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The Grief of Stones

(The Cemeteries of Amalo #2)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  739 ratings  ·  141 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 fa
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published June 14th 2022 by Tor Books
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Chloe Rebellion publishing seem to handle UK & Worldwide rights, though their release dates seem to vary from the US release date. Their twitter did say tha…moreRebellion publishing seem to handle UK & Worldwide rights, though their release dates seem to vary from the US release date. Their twitter did say that it's available in the UK as of 23rd June 2022, in various formats, from their website. (less)

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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Start your review of The Grief of Stones (The Cemeteries of Amalo, #2)
sometimes a book is both a book and an antidepressant

Actual review, now that I've read it: [through tears] sometimes a book is both a book and an antidepressant

Sometimes it feels like books are written specifically to suit your tastes, and that's the case with the Cemeteries of Amalo. There was a very specific hole in my heart where I've been waiting for a depressed queer person of faith to fit in neatly and heal my grievances, and that's where Thara Celehar lives now. The worldbuilding is delig
May 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Even in a fantastical world of goblins, elves, and dragon slayers (even if it was only one, and more a question of saving a goldmine than slaying a dragon), people die – and worse, people murder.

Enter Thara Celehar, Witness for the Dead, who will speak to the deceased he can reach, whether it’s to solve murders, settle inheritance disputes, or even locate a secret and much-prized scone recipe. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re the only Witness for your city.

Katherine Addison first introduced
Jun 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2022-shelf
Like The Goblin Emperor and The Witness for the Dead, the story is full of rich fantasy worldbuilding that serves the purpose of an extended Cozy Mystery.

That being said, if you like sedate, rich fantasy that handles the little things and almost entirely the little things -- until it gets to the one big thing -- then this is definitely gonna be your kind of book.

This one doesn't disappoint. Indeed, I may have really enjoyed the small stuff better than the one big mystery. That one was rather rou
The Captain
Jun 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  While I try to post no spoilers, this be a direct sequel to the witness for the dead so proceed at yer own peril . . .

As soon as I heard there was another book featuring Celehar, I knew I had to read it.  And I was not disappointed.  I love him.  This book continues the day-to-day life of Celehar and that continues to be the highlight for me.  There is also the addition of Othala Tomasarin, a Wi
Mayim de Vries
Jan 12, 2022 marked it as to-read
I am wildly happy that the Goblin Emperor was an excuse to start a new fascinating series!

PS If there is a foundling ARC, I'll be delighted to adopt.
Janine Ballard
1 star

June 29, 2022

I was a huge fan of The Goblin Emperor but not as keen on The Witness for the Dead, the first book in the spinoff Cemeteries of Amalo series about detective/priest/medium-of-sorts Thara Celehar. Hope springs eternal, though, so I requested book two in that series, The Grief of Stones.

Set in Amalo, the same steampunkish industrial city where its prequel takes place, The Witness for the Dead, The Grief of Stones opens when Thara is called to the home of the elderly Marquess Ulzh
On my blog.

Rep: gay mc, achillean li

CWs: mentions of child pornography, suicide, past suicidal ideation

Galley provided by publisher

What I love most about this series is the fact that, while these are mysteries, they’re character-driven mysteries, and they’re driven by characters you sympathise with and love from the start. That is no different in The Grief of Stones than in the previous two books of this world. In fact, it may be even more so.

The Grief of Stones has a couple of mysteries goi
Feb 11, 2022 marked it as to-read
Katherine Addison's writing is addictive and meditative. Looking forward to returning to the cemeteries of Amalo with Thara Celehar. ...more
Barb in Maryland
Jun 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
I need to re-read this and then let my thoughts settle.
I really loved it first time through; my rating is likely to go higher.

Review coming soon.
Apr 14, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy_2022
The Grief of Stones continues the adventures of Thara Celehar, the witness to the dead in the city of Amalo. Thara is starting to settle into his life in Amalo, he is becoming less isolated and making more friends. However his tentative peace is threatened when he stumbles upon a massive scandal involving the foundling orphans of the city. When one of his witnessing's takes him into the criminal underworld of Amalo, Thara will discover conspiracies, blackmail and malicious plots threatening the ...more
Meredith Katz
Apr 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book's almost impossibly good, and after having reread the Goblin Emperor and read The Witness for the Dead this week to prepare for it, I'm gutted at having nothing more in this world to read now.

