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Book CoverVeena’s review of Etched in Bone (The Others, Book 5) by Anne Bishop
Urban Fantasy published by Roc 07 Mar 17

How much “human” does a terra indigene need to retain in order to fit in? That’s the question Simon Wolfgard is tasked with by the Elders.  On a more personal note he needs to figure out how much human Meg needs him to be in order to foster a strong, long-lasting relationship between them.

With her skillful pen and masterful writing, Ms. Bishop brings alive the good, bad, and ugly in human behaviors. Each progressive book in the series pulls the reader deeper and deeper into this fascinating world of the Others.  After reading these books, you’ll never view the world around you in the same way as you did before you opened the first page of a book in the series.
Meg Corbyn’s arrival at the Lakeside courtyard with her desire to make a difference has created an atmosphere where different species of terra indigene and humans all co-exist as a community. While the need to cut remains strong in Meg, she has become a trailblazer, a beacon for others of her own kind seeking alternate methods of releasing prophecy.  Her relationship with Simon has a future as depicted by a prophecy card with a picture of a big moon, a heart, and a couple kissing.  Unfortunately before they can get to making it come true, they’ll both – more particularly Meg – have to survive trials that will challenge her in ways she hasn’t been challenged in a long time.

All seems to be going well at the courtyard in the aftermath of the culling of the herds. Two elders have come to observe and report on the functioning of the courtyard and the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie between the various species.  The arrival of Lieutenant Montgomery’s brother is marked by an explosion, a silent one as depicted on the prophecy card that Meg pulls. Simon can feel his hackles rise and the atmosphere in the courtyard changes, but where he would have refused courtyard hospitality, he’s forced by the elders to invite Jimmy Cyrus into the human pack, so the elders can observe how a predator like Jimmy can disrupt a well-functioning unit.

I enjoyed all the excitement of the thanksgiving-like feast that the humans prepare and invite the key terra indigene from the courtyard to participate in. In true Anne Bishop fashion, she adds the Skippy element as a young wolf desperate to fit in tries his best to turn human and is, in turn, welcomed to the table despite his difference. Makes a reader wonder how a firm, compassionate, commanding woman like Twyla ended up with no-good Jimmy Cyrus as a son. My other personal favorite tidbit in the book is courting tips for Simon as the others in the courtyard watch the blossoming relationship between him and Meg. How does a wolf reconcile looking his lady love in the eyes after consuming a human heart?  Is a gift of meat from a courting wolf akin to a bouquet of flowers from a human suitor?  I enjoyed these light moments in the book, which balanced out the dark and ugly, which goes along with dysfunctional human behavior.  The Elders definitely learned a lot from the experiment they conducted and repercussions from which will be far reaching.

I can’t wait to see where the author will take the series next.

Grade: A


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…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:
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