Title: Witness for the Dead
Author: Katherine Addison
Series: The Goblin Em
Release Date: 22/7/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 42
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free physical copy from Rebellion Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Find out what I thought about The Goblin Emperor Here
Katherine Addison returns at last to the world of The Goblin Emperor with this stand-alone sequel.
When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his Court, a Prelate of Ulis and a Witness for the Dead. Thara Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it.
Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. He has not escaped from politics, but his position gives him the ability to serve the common people of the city, which is his preference. He lives modestly, but his decency and fundamental honesty will not permit him to live quietly.
This was such a fun addition to the world of the Goblin Emperor. Moving away from court politics this book follows Thara Celehar – The Witness for the Dead, a side character in The Goblin Emperor, in his life after the events of book one. Again, the worldbuilding is detialed, however not to the extent of the previous novel, where we follow Celehar’s day to day life as he tends to he petitioners.
The plot is more of a murder mystery this time, focusing on a few cases that have landed on Celehar’s lap. It was a really interesting mix of religious practice and police procedural (and I love good police procedural). The fact that there were multiple mysteries with various lines of inquiry with a few standing alone while others weaved and inter mingled was great. I was a little disappointed in the overall ending of the main investigation as it seemed a little abrupt but overall they were entertaining. This definitely has a lot faster pace too. We do spend let time lingering on little details but more time traveling and taking in the bigger picture. We end up with a really nice mixture of both that sets a good pace through the plot.
I found Celehar to be a lot more personable and relatable in this book. His compassion and dedication were awesome especially for someone like me who enjoys diving into all the details. I also liked the little bit of snark we got from his internal monologue. He was a very likeable character all round. There are not too many side characters we can mention as we do not spend enough time to really get to know many well as the invesitgation moves quickly. I did enjoy the relationship Celehar formed with the Opera writer and the pathologist (I forget the fantastical name).
While this is a companion novel and could be read as a standalone. I would recommed reading the Goblin Emperor first. Not only is it a fantastic read, but it also have a Glossary. This book is filled with Named things. There are lots of proper nouns, social stations, pronouns etc that could get a little confusing for those that haven’t visited this world before.