Saturday, March 19, 2016
MARKED IN FLESH by Anne Bishop
For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community...
Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.
But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…
My thoughts on the book:
This book is amazing! Marked in Flesh is by far my favorite Others novel yet. I absolutely adored the relationships formed as well as the new characters introduced. The plot was multi-faceted and completely engrossing. I was not bored for a single sentence while reading this novel. Bishop's descriptions were beautifully done, and I could fully picture this alternate reality of the world we know. Also, I felt that this book was telling the story of what's going on in our world as well as what's going on in the world of the Others. The bigotry and ethnocentrism are pretty much in line with what we're experiencing now, and I felt that these issues were addressed from both sides and really showed the problems with wanting to eliminate those who are different. I loved the first novel in this series, and liked the second and third books okay, but Marked in Flesh really stands out in the series and in Fantasy literature in general.
The new characters introduced in this book were so interesting. I can't wait to get to know more about Twyla, especially. She was so fun. Jesse and Tobias weren't new, but we got to know more about them. Tolya was another character who really grabbed me, along with Barb, and I hope we see more of them in the future. Each character, including secondary characters, had his or her own personality and was very unique. I love that about Bishop. She always lets her characters be themselves instead of trying to force them into boxes. Simon and Meg, of course, were fantastic, and they both grew so much in this novel, as did Vlad. I liked seeing more from the Sanguinatis' perspective because they're different from the vampires we know. Sam was present and adorably wonderful, and Hope and Jackson's challenges were sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes comical. It was interesting watching them learn to deal with each other.
The plot was fast-paced and full of suspense. The book started with a sense of foreboding, and that carried on throughout the entire story. Bishop did such a great job describing the different parts of the world. I could picture all of the different areas on the continent. Her descriptions of the Elders were fuzzy, but from my understanding, they were so horrifying that no one's brain could really register them fully, so I felt that the lack of description fit well with that. A lot of terrible things happened in this book, and there were parts that simply broke my heart. Other times, I wanted to cheer because of what happened, so this was definitely an emotional rollercoaster. The ending tied things up very nicely and opened things up for the next part of Meg's story. I can't wait to see how things change for her now.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves Fantasy and Urban Fantasy novels, but is tired of the same old types of stories. Bishop really goes outside of the box with her characters, places, and plots in a way that's both refreshing and captivating. Well done, Ms. Bishop. Well done.