Return to New York Times best-selling author Anne Bishop’s "phenomenal" (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others - where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules.…
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 murder 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 if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or 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.
©2014 Anne Bishop (P)2014 Penguin Audio
I have been happily married for 17 years, I have 3 children (12, 14, & 16), and 2 dogs. I am currently working on a 2nd degree. Life is chaotic and stressful, but I wouldn't change it. I am blessed and enjoying my life.
AB knocked it out the park again. Great follow up. I am still in love with all the interesting characters and we have a few more that get introduced in this book. No matter what, you do not have to worry about cookie cutter characters here. I was totally submerged in the plot. I really like how AB builds up the bad guys and you get immense satisfaction when they get what’s coming to them. I agree with the reader who said that Meg was not your typical SF heroine, but I guess Simon is bad*#%ed enough for both of them. We get a hint of romance for Meg, but it is not full blown yet. I can't wait for the third book, because I defiantly want to see how the romance develops.
As always Anne Bishop’s books are worth your time and your credits!
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
Normally I’m not one to turn all fan girl in my reviews. In fact, I pride myself on writing cohesive, thorough feedback with actual words instead of squeals of delight and captioned screencaps. But in this case, I could use all of the above and more, and still not manage to do this series justice. It’s that good. Anne Bishop’s world-building is without parallel; she explores sensitive issues with tact and fineness, and makes you see them in an entirely different light. THE OTHERS’ universe manages to be dark, scary and magical all at the same time—I wouldn’t want to live there, but it sure makes for an absorbing listen! I finished MURDER OF CROWS in record time, and now I find myself unable to start my next listen because all I want to do is go back to the beginning and do it all over again!
I’m surprised by how much I like Meg because she’s not your typical Urban Fantasy heroine; sure she has her fair share of strengths, but she doesn’t mow down bad guys and physically, she’s incredibly vulnerable. I gained a whole new appreciation for her fragility in this installment. Cassandra sangue aren’t known for their longevity, and when every cut has the potential to be her last, it makes each bump and scrape feel life-threatening. I loved watching the dynamics between Corbyn and Wolfgard evolve, and this novel helped give a whole new meaning to “mixed signals.” The romance between them continues to be minimal, but I’m really enjoying just exploring the mere possibility of more.
I expected the world-building to slow down a bit in book 2, so imagine my delight when Bishop introduces even more awesomeness into her already overflowing universe. In the earlier chapters, I had some concerns about the HFL (Humans First and Last) movement having encountered similar plot lines in the past, but the author does such a fabulous job of putting her own spin on it that you never get a sense of déjà vu. Intuits, Skippy and a “snake charmer” type character were interesting additions to this series’ already all-star cast of supernaturals, and I enjoyed delving deeper into Meg’s prophecies too. Despite the story’s somber tone, there continues to be a darkly humorous side to Anne Bishop’s writing; from the terra indigene movies, to people shaped wolf cookies, to yielding a tea kettle & broom as weapons.
Alexandra Harris threw me through a bit of a loop with her change in narration. In WRITTEN IN RED, it was box on wheels or B-O-W and cassandra sangue, but in this installment those terms became BOW and cassandra sang—not major differences, but still noticeable. She reads at a slower pace than I’m accustomed to, although I think her style is well-suited to Bishop’s writing. It really adds a palatable element of danger to the story line, and helps keep listeners invested in the plot. The innocence of Meg Corbyn’s character really comes through in her narration and her wolf sound effects aren’t too shabby either!
Anne Bishop has quite possibly just ruined the next five books on my to-be-read pile because there’s nothing that can conceivably live up to MURDER OF CROWS. This novel is without equal, and the series itself remains unmatched—it’s quite simply, the best audiobook of 2014. 5++ ∞ stars.
Addicted to books, especially audiobooks. Read lots and prosper!
