The Witness for the Dead | Sequel to The Goblin Emperor | ARC Review

Thank you to Tor Books and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.

 Book: The Witness for the Dead (The Goblin Emperor 2) by Katherine Addison
Release Date: June 22nd 2021
Tags: Fantasy | Companion Book | Goblins | Elves | Talking to the Dead | Older MC
Other books in this series I reviewed

The Goblin Emperor

Synopsis 2021

When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had set the bombs that killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his father’s 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. He lost his place as a retainer of his cousin the former Empress, and made far too many enemies among the many factions vying for power in the new Court. The favor of the Emperor is a dangerous coin.

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 honestly will not permit him to live quietly. As a Witness for the Dead, he can, sometimes, speak to the recently dead: see the last thing they saw, know the last thought they had, experience the last thing they felt. It is his duty use that ability to resolve disputes, to ascertain the intent of the dead, to find the killers of the murdered.

Now Celehar’s skills lead him out of the quiet and into a morass of treachery, murder, and injustice. No matter his own background with the imperial house, Celehar will stand with the commoners, and possibly find a light in the darkness.

Review 2021

Seen as a sequel to The Goblin Emperor, The Witness for the Dead feels more of a companion book as we follow one of the side characters from the original book after the happenings of it. I wasn’t sure how that would work, so many years after the release of the first one. But I should not have worried.

The Witness of the Dead follows Celehar as he works as a witness for the dead in the city of Almelo. His job is varied though it often comes with talking to the dead. When he touches a dead body he can gets bits from the last hours to weeks from the person, depending how long ago it was they died. Because of this he often speaks for the dead and their family when there is wrong doing. This could be fraud with a persons will but also murder. He investigates these cases. Not many like him for that. Least of all those that are in power of Almelo.

Celehar is a bit of an older mc though I’m not quite sure about his age. He’s been in disgrace and then was all of a sudden a witness for the dead for the new and very young emperor as he asked him to look into the death of his father. It didn’t give him any pride however. We follow his work and life and as he does he completely wormed his way into my heart. He only truly cares about doing the right thing and wanting to be left alone. I so very much understand that.

He cares for the neighborhood cats but understands their need for autonomy and their own ways. He doesn’t seem to want to get attached to people but people do seem to get attached to him. There is Pel-Thenior, someone he meets throughout the course of his investigation into a murder. They have a (romantic?) pull towards one another that Celehar would rather ignore but Pel-Thenoir is just too present to walk around. They strike up a sort of friendship while he awkwardly gets introduced to the family as if he was a future partner.

This is a very slow moving novel that makes you embrace a character. That makes you want to root for him. I do feel I might not have had the same attachment to him if I hadn’t known him from The Goblin Emperor. I saw there how others treated him and heard what he had gone through before. Knowing the world beforehand also helped. I already had a grasp on the world and the concept of the witness of the dead.

6 thoughts on “The Witness for the Dead | Sequel to The Goblin Emperor | ARC Review

    1. This was great and it was a great addition to the first book. But I saw someone say that it was easy to read without having read the previous book so I guess that just depends on the person.


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