Publish Date: 4 Mar
How we got this book: ARC from the publishers
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.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
E: I have been anticipating Murder of Crows since I closed the last page of Written in Red March 5th 2013. You can see what we thought of Bishop’s first installment here. I am very glad to say the year-long wait was certainly worth it. Bishop deftly built on the dramatic events that ended Written in Red and raised the stakes. Humans who wanted control were increasing both their anti-Other rhetoric and spreading a couple of extremely nasty drugs. One acted as almost an extreme dose of adrenaline and anger resulting in deadly explosions of temper. The other was a sedative, which ensured the user remained conscious but had no control over their actions so they could not resist anything that happened to them. As deadly incident followed deadly incident, Bishop provided glimpses into the cassandra sangue industry. In addition to the tension caused by hate crimes, within the Lakeside Courtyard a different sort of tension arose. I loved watching everything unfold even as I held my breath in certain areas because I wasn’t sure how events were going to end up.
MinnChica: I loved the first book in this series. Bishop came in like a hurricane and the world absolutely blew me away. So, I have to say I was a bit surprised when this book acted more like quicksand and slowly, slowly pulled me under with each and every page. The world expanded exponentially and we got to learn so much more about the Others, the human race, as well as the in-between people who don’t really seem to fit in any category. I love the way this world and overall story line is developing. Bishop did an amazing job giving us enough to continue to whet our appetite, and yet still dangling the goodies for the next book!
E: Like MinnChica, I really enjoyed the building tension. The glimpses into the rest of the world really showed just how unusual Lakeside Courtyard had become under Meg’s influence and the willingness of the Others to accept her as something to be treasured and protected. I also liked how the humans who had become somewhat comfortable in Lakeside Courtyard showed their awareness of just how different life was there than what they had grown up expecting. Even with their previous comfort level, seeing their awareness of what the Others could do but usually chose not to added to the depth of Bishop’s world. I especially liked how Bishop expanded on the idea voiced by Ruth, fiancee to one of the police officers, in Written in Red that maybe humans could choose to become part of the solution instead of increasing the distance and lack of understanding between humans and Others.
MinnChica: One of my favorite aspects of this book was the way that Bishop has shown just how different the Lakeside Courtyard is, and how influential they can be in determining the future of this world. I love the way Meg’s pack of humans has made themselves invaluable, how the Others are starting to see them as “wolves” or “bears.” The whole Lakeside Courtyard crew is really coming together in a way that I don’t think anyone expected. I also loved getting to see glimpses into other aspects of the world, especially the Intuit people. Bishop is taking some really interesting twists and turns with this series and I am hooked.
E: Oh yes, I loved that added perspective. It really balanced out some of the ugliness that was flourishing in other parts of the world. Bishop did an excellent job highlighting the contrast between humans with closer contact to Others and those humans who lived with zero contact. Distance seemed to provide a sense of superiority and invulnerability to certain humans regardless of warning signs from a variety of sources. While tension was rising outside of the Lakeside Courtyard, it was a blast to watch internal tensions rise as other aspects of human and Other, male, and female differences came into play. They provided some comedic relief while moving the central relationships forward and allowing character growth.
Once more I am reminded of why Bishop is an auto-buy author for me. She answered some questions and tied up some threads from the first installment while expanding others and raising more questions. While the major arc of this installment did conclude, the ending fundamentally shifted some of the power dynamic and has left me eager to find out exactly how that change will impact the future. I loved seeing everyone from Written in Red and how much they have changed over time. I can’t wait to see what Bishop has in store.
I give Murder of Crows an A
MinnChica: All in all, I thought Bishop wrote another amazing and incredible book in The Others series. We learn so much more about the world and the people within it, that the picture she paints is growing exponentially with each book. The major plot of this book was so incredible, and I don’t want to give anything away, but it really changes the course of the series for both Meg and every cassandra sangue in the world. I loved the developing relationship between Meg and Simon, and can’t wait to see how that continues to play out. The Other characters from Lakeside Courtyard are all my favorites, and the addition of some human characters was absolutely perfect. I’m now waiting, anxiously, for the next book!
I give Murder of Crows an A-