Marked In Flesh by Anne Bishop

Things are bad in Thasia.  Jobs, housing, and food are scarce, and the Human’s First movement is blaming it all on the Others.  But are they really behind it, or is it all a diversion to mask a more nefarious plot?

Marked In FleshTitle:  Marked In Flesh
Author:  Anne Bishop
Series:  The Others, Book 04
Publish Date:  March 6, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionFor 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…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: I’ve been a fan of this series since it started, particularly in audio. I love the culture Bishop has created and particularly love the innocent feel of the storytelling, despite some of the horrific things that happen in the story. This series is pretty unique in the Fantasy/Urban Fantasy genre.

Why I kept reading: The tension between the humans and the Others keeps ratcheting up with each novel! In violation of the lease agreements with the Others, who own all the land and natural resources, the humans are attacking, lying to, and denying services to the Others. This behavior is being egged on by a movement called Humans First and Last, a separatist hate group who believe Humans have a destiny to rule the world and the Others either need to be subservient or destroyed.

This story really shines a light on the ugliness of humans. We see it every day in the news — arguments over transgenders in our bathrooms, same sex couples marrying, and one religion vs. another vs. none at all; but, we don’t often see it the way Bishop presents it. Bishop’s stories show humans turning on humans quite often, but rarely do Others turn on Others. In fact, Others don’t even turn on humans who have earned their respect and protection. Marked in Flesh makes this abundantly clear with a particular plot point that I’m not going to spoil.

While I think there is a message in Bishop’s tales — we need to be better to each other or we will destroy ourselves — this series is not a preachy political tale. It’s told in a sweet, innocent voice (Meg’s voice, I believe) that reminds me of fairy tales and oral histories. The relationships between Meg, the Courtyard Others, and the humans drawn into their circle are lovely; the way they interact and learn to understand each other is one of the highlights of the book for me.

badge5v4Why I recommend it: It’s quite simply a beautifully rich fantasy with excellent characters and world building. If you like audio books, the narrator, Alexandra Harris, does a wonderful job with the characters. This series is definitely top-shelf fantasy.

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you may want to check out the author’s popular Black Jewels series.


About Invested Ivana

I'm currently a freelance line editor, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Red Adept Editing or any of my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on June 10, 2016, in Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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