[Book Review] Vision in Silver

Vision in Silver / Anne Bishop (Powell's Books)

Relations between the Others and humans has never been completely peaceful, but the presence of Meg Corbyn, an escaped cassandra sangue, a woman who sees prophetic visions when her skin is cut, has both disrupted the lives of the Others who have taken her into their protection and done more to improve the human/Others relations than could have ever been imagined.  Humans First and Last is stirring up dissent, and girding itself for a war against the Others, using lies and misinformation to turn fear of the others into rebellion, and using the blood of cassandra sangue to create drugs that cause frenzy or mind-numbing bliss.

Meg's visions and the rescue of the cassandra sangue from captivity may be the only thing preventing a wide-spread reclaiming of human land.  But can her addiction to the euphoria experienced when she cuts for prophecy be overcome?  Can she pave the way for other cassandra sangue to live normal lives?  And can she, Simon Wolfguard, and the human allies in Lakeside prove that some humans are worth saving?


Visions in Silver is the third book in Anne Bishop's The Others series, and in this case I strongly recommend reading the preceding books before starting on this one.  You can't really compare this series to Anne Bishop's other work, at least not to her Black Jewels books.  The tone, pacing, complexity, setting and voice are completely different.  Rather like comparing Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series with her Agents of Hel series.

If you're not familiar with any of the books or works I've just mentioned I'm sorry.  Visions in Silver is a contemporary paranormal fantasy taking place on an alternative Earth where humans were never apex predators, instead living on sufferance of the Others who view the humans as little more than "intelligent meat."  The setting is approximately modern with a simple narrative voice and no more than a hint of romance.

I find the series interesting, though some of the language choices feel off to me.  Particularly the language of the Others often uses... cleaner(?) words for things, probably to showcase how they are not human and have their own forms of communication.  Some of the language choices just seem off for me in terms of what adults would use, and that takes me out of the story a little, but it is not too bad.  I really like that they flat out address cutting as an addiction in this book, though in the first two it's not treated quite as such - just that Meg gets these overwhelming physical cues that a prophesy is forthcoming and needs to tell it.

Vision in Silver feels like the end of this series, or at least this trilogy.  The story is taken to a good ending.  A good read for those who want a different type of paranormal fantasy.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

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