The Grief of Stones

, #2

Hardcover, 240 pages

Published by Tor Books.

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4 stars (4 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

reviewed The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison (The Cemeteries of Amalo, #2)


5 stars

I like this series a lot. This was a strong entry I think! I can’t try and be objective because it really hits a lot of things I enjoy and others may not. I read it in two big gulps, not wanting to put it down at any point; two chapters in onward I was grinning and feeling very delighted as I read. Light spoilers (nothing plot relevant) time:

  • A book that spends a couple of pages at least dealing with the mundane process of finding directions in a city where maps are maintained by two organisations with different priorities is a book that has probably already won my heart. Lots of little things like that in here, never at a Les Miserables level or anything - the protagonist is actually, e.g., changing lines twice on the tram in order to get to the other side of the city, or …

reviewed The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison (The Cemeteries of Amalo, #2)

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 …