breaks, though, [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique they feel all the blocked pain at once]]. This can kill the user.
* DiskOneFinalBoss: [[spoiler: Alexi]]. However, his assistant [[spoiler: Ariel]] [[DragonWithAnAgenda gets a nice introduction]], which gives the audience an idea of the kind of things [[FromNobodyToNightmare they will be treated to later on]]
* DramaticIrony: A lot. Despite the first person narrative, the reader gets a much clearer scope of things than any of the characters, and is able to piece things together much, much faster than the characters (usually this is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] because Elspeth discounts or forgets anything that happens in dreams/dream trails or the minds of others that she probes), however, justified or not, it can get a little annoying. [[spoiler: This is especially the case when Elspeth, hovering about the mindstream, sees a memory of the past depicting Hannah Seraphim and Jacob Obernewtyn while they are talking about: escaping from the government's Talent-testing unit, the fact that they are associated with Misfit Talents, the Reichler clinic, the coming of the Great White, how the mountains will be safe, and how Cassandra predicted the whole thing with futuretelling.]] Yes, because [[SarcasmMode none of those things are ever going to be relevant]] [[ChekhovsArmoury in this series]]. It gets even worse when [[spoiler: Swallow talks about the ancient promises and the tattoo that just conveniently happens to be the same one used by the government division investigating the possible weaponizing of Misfits in the Beforetime, featuring ''Guanette birds circling'', you know, the birds that happen to have ridiculously skilled mental powers?]]. By the time you get to Sador where [[spoiler: we find carvings which just so happened to be made by the same person who carved the doors of Obernewtyn, who was called "Kassanda", and who just happened to be able to predict the future]], it reaches wall banger territory.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Futuretellers enter a meditative trance when making their predictions, while Elspeth gets her share of prophetic dreams from [[spoiler: the Guanette birds]].
* TheEmpath: Lots of them, but Dameon and [[spoiler: Ariel]] are very prominent.
* EnemyWithin: Domick leaves Obernewtyn as a spy and takes on the identity of a Council torturer called Mika. [[spoiler: Mika becomes his own personality and begins to dominate Domick shortly afterwards.]]
* FantasticRacism: by Landfolk towards mutants, gypsies and outsiders. Can cross over into HaveYouTriedNotBeingAMonster with individuals.
* FantasticRecruitmentDrive: The antagonists and the protagonists both at some point seek out Misfit children, to attend Obernewtyn.
* GhostCity: Lots. But notably the city under Tor in The Farseekers.
* HealingFactor: [[spoiler: Elspeth]] gets one of these at the end of the second book, but keeps it a secret.
* HeelFaceTurn: A few, but [[spoiler: Jes' betrayal]] is particularly harsh.
* HeroicSacrifice: quite a few people. Notables are Elspeth, Sharna, Maruman, Matthew... okay, so more than a few people either sacrifice their lives or freedom for their cause. It's [[EarnYourHappyEnding that kind of series]].
* IgnoredExpert: in the Beforetime, [[spoiler: Hannah Seraphim, the Reichler Clinic and their associates]]. The Government probably should have listened, [[HarsherInHindsight in hindsight.]]
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: Dragon's recurring dream.
** In a variation of the trope, this can also be applied to the Dreamtrails.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Coercers can remove memories or construct false ones.
* LetsGetDangerous: nobody knows the exact extent of Elspeth's powers, and she tends to downplay them [[CoverBlowingSuperpower to avoid any awkwardness, or have to explain things that she'd rather not]]. She'll even [[ObfuscatingStupidity let others believe she's defective or stupid if it will serve her purpose]]. However, if you piss her off she ''will'' [[MindManipulation wipe out your every thought from existence]] or [[spoiler: [[TouchOfDeath kill you where you stand]]]]. God help you if you threaten someone close to her.
* TheLifestream
* LightIsNotGood: Given that the Great WhiteĚ nearly destroyed the world, you would expect this. [[spoiler: Ariel delivers.]]
