Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Author: Anne Bishop
Ever since they encountered The Others, humans have seen them as the monsters who lurked in the dark, and some understood that cooperation—alongside a healthy distance—was beneficial to everyone. Different groups of people, however, became angry in response to that fear and resented not being able to take whatever they wanted. Now, the past is destined to repeat itself, and Meg, Simon, and the rest of the Lakeside Courtyard are the only ones who can keep the human race from being wiped from the world forever.
Picking up right where Vision in Silver left off, Marked in Flesh follows Meg Corbyn, and the rest of the residents and employees of the Lakeside Courtyard, as the fight between humans and the Terra Indigine finally comes to a head. While I wondered how such beautifully-crafted tension could be adequately maintained for another full-length novel, I found this story to be just as compelling as the previous three.
Meg is a truly remarkable character, and has become increasingly so as the series has progressed. Though she’s been living among the Terra Indigine for less than a year, she has changed tremendously. Where she previously viewed the world with the “child’s heart” of a cassandra sangue, along with a good bit of naivety, she has witnessed the consequences of her actions and abilities, and has become burdened with the weight of responsibility as a result—a combination that made me like her even more.
But, Meg isn’t the only undeniably unique hero in Marked in Flesh. The rest of the Lakeside Courtyard residents are back, along with a few characters we’ve met previously, as well, all of whom, at this point, I feel are just as crucial to the story as Meg is. Even some of the characters we haven’t gotten to know quite as well have become very important to me, and just the idea of something bad happening to them was enough to break my heart a little.
Although the novels of The Others are paranormal urban fantasy, Ms. Bishop still manages to incorporate humor and romance as well. As Meg’s awareness of the rest of the world increases, she’s becoming more curious about her own needs and desires, which succeeds in confusing more than a few residents of the Courtyard, thereby providing the novel with some of its funniest moments. Unlike similar reactions in earlier stories, even the more lighthearted interactions aren’t quite the same anymore, since they’re now abridged by the feeling that they’re ephemeral, at best. I will say, however, that Simon trying to brush and rinse his teeth in a half-wolf form made me choke on my tea.
Having been hooked on this series since the first story, I can honestly say it has continued to get better and better over time. With the addition of Marked in Flesh, Ms. Bishop has proven, once again, that she is a master storyteller who still has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. Although many questions about Meg, and the cassandra sangue, in general, have now been answered, more are still being raised. And even though there are enough details provided about the events leading up to Marked in Flesh, I highly recommend reading this series from the beginning. There’s just too much that might be missed otherwise.
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…
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Series: The Others #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): hardcover (417 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley
Marked In Flesh (The Others #4)