The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.
Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.
For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…
By Jove, she found the plot! Let us rejoice for at the halfway point of this series (there will be five books total) Bishop has finally created a compelling plot to go along with her wonderful word and fantastic characters! Seriously, I’m so happy, I’m tempted to throw confetti! It was the missing piece to these books, and had this book not had a well-crafted story, I was seriously considering on giving up on it once and for all. Happily, I no longer need to.
Written in Red was essentially a character study. The plot was thin and had a laughable villain, and ultimately felt like little more than a framework from which to hang her world building and character development. A Murder of Crows tried to introduce a greater plot, but the story of humans trying to find ways to discredit and/or kill the Others felt generic at best, a fairly common trope, especially in worlds where humans are all too aware of the existence of preternatural types. It wasn’t bad by any means, but when you’re planning a five-book series, you still need something more. And here we have it: Humans First and Last, who first start being mentioned in the last book, start being developed, and show an intelligence beyond just the simple “kill all the Others.” A plot involving a policy officer and his ex-wife and their daughter that has been building since his introduction in the first book comes to fruition in a satisfying murder-mystery that ties into the main plot. We even see the cassandra sangue (including Meg!) deal with the struggles that come in a world that is essentially continually information overload for these girls. It’s well-rounded and interesting and finally feels like Bishop actually has a plan for what she wants to do in these books.
Of course, as always, these books are paced so we get to spend plenty of time with the residents of the Lakeside Courtyard, plus several of the few humans who are both not afraid of the Others, but treat with them the respect that we humans seek to give to each other, and as always it’s a pleasure to read.
I was definitely a bit weary going into this book knowing it’d be a make-or-break for me, but I come out of this book feeling more confident than ever that there is a real definitive direction to this series now. It may not make my best-of list, but it’s still an easy recommendation.
Verdict: Buy It
Available: March 3rd