Like The Witness for the Dead, the Grief of Stones deals with several cases that Celehar is witnessing for and ties these together around the themes explored both in the in-world media (such as the operas) and of course that Celehar is personally dealing with: old and new grief, the sense that his
Jun 12, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, non-pod
This is a slow-moving, contemplative book that still managed to keep our attention. Written entirely in first person from the perspective of a "Witness for the Dead" - a cleric who can speak to the recently-deceased, and whose calling leads him to investigate their causes of death - the book is nearly a diary. It follows Celehar from day to day as he goes about his investigations, speaks with his friends, mentors a new apprentice, and deals with his own enduring grief.

Although there is an overar
Apr 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Another moving and beautiful entry in the world of the Goblin Emperor, this one a direct sequel to The Witness For The Dead, picking up almost exactly where that book left off. In this book, Celehar continues his work with a new and surprising apprentice, and attempts to find the secrets of his city's orphanages. It combines so many wonderful things it is hard to know what to focus on - Celehar's unique first-person voice, that tries to be so constrained and proper, and yet reveals so much of Ce ...more
Lynn Williams
Jun 07, 2022 rated it really liked it
My Five Word TL:DR Review: I loved returning to Amalo

Addison, once again, returns us to the City of Amalo where we follow in Thara Celehar’s footsteps as he provides his unusual services to those who have died and the bereaved who request his services. Celehar is Witness for the Dead. A strange occupation indeed and one that involves a complexity of cases.

I’m loving these stories with Celehar.

Firstly, Addison has imagined a very easy to like central charac
Sean O
Jun 17, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This urban fantasy with elves and goblins and 19th century technology with no electricity world is really a fascinating setting and would be a fine setting for all kinds of stories.

The main character is what seals the deal and makes this a great series. He’s a prelate of one of the many gods, and a witness for the dead. This essentially makes him a detective. And he’s a lonely rumpled melancholic insomniac to boot.

Highly recommended.
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
4,5 stars

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.

TW/CW: Mention of Child Pornography | Mental Abuse | Suicide

The Cemeteries of Amalo series is a companion to The Goblin Emperor in which we follow the Witness for the Dead Celehar. The Grief of Stones is the second story. If you are looking for soul warming and character focus fantasy this is a great series for you.

The Grief of Stones starts us off rath
Marta Cox
May 23, 2022 rated it liked it
Three and a half
Such an unusual concept that straddles fantasy with perhaps a touch of steam punk . The lead character Othara hears the dead and indeed bears witness for them when called upon. He's a quietly, serious character who actually felt quite lonely. He's presented with a young female assistant to train but the case they undertake is sadly a tragic one even for Othara but my lips are sealed.
This was a steady mystery that happily meanders along. It's also very sad and as much as I found i
...and so continued the further adventures of a gay melancholic elf who witnessed for the dead. This is a steampunk fantasy and gaslamp mystery. That's to say that it's almost all aesthetic, which is nice, and may suffice on its own for many readers, but it isn't enough for me. From the beginning that's been a problem for me because although the characters are elves and goblins there's almost nothing that distinguishes them or their society from humans and that bothers me.

I read this and the pri
Jun 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
Celehar is this universe's personification of "if you keep your expectations low, you can't be disappointed". I love him. It was nice to visit with him in his world again and see how he's getting on with his least favorite people: the living. Pleased to see he has developed more good friends (among the living) who are looking out for him even when he isn't looking out for himself. Who know he deserves affection and good things, even if he doesn't know it. The weight of his continuing, unresolved ...more
Jun 16, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 out of 5

First, a warning: this is not a stand-alone. It is the sequel to "Witness for the Dead" and the events in "The Grief of Stones" take place shortly after where they were left off at the end of "Witness for the Dead." Many of the characters were introduced in the first novel and are not re-introduced when they appear in "The Grief of Stones." As such, a reader will likely feel afloat in a sea of nonsense without reading "Witness for the Dead" prior to reading this.

