March 8, 2014

Book Review: Murder of Crows

Murder of Crows
A Novel of the Others, Book 2
Anne Bishop

Released: 04 March, 2014

Available in Hardcover/eBook

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

OMG!  This was such a great sequel to Written in Red.  Picking up a few weeks after the Meg was in hospital, the threat to Meg still remains and not only are they after her, but others like her.  Simon is still refusing to acknowledge his attraction for Meg, but that doesn't stop him from sticking to her side.  In book 2 we find them at that awkward stage of a relationship - and it doesn't help that Simon is scared about how long Meg might live if she keeps cutting (which it seems she needs to do!).

After the massive storms that Winter and her sisters fueled because of the attempt to take Meg, the community surrounding the Courtyard is nervous and tense.  With the murders getting ever closer to the Courtyard, tensions run high and it will only take the smallest spark to set off a war - with humans turning against the Others, and each other - we are drawn deeper into the political, and personal, nightmares that loom ahead.  As new characters come to life, I found I did not bemoan the loss of other secondary characters drifted away.  The introduction of the western Others is very well done.  For a staid lot of shapeshifters, they are quite amusing at times.

So while this is not an openly comedic book, there are some very funny scenes that lighten the ever increasing darker moments.  Much like the Black Jewel series, there is a real dark quality that starts to creep into the story.  A portent for the huge confrontation that I think we'll see in book 3.  There are a few secrets revealed in this book, mainly the origin of the cassandra sanguine species, and we are finally introduced to Meg's old 'friend' from the cage.

Although this series seems to be aimed at a YA audience, I still love these books.  It's refreshing to come across titles that have very little swearing, or rely on gratuitous sex scenes, and still manage to tell a great story.  I'd recommend these books to absolutely everyone.

Note: This review is based on the ePub format

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