Marked in Flesh
Author: Anne Bishop
Title: Marked in Flesh
Series: The Others 4
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Rating: Five Petals
On the Author's Website:
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…
A word of warning before I delve into my review. This book is dark fantasy and Bishop is known for characters and magical powers that revel in blood. It can be graphic at times. This book in particular has scenes of cutting, descriptive character death, and specific mentions of rape. I don't want to trigger someone by recommending a book that may hurt them, so if you know you have any issues with those sort of things, please tread carefully.
This book begins and ends with a bang. The world is dissolving into war as the humans try to take land and resources from the others and the others refuse. Small fights begin breaking out in the western half of the world and Simon must figure out a way to keep the peace when no matter what he does thousands are going to die. This is a book that explored both the worst and the best that humanity can offer, but also points out very succinctly that if in our real world humans acted as we do now, but we weren't the top of the food chain, how easily we could be completely exterminated because of our actions.
Marked in Flesh brought the human side of the world to the fore, allowing me to see and understand why humans were doing what they were doing and compare it fully to the others trying to keep everyone alive. It was a broader book touching multiple continents, yet at the same time it remained strongly focused on Simon and Meg. This was the first book in the series where I could definitively say that there is a romance blossoming between them. Meg is so scarred by her past and Simon has never been able to understand Meg entirely, but they're finally beginning to overcome all that to build a real relationship. It made me amazingly excited for the next book in the series.
I absolutely recommend this book and this entire series, although I do have to warn that it is dark fantasy and therefore bloody. Marked in Flesh brought the wider world into light, yet the romance back home kept the book feeling grounded. I enjoyed reading and rereading it immensely and cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.