While Katherine Addis
Jun 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Addison wastes no time here getting right back into it: this is a crime novel that just happens to be set in a world of elves, goblins, and magic. For the most part it reads like an example of the former. The narration is straightforward, our protagonist is exhausted yet persistent. The murders are pretty grim. I liked Thara Celehar's new sidekick, Witness-in-training/widow Tomasarin. I enjoyed Thara's continuing relationship with opera director Iana Pel-Thenhior, even if it's progressing at a g ...more
A series of relatively brief (but not unimportant) mysteries as was the first book. The pace is deliberate and, again as before, the details of the world- the clothing, the buildings and clothing- are all detailed. This time we hear more about the place of women, foundlings and goblins and half- goblins. I find the world very interesting and the main character very sympathetic. I’m not sure this is a book for someone looking for action.
Jun 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022-reads
A quick, enjoyable listen. I almost felt like it was too short, but that might be because I'm currently working my way through the Outlander series again and those books are 55+ hours a piece, to this ones 9. ...more
May 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-netgalley
I am infinitely fascinated by the juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity in these books—a bit mystery, a bit slice-of-life. I am invested in Thara Celehar’s story (and his happiness), and I desperately hope there will be another.
Jun 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I have given this book 5 stars because I was so reluctant to stop reading when it ended, and I know I will read it again, probably several times. Any criticisms I would make of it are small and petty––like, for instance, I became tired of the number of times there is a scene where we see Thara Celehar telling somebody what previously happened. It happens a lot! I also found our protagonist oddly easy to––how can I say this without spoiling?––surprise. It goes along with his well-established lack ...more
Rike Random
Mar 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Originally published on RikeRandom - find the full review and others there.

Content notes for The Witness for the Dead and The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison: death, suicide, murder, corpses, rape, racism, homomisia

Detailed content notes:
(view spoiler)
Elizabeth A
Jun 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
I cannot get over how much I like these books. If the phrase "cozy urban fantasy noir with a slow burn queer romance" lights up your brain like it does mine with the bibliophile equivalent of the ASMR tinglies, then please take me at my word when I say that this series has so much to offer you.

In this book in particular, there are more cozy side mysteries (find the recently deceased baker's secret scone recipe!). More urban worldbuilding (I could probably get around Amalo about as easily as I co
I waited for this book to come out, and it fulfilled all of my high expectations. I adore this whole concept of a very quiet, episodic crime novel which remains fully committed to exploring the inner life a grumpy, tired character who struggles with depression and grief. It's a great credit to the book that it is not bleak at all even when dealing with heavy themes – rather, it's incredibly hopeful, especially in this second volume, as Thara Celehar realises that he has a support network and a g ...more
Mandy Szewczuk
Jul 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
While the mysteries were not as compelling as in the book before, the character development for old and new characters more than make up for it. As always, Celehar is a compelling and sympathetic (and funny) character, and seeing him work his way through a world where he always feels slightly like an outsider is a good journey to take with him. I'm thrilled that this one seems to set up for a sequel, because I always want to read more in this world! ...more
May 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
Oh, how I love this series! Beautiful and spellbinding, it does its worldbuilding so gorgeously I'm happy to let it wash over me and be submerged in this world of such strict manners and dresscodes and behaviours, while at the same time the plot meanders us to huge events. Similarly, it's utterly fantastical but so grounded in the mundane, that all in all it's just a joy to read.

Dark subject matter; still a huge fuzzy blanket of a read, somehow.

Read my full review on my blog, LittleFrogScribbles
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A pseudonym of Sarah Monette. Both Sarah and Katherine are on Twitter as @pennyvixen. Katherine reviews nonfiction. Sarah reviews fiction. Fair warning: I read very little fiction these days.

Sarah/Katherine was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the three secret cities of the Manhattan Project.

She got her B.A. from Case Western Reserve University, her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Universi

Other books in the series

The Cemeteries of Amalo (2 books)
  • The Witness for the Dead (The Cemeteries of Amalo, #1)

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