For her latest dark fantasy series, Bishop (Twilight’s Dawn, 2011, etc.) invents an entire Earth-like world, Namid, populated by a fascinating array of supernatural Others—and the humans who are their prey.
On the continent of Thaisia, humans are tolerated for their technical and inventive talents, but they tread very carefully, knowing that if they transgress, they’ll be lunch for shape-shifting wolves, raptors, bears, vampires or worse. Into the northeastern city of Lakeside, in the middle of winter, staggers Meg Corbyn, freezing, friendless and desperate. A cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn sees the future when her skin is cut—for her, the result can be agony or ecstasy. She and a number of like young women were slaves of the Controller, whose rich clients pay well for their visions. Naïve but resourceful Meg escaped and now seeks refuge in the Lakeside Courtyard, the business district operated by the Others. Against his wolfish instincts—Meg is human, but doesn’t smell like prey—Simon Wolfgard hires her as Human Liaison, a job that entails running the local delivery office. And Meg proves adept at looking after Sam, Simon’s orphaned nephew, so traumatized by his mother’s death that he’s locked in wolf form. Simon has other problems too: pushy Asia Crane, secretly a spy for the mysterious Bigwig; disturbing and unaccountable reports from out west of humans and Others running berserk and slaughtering both each other and their own kind; and the human police, who have been instructed to urgently locate someone who looks very much like Meg Corbyn. It all adds up to a stunningly original yarn, deeply imagined, beautifully articulated and set forth in clean, limpid, sensual prose.
A must for fans desperate to move beyond boilerplate urban fantasy.