The Witness for the Dead

In this introspective, assured standalone fantasy-mystery, Katherine Addison returns to the steampunk-infused fantasy realm of her beloved debut, the Locus Award-winning The Goblin Emperor

Thara Celehar is a Witness for the Dead, able to read the last memories of the recently deceased. After assisting the emperor with a murder investigation, Celehar is now the Witness for the Dead in the city of Amalo, where he dodges political tension among members of the local religious hierarchy in between helping petitioners. When he is called as witness for an elven opera singer found dead in the canal, her memories tell Celehar someone murdered her, but not who or why. His investigation pulls Celehar into the orbit of the Vermilion Opera and its affable, attractive director. Answers come slowly, but Celehar has plenty of other cases to occupy his time, including searching for the grave of a young woman whose husband may have murdered her and stopping a vicious ghoul in a remote mining town.

Addison deepens the world of the series with new details about its intersecting religious and judicial systems and the magic that supports them. Humble, dedicated Celehar makes for an endearing hero and narrator. His work requires sensitivity: "If you numb yourself to the horror... you can't talk to the dead at all." Imbued with Addison's flair for memorable, sympathetic characters navigating thorny intrigue, The Witness for the Dead will please fans of the original novel and genre readers alike. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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