Pros: Harrowing and delightful
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
There are two major plot threads in Anne Bishop’s Vision in Silver: A Novel of the Others. In one, Meg is helping the Others and the Intuits figure out how best to care for the cassandra sangue, the blood prophets. The girls who’ve been rescued–those who haven’t killed themselves–need very specific care so that they don’t get overwhelmed by either their gifts or their addiction to cutting. They need help understanding who they are and how they can live now that they’re nominally free. In the other thread, relationships between the Others’ Courtyard and the humans of Lakeside (and elsewhere) are coming to a very dangerous head.
Monty’s daughter Lizzy shows up on a train, entirely unaccompanied. Monty has no love for Lizzy’s mother at this point, but he does know she wouldn’t have abandoned her girl like that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for Lizzy’s mother to turn up dead, and it seems that Lizzy might have a couple of clues with her that she doesn’t even know about.
Meg is having some difficulties. She’s holding off on cutting as well as she can, but she makes a bad choice and the people around her start to lose their tolerance for her addiction. However, they do try to help her find other ways to get information from her premonitions without cutting. Thanks to some of her insights, there are Intuits who are starting to make progress with the blood prophets they’re attempting to care for.
As is the case in every Anne Bishop book I’ve read, the characterizations are stunning. There’s so much depth to them, and it makes it easy to remember the not-tiny cast. The pacing is fantastic; I had trouble putting the book down (I always wanted to know what would happen next). The schemes going on keep things uncertain and dangerous, and the “Humans First and Last” group is stirring up an awful lot of violent trouble. We see some of the worst of the humans in Lakeside, but we also see some of the best.
I love her worldbuilding. The complex relationships and agreements that keep the peace between humans and the Others are fragile things. It boils down to the idea that humans make things that the Others want, but the Others have control of all of the natural resources needed to make those things. It sort-of works, but it leaves plenty of room for anger and feelings of being cheated on either side.
Although this book wrapped up in a satisfactory manner, I very much would like to see more in the series. There’s clearly plenty of plot left to be explored.