The Grief of Stones

This book is a sequel to Witness for the Dead, which I very much enjoyed. It would appear that Katherine Addison is now planning a series featuring Thara Celehar, the aforementioned Witness. That makes a lot of sense. These are crime novels. It isn’t hard to imagine a series of books in which Celehar solves different crimes. There will, however, be a story arc. The end of this book sets up the next one and makes major changes in Celehar’s life. This is all good. I’ll keep buying the subsequent books in the series.

For the setting, I might as well direct you to my review of Witness for the Dead. That describes who Celehar is, and how he solves crimes. What is new in this book is the subject. Whereas the earlier book was primarily about racism, The Grief of Stones is primarily about orphanages, and how unscrupulous people seek to make money by exploiting their unfortunate charges.

It is not lost on me that I am writing this review on a day on which newspaper reports have revealed that the UK’s Home Office is turning a blind eye to refugee children being kidnapped by criminal gangs, presumably because that means there are fewer refugees for them to house. Sadly it would not surprise me in the slightest if Suella Braverman was getting a payoff from this, because there’s no level of depravity to which our current government will not sink. But there is no Thara Celehar here to bring them to justice.

Something else that appears to be a feature of these books is that, towards the end, Celehar is suddenly plunged into very serious danger from supernatural forces. That reminds me a bit of Juliet McKenna’s Green Man books, though Celehar is a very different character to Dan Mackmain. Addison deals with this very well.

Those of you who are amused by comedy academics will enjoy this book. And those of you loved the character of Pel-Thenhior, the opera impresario, from the previous book will be pleased that he features heavily again in this one. It seems to be that he has a thing for Celehar, and that Celehar is too dense to see it. Doubtless this will unfold in future books.

I can’t say much more without giving away too much of the plot, but basically these are lovely books that are easy to read, and which address serious social issues through a fantasy lens. Well worth a read.

book cover
Title: The Grief of Stones
By: Katherine Addison
Publisher: Solaris
Purchase links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
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