Review: Marked in Flesh
transports me into a fantasy world which pains me to leave when the story ends @Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Today is a celebration. My book showed up and I spent the evening reading this delightful addition to the series. This a must buy and read. This book should go to the top of the stack for reading pleasure. For those who are bloodthirsty and enjoy the cleansing of the diseased, this book is for you.
I adore this series and each book is a treasure to be stored in Alantea's treasure trove. In this latest version, finally the infestation of HFL is addressed. The retribution is done so well in a style I adore. What did I love about this book? The fact that this is told from a viewpoint which is not so human is what really pulls me into this book. The way the Others think and view things make so much more sense to me. And it also appeals to my sense of balance and sacrifice. This book is what I categorize as a Chinese movie because there is utter destruction, death and it is not always just to the villains. Heroes and loved characters are killed for the greater good. For those who are not enamoured of the Disney effect, this book will appeal. For those who appreciate the powerful impact of sacrificing the innocent to motivate a "calls to arm", this book will deliver.
Ms. Bishop reveals more about THE ELDERS in this world. It is interesting how she shows the greed of humans and their desire to own and break things. The contrasts and comparisons between the two sets of humans is a bit black and white. It is almost too simplistic how flawed the greedy HFL are pictured. Still, it is appealing to those wishing that identification can be so easy. Now, some may argue this is not the case and that if it were so easy, the Elders wouldn't need the "good humans" to be protected and associated with the Others. Well, yes, for the Elders it is difficult because they are painting walking meat with one big brush. From a reader perspective, it is clear.
The main plot of this story is for Simon and a chosen few of the Others to decide just how much human to keep. I enjoyed how the wolfgard and human pack try to figure out the vague instructions. Is it what humans produce? Or is it the number of humans? Or is it body parts of the humans, as Meg initially interprets it? This story is about preparation for the worst and how to survive at the whims of angry gods. I love this type of theme. Why? Because I love being prepared for disasters and I enjoy rallying the troops and getting everything ready to bunker down. The way Meg and her friends work together to save humans is invigorating and makes me want to be there to help. I want to be in the thick of it and to catch glimpses of the Elementals and even the Elders. Am I crazy? Probably, because I don't know any better.
The scenes are written so vividly I can see this all in high definition. Ms. Bishop breaths life to this book as I'm pulled in and surrounded by scents and sounds. I could recognize the locations of each place if I had to visit this fictional world. The characters are so well created that they are all distinctive and memorable, even the secondary support characters.
Meg is a lot less whiny in this book compared to the previous one which I liked. Her maturity and her growing interest in relations is amusing. Meg is still the same loveable character from book one with her unique perspective and instinctive responses which only charms everyone around her. This is evident as the Elders seem to find her amusing. Hoping in the next book, there will be more interaction between the Elders and Meg. Simon is still the strong leader given an almost impossible task. His decisions and how he responds impacts not just his own little courtyard but many different regions. Ms. Bishop lovingly creates a frustrated flawed male who does everything he can because of his connection with Meg.
Every time I receive a glimpse into this world filled with animals in human form, I yearn for more. Marked in Flesh transports me into a fantasy world which pains me to leave when the story ends. Ms. Bishop is a gifted storyteller who weaves a tale that I love to lose myself in. Highly recommended to fantasy readers that enjoy loss, vengeance and hope.