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.
**Caution: If you've not read the first book in this series, you might want to stop now. There might be spoilers for the first book, Written in Red
I'm not even going to bother with what I didn't like because there was nothing not to like.
Written in Red was the first book I've ever read by Ms Bishop. I was completely blown away by that novel and Murder of Crows continues along the same lines.
The world building in this series is such a refreshing one considering all the books I've read. It's not only unique, it's addicting. A few times I had to stop and think of geography to give me a point of reference just to maintain a clear point of view. The best way, I feel to describe The Others series is to say, it's part history and a lot of fantasy based on that history.
Murder of Crows begins not too long after Written in Red ended. The beginning is humorous and reflects the differing mindsets of Others and humans. It's a significant event as I think it will be the basis for future storylines.
I particularly enjoyed how Ms Bishop showed the self absorption of humans. I mean, we know from the first book how powerful The Others are but the humans continue to think they are more intelligent and are entitled to more than The Others currently allow. Allow is the key word here. Humans see one side and that one side is theirs. This is a quote from Murder of Crows that sums up the situation between humans and the terra indigene (The Others). "If you break the agreement with the terra indigene, the terra indigene will strike back and strike hard. When would humans realize they always started the fights that would kill them?"
There is action in Murder of Crows but I feel the continued world building and character development is the key to this book. The tension isn't as intense as Written in Red. Many other things are happening though.
We're also introduced to different people, The Intuits and the Simple Life folks. I have a feeling they will become more prominent in future books. The treatment of the Blood Prophet's by their "owners" is dark and hard to swallow. Some might find it off putting but to me it was just a part of the story. In addition, there are correlations in our own history to compare it to. It might be uncomfortable but it's a major part of the story. How The Others and some humans deal with the treatment is also an eye opener. I mean, what do you do with girls who might not be able to function within the world? You don't want them treated like inmates but what's the answer? Some humans don't exactly know how to answer this question, but The Others have their own solution.
I'm probably doing an injustice to Ms Bishop's work in the way I'm writing this review as I find myself at a loss for words to correctly describe how much I enjoyed Murder of Crows. The imagination required, the genius use of history, is mind boggling. Let's just say, when someone asks me to recommend a book since I read Written in Red, it's the first book on my recommendation list.
Now the down and dirty. This IS an expensive book. If you love audio books, Audible seems to have the best price at $12.99 or 1 credit. The e-book versions are: Kindle - $10.99, Nook - $10.99. The hardcovers are similar at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, $20.31 and $20.71 respectively.
Highest of recommendations!!