* LostTechnology: Devices from the Beforetime fill this role on a few occasions.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Happens repeatedly. It's a long time before the mantle of BigBad ever settles, and we're still not entirely sure.
* MeaningfulName: These are everywhere.
** In ''The Sending'', a character dies essentially of despair; it's [[spoiler: Angina, whose name comes from a heart condition characterised by a pressing, strangling feeling in the chest]].
** A character named Dell ends up working with computers.
** Ariel is the name of an angel, in line with his general LightIsNotGood characterisation.
** [[TheCassandra Cassandra]]. [[spoiler: Although [[WordOfGod the short story ''The DarkRoad'']] shows that it is actually Hannah who has the visions and is simply giving Cassandra instructions.]]
* MentalFusion: Farseekers are able to form a mindmerge to increase their range. The traditional method uses a group of farseekers pooling their energy to boost the signal of one member, and is limited by the number of minds the sender is able to link with simultaneously (Rushton's one Talent is the ability to combine many minds in this way, although he can't farseek himself). Then Aras comes up with a new method whereby trios of farseekers link to each other then to two other groups, forming a conduit for an unlinked mind to 'slide' along without using up their own energy. [[spoiler: In this way, Elspeth is able to farseek all the way from just outside Obernewtyn to Sutrium, half way across the Land.]]
* MessianicArchetype: Beast legends speak of Innle, a human who will lead the beasts to freedom from their slavery. Maruman, Elspeth's mad old cat, has decided that Elspeth is this saviour. [[spoiler: He's right.]]
* MindOverManners: The Coercers and Farseekers try their best to live by this. Success is varied.
* NeglectfulPrecursors: the Beforetimers.
* NoWomansLand: Gadfia, the [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Fantasy Counterpart Culture]] to [[spoiler: the Middle East.]]
* OneWorldOrder: the Council. The Evil kind. The caveat on this is that according to them the Land is the only place on earth left habitable. This isn't true, but they tend to kill or kidnap and enslave anyone who says otherwise. Ironically, the Council, having abolished slavery, can only sell the slaves to the places they're trying to deny exist.
* OrphanageOfFear: The Council's orphanages are for the children of rebels and Misfits. They are not nice places.
* PowerIncontinence: Powerful empaths can't avoid sensing what nearby people are feeling. Dameon feels actual pain if the emotions are negative and strong enough.
* PsychicPowers: In many varieties, given [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin straightforward names]]. [[SpeaksFluentAnimal Beastspeakers]], [[MindManipulation Coercers]], [[TheEmpath Empaths]], [[MindReading Farseekers]], [[DreamingOfThingsToCome Futuretellers]] and [[{{Technopath}} Teknoguilders]] all play important roles in the plot so far.
* TwinTelepathy: Miky and Angina.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Elspeth almost always ends up at the head of one of these. [[IncrediblyLamePun And we couldn't resist the pun]].
* RebelliousRebel: A passive version is Gilaine and the other Misfits in the Druidís camp. The Druid is rebelling against the Council but is if anything more fanatically opposed to Misfits.
** After the Battlegames, the Obernewtyn Misfits become this to the main rebellion, and force them to look closer at what their plans actually involve.
* TheReveal: Dragon is [[spoiler: the daughter of the Red Queen.]]
* RidiculouslyDifficultRoute: In ''The Farseekers'' Elspeth's expedition can't travel on the main roads due to the CorruptChurch's BurnTheWitch policy. They therefore decide to take an "olden way" through the mountains instead of the main pass. It turns out the reason no-one uses that route anymore is that it is now (after the Great White) extremely difficult to travel due to multiple landscape obstacles plus dangerous levels of radiation.
** When they can't at first find the olden way they TakeAThirdOption. By rafting down a river swollen by torrential rains, through a radioactive GhostCity and down a waterfall.
* SamaritanSyndrome: poor Kella. When the plague hit Sutrium in ''Ashling'' she, being the only Healer in the city, tried to save as many people as possible. Consequently she almost had a nervous breakdown, not breaking to eat or sleep, trying to heal everyone. And then [[spoiler: [[FromBadToWorse the Herders started burning those infected with the plague alive]].]] This finally [[BreakTheCutie caused her to crack]] and descend into a HeroicBSOD.
