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The Witness for the Dead de Katherine…

The Witness for the Dead (edição: 2021)

de Katherine Addison (Autor)

Séries: The Goblin Emperor (2)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
20215105,278 (4.07)16
Título:The Witness for the Dead
Autores:Katherine Addison (Autor)
Informação:Solaris (2021), 384 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:Fiction, A-Z Fiction, Fantasy

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The Witness for the Dead de Katherine Addison


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» Veja também 16 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I dithered about whether this was a 3½- or 4-star novel ~ partially influenced by my disappointment that this was technically not a genuine sequel, other than it featured the same world (and one character) from The Goblin Emperor. I had wanted more of Maia, the half-goblin emperor. However, this story is a well-written murder mystery along with several side episodes requiring the 'Witness' (Thara Celehar, whom we first met in the Imperial court of Edrehasivar VII).

I found the central murder mystery the most interesting, that being the strange death of an opera singer. The other sagas that developed were a missing sister (likely murdered by a serial killer), a forged will, and an eruption of ghouls in the distant town of Tanvero. For my tastes, other than the surprising twist in one of these other cases, this side-action of rather diverse situations detracted from moving the story forward.

I enjoy Addison's writing (except for her penchant in creating complex names and titles). This novel showed potential storylines that were strongly promising, perhaps could have been enlarged as the plot in other books, rather than used here. I do recommend the Witness book, but for myself, I would also like to read more about how Maia fares and see his evolution as the ultimate ruler, how this develops and then, perhaps might achieve a strong dynasty in this kingdom. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Sep 7, 2021 |
Thara Celehar, Prelate of Ulis and Witness for the Dead (he can communicate with the recently dead, a rare gift) has been sent away from the Emperor's court to the city of Amaro. Here he uncomfortably occupies an office where the citizens can petition him to help them solve the problems that arise when someone dies without needed explanations for the living both practical or spiritual. The discomfort lies in the lack of clarity about his status -- is he under the jurisdiction of the leading clergy in Amalo or answerable to only the one who appointed him, the Archprelate in the capitol? The more ambitious and zealous of their power want to take him down a peg. Along with that problem are the daily matters that the citizens bring to him. The probable murder of an opera singer, the missing sister, the eruption of ghouls in a remote area within his jurisdiction, an explosion at a dirigible factory. There is also the matter of Thara's private life and his fear of being too friendly with anyone lest it be misinterpreted. I enjoyed every second! ***** ( )
1 vote sibylline | Aug 10, 2021 |
Celehar, the Witness for the Dead who helped Maia learn the truth about his father's assassination in The Goblin Emperor, returns with his own story of working as a Witness in Amala. When a young woman washes up in town dead, he very quickly discovers it was murder, and begins his investigation, witnessing for her and learning about her life and death.

This story has been billed as a "standalone sequel", and it's true, it really could stand alone. We learn a little more about the world and its religions, and especially how the dead are treated. For all that it's a high fantasy, it also reads a bit like a police procedural as Celehar has a few different "cases" (my word) to witness for. And while it does all that, it's succinct, wrapping up a complete story in about 230 pages. Just a superb story all around. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 4, 2021 |
I very much liked “The Goblin Emperor”, the first book in this unusual series. Unfortunately, this successor fell clearly short of greatness.

The book’s eponymous “Witness for the dead”, Thara Celehar, is a humble, demure and thoroughly traumatized prelate who has - more or less - been exiled because he had an affair with a married man who proceeded to murder his wife.

Celehar is originally called upon to investigate the murder of an opera singer but large parts of the book are not actually about this investigation but about a forged will, a serial murderer who kills his newly-wed wives, a ghoul who needs banishing in the country side and a lot of other small “sub-plots”.

That’s where my issues with this book start: There is not one consistent primary storyline but there are several that are mostly unrelated to each other. Just like our thoroughly likeable hero Celehar, we’re following him in his exploits. The writing and world-building is so well executed that I, at times, felt like I was witnessing what happened. Everything felt plausible and intrinsically “real”.

Unfortunately, reality tends to be a lot about routine which isn’t very exciting. While I smiled at Celehar feeding stray cats, and I commiserated with him for his insomnia, his need to ration; it’s just not very interesting.

At times, especially when Celehar went to banish the ghoul, I wondered what narrative purpose this side story had - which turned out to be none.
At another time, Celehar is to undergo a “trial by ordeal” which amounted to spending the night on the “Hill of Werewolves”:

»The path, paved in ancient flagstones, meandered a good deal; I resisted the impulse to try to take a shortcut, even in places where it looked reasonable. I was halfway up the hill before I encountered the first ghost.«

Sounds great, doesn’t it? And it’s not just a single ghosts, it’s an entire battle between ghosts! And it culminates at the end of the page like this:

»Now all I had to do was to get through the rest of the night without going mad.«

I was drawing in my breath sharply, I felt my lungs expand, I held my breath; preparing to turn to the next page where I was shocked to read this:

»When I reached the gate at dawn, the canon was not the only one waiting for me.«

I immediately deflated.

There are lots of missed opportunities in this book that had - by its merits of good writing, a complex world, interesting characters and an author who knows how to capture her readers -
every chance of greatness but failed.

The murder of the opera singer? Solved pretty much by chance instead of using the setting of the opera house itself, its huge cast pretty much all of whom despised the victim.

The explosion of an airship, similar to the Hindenburg Disaster? In terms of the overall story just a side-note.

Or the shy beginnings of a romance between Celehar and the director of the opera, Pel-Thenhior: Of course, after the horrible ending of his previous relationship, Celehar is understandably reluctant to act upon his attraction to (and fledgling feelings for) Pel-Thenhior. The longer both interact, the more obvious it becomes that Pel-Thenhior, too, harbours more than just good will for Celehar but this remains a loose end like so many others.

Still, “The Witness for the Dead” is definitely not a bad book. It’s just one that, sadly, failed to realize its immense potential.

Three out of five stars.

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  philantrop | Jul 26, 2021 |
We are in the same world as The Goblin Emperor, but far from the court. Of course politics is still in play and complicating the investigations of the previously disgraced Witness for the Dead into 3 different deaths. A woman found in the canal introduces him to the personalities and exuberant world of opera, a disputed will gets him dispatched to chase a ghoul and looking for the remains of a man's sister who only once sent a message after her marriage to a man unknown to her family initiates a search for a true monster. ( )
  quondame | Jul 10, 2021 |
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813.6 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction 21st Century

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