The Keeping Place

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The Keeping Place
Sleeping girl with red hair
Second Edition Penguin Cover
AuthorIsobelle Carmody
SeriesObernewtyn Chronicles
GenreFantasy, Science fiction novel, Post-apocalyptic fiction
PublisherViking Press Australia
Publication date
Media typePrint (paperback)
Preceded byAshling 
Followed byThe Stone Key 

The Keeping Place is a science fiction novel by Isobelle Carmody, set in a post apocalyptic world. It is the fourth book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles.


After a kidnapping, the Misfit community at Obernewtyn are forced to join the rebellion against the totalitarian Council, using their extraordinary mental abilities. Yet Elspeth must also seek out clues left by a long-dead seer, Kasanda, necessary to her quest to destroy the Beforetime weaponmachines. When one is hidden in the past, Elspeth must travel the Dreamtrails, stalked by a terrifying beast, with Maruman, her cat, as guide and protector. Only now can she learn more of the Beforetime Misfits and their enemy, Govamen, and realise her quest is intimately linked with the Misfit's Obernewtyn - its past and its future.[1]


The Misfits at Obernewtyn are all experiencing dreams and nightmares in which they are terrorized by a dragon, Dragon's form on the Dreamtrails. Dragon herself remains in a comatose state and is unable to be reached mentally by the healers. Her strong aura causes all around her in Obernewtyn to experience nightmares.

Rushton, Master of Obernewtyn and Elspeth's betrothed, is kidnapped while returning from a meeting with the rebels in Sutrium. The Misfits receive a letter disclosing that Rushton will lose his life if the Misfits do not join the rebellion. They immediately believe that a rebel has kidnapped their Master as Rushton had refused letting the Misfits join the rebellion.

With Rushton missing, and under Elspeth's command, the Misfits join the rebellion, offering limited aid. However, they are betrayed by the Misfit-hating rebel, Malik in a decoy scheme involving soldierguards, leading to significant loss of life for beasts, Misfits and soldierguards alike. This bloodshed would have been greater if it weren't for Swallow, a pureblood gypsy recently appointed as D'rekta, 'King' of the Twentyfamily gypsies.

On the east coast of the land, the rebellion is successful without trouble from the Landfolk. The west coast, however, remains occupied by the Council after a traitor spreads news of the rebellion to the Herder Faction. The Misfits had not been able to identify the traitor, most likely because he or she wore a demon band, a tainted band made by the Herders to ward off evil that also blocks Misfits' mental probes.

While freeing prisoners in one of the abandoned Herder cloisters in Sutrium, the Misfits find Rushton. While not physically harmed, he is heavily drugged and suffering from delirium and convulsions.

After returning to Obernewtyn with the unconscious Rushton, Elspeth travels to the City under Tor to witness for herself the discovery of a glass monument made by Cassy, a Beforetimer, who Elspeth had encountered in multiple dreams. The glass monument is of Elspeth herself, who believes that Cassy must have had futuretelling abilities.

Elspeth later returns to Obernewtyn to find herself summoned onto the Dreamtrails by the oldOnes. Elspeth enters Dragon's mind, with Maruman, having been told by the latter that they would find Rushton there. Elspeth learns about Dragon's fateful past, and realizes that the cause of her delirium lies in the loss of her beloved Mother, the Red Queen. Inside Dragon's mind, Elspeth encounters and saves Rushton, who is in the form of a wounded bear.

After she leaves Dragon's mind, Dragon is awakened from her coma but has no recollection of her life at Obernewtyn. Rushton recovers from his soul-less state, buy his recovery will be lengthy. Elspeth now knows that she must continue her quest for the five signs left for her by the Beforetimer, Kasanda.

Publication history[edit]

Single Book Publications:[2] [3][4]

Year Country Publisher Media Type Cover Designer Pages ISBN
1999 AUS Penguin Books Paperback Miles Lowrey, Ellie Exarchos 754 0-14-029579-8
2007 AUS Penguin Books Paperback Les Petersen 754 9780140295795
2008 US Random House Paperback 553 9780375857706
2011 UK Bloomsbury Publishing Paperback 768 9781408806999

Combined Volumes:[5]

Year Country Title Publisher Media Type Cover Designer Pages ISBN
2012 US The Dreamtrails (Book 3&4) Bluefire Paperback Les Petersen 928 9780307932198


External links[edit]