Series: The Others #4
Published by Roc on March 8, 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: N/A
Reviewed by: Kate
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…
MARKED IN FLESH was not exactly what I expected, but it was everything I didn't know I wanted. I cannot recommend this series enough, and I cannot over-emphasize how wonderful all the books are. This is definitely one where it is worth it to start at the beginning. As book four in The Others series, MARKED IN FLESH rewards readers of the series with storylines and little vignettes here and there that may not mean as much if you haven't read earlier books.
My one gripe with the book was the number of characters. It was a bit difficult to keep everybody straight, who was where and when was a bit confusing. However, any issue I had with keeping track of characters was overshadowed by the wonderful writing that just sucks in a reader. The world is amazing, and it feels so real! The humans act like I would imagine humans to act in any situation, with some turning one way and some another, with a bit of moral ambiguity here and there. And there generally is enough context to figure out who is who, if you forget.
Meg and Simon's relationship was another facet to the story that has kept me reading, and the growth of that relationship in MARKED IN FLESH was exciting. It is so adorable to see these two, both technically in their first real "human" relationship, clumsily try to figure out what to do. We don't get a lot of Meg's inner monologue about Simon, but we do get to hear what Simon thinks about Meg a lot, and it's so sweet.
Overall, MARKED IN FLESH is about a country preparing for war. And that offers a lot of interesting backdrops for any actions that take place. A rancher introducing themselves to the Others in one book may not have had as much significance as it did in this book, and the constant background threat of "How much human will remain?" offered a tension that wasn't always present in the other books.
MARKED IN FLESH continues this series in an excellent way, and I cannot wait for the next book!!Series Titles:
- For more alternate history, try A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan.
- For similar world building, try Shadows by Robin McKinley.