AB has again produced a winning dark fantasy populated by wonderful but scary characters. Leading lady Meg is still under the protection of the "terra indigene"; the supernatural indigenous population of the world known as "The Others" yet she faces a rough time ahead as she is still acclimatising to freedom, plus her ability as a blood prophet makes it difficult to maintain her sanity in the normal world.
Meg's relationship with Simon Wolfgard remains interesting. It is pretty obvious that Simon is falling in love with Meg, but as a wolf he doesn't understand this emotion; to put it in to context Simon is unsure if he is willing to share his excellent squeaky toy. But a new enemy as well as an old adversary threaten Meg, plus dissension in the human cities means there is a war fast approaching between The Others and the humans they allow to live in their domains.
This is again a magical read fraught with action and deep emotion as events escalate around the leading characters. There are dramatic scenes as The Others show the humans who is boss; beings with the power to end civilisations in a heartbeat are not to be trifled with. Meg's relationships with a number of The Others (particularly the vampiric Sanguinati, the Elementals and their aptly named ponies, plus of course Simon and his burgeoning feelings) certainly add to the plot, and they remain protective of her wellbeing and her compulsion to cut herself when her prophesies are needed. I wouldn't quite put this series in the same league as this author's "Black Jewels" trilogy, but it remains a fabulous read with the humour, emotional punch and vividly violent but loveable characters this author excels at creating.
This is an author that can build a world beyond our imagining, yet make something unbelievable seem perfectly sensible. This second book is as wonderful as Written in Red was. You will again be left thinking "what if?" or, "I recognize these people" . You will want to become friends with some of these Terra Indigene or the humans. You will walk away from this books with many question running through your mind that you will most likely turn around after finishing it the first time and re-reading it.
Although you can read this book as a stand-alone, I recommend that you read Written In Red: A Novel of the Others first so you can see for yourself the growth. You will not only see the growth of Simon and Meg, but also all of the secondary and tertiary characters.
AS expected, this book centers a little more on the personal relationship between Meg and Simon. Do not get me wrong, this is not a romance...but you can see that one is progressing. It might seem like it is progressing at a snail's pace, but it is moving along just fine. There is a lot of mystery in ths novel and a conclusion that has left me with just the slightest questioning of whether or not the bad guy is REALLY dead
Meg is still a naïve sensitive character yet she is not so much a fish out of water type character anymore. She is coming into her own. However, there is much in the way of explanations for this as well as a lot of growth on Megs part. She is really starting to become her own woman and is finally getting the understanding that she needs.
Simon, for better or worse is becoming a little more human acting and is angry with himself, but finally comes to realize that being a bit more human isn't a betrayal of what he is.
These books are a lot different from the Black Jewels Trilogy, but there are many parallels also.
Again, you may finish this book but in the end this book will not be finished with you...it will be begged to be re-read and then re-read again. I for one loved it and am off to do my second reading right now!
My only complaints about this is: the kindle edition is/was so expensive! £14 publishers??? really??? for a copy that cost nothing to print, doesn't require warehouse storage or postage??? That, and the story ended far too fast for my liking.
I loved the first book, and this was a very enjoyable follow up. The interactions between the characters are very fun, and Meg's character growth is nice to observe. As a reader I'm falling more and more in love with the characters in the Courtyard. Plot-wise, slight niggle is that I felt the "story conflict" the plot was building up to at the end was resolved a little bit too quickly
The ANGST (oh, the angst) I feel knowing I have to wait another year for the next book! Much weeping and gnashing of teeth indeed.
I enjoyed this book just as much as the first in the series, although this one is definitely darker. Much darker.
The first book is all about getting to know the strange new world- the concept of the Others and their relationship with humans, as well as a bit about the evil organization that Meg is on the run from. The Others in this book are cold and clinical, regarding humans as little more than monkeys (which is their nickname for them). Either the humans behave or the Others will make them behave, and the most satisfying way is to have them over for supper. AS supper. With Meg's arrival and subsequent interaction with these beings, they begin to see humans in a different light. A few humans, anyway.
