Dear Ms. Bishop:
I tried to resist reading this series for a long time. So many other readers, readers who I trust, loved the first two books. But how you ended the Dark Trilogy series still bothers me and so I told myself I would not go down that rabbit hole.
And for a year, I was able to resist but Vision in Silver found its way to my doorstep. I opened the book and glanced at the first page. Soon it was thirty minutes later and I was many many pages in–too many to turn away. And after I was done with Vision in Silver, I immediately went and bought the previous two and devoured those books over the next day and a half. Now I am well and truly caught. I fear for the end but I can’t stop reading.
Meg Corbyn is a cassandra sangue, a female with a peculiar gift. When she cuts herself, she sees visions. Certain humans learned of the existence of blood prophets and began hiding them away in private compounds. They would tell the families of these young girls that without supervision, a blood prophet eventually goes mad and not only kills herself but may seriously wound others in the process. Meg escaped from one of these sanitariums with the help of another prophet in book one and found her way to Simon Wolfgard, a shifter leader of the Others.
Simon and those around him help to protect Meg from outside dangers and from herself. The saddest thing about blood prophets is that they are mentally and emotionally driven to cut themselves but they can only survive so many cuts before they die. It’s an addiction from which she supposedly can never recover. When Meg arrived at the Lakeside Courtyard in Thaisia, she already had hundreds of cuts.
A thousand cuts. Someone had figured out that was all a cassandra sangue had before the cut that would kill her.
He refused to count Meg’s scars.
Book three’s conflict is an escalation of the divide between humans and Others. In some respects, this conflict may seem familiar to fans of Urban Fantasy. There’s the terra indigene with varying levels of power, a group called Humans First and Last that foment fear against the Others in hopes to eradicate them, and then greater, mysterious super powers that will wipe out all the humans if they don’t wise up. (Wise up humans! Stop being so anti Others!)
HFL ratchets up its attacks against those who sympathize with the Others and the trade begins to break down. Food that is delivered is rotted. Shop owners are attacked. Humans who work at the Courtyard are being targeted. And more cassandra sangue’s are discovered and in need of serious help.
The romance here is low key but still present. Meg and Simon are falling in love with each other but they are so unfamiliar with the emotion that they don’t know it. They only know that the other person is vital to their happiness. They wonder where the other is; they act in selfless ways to protect each other. They are already a couple even if they don’t recognize it. They live together, watch movies together, and long to be with each other when the other is gone. They have to learn what love is, what friendship is, from the humans around them and it is adorable.
I love how Simon’s reactions are always in character.
Meg sprang out of the chair and was in his face so fast, he jerked back . . . and then whimpered because the move hurt, hurt, hurt.
“You do not have to stay in human form,” she yelled. “You do not have to talk to any humans until you’re better. You need to be a wolfy Wolf! And if you get stupid about this, I’ll . . . I’ll paint your tail orange!”
He thought of pointing out that he wouldn’t have a tail if he stayed in human form, but Jane nodded and said, “That’s a good threat. Come on, Meg. Let’s step out so Simon can shift and the human doctor can look at Nathan.”
After giving him an “I whack bad Wolves” look, Meg limped out of the examination room.
“Let me give you a hand down,” Lorenzo said, bracing a hand under Simon’s elbow. “I won’t offer a painkiller because I don’t know how a terra indigene would react.”
Simon didn’t know how he would react to human painkillers either, but he thought giving Meg a couple of licks would make him feel better. He always felt comforted when he gave her hand a couple of licks while they watched a movie.
The world building is wonderful. There’s lots of conflict between the HFL, the crumbling relations between humans and the Others, and the ticking time bomb of Meg’s addiction. New characters are introduced that keep the reader intrigued about the next books. Simon and Meg’s innocent but loving relationship is wonderful. There’s enough backstory to jump into the series at this point (after all, that’s what I did). The only problem is the outcome of Meg’s life…Please, I’m begging you Ms. Bishop. Allow them a happy ever after. B+