Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Roc on March 4, 2014
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.
So remember last week, when I raved about Written in Red by Anne Bishop? Yeah. Murder of Crows is even better. I don’t know how that’s possible…but it is. After only two books, this series has been catapulted near the top of my all-time favourites.
I don’t usually say this, but this book gave me a serious case of the FEELS. Damn it Anne Bishop, what are you doing to me? Or more accurately, what are you doing to your poor characters?
Meg Corbyn has been living in the Lakeside Courtyard for a few months now, and she’s finally starting to feel safe again after the traumatizing events of the previous book. So of course things immediately start getting crazy again! Someone – or a group of people – has been targeting the Others, dosing them with drugs that make them vulnerable to attack. When an entire group of Crows is murdered, the Others of the Thasian continent go on red alert and start reprisals.
While the tension hasn’t quite erupted in Lakeside, the same cannot be said for Tallulah Falls, the next town over. The tension and violence that I felt brewing in Written in Red has officially been unleashed in Murder of Crows. Now that humans have an effective weapon against the Others, the Others are treating them as a serious threat…and threats get eliminated.
What I love about this series is that this violence is more than just animal rage – it’s political, and there’s quite a bit of nuance to it. The Humans First and Last movement is gaining traction as the conflicts between the Others and humans rage on; what the HFL doesn’t seem to realize is that they don’t have the power. The “clever meat” can’t seem to get it through their heads that the Others will retain control of Thasia no matter the cost. And the cost will be high if Meg can’t help the Others get these drugs off the streets of Thasia.
Violence and political manoeuvring aside, there’s tension in other elements of life in Lakeside as well. Personal relationships continue to be a source of humour, hilarity, and no small measure of delight. Simon’s confusion about his feelings for Meg is so genuine and heart warming. I feel bad for the Wolf, but the whole situation is just so funny. Monty clearly knows what’s up with those two. My favourite thing about him as a character so far is his internal dialogue on the behaviour of the Others…’cause there’s no way it would be safe enough to say some of it allowed. Especially as it pertains to Meg and Simon, because that Wolf will totally bite your hand off. Meg and Simon are both so innocent of romance (albeit for very different reasons) that I suspect it’s going to take these two the whole series to get together. And I’m going to love every second of that #slowburn.
While the developments on the romance front are fairly minimal, Bishop does develop the world quite a bit in Murder of Crows. We finally get some information about Tess, the mercurial café owner…and arguably the most dangerous Other in Lakeside. Tess’s abilities and species are finally discussed openly and let me tell you, the reveal is totally worth the weight. Am I going to tell you what her abilities are? No. But here’s a taste: she’s a Harvester. A Plague Rider. If that doesn’t chill you to the bone, you need to read this book so that you can share my fear.
Bishop also introduces a new supernatural type called Intuits. Intuits are exactly what they sound like: people who get very strong feelings about particular people, objects, or events. These feelings guide their decision-making and help them prosper and – for the most part – avoid the tragedies that plague other groups of humans living under the Others. They’re related to the Cassandra sangue or blood prophets, but their abilities are less intense. Steve Ferryman is the mayor of the Intuit settlement near Lakeside, and he narrates a few sections in Murder of Crows. I loved seeing Meg, Simon, and the gang through his eyes and welcome his addition to the cast of characters. I expect we’ll see a lot more interaction between the Intuits and Meg in future books.
Just as an aside: Anne Bishop is probably one of the only authors who can pull off more than ten different POVs in one book and have it flow perfectly. Well, aside from that one really popular fantasy writer guy…what’s his name again? *snicker*
Another perfect book from Anne Bishop. Someone get me a soapbox and a megaphone, because I’m happily taking up the mantle of fangirl.
What did you think of the political aspects of Murder of Crows? How cute is Sam now that he’s in his coltish pre-teen growth spurt? And as far as romance goes, are you a lover of a good #slowburn like me?