The Others series by Anne Bishop is one of my top five series currently being written. Written in Red was a brilliant start to the series and reignited my interest in urban fantasy, with a heroine working hard to save herself and paranormal creatures who are truly inhuman. Murder of Crows expanded the world Bishop created, particularly when it comes to Meg’s past and what happens to other blood prophets like her. Vision in Silver continues that trend. The protagonists’ actions at the end of Murder of Crows changed life for an entire class of people, which pushes tensions between humans and the Others, or terra indigene, even farther. There’s all this simmering violence waiting to break out, and the smarter characters are desperately trying to diffuse it.
One reason Vision in Silver doesn’t disappoint me: we finally get to see Monty’s daughter and his reunion with her. Monty is a police officer demoted to the city near the Lakeside Courtyard because he shot a human to save a little girl Other. His girlfriend kept their daughter. Of course, when he gets his daughter back, she was found on a train alone with a bear stuffed full of jewels. It’s very suspicious and ties into the ongoing stories well, including the rise to power of an anti-Other activist. Monty and his boss, Burke, are both good cops and provide a valuable human point of view in the story. The Others don’t think much of humans (beyond them being prey), and a lot of the human politicians are making dumb moves to try to get more power. Monty and Burke are partly good because they are good men, and because they’ve been close enough to trouble to know humans won’t come out on top in a war.
Meg, as a cassandra sangue or blood prophet, lies somewhere between the humans and terra indigene on the scale. She’s human, but with power. She’s also successfully lived on her own for awhile now, refraining from cutting herself to death as happens to so many girls like her, unable to resist the euphoria of a vision. Now Meg has to figure out just why she has been able to cope. I really like getting to see the word building Bishop develops through these passages. Meg has been going mostly on instinct, and her explaining what works for her and why helps define exactly what her powers are and how they work. It’s also a key to survival for many. I also like that this further develops her relationships with the human women who work in the Courtyard. Many of the narrators are Others, and their view of humanity can be harsh. But Bishop does a great job of adding several sympathetic humans to the story, who complicate things for the Others who actually interact with humans and who realize that there are good people out there.
Vision in Silver does feel like an in-between book. There was a big battle and change in status quo at the end of the second book, and the end of this one reveals that even bigger changes are on the horizon for Book 4, which I can’t wait for. Most of what happens in Vision in Silver is minor skirmishes and the further development of Simon and Meg’s relationship. Simon Wolfguard is the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard and is conflicted by his feelings for Meg. He’s possessive and knows he likes being around her and getting petted, but he looks down on relationships with humans like the other terra indigine. His resulting hot and cold behavior confuses Meg, who has basically lived in a bubble her whole life. It’s a bit silly compared to the tone of most of the series, but I like the awkwardness of their relationship.
Now, if you’ve read the series through Vision in Silver, you’ve accepted its drawbacks. For instance, the way the terra indigene replace American Indians in American history has a lot of implication that Bishop clearly didn’t think through. It’s also a series spread over a large number of POVs, rather than an intimately told story. Bishop is getting better with villain POVs, but her villains are still pretty laughably evil even in their own heads. But the world-building is top notch, with lots of unique touches, and the relationships between the central characters are all fascinating. It’s a compelling mix of cozy and terrifying. Vision in Silver continues a strong series and promises more good things to come.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Black Jewels Trilogy transports readers to a world of magic and political unrest—where the only chance at peace requires a deadly price…
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…
Read an excerpt here.
Other books in this series: