The Goblin Emperor is a wonderful book but I've liked nothing else Addison (Sarah Monette) has written so didn't know what to expect from the second book set in that world of Elves and Goblins. There are many references to Emperor, including Thara Celehar's tragic and scandalous past, without any explanations offered in Witness for the Dead so Emperor must be read first. As the title suggests Witness is about Celehar's new career as a Witness vel ama, an impartial advocate, speaking for those who have died. Celehar is a prelate of Ulis, god of the Dead and Dreams, who was blessed with the ability to communicate with souls for a short time after death. Most often it involves answering questions for the family but occasionally he is asked to represent murder victims and bring their killers to justice.