Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
The Others, #5
Publication date: March 7, 2017
e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)
–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…
As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.
With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.
I’ve read books by Anne Bishop for at least ten years. She’s one of my favorite fantasy authors. And I’ve read all the books in the series–and enjoyed them all.
World building is so important for any fantasy and Anne Bishop does an excellent job in this series. It’s a very imaginative and unique alternate version of Earth (called Namid). There are vampires and werewolves (as well as other supernatural beings), but they are so different from any I’ve read about before.
The Others–the terra indigene–are a separate predatory species. They are very different from humans–part of the essence of Namid–and humans have to work with The Others to get natural resources (such as water). The Others appreciate the cleverness of humans, but throughout history humans seem to forget over and over that the Others are at the top of the food chain. During this series the dominant question: Does the cleverness of humans provide enough reason to keep humans alive when some humans keep forgetting who The Others are and humans try to become the dominant species on earth? Another important question in the series: Are some of The Others becoming too much like humans?
There are so many great characters in these books: Simon, Meg, Sam, Vlad, Captain Burke, Lieutenant Montgomery, Tess, the Elders, the Ponies and many more.
I really like how Meg Corbyn has grown and changed throughout this series. At the beginning of the series she was very much alone–without friends and with difficulty managing to survive outside the compound where she was owned by humans who used her for prophecies. She has managed to overcome so much in these books, but hasn’t lost her ability to form friendships and trust others or to keep learning. She’s truly courageous. And she has changed the world!
Simon Wolfgard is also a great character. He has also changed a lot in the course of the books and that’s been fun to see. Sometimes he wishes he hadn’t changed so much. Life was much simpler before he had friends who are human. Things aren’t as simple now that he can’t think of all humans as meat.
I like the fact that Meg and Simon are so special to each other. But I also like that these books aren’t romances. Individuals have relationships–sometimes friendships, sometimes more than that. The focus isn’t the romance or friendship, but the fact that these can exist between some of The Others and some of the humans. Namid has changed and will continue to change. I like that!
I thought this book did a great job finishing up the series. I can imagine the characters going about their lives. I like that not every single thread is knotted neatly. People’s lives are messy and don’t always go smoothly.
I read on Anne Bishop’s Facebook page that she’s working on a new series set in the same world. That sounds great!
Have you read this book or any of the books in this series? How did you like it?