The second book begins with the murder of Crows. It seems that someone has figured out how to drug them by laying out seemingly perfectly good food in places where Crows are likely to be foraging. In fact there are a couple of new drugs that are aimed at hurting (and hopefully leading to killing) the Others. Add to that another kidnapping attempt financed by a shadowy man called "The Controller" and you've got yourself a powder keg that only lacks a match to blow everything sky high.
What I found most interesting was the relationship between Meg along with her human friends who work in the Courtyard, and the Others. It's very clear that up until recently there hasn't been much, if any, desire on either side to understand each other. Humans see the Others as greedy violent monsters (and to a certain extent that is true), while the Others view humans as greedy untrustworthy dinner (also true). The irony is that while the Others have grown to care for Meg and the other humans who work for them, the humans are stepping up actions that they know will lead to war.
Where it will all end, I don't know, but I can't wait to find out.
Two new drugs are circulating Thiasia, one stupefies humans and Others, the other amps them up into a rage and the Crows appear to be the first victims in each area.
Monty's ex-girlfriend Elayne has a new boyfriend, a motivational speaker from Cel-Romano, who preaches HFL propaganda.
But when the Others discover exactly what is in these new drugs and how they are produced, the stakes get higher.
Having now read all three books there is a palpable increase in tension as the books unfold, the Humans First and Last group are escalating their behaviour and forcing humans to take sides.
The second book in a series is always pivotal for me, does the author have more than one story arc or is the second book a pale imitation of the first? Does the second book rely on creating conflict between the main characters from the first book in order to generate a plot? Is there an arc that ties the stories together or is it simply a series where each book centres on a different character? I have to say Murder of Crows was an excellent second book, the story concerned the same characters as the first book, but widened the number of people and widened the geographic scope outside Lakeside.
The second in 'The Others' series, this book does not disappoint. The story is filled with plenty of complex characters and - as most of Anne Bishop's stories - goes into the mechanics of a society that is similar but not the same as the human one. I enjoyed this one as much as the first part and am already looking forward to the March release of 'Vision in Silver', which will be part 3 of this 5-part series.
Compared to Bishop's 'Dark Jewels' books and stories in the same universe, this seems to do a bit less of the old 'punching a fist through my chest and ripping out my heart' of killing off favourite characters (or, at the very minimum: making their lives painstakingly uncomfortable). There is darkness and violence but due to its nature it doesn't seem to have quite the same sadistic undertone; here it comes more natural.
Can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment.
I found this book a very good read. I read it from cover to cover in one day. The story takes off where it finished in Written in red. It is essential that you read this book first. It you enjoyed the first book, you will enjoy this one too.
I have devoured Anne Bishop books, in particular her black jewels series and now the 'others' too. This is the second book in the series and I would recommend that you read the first one 'written in red' before indulging in her second book of the series 'murder of crows'. This book follows various characters but in the main it revolves around Meg and Simon. Simplistically this is a romance with a fantasy twist, although dark in places, it has many light moments which give the book a satisfyingly rounded feel. I leave other reviewers to give a break down of the story and leave this review with the high accolade by saying that I would and in fact have re-read this book and many others written by Anne Bishop.
One of my favourite authors Anne Bishop never fails to entertain. Anne creates a world and then hangs everything together on the internal logic of that world. Here we also have the play on words. For those that are not aware a "murder" is a flock of crows but the Crows are also capable of transforming into humans. The Crows are murdered. Humans also start to realise that those who can switch into animals or birds are not the real masters of the world but "Others" who are much more powerful. I did think some of the portrayal of humans showed them to be more collectively stupid than even our race is likely to be...but maybe not.
I'm not going to right too much because there are plenty of other great reviews, just wanted to add my own appreciation. The world Anne Bishop has created is so real that I find myself thinking 'what if .... had happened?' 'If only ... had worked out ... I wonder if he'll work that out before it's too late' hours, days and weeks afterwards. This series is a must but for me, though I do usually wait for the price to drop first (sorry but the hardbacks are a bit pricey and drive the kindle price up).