This is my first Anne Bishop book and I was swept away by the breadth of her story, in particular of this series. It took a little while to get into in the beginning. It even came to a point where I was stopping every few pages or so to read something else because there was slow movement in terms of plot. But the characters and the world remain intriguing that I had to continue on.
What worked for me?
I was fascinated by this specific world that Anne Bishop has created, with the existence of the Others, alongside human beings and the power play that is time and again highlighted throughout the story. You get to know more about the different kinds of Others but not everything is revealed about them so that there’s still that degree of the mysterious and the unknown that I can’t wait to learn more about.
Meg is such an interesting character. She’s a ‘cassandra sangue’ or a blood prophet, who sees visions of the future when her skin is cut. Her ability is seen as both a gift and a curse, by her and by the people and the Others around her. It was interesting to watch her acclimatize to this new world of living with the Others as their ‘human liaison’ especially because even though technically, she is a human, she’s never lived like a normal human being because she has been confined to a facility for blood prophets like her. In a way, she’s like a child learning how to live in a new environment for the first time. It was entertaining how the Others slowly accepted her as one of their own, in a sense.
In the beginning, I was really surprised by the unapologetic portrayal of the Others by the author. Anne Bishop does not hold back in her characterizations of the Others and I find that very refreshing because when you think about the premise of these creatures in the book, they’re not really humans. They are of a different kind. They can just shift to a human form but their true nature is something else. But even after all these, I was glad that it didn’t impede me from taking a liking to the Others.
Simon, on the other hand, was intense. He’s one of the Others and he sort of acts as the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, where Meg finds employment as a human liaison. I wanted more of him and I guess that will be revealed as the series progresses.
I really appreciate the other characters as well. Anne Bishop did a great job laying down the foundation of each character for the series. And it will be interesting to watch all these people react to the different circumstances that they would find themselves involved in in the future.
There wasn’t much romance in this one, if any at all. And while in the past, I wouldn’t have read it just because of that, I believe there are some elements that hint on something in that vein so I still have hope. It will be a slow-burn (or make it the ultimate slow-burn romance) but I am willing to weather through it. Definitely.
What did not work for me?
The beginning was really dragging. There were a lot of explanations going on and even a detailed description of the layout of the Courtyard. And so it took a while for the story to really get going. And while it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, it might be for some.
My over-all take on it?
This was a very good series starter from Anne Bishop. Laying down the foundations took time and effort but I think it will all work out for the best since Anne Bishop only needs to build on those foundations. I need more Simon and Meg scenes, please.
About the Author:
Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel is Murder of Crows, the second book in Anne’s urban fantasy series set in a re-imagined Earth. She is currently working on the third book about the Others. Since you’re reading this, there’s no point in telling you to visit her website at www.annebishop.com.