I'm having serious love of this series. Blood prophet, shapeshifter and elemental Others that are truly monstrous when they set their minds to it. This story is about going after the Controller and saving Jean. The human struggle seemed really true of the modern condition and rang some bells giving it strong reality and understanding for the reader to tie into. I'm still not having great love for the narrator (sounds too young) but the voice is consistent and I can still enjoy the story (though the same words should be pronounced the same from version to version)
This is a direct continuation from the first book that was outstanding, Written in Red. It's only been about 6 weeks later approximately where the last book left off. Still have continued love for all the Other characters and Meg. Not enough elemental pony time, in fact this book seemed just a little rushed and possibly (gasp) maybe an interim piece? It didn't seem as fleshed out as the it's predecessor and the villains didn't seem to be well defined and it bounced back and forth between baddies of HFL and the Controller and the FIN - Donkey and Nicholas Scratch. Though we resolved some of the evil, much of it was not and left hanging. Almost like it was cut off and left for the next book? It didn't overly distract, but that is why I only gave it 4 stars as it has a HUGE measuring stick with the first book.
Meg and Simon are just adorable and again, I'm so happy to see this relationship building slowly and watching them both struggle with figuring out what they are feeling and what they should do about it. Considering where they are both coming from jumping too fast into any kind of romance wouldn't be right. AB is handing this right. Simon needing to cuddle is so adorable. Seriously, I know he is a viscous monster that eats people, but I want one. I would feed it wolf cookies and provide a wolf bed. My corgis would love him and play tug, as long as he promised that they were not edible.
Flavored wolf cookies? Arrrroooo! The funny gags in the story had me laughing out loud a lot. I still miss the ponies though.....
It was a terrific and entertaining read. I'm eagerly waiting for book three. I hope this series goes on forever, I don't think I will ever get bored.
As usual I really hate to give anything because that's what the summary is for!
What can I say about a book that I had wait a whole year for? There are twists... There are turns... There was so much story that it made me sigh with disappointment when it was over. It was everything that I hoped for and more.
The way that Ms. Bishop developed all of her characters especially her secondary characters has always made me care about all of them just as much as Meg and Simon but even more!
My only ONLY complaint is Montgomery's loose end! I hope that there is more about that in the next book!
Alexandra Harris is just an amazing narrator! She gives the characters their own voices and really breathes life into the whole story!
This book just made me love the first book in the series, "Written in Red," even more!
There is a war coming between the Others and Humans and Humans won't survive if that happens. Meg Corbin, Human Liaison to the Lakeside Courtyard (controlled by The Others--where Human Law Does Not Apply) may be the only one who can possibly prevent the war from happening. Because of her friendships with The Others, they have started to see a few humans as more than just clever meat. But some humans don't see that their struggles to gain more of the world for themselves, that their arrogance in thinking that they can defeat the shifters and vampires who are the only ones of The Others that they ever see, is shoving the world closer and closer to a conflict that humanity cannot win because as powerful as they are, the shifters and the vampires are just the visible foes, the ones humans never see are the ones that we cannot possibly survive.
Meg has some help, among them are her human "pack" and her Other friends, and maybe if everyone carefully dances the correct steps they can save the world from blood and humans from extinction.
It might be possible to understand the story in "Murder of Crows" without having read "Written in Red" but I think your understanding of the characters and your enjoyment of the interactions between them would be greatly diminished--- besides, "Written in Red" is an amazing book and you will WANT to read both it and "Murder of Crows".
I am an extensive reader of books. I easily go through 4 books a week. Yet this series has to be one of my favorites.
The whole premise twists the normal vampire/werewolf genre. The idea of the others is fantastic. I like that they are not sugar coated and more than willing to eat a human. In this book the changes Megs living with them are explored more. Anne does a good job in showing how the smallest thing can cause huge amounts of problems. Not teaching the others to use a note book to help them learn and all of the confusion and uncaring it can lead to was ingenious. Something so small having a possible huge effect.