* ScarsAreForever: played with throughout the series. Initially played straight, especially with Elspeth's scarred feet, [[AcheyScars which are very painful]], [[spoiler: until the Eldar Agyllian healer taught her body how to heal itself, hence subverting the trope to hell and back.]] However this [[PowerAtAPrice power comes at a price]]: [[spoiler: that she can never scar again, which she only finds out ''after'' she spent an entire night in agony getting a tattoo ingrained into her skin, which later disappears without a trace.]]
* ScienceFantasy: A mostly fantasy plot in a more sci-fi setting make this difficult to classify as either.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Beastspeakers use this to [[FriendToAllLivingThings ask nearby animals for their help]]. Since the animals didn't have an authoritarian dictatorship or religious fanatics, though, the animals oral traditions are a better historical record than the humans'.
* SuperiorSpecies: [[spoiler: the Agyllians, whose superior intellects and Talents becomes yet another ChekhovsGun later in the series]]. This is probably one of the more successful versions of this trope, considering that there is a ''really good reason'' why they are like that.
* TortureTechnician: [[spoiler: Mika]] and Ariel. For Ariel it goes beyond NightmareFetishist territory, heads straight through {{Squick}}, and makes a stop somewhere out beyond the MoralEventHorizon. You thought [[EnfantTerrible he was bad]] [[PsychoForHire in book one]]? [[FromBadToWorse It gets worse.]]
* {{Technopath}}: Some Misfits have an [[InstantExpert instinctive affinity for technology]], though they do spend a reasonable amount of time figuring out what it actually ''does''.
* UnaccustomedAsIAmToPublicSpeaking: When asked to present his views at the Halfmoon Bay Cheiftain selections, [[spoiler: Rolf]] starts by saying that he is only [[spoiler: a simple blacksmith]], then goes on to eloquently and passionately describe what he would wish for the new chieftain to do. This prompts the audience to immediately vote him in.
* {{Unperson}}: Anyone declared a Misfit immediately loses all rights as a citizen.
* UnskilledButStrong: [[spoiler: Elspeth is this to the Agyllians, who far, ''far'' surpass her in skill and finesse, but not in brute strength.]]
* WeAREStrugglingTogether: The various rebel leaders all act pretty much idenpendently, and have rather different ideas about both methods and what they want to happen afterwards (in particular ''who'' will replace the Council. Eventually resolves into [[spoiler:Malik and cronies reluctantly and temporarily agreeing with everyone else.]] [[spoiler:Or at least pretending to...]]
* WillfullyWeak: Elspeth. [[spoiler: Despite having extraordinary mental prowess as a farseeker, coercer, and beastspeeker, she restrains and limits her use of [[TheDarkArts her killing power (which comes from the raw centre of power deep within her mind)]], making her considerably weaker than she would be if she used her full potential [[DeadlyUpgrade (mostly because she's afraid at what might happen if she looses control of it)]].]] That said, if you threaten her TrueCompanions, she ''will'' [[LetsGetDangerous throw her entire arsenal of considerable power at the situation]].
* XanatosSpeedChess: from what the reader knows of [[spoiler: the Agyllians]], the incredibly complex series of events that resolve from [[ChekhovsGun one small trigger]], tend to be influenced and manipulated by them with finesse to achieve their goals, despite the fact that a lot of these triggering events are random and can't possibly be predicted without futuretelling. As a result there are a couple of conclusions that can be reasoned: 1) Due to futuretelling, the entire sequence of events was planned out from the ''start'', meaning that [[spoiler: Atthis]] is a [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] running a GambitRoulette that works due to said fortunetelling 2) [[spoiler: Atthis]] is running XanatosSpeedChess, dealing with opportunities and danger as they arise; or 3) the individual sequence of events are only vaguely manipulated based on the (fairly accurate) predictions of human interaction, and most of the time, a BatmanGambit is employed. YMMV on which, or TakeAThirdOption.

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