by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #4
Published by: Penguin
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 15 hours and 21 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N
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 by Anne Bishop is the fourth book in the urban fantasy series The Others. With brilliant world building and unique characters, I devoured this and already I am craving book five. Complex, relevant and captivating Marked in Flesh once again transported me to Thasia.
Full disclosure – I am a tad OBSESSED with the Others series. I actually have a ritual for reading them. It begins with listening to the audiobook narrated by the talented, Alexandra Harris. Then I read the hardcover and follow-up on my eReader randomly reading chapters here and there. Yes, I own all formats of this series. I am sure some of you understand particularly fellow readers who belong to Fandoms.
“Cutting is about revealing prophecy, and the euphoria that we feel when we cut is our bodies’ way of protecting our minds from what we see. The only way we can remember the visions is to swallow prophecy—if we don’t speak, if we don’t describe what we see, we’ll remember it.”
Marked in Flesh shares a violate time for those living in Thasia. Tension is high between the Others (terra indigene) and the Humans First and Last movement. Meg and the other Cassandra Sangue (blood profits) are more important than ever as attacks are being made against the Others.
Delivered in multiple POVs, Bishop shared the tension, violence and both sides of the ongoing issue. We are on the brink of war and everyone is on edge. While I love spending time in the Lakeside Courtyard I appreciated the different perspectives from humans to those in different settlements. It allowed me to gain a strong sense of the world, become emotionally connected and feel like I was part of these volatile times. While humans and others do not always understand each other, it is becoming clear they have come to rely on each other. The Cassandra Sangue are adjusting to freedom and looking for alternative options to cutting for their visions. It was dark and fascinating.
We see a little development in the relationship between Meg and Simon, but we did not get nearly enough page time with this adorkable couple. Instead Bishop focused on the divide between Others and humans. The humans who stand with the Others are shunned and denied services. We spent more time with other key characters and I enjoyed getting to know them. A new territory developed for the Others and new faces both human and other are introduced. I have a feeling future books will be divided between different settlements. The Elders and the creatures belonging to Namid both fascinated and scared the ever-lovin’ stuffing out of me. We even spend time inside the head of one of them.
Bishop’s writing is beautiful and well paced allowing me to slip away from the outside world. I have never read an urban fantasy series that compares to the Others series. Unique, and breathtaking Thasia is a world I hope we never stop visiting. There is so much I want to discuss from things that made me cry to banter that had me giggling aloud. However, I do not want to spoil a single word for you. In some ways Marked in Flesh wrapped things up and answered our questions, but this world and story is far from over leaving me hopeful that Bishop and Penguin will give us a sixth, eighth, eighteenth book in this series.
Alexandra Harris has narrated the series since the begin and is the voice of Meg, Simon and the others in my head. This is why I must listen first. I thoroughly enjoy listening and find her pacing and tone enjoyable. It is my hope she continues to narrate all of Bishop’s books.
While Marked in Flesh and the Others series is an urban fantasy it is also a series for the masses, from its vivid world, beautifully fluid writing and unique characters. I highly recommend you try them. I finished the final chapter and found myself once again waiting anxiously for the next release.
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