The love story developing between Meg and Simon makes me mad that there is not another book out already. It is sweet, funny, and innocent. It also has moved at a great pace. It is keeping me interested, but still fits really well into the story and also in with the characters. It does not feel forced for the sake of the plot. It is also nice to see it from both sides. A lot of times you only see the main characters ideas, and thoughts about situations, but this book gives you a good sense of where everyone is coming from.
I do have one very big grip though. I miss Sam. I can understand why he is staying with the wolves instead of Simon, but that does not change the fact that I miss the interaction between him and Meg. Although Nathan and Meg together are quite amusing.
And I had a major problem with the audiobook narrator.
This is book 2 in the series. Book 1 was pretty good, but this is skipable. You can probably continue the series without it. It is not romance. It is mostly mystery and catching bad guys. Technically there is a happy ending, but it was not satisfying. I didn’t feel enough suffering by the bad guys.
Too much talk about giving dog cookies to the wolves. A grown man shifts into wolf form. Then Meg becomes overly patronizing telling him things like “if you behave you get a cookie.” “Only one cookie for you.”
Most of the mystery was from several psychic readings. The listeners tried to figure out what the words meant. The readings gave partial answers. They were like puzzles. I‘d rather have mystery from the characters and events.
Twice we are told that the confined girls are raped. There are no details, just briefly mentioned.
Alexandra Harris has a lovely, pleasant and soothing voice. Her pacing and character interpretations were good. BUT I couldn’t stand her accent. It’s a harsh twang. I think it’s Oklahoma area. I’ve enjoyed other narrators with southern accents, but I can’t take this southwest twang. As an actress I think she should learn to speak the generic TV anchor accent. I would love to hear her read other books without the accent.
Below are examples of her accent. The written word is in parentheses.
pitcher (picture), propietor (proprietor), figer (figure), cusedy (custody), prolem (problem)
dayown (down) tayown (town)
She does not say the “n” in contractions. They sounded like coulded, woulded
Narrative mode: 3rd person.
Genre: paranormal fiction.
Simon! Such a good wolf!
Simon and Meg! They just don't understand! Lol!
The battle with the kettle!
Come on book 3!!!!!
In Murder of Crows, Bishop’s world and character building blew my mind. The threat intensified as we gained more insight into the HFL, traveled to other parts of Thasia, and new characters came into the fold. Those things alone made the book stellar, but then Bishop fleshed out relationships, introduced three dimensional characters and increased our knowledge of the terra indigene. We learn about their books, movies and have an interesting time with cookies. Meg and the community are beginning to understand more about the cassandra sangue and Meg’s prophecies. From the first page to the last the tale ebbed and flowed perfectly as the tension increased. Bishop does an outstanding job of balances the darker tones of this plot with the light. We get multiple povs, including those of the Controller and another cassandra sangue which intensified the story keeping me enthralled. The treatment of the cassandra sangue by these controllers was dark and violent from abuse to rape. Bishop didn’t attempt to flower these details. She simply presents the facts leaving them to smack and enrage the reader. When reading my reviews you often hear me say, “I wanted more world-building and fleshed out characters.” Murder of Crows and Written in Red are exquisite examples of what I crave. All of my needs were satisfied from the panoramic view to the depth of details. Nothing was rushed; the plot was well thought out, and every word and detail was relevant. If every author gave me these beautiful details as seamlessly as Bishop, I would be on a never ending book high.
I was very excited to see that once again Alexandra Harris was the narrator. Harris did a wonderful job narrating Written in Red and impressed me even more with Murder of Crows. Her depiction of Meg truly captures her emotions and even her growth. She brought the characters to life for me, and I think her pacing is perfectly matched for the Others series. She uses different voices for each character that are so unique and so clear I could immediately identify them.
"A beautiful yet horrific fairytale."
