Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #5
Published by Roc
Published on: March 7, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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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.
It’s with deep sadness that I bid adieu to one of my f-a-v-o-u-r-i-t-e series. But, don’t despair just yet, Anne Bishop has announced that she will be returning to THE OTHERS world in 2018! I enjoyed ETCHED IN BONE considerably more than book 4 because the scope of the story was much narrower which means that we get lots of Meg & Simon, and less of the rest of Thaisia. The plot was also milder in nature, and that was both a plus and a minus. Yay on account of it being more character driven, and nay since things end with a whisper instead of a bang.
The focal point of this novel was Cyrus James Montgomery. He’s a con artist, and sees Lakeside as easy pickings because he has an in with his brother, mother and sister already in residence. Jimmy’s presumptuous, arrogant, and just plain daft if he believes that he can hide behind human laws in the Courtyard. The terra indigene mete out their own brand of justice; it’s ugly and barbaric, and in my opinion the punishments fit the crimes. CJ’s schemes escalate until he does the unthinkable. A shot to the heart would have probably hurt less!
The citizens are busy picking up the pieces of whatever is left in the wake of Namid’s claws and teeth. Cel-Romano has practically fallen off the map, most of the land has been reclaimed by the wild country, and food rations abound in the surviving cities. The Simple Life folk and the Intuits are thriving, and the cassandra sangue are still a work-in-progress, but for the average human, life is hard. Meg’s female pack make inroads with the Others by breaking bread together for the first time, and two Elders observe it all like some twisted science experiment.
The author doesn’t yank the rug out from under us as far as epiphanies go although, she does touch upon a few items that readers have been musing over such as what happens when a prophet’s old scars are reopened. There were also several delightful moments which I’d found to be lacking in the previous volume. Skippy will surprise you, and Corbyn makes a HUGE faux pas—I’m pretty sure that she only lives to tell the tale due to the fact that she’s the howling not-Wolf. And, yes, something DOES happen between Simon & Meg on the romantic front however, don’t set your hopes too high because… baby steps!
Anne Bishop could have probably written ten more books in this series, and I still wouldn’t be entirely content, but overall ETCHED IN BONE was a happy finale.