While I'm no stranger to Isobelle Carmody - having started the Legendsong books while in high school - I only picked up Obernewtyn for the first time in February 2016.
This wasn't for lack of interest per - the series wasn't on my wishlist, but it was on my radar. The issue was that on the rare occasions I was able to get to a bookstore they never had the first book. That changed on a recent trip to Shepparton when I spoiled myself and was finally able to pick up a copy, among other titles.
I went into this book with mixed feelings. I remember the Legendsong books fondly, and have checked in often to see if the new book was out. At the same time, I knew from reading Carmody's biographies on websites that she started Obernewtyn at around fourteen. I read the Inheritance series while in high school and loved them, but when I tried to reread them last year I couldn't handle it - the writing was so bad. So, I was worried the same would be the case with Obernewtyn.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the writing was of an acceptable level for my tastes, if a bit formal. I had a lot of trouble getting into the story though, as to start off it was a lot world building that didn't integrate well enough into the story for my liking. In fact, I felt there was some unnecessary scenes just to account for the world building. I warmed up towards the end, though it was more of a curiosity about where the story was going than an investment in Elspeth.
The book also had the ring of over-editing, as it felt like there was missing joining paragraphs and sentences. Things hopped from one thing to another jarringly which made it hard to suspend reality.
Overall I did enjoy this book, and will be continuing the series.
Because of the stilted writing, sense of over-editing and poorly done information dump I'll be rating this book 3 1/2 stars, and I'm really hoping to see improvements in the rest of the series.