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Sunday, March 15, 2015

'Vision in Silver' The Others #3 by Anne Bishop

Received via NetGalley

From the BLURB:

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

‘Vision in Silver’ is the third book in Anne Bishops’ ‘The Others’ fantasy series.

This book takes place shortly after ‘Murder of Crows’, after the explosive events of that book, which saw Meg Corbyn’s old compound (where she and other cassandra sangue blood prophets were kept) being liberated and some of the women freed. It also picks up on the increasingly zealous activity of the HFL (Humans First and Last movement against the Others).

Some characters I haven’t ever really concentrated a lot on in my reviews of this series so far, are the humans who are working with the Lakeside Courtyard and its inhabitants – the female staff who work in the café and bookshop – and especially the police officers who are increasingly finding their impressions of the Others challenged the more they get to know them. All of the humans have been bought together and interact more than ever with the Others because of Meg Corbyn’s arrival. ‘Visions in Silver’ gives a big chunk of the storyline to one officer in particular – Montgomery – when is daughter arrives at Lakeside unexpectedly, and a mystery surrounds why her mother Elayne would let her travel to see her father after so long refusing him custody rights … Monty, and his fellow officers, suspect the answer lies with Nicholas Scratch – charismatic leader of the HFL movement, and Elayne’s boyfriend.

“I heard a couple of his recent speeches, and he’s a persuasive bastard,” Pete continued. “If I wasn’t almost one hundred percent certain that the HFL were behind the threats to my family, I’d be more than halfway to believing they had the answer to anything and everything. Want your children to have more milk? Kill a Wolf.” 
“Pete,” Burke began, looking toward the doorway of his office. 
“It’s not our fault that, as a species, you’re pretty stupid.” 
Monty winced, then turned to face Simon Wolfgard as the Wolf stepped into Burke’s office. 
“I think we’ve shown we can be dangerous,” Pete said, 
“Being dangerous doesn’t make you less stupid,” Simon Replied.

I so love reading this series for the Lakeside community – I love reading about Meg interacting with the likes of Simon Wolfgard and his pack, Vlad and the vampires, the various crows and ponies …. The more fantastical characters definitely steal the limelight in this series, so when it comes to finally sitting down and reviewing the human characters tend to get shoved to the side in my mind. Not so in ‘Vision in Silver’, when Bishop writes such a good mystery around Monty and his daughter that the story felt perfectly balanced with the quite wild events of Lakeside.

And make no mistake; events are turning wild for the Others. Meg finds herself a cassandra sangue expert, when those left caring for the freed blood prophets turn to her for help in assimilating them into the world they’ve only ever known from pictures. The HFL movement is mobilizing in a way that’s of real concern to non-violent humans and Others alike … and both Simon and Meg find themselves questioning each other’s increasing importance in their respective lives;

He watched her as she ran around making squeaky noises, pretending to be prey while the pups chased her and the adult Wolves made sure the game didn’t get too rough. He watched as she played tug with Sam. 
She had spent most of her life isolated, even when she was surrounded by other humans. Now she was learning as much from the Wolves as she was from the humans about what it meant to have family. 
She wasn’t a Wolf. She wasn’t terra indigene. Despite that, Meg was becoming one of them.
I particularly love the slow tease of Meg and Simon …. and it is slow, but I can’t imagine it any other way when Meg is still so naïve about the world in many ways, and Simon battling his anti-human views. Bishop is pacing them just right, to keep fans anticipating but staying true to their characters.

This was another stellar instalment in what has fast become my most-anticipated series to come back to every year. Anne Bishop’s world is smart and expansive, fantastical, even while shining a light on the worst aspects of humanity. ‘Vision in Silver’ is another favourite from Anne Bishop and this fabulous series of hers.


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