Hardcover, 240 pages

Published by Tor Books.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

In The Grief of Stones, Katherine Addison returns to the world of The Goblin Emperor with a direct sequel to The Witness For The Dead...

Celehar’s life as the Witness for the Dead of Amalo grows less isolated as his circle of friends grows larger. He has been given an apprentice to teach, and he has stumbled over a scandal of the city—the foundling girls. Orphans with no family to claim them and no funds to buy an apprenticeship. Foundling boys go to the Prelacies; foundling girls are sold into service, or worse.

At once touching and shattering, Celehar’s witnessing for one of these girls will lead him into the depths of his own losses. The love of his friends will lead him out again.

1 edition

The Grief of Stones

4 stars

This is a direct sequel to Witness for the Dead (book two of a trilogy) and is another fantasy mystery set in the world of the Goblin Emperor.

Witness for the Dead feels more like a traditional mystery novel, in that the climax of the story is also the reveal of the mystery. On the other hand, this book's "stereo investigation" (in Disco Elysium terms) is roughly sorted out mid-book, and instead jumps into action and many repercussions from there. I think this works really well, but it gives it a different feel overall.

One thing I really liked about this book is how many story threads from the first book were picked up and were an integral part of this story. On its own, I felt like there were parts of the first book that went a bit far afield (even if they were interesting worldbuilding and character development!), …

Good, but definitely not standalone.

4 stars

I read this quickly while somewhat sleep deprived, so I don't have as coherent an impression as I might have hoped.

Like the previous "Witness for the Dead" this is essentially a noir detective novel with fantasy elements. The characters are engaging, although the villains turn out not to have much redeeming qualities.

It's hard not to see the Goblin / Elf dynamic as some kind of comment on race and racism, although it wasn't really clear to me if the book was commenting on contemporary society or just reflecting it.

The book relies on the reader having some recall of the previous two, but especially Witness for the Dead. The reader needs the previous book not only for background on the world, but also on the relationships.

Like in Witness for the Dead, the use of an imagined dialect of English is crucial to both the atmosphere and the …

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4 stars