A Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 354 pages. Book two of The Others. Keeping it.
The story picks up almost right where Written in Blood ended. But now, Bishop sets it up so that we start with familiar characters and jump immediately to unfamiliar ones. In the end of the previous book, the non-human leaders of the Lakeside Courtyard learned that crows and Crows (what people outside of this series would call "were-crows") were killed right before someone went berserk from the drug gone over wolf
. In this book, they learn why.
The plot for this book was as straightforward as the first. Now that the Others know that the source of the drug is the same as the source of Meg, there is discussion and then action. The expansion of characters was mostly easy to follow, though at times it was frustrating to know that the longer list of people to discuss meant we-readers would lose out on more detail on some of the secondary characters like Tess, Henry, Jake, and Winter. There was a ton of focus on Meg accidentally hurting herself and leaking prophesies, which was a lot overblown just for her to know that one of the other humans needed to leave the courtyard.
Bishop is doing an interesting and obvious scaling of both the character sets and the plot relationships in these books. The first book was all about Meg Corbyn and the people finding her; violence was mostly centered around that issue. The second book is now spreading tendrils out to other communities that are either involved with the Humans First and Last movement or are set to keeping relationships between the humans and Others in good order. And violence is traveling by train as well as by Elementals. The third book... will be interesting.
I picked up this book because I really
enjoyed the first one (which Elyth35 recommended). I enjoyed that book far out of proportion to the actual story, because I really enjoy the clash of cultures and Bishop's exploration of the human condition. This book continues the story, and the ending provides some closure for Meg as well as for us, the readers.
I recommend it to people who like a lot of the dark and fantastical with their country town stories, who don't believe that werewolves are cuddly, and who understand the drive to attack is also the drive to protect.Books Read in 2014