TRIGGER WARNINGS (HIGHLIGHT WORDS BELOW):
SELF-HARM. RAPE. CANNIBALISM.
MURDER OF CROWS
Series: The Others #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: March 4th 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 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.
“All roads travel through the woods.”
Murder of Crows is the best kind of sequel: it expands the universe established in the first installment of The Others series and it develops the characters you love. It raises the stakes, despite not being as action-packed as Written in Red and having a slower pace, and it brings a whole new set of players to this deadly game.
Anne Bishop once again delivers a dark and twisted Urban Fantasy novel, making me fall more and more in love with her writing. The world-building continues to be a highlight in this series, slowly expanding and giving us more insight into the world of the Others. This novel is just as interesting as its predecessor, and cements my love for my favorite UBF series.
This time around, the main conflict in the book comes from the outside. We still have Meg trying to figure out how to live life outside of the compound, but more and more do the main characters start looking outside of the Courtyard and interact with Others and humans from other places. This translates into a more complex plot, as it builds on what has been set in the first installment, that is very well-developed throughout the novel.
The slow pace — which I actually think it is slower in this installment than in the previous one —, makes it possible for Bishop to give attention to and develop the plot, characters, and relationships as the story progresses. I’d say this is a character-driven book more than anything, especially with the multiple POVs, and the attention the author has for detail enriches and adds depth to Murder of Crows.
I’ve mentioned in my review of Written in Red that I love all the characters, and this still holds true. We get a lot more insight into all of them, with my favorite being Tess and Merri Lee, and are also introduced to more terra indigene. The latter actually contributes to a few of my favorite scenes in the book, which only made reading this even more enjoyable.
Romance continues not to be the main focus, although the relationship and connection between Meg and Simon changes and develops. It becomes something deeper for both of them, more meaningful, and them navigating this new world and figuring out what works best for the continues to be a delight to read about.
Overall, Murder of Crows is a great addition to my favorite Urban Fantasy series. The slower pace means taking longer to finish the book, but it is worth it for the complex world-building and plot. Dark Fantasy fans will continue to have a blast reading about Meg, as will I. 😀