The Library of the Dead (Edinburgh Nights #1) – T.L. Huchu

Published by: Tor Books
Pages: 336
Date released: 04/02/2021
Date read: 14/03/2021

When ghosts talk, she will listen…

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the haunted?

This took me some getting into and I was worried that maybe it wasn’t going to be my kind of thing. But after having my first Covid vaccine and feeling a little worse for wear afterwards (it’s all worth it to get our freedom back!) I curled up under a blanket and gave it another go.

And it got good.

Really good.

The world of fantasy book series is a crowded one and I imagine it’s hard to find your place in that world as a new writer, but Huchu manages it with great aplomb.

Being the first book in what I am hoping will be a long series (Huchu has already divulged the title of the next book), I was worried it would end on a cliffhanger and I’d have to wait a year to find out what happens. Btu everything is nicely sewn up by the end, but with enough teasing to whet your appetite for the next in the series.

My only complaint about it, and it’s a small one, is I didn’t think it focussed enough on the library. For a book called “The Library of the Dead”, I assumed the library would be a major player in the book, but it’s more there as a background setting to push the main storyline along. But maybe it will be expanded upon as the series goes on.

All in all, a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable book and I guarantee the film rights will be snapped up imminently!

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