I can't think of another author quite like Anne Bishop her worlds are so different to anything else out there. Her characterisation is so good that you're often seeing the world from several conflicting points of view and often sympathizing with all the main characters. Her description and sense of her world is so real that many other writers feel bland in comparison.
She contrasts the engaging almost childlike hope and innocence of her heroine with a complex world where fairy tale creatures fluctuate between benevolence and horrific actions, many humans are worse still and the socio-economic climate is ruled by a powder keg of racial and political tensions.
I'd put this series in my audiobook top ten. I've already re-listened to the previous novel before this came out and found it to be one of the few that I enjoyed just as much the second time and it will be the same with this book. You do need to read this series in order.
Alexandra Harris is a brilliant narrator not only does she draw you into the story like any good narrator but she is so good at voicing the male as well as the female characters, that I often forgot that I was listening to just one woman.
Anne Bishop clearly writes for a female audience but although I heard the first book in the series referred to as young adult, having read the second I personally wouldn't put such a tag on this series. I'm in my late thirties and can see the book appealing to a much wider audience. The heroine is 24 not a teenager and Bishop doesn't flinch away from any of the harder issues which although not gratuitous are clearly spelt out.
"Brilliant in a quiet way"
The story follows on well from the first book 'Written in Red'. As with the first book nothing is frenzied but the story is lively and I really enjoy this invented world so completely different from any other book I have read.
I loved the bedroom scene where Simon changes from Wolf to man and does not understand why Meg is so upset.
I just loved it - the slowly developing relationship between Meg and Simon, I find particularly lovely - no raw sex or innuendoes. I so want them to end up together but in a calm and open way.
Beautiful book beautifully written with lots of space for more in the series which I will watch out for. I will read both Written in Red and Murder of Crows again and again.
You just got to love Meg and Simon! The most endearing characters and love story in ages.
It's a wonderful sequel and will leave you jumping up and down for book 3.
Meg is a Cassandra Sangue - a prophetess - who lands in a 'Courtyard' run by the Wolfgard. It's set in an alternate universe where the Earth is run by creatures called the Terre Indigene who can change to humans.
Book 2 gives more information about the Cassandra Sangue and their link to the tide of death that's threatening humans and Terre Indigene both.
The narrator is terrible. I gave a 3 star because I don't want you to avoid the story because to poor narration. She pauses in the wrong places, places emphases in the wrong places and mispronounces words. (in book one, she pronounces Sangue as Sangway instead as Sang).
Do read it - you'll love it!
"Another fabulous book"
So often an author will write a truly memorable first book, but the second never quit lives up to the promise of book number 1. This book doesn't live in that category, Written in Red was a fabulous book that was a totally different take on any other shifter book I had read. Murder of the Crows with Simon, Meg and company picked up that baton and ran with it. A fabulous second book from what I am hoping will be a long and fabulous series.
"Anne Bishop at her best"
I love this story something completely different and even though is a very long book it just seemed to whizz by. Meg Corbyn is a Cassandra Sang and is struggling with her need to cut. She sees a prophecy which prevents the crows being killed in the courtyard and this in turn reveals a nasty plot by the controller to get Meg back. Great story lots of action although does have you batting for the other side as the humans are the ones causing all the trouble. Lots of humour too. The narrator also does a good job and it's easy to pick out who is speaking as she gives them all their own "voice".
Great lisen with a catching story. And a nice change from the traditionnel fantasy worlds were the gifted and magical are persecuted by ordinary folk . No overly sophistication vampires or young werewolfs fighting with the inner beast..just predodors.
I love this series of books, they are well written and have a great plot line to them. I really like the narrator that had been chosen too, she has a great voice and does a brilliant job at bringing the characters to life.
"Great to revisit Meg"
The evolution of Meg's character, how she is getting more confident and stronger.
same as above?!
I'd got used to her narrating in the last book and hope she will be narrating the rest of them.
Yes, I couldn't wait to get listening again.
I'm looking forward to the next one coming out.
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