The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison is book two in The Cemeteries of Amalo series. This series is pretty interesting in that it can be considered highly boring for many yet somehow I still find myself salivating at finally being able to read the next book in the series! I remember absolutely enjoying The Witness for the Dead and more or less expected the same with Grief of Stones. Although I am not wrong after finishing the book, I am starting to see some chinks in the armor that I would love the author to mend in the next in the series.
“There is no prayer that asks for the truth not to be the truth…” - Thara Celehar
In The Grief of Stones, we yet again follow in the footsteps of Thara Celehar, our beloved elven Sherlock Holmes. Thara has another mystery to solve but this time, he has more help. The story seems to have picked up immediately after The Witness for the Dead as Thara witnesses the execution of the previous criminal he helped catch right at the start of the book. The only issue I have is that everything from the past is completely gone from my memory and so starting immediately after with really no hints or help from the author about what happened previously is a bit frustrating. It doesn’t take anything away from the main story as Grief of Stones can be read as a standalone (although not recommended) but as a fan of the story, characters, and world-building, the author has got to know that the reader needs some way to get reimmersed after a hiatus from the completion of the first book.
“Much of any kind of investigation is asking the right questions.” - Ulzhavar
As far as the actual mystery goes in the story, it was a disappointment for me in the sense that once again, an author chose to go the route of pictures/photography and “you know what”. In a high fantasy setting, I would have liked to see the author get a bit more creative than choosing a theme that has been done in pretty much every single type of setting and universe imaginable. The theme is obviously horrendous and saddening but not exactly exciting to read from your main detective, especially one of Thara’s personalities. While Thara Celehar remains practically the same as from I remembered, we do get glimpses of a different side to him. I believe one of the main reasons why I enjoy this series so much is how refreshing it can be to see a protagonist just do his/her main job without many complaints and needing to throw in witty remarks every now and then to be seen as smart or funny.
“Sometimes insanity is tempting.” - Thara Celehar
The author can count me in on being one of many to be anticipating her next release. I do hope though that certain aspects of the story get to be improved. One sore point that sticks out is the relationship, or lack of, between goblins and elves living in a city together. While awkward from a traditional fantasy perspective, this area needs much improvement. There is hardly any indication that these two races are actually living together in society! The dialogue between them seems like normal human dialogue and the elves and goblins themselves rarely demonstrate unique characteristics or traits that identify them as belonging to one race or the other. Well, maybe when they “lower their ears” or be described as having “yellow eyes” instead of “icy blue” but you can only do so much with that for so long. Either way, this series is something I take my sweet time to read and enjoy because it’s relaxing in a boring way. Weird but that’s why I love it!