Book Review: The Grief of Stones, Katherine Addison

Book Review: The Grief of Stones, The Chronicles of Osreth Book 2, Katherine Addison

 

The Grief of Stones, Katherine Addison

Fantasy: The Grief of Stones, The Chronicles of Osreth Book 2, Katherine Addison

 

Thara Celehar is a Witness for the Dead. He has the ability to speak to the recently deceased, often (though not always) allowing him to find information that can help solve murders, determine someone’s final wishes, discover where a will or a key has been hidden, give families some measure of closure or open wounds that might otherwise have remained closed.

 

There are not many with the gift of speaking to the dead, so it is a surprise when he is assigned an apprentice. She discovered her ability when her husband died, much later than the typical manifestation of the gift, but Celehar decides he will make it work.

 

The two of them are asked to look into the death of a local woman, the wife of a wealthy man. Her husband is convinced that she was murdered, although the initial investigation determined the death was from natural causes. She has been dead far too long to be able to reach her spirit, but Celehar’s mandate is to witness for the dead, whether or not they can speak to him.

 

This investigation leads him to look into mysterious happenings at a School for Foundling Girls. Girls are turning up dead or disappearing completely. A strange new technology called “photography,” a technology with a very seedy reputation, also keeps coming up in the investigation. What Celehar finally discovers, though, may change his life completely, and may unleash a powerful entity to devastate his city.

 

Katherine Addison paints for us a world full of elves and goblins and humans, followers of different religions and no religion at all, technology mixed with magic mixed with ingenuity and fidelity. Celehar attributes his ability to a gift from his god. In response, he has dedicated his life to serving as a priest to the god and to the people of the city. His faith will not let him lie, will not let him shirk his duty, gives him a purpose to his life. Compelled by circumstances to be an investigator, Celehar never loses sight of his larger purpose: to be a witness for the dead.

 

The Grief of Stones, Katherine Addison

Book Review: The Grief of Stones, The Chronicles of Osreth Book 2, Katherine Addison

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