Don't be a dead donkey; tread lightly among the Elders. This one sentence sums up the book for me. I enjoyed this latest in the Others worlds so much that I have already read it 3 times and some parts multiple times. Ms. Bishop returns to Lake Silence, a place ruled by the Others. This can be read as a standalone. It is more enjoyable if the related book Lake Silence is read first. The main character in that book, Vicki DeVine plays a big part in this book. The supporting characters all make an appearance in this book, including ones from the Lakeside Courtyard (Written in Red).
In this tale, Ms. Bishop focuses once again on the humans who want to cause trouble. What I liked about this story is that there is more than one force causing issues and it isn't just limited to humans. Ms. Bishop shows an experiment of how those of a certain age can be manipulated, subverted, and their potential turned sour. It brings up back to the nature versus nurture philosophical question. Which is stronger? How does one determine the winner? I liked the hypothesis posed and the unethical experiment carried out.
Ms. Bishop pens a wonderfully grim tale of what-if scenarios. Mixing humans with Others produces results that the humans in this book can't quite comprehend. I am not sure if that makes me more Other or human. Because in each case where humans are a bit appalled, I'm feeling satisfied and that justice is carried out. I loved how some of the secondary characters carry a crucial if a small part in this story. Some of them from other books in the series and other communities come into this one. I enjoy crossover stories.
What surprised me most is Ilya's relationship with Vicki. It is almost an afterthought and I kind of liked it. I also like learning more about the mythology of this world. Finding out more details regarding the 5 special visitors to Julian's book store is also lovely. I especially liked seeing Grimshaw being all put upon again. The humour in this book is a bit dark and I enjoyed it. It tickles my fancy. After reading this book, I cannot help but think that if there were truly Others in the world and our world lived like this, we might be in a better off place. I certainly would enjoy living in an Others run town. This fantasy book is highly recommended to readers who want to see how the world could be.
*provided by NetGalley