Murder of Crows

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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.

As with the first book, I think there are going to be two distinct groups of readers for this book — those who loved it, and those who are angry they spent the money.

Myself, I fall firmly into the first category, and though my final rating isn’t as high as it was for the first book, Written In Red, I think in many ways it was better than the first book.   For one, we actually get a little bit of romance, which of course I highly approve of.  Things are still very slow-going on the romance front, with confusing feelings developing on both sides and yet nothing truly physical (spoiler alert – there’s not so much as a romantic kiss!), and yet the pacing fits very well with both the characters and the action of the story.

I loved that the secondary characters we’ve come to know in the first book play such a large role in this one, and the inclusion of new characters added freshness to the story without making things confusing as readers try to keep up with the many complicated lives of the major players.

On the negative side, Meg is still the mail lady, there’s still quite a bit of mundane things like sharpening pencils and ordering cookies from a new bakery and such, that readers have to muddle through to get to the more interesting parts.

That said, however, Meg is truly beginning to come into her own, and we not only get a lot more of her background and details of her cassandra sangue powers, but we get some pretty powerful illustrations of why she is a super-special snowflake in comparison to some of the other girls who have similar powers as she does.  We also get to meet quite a few more of the terra indigine, which gave a much better understanding of the world of the Others as a whole.

Tensions between the Others and the humans have reached a boiling point, with a few major players desperately trying to hold back the flood waters let fly by a few loose cannons, with the horror being the sheer numbers of innocents caught in the crossfire on both sides.  The grand scale of the delicate politics in this series is perfectly balanced with the immediate effects on characters we have grown to know and love.  Not only that, but some very poetic justice is served on several fronts.

Overall, I read it in one go, and while the romantic in me was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more progress between Simon and Meg on the romance side, this series is still one of my favorites in the recently published fantasy genre — and one that I will gladly spend my hard-earned money on again in the future.

4half
4.5/5 Stars