Return to New York Times best-selling author Anne Bishop’s "phenomenal" (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others - where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules.…
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 murder 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 if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or 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.
Published March 4th 2014 by Penguin Audio
Five Big Stars: I can't get enough of this amazing series!
The humans of Lakeside are picking up the pieces after the nearly disastrous snowstorm that struck the night Meg was almost taken from the Lakeside Courtyard. There is an uneasy peace between the humans and the terra indigene, which is soon in danger once someone starts killing crows with a deadly drug. The terra indigene intend to hunt down whoever is behind the murders, and that could mean some serious repercussions for the humans. Meanwhile back in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg, the cassandra sangue or blood prophet, continues to settle in a make a life for herself. When she starts having visions about the crows, the terra indigene decide to act. Turns out the person behind the crow killings might have a much closer connection than anyone thought. Will the terra indigene find the killer? Will the humans and terra indigene go to war?
What I Liked:
- Wow! I am in awe of this book and series. I am completely enamored with the world building, the characters and the intricate story lines. This is one of the few series I have picked up in a long time that has totally swept me away. I cannot tell you how much I love these books, and I highly recommend this series! It is fantastic.
- I continue to love the characters and the relationships that are building. At the heart of the story is the new and unexpected relationship between Simon Wolfgard and Meg. The wolf has become extremely attached and rather possessive of Meg, much to his dismay. Neither one is unsure what to make of their feelings, which later makes for some funny and awkward scenes between the two. Meg fears that Simon wants a sexual relationship which she isn't ready for, while Simon continues to be completely baffled by his feelings for Meg. I loved the funny situations and dialogue between the two as they worked through their feelings, but most of all I love that their relationship is slow moving, genuine and solid. There are hints of a romance, but as of now it hasn't come to fruition and I perfectly okay with that.
- Aside from the relationship between Simon and Meg, there are so many other new relationships to explore. I like seeing Meg interact and forge new trusts between the terra indigene and humans, it is because of Meg that Simon is willing to work with the human police force. Monty, the human policeman, makes some significant strides in establishing trust between Simon and the humans. There are so many complex and intricate relationships to explore in this one. This is a very character driven series.
- The plot of this one is a bit darker as the reader explores the terrifying conditions of the cassandra sangue. The cassandra sangue or blood prophets are girls who can see visions of the future when their skin is cut. We see first hand what kind of life Meg escaped and how horribly the girls in the compound are treated. It is dark and scary. I loved, though, that there was redemption at the end, and I cannot wait to see what will happen with the blood prophets. I love the originality of the cassandra sangue and I am fully invested in learning more about these girls.
- Meg's character growth continues to amaze me. She first came into the courtyard a frightened, sheltered, naive girl who slowly won over the terra indigene with her kindness. She has captured the hearts of all the terra indigene, and she continues to be the key for establishing trust and new relationships between the humans and terra indigene. She is stronger and more courageous, and I am loving watching her evolve.
- Once again, the story lays out many intricate threads that weave together to form an exciting and thrilling story. The danger builds, and the plot thickens leading up to a breathtaking climax and finale. The final portion is action packed, and I couldn't get through it fast enough. I love that each book settles out at the end and provides a firm resolution without cliffhangers and numerous unanswered questions. There are certainly some exciting new threads to follow up in the next book.
- I listened to the audiobook and once again I was pleased with the narration by Alexandra Harris. She does a top notch job with the numerous voices, and I think she does especially well with Meg's and Simon's voices. With Meg's voice she manages to convey sweet innocence while with Simon, she gets the bite and growl just right. I highly recommend the audiobooks, but I can say that I will be going back and reading the books to glean what I missed.
And The Not So Much:
- The storyline involving the abuse, manipulation and extortion of the cassandra sangue is disturbing. There are mentions of rape, murder and physical abuse, not to mention severe mental and emotional trauma. The rape scenes are not explicit, but they are still disturbing. This aspect was dark, it made me cheer for the girls' rescue all the more.
- I am still confused as to how Meg managed to escape. She tries to recall how she did it to help the terra indigene track down her compound, but she can't remember. I am hoping that the truth about her escape will eventually come out.
- Once again, there are a couple of story lines introduced in this book that don't go anywhere, some I imagine will be followed up in the next book, while others, I am not sure will resolve. For instance, there is discussion at the beginning regarding the area of New Jersey being retaken by the terra indigene because of humans harming the terra indigene. Everyone human is to be evicted from that area, no exceptions. This sets the rest of the continent in a tail spin as they worry about food and housing shortages with this closure. Then this story line is forgotten. There is another plot following the Tellulah Falls settlement. The humans and terra indigene relationship declines and the terra indigene take action, closing the town, preventing the humans from going in and out, cutting off all supplies. The fate of the humans isn't revealed by the end. While I love the intricate plot, I do get a little frustrated with abandoned story lines.
- I am confused over the Elementals. They are the paranormal beings who control the seasons and the elements. Some are in the form of ponies, while others take the form of women. I don't understand if there is only one embodiment for each force and if they all live in Lakeside, or if there are numerous forms of the elementals scattered throughout the world.
- I devoured the audiobooks of Written in Red and Murder of Crows back to back, and now the wait for the third book is going to be insufferably long.
- After reading this, I don't think this is a true Urban Fantasy book. It is set in a completely unique world that bears only a hint of resemblance to ours. I think this falls more in the paranormal fantasy than UF, not an issue, but for those of you who are purists, be warned.
Murder of Crows firmly establishes that this series is a winner. I am blown away by the creativity, the world building and the characters. I have fallen completely in love with this series and I cannot recommend it enough. I am anxiously counting down the next book releases in 2015! I have a serious book hangover after reading this one!
I purchased this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.