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Etched in Bone

Etched in Bone, March 2017
The Others #5
by Anne Bishop

Roc
ISBN: 045147449X
EAN: 9780451474490
Kindle: B01HCGYZ3W
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Dark and compelling fantasy world is delightfully gripping"

Fresh Fiction Review

Etched in Bone
Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Make Kay
Posted March 6, 2017

Fantasy Urban | Fantasy

ETCHED IN BONE is book 5 in series by the unbelievably awesome Anne Bishop. This is a dark fantasy series, and I absolutely adore how skillfully Bishop makes us feel the vast Other-ness of her characters. Shifters, vampires, and the very powerful fae-like Elders of the terra indigene, primal and primordially magical beings, control most the world. These beings think of humans as a nuisance and a source of food, calling them "clever meat." Using such subtle distancing techniques as the shifters who tolerate some humans calling them "the Lizzy" (for someone who is a decent woman) versus "that Clarence" (for a naughty boy), like Elders of the terra indigene, primal and primordially magical beings, control most the world. These beings think of humans as a nuisance and a source of food, calling them "clever meat." Using such subtle distancing techniques as the shifters who tolerate some humans calling them "the Lizzy" (for someone who is a decent woman) versus "that Clarence" (for a naughty boy), The Others makes me feel outnumbered and outclassed by a species with a very different mindset. I love how Bishop can make the chills go down my spine as I viscerally experience how precarious a position homo sapiens are in!

Humans are desperately trying to stay alive and safe, clustered in small communities after much of North American's human population was wiped out in retaliation for an attack on The Others by the Humans First and Last or HFL league in book four, MARKED IN FLESH. Lakeside Courtyard has survived the purge, but Simon Wolfgard Wolfgard, their wolf shifter leader, and Meg Corbyn, an escaped blood prophet, must work closely with their Other and human companions to keep things on an even keel in their small patch of the world. Safety for all lies in keeping things peaceful. But this peace is threatened when human police Lieutenant Montgomery\'s small time thug brother shows up, looking to mooch off his family and run his cons in Lakeside Courtyard. Montgomery\'s brother stirs up trouble in the community, and the Elders insist that Simon cannot kill him until the Elders have learned from the brother why some humans are evil and worthy of being eaten and some are not. Meg uses her increasingly-refined prophecy skills to help Simon and the Others try to avert disaster, but she sees how this will end refined prophecy skills to help Simon and the Others try to avert disaster, but she sees how this will end- with her next next to a gravestone and a fresh corpse.

I continue to be torn whether Meg or Simon is my favorite character in this series. Meg is a true ingénue, continuing to learn about the world around her after her escape from humans who hold cassandra sangue, or blood prophets, imprisoned to sell their prophesies. Having grown up sequestered, Meg is overwhelmed if she has too many new experience at once. She and Simon are in love, but neither realizes it, and I love to watch Simon protect and encourage Meg. There is an extremely slow-building romance between Meg and Simon, but part of the pleasure to me in reading it is how the romance is slowly blooming without the overt awareness of either partner. Long time readers will be rewarded by the satisfying progression between the two in ETCHED IN BONE.

Fantasy lovers will be thrilled, as well, with ETCHED IN BONE providing a fantastic punch of gritty and dark politics and interspecies war. This series is utterly engrossing. As with every release in The Others, it will be so hard to wait for the next book to come out, because I want to stay immersed in this world. Bishop's ETCHED IN BONE gets an A+ for dark, gripping fantasy.

Learn more about Etched in Bone

SUMMARY

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves...

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...


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