Wed
Mar 8 2017 3:30pm

Anne Bishop’s Etched In Bone Ends Lakeside Courtyard Arc in Others Series

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

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.

The fifth installment in Anne Bishop’s epic fantasy Others series is the finale to the Meg Corbyn, Simon Wolfgard, and Lakeside Courtyard arc though not the end of the series. Currently untitled, Bishop has released information about book six, which is slated to publish in 2018, that:

“Takes readers to a human village nestled in the terra indigene-controlled Finger Lakes region of Northeast Thaisia. It stars divorcee Victoria “Vicki” DeVine, owner of The Jumble — a small, self-sufficient community located on the shore of Lake Silence. Vicki and the town’s residents soon find themselves caught up in a chilling mystery, after a series of vicious murders rock the small community.” via Happily Ever After.

Compelling narrative, dynamic characters, and strong world building keeps readers enthralled as Bishop continues to twist and manipulate the mythology she’s built this world upon, mixing more of humanity with the supernatural elements that gives the stories a darker and more unpredictable edge. The true appeal of this series for me and Bishop’s writing in general is the delicate balance she maintains between the benign and the horrific. Evil is often presented in a form that allows us to comfortably dislike them. Bishop continuously challenges that notion. A majority of her stories gives evil an attractive face and/or constitution. She cautions readers that mistakes are made when you underestimate your enemy.

“They had needed to learn too much too quickly, and they had made a mistake. They would fix this.”

Meg, Simon, and the residents of the Lakeside Courtyard have survived the war between the HFL (Humans First and Last) and the Terra Indigene. Areas of the world have been obliterated of humans and are now back part of the wild country. With all communication and transportation at the mercy of the Elders (Namid’s teeth and claws), the surviving humans and the terra indigene must work together and step lightly to avoid a complete annihilation.

“If we allow some humans to remain, than what kindof human should we keep?”

When the threat of war became a reality,  Lt. Montgomery made sure everyone in his immediate family got safely to Lakeside except for his brother Cyrus and his brother’s family. Cyrus is the black sheep of the family; the con man, the grifter. Cyrus’s emotional abuse of their younger sister goes further than they suspected and they are appalled when he appears in Lakeside at her invitation. Especially Simon. He recognizes trouble when he sees it and Meg’s latest predictions only serve to further his anxiety as her visions of blood and death become more frequent.

Family and change are the themes of this story.  The world is a fragile place right now and attempts are being made to rebuild the small towns and outposts. Humans and Others are working together to provide for those under their care; the strong providing for the weak. Families and friends banding together to make do and survive the leaner times coming. No one wants to upset the balance. Especially those who truly understand who their final judge, jury, and executioners are.

“The Others have their own way of dealing with betrayal, and it’s harsher than receiving a pink slip.”

Bishops’ characterization of various cultures stays fresh and inviting as she slowly draws out the individual characteristics that personalize them. She continues to explore the various species of terre indigene, using them to highlight the unique changes that are happening with in the Courtyard and the world at large. These changes are significant because it not only allows for new storylines to develop but it also allows Bishop to move past the confines of her own boundaries.

The one element of this series that has garnered the most attention is the slow burningromance between a wolf and a human. The conflict of Meg’s rescue and attempts to normalize her life always propped itself up against the developing feelings between Meg and her rescuer, Simon. The major obstacle has always been the definition of romance as readers define it. Simon is a wolf who has a human form. While he can act human when necessary-he isn’t. So the human emotions behind romance-the kissing, hugging, hand-holding, sex, etc...isn’t the expected or normal route for this couple to follow. Compromise takes on a whole new meaning. Meg, for all intents and purposes, is a true innocent having been raised in a sort of commune with almost no real world exposure. She feels emotion but struggles to understand the reasons behind it and the nuances caused by it. Bishop does an excellent job throughout the series of balancing this learning process for both Meg and Simon with their true nature.

“I’m not human. I will never be human.”

“Is that so important?"

Etched in Bone gives readers an action-packed and emotional farewell to a long-running and enjoyable arc. While I’m going to miss the Lakeside Courtyard and it’s myriad of personalities, I look forward to book six and the next adventure Bishop takes us on.

***

Learn more about or order a copy of Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop, available now:

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H&H Editor Picks:

Telling the Truth in Blood: Anne Bishop’s Others Series

First Look: Anne Bishop’s Marked in Flesh

March 2017 Romance New Releases

 

 

 

 

 


Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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4 comments
Kareni
1. Kareni
I'm reading Etched in Bone now and definitely enjoying it. Interesting to hear about book six in the series as that is news to me. I'll look forward to reading it next year.
Public Voice
2. Public Voice
Etched in bone should NOT be the alst book. Simon and Meg don't even consumate their relationship. They only kiss. I thought this was a prelude to a sixth book in the arc and their relationship, but finding out this is the last really depresses me. I had thought better of the author than this.
Tori Benson
3. Torifl
Kareni-Me too!!

Public Voice-Bishop didn't move their relationship fast enough for that to happen and the arc pretty much played itself out in book 5. I'm really hoping we'll see more of them in future books and get some hints to their progress.
Leah Zehrung
4. Leah27
I finished this yesteday and loved it! I was happy with how she developed Meg and Simon's relationship, and I'm so looking forward to the next book. I saw on her FB that she is also thinking of doing a Bennett book and I really hope she does. I think if she does, we'll definitely hear about Meg and Simon because of the ties they have to that community.
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