Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Challenges: Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
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Blurb from goodreads:
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…
I love this series so much. I am so glad that my friend Nifty talked me into reading the first one a few years ago. When I received my review copy of "Marked in Flesh", I read it over several days, then went back and reread the first three books, then reread "Marked", staying up late to do so. I was caught up even more on the second reading than I was on the first one.
Bishop has built a complex world full of intrigue, politics, and mythology. Events from the previous books are brought to a head and the results are bloody and lethal. I cried and several times I held my breath, afraid of what would happen next. The tension was palpable at times and at other times, events felt anticlimactic. Connections are being formed and others strengthened; changes are happening, more are coming, and even the terra indigene are frightened.
With so much happening in the story, and so much that Bishop wanted to show, she bounced around a lot with different POVs and characters. While I understand why she did, it took me longer to connect with the story and characters, especially the new ones. It also made the story a bit disjointed at first until the rhythm was established. It did help lay the groundwork for events, both in this story and future ones. A lot happens but Bishop didn't ignore her characters. The female pack,as well as the human pack, is growing and the Courtyard is changing for it. Seeing the reaction of the Others made me laugh at times. I loved how the Courtyard stepped and took care of their humans. They may not always understand each other but they work together and protect each other. I was delighted that we got to see and spend time with some of the rescued cassandra sangue. The romance between Meg and Simon, while slower than I'd like, is progressing. I'm still hopeful that they will end up together. All of the characters, even minor ones, are detailed and textured. Despite my initial difficulties warming up to the multiple POVs, I became attached to some of the new people. Bishop has a way of drawing you in and making you see multiple sides of a situation.
I didn't love "Marked in Flesh" as much as the earlier books but I enjoyed it and found myself reluctant to leave the world.