One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.
But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.
Comment: This is the second installment of the Wold of the Others series by Anne Bishop. Or, like me, some readers just think of it as installment #7 of the Others series. The author's writing is quite unique and the some times apparent simplicity of the interactions between her characters is a very fascinating detail to focus on and one that compels me to read each time a new books comes out.
In this book we have the tale of how the city of Bennet is slowly being re-shaped into normalcy again, after the events that happened through other books. It's as if this is a sort of parallel story along Etched in Bone, although most of the plot doesn't really match the plot of the other book.
Bennet is a city that suffered a lot of revenge by the Others and ow they are controlling the town and those who are eligible to live in it again, especially humans.
Among the several new characters being introduced, is Jana Paniccia, the first female cop to be graduated and someone who will have an important role in the city, especially because she can act as a sort of liaison between the city's rulers (Others) and most of the inhabitants (humans).
But there is danger coming to Bennet and will Jana and those she becomes friend with enough to help protecting it?
I've been reading a few comments here and there about this book and some readers mention a detail, others noticed another and after seeing some sentences I have to say they managed to touch some of the aspects I couldn't exactly put into words which have made me think about this book and why, although I still enjoyed the experience of reading, it felt a little less good than the previous stories in the series.
After finishing the book, what I thought the most about is how the stories feel too much alike. This was already obvious from book #1 to the one after and so on but in this one, somehow, it felt more obvious. I can appreciate the fact the author is true to her own world and rules and set ideas but once again we have a group of characters who band together to defend a place/a person against another group that is clearly the enemy.
I can also find some interest in the fact the bad guys are always humans, a message which the author doesn't certainly disguise regarding mankind's negative actions and all the wrongs done.
I just think that, in this mission to stress out how weak humans can be (but sly and mean and cause for harm and evil) compared to Others, it also can feel a little bit condescending to use them as opposition when there are also good humans in the stories. What I mean is, the "good human characters" that by not being special (like human Meg is) are still used to make a point and this makes the series feel like a bad lesson at times. I wish the good humans and Others had a more balanced relationship and that the strong or important good humans weren't only those in need or in a weaker position.
Another element that wasn't such a decisive element but that in this book I thought more and more as the plot moved forward is the limitation the author created by having the rule that Others and humans cannot form a life long romantic partnership/relationship. They are friends, they can be occasional lovers but they are so different they can't be each other's mates (in the PNR sense of the word).
It's positive yes, that the author has maintained her own rules but then some relationships, which I assume are supposed to stress out the ability everyone, both human and Other, have to be respectful or considerate of the other or even accepting of someone once an enemy and know a valuable member of the community, simply lack even more emotional levels because they can't be more than friends.
In this book, the author actually introduced interesting elements regarding relationships but I don't think I feel as happy about the state of things knowing a "good human" and an Other wouldn't be mates.
The author is very talented, I've said this practically in every comment about all the books by her I've read so far. I think the positive aspects surpass the negatives by far. However, even though her novels aren't pure romances but fantasy, I still expected a bit more in that regard, especially comparing to some of her previous work in other series.
Another issue when it comes to her writing is the fact, plot wise, Others are so worried about maintaining the order, about letting it be obvious who's boss, how can the "bad humans" always get to far with the mean and destructive plans? I can get why but it is something easily changeable in the plots if needed...
All in all, this was great but it did feel a little bit more angsty, a little unfair, a little heavier on the sadness and hopelessness of some facts (and some not necessary, even if the author wanted to shock readers with violence and death) and to be very honest, I liked reading the book mostly for the community feel rather than the characters. I would change a few things and that would change the book so, I liked it but I didn't love it as I did some of her other work.