Marked in Flesh
(The Others #4)
Release: March 1, 2016
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…
Review by Rose Red:
This series continues to be one of my very most favorite urban fantasy series ever. I cannot begin to adequately describe how much I love everything about these books. The characters, the plot, the world... it's all unique and I adore everything about them! Even when things happen that rip my heart out.
I know I say this every time I talk about this series but The Others is utterly brilliant worldbuilding. There’s no two ways about it. The first two books spent a significant amount of time introducing us to the terra indigene in the Lakeside Courtyard and developing their interactions with Meg and the humans around them. Now that we have that emotional attachment to Others and the human pack in Lakeside, the world has expanded considerably. Marked in Flesh continued what Vision in Silver started in expanding our view of Thasia beyond the Lakeside Courtyard and how certain events are affecting the world of The Others as a whole. Everything works together perfectly from the fascinating characters to the tiniest details in the plot. So many things happen at once, but nothing is random and nothing is without significance for our favorite inhabitants of Lakeside.
The last book made me worry about my favorite Courtyard and how Simon could possibly make a decision on how much humanity the terra indigene keep around. This book took it upon itself to further drive home something that I was starting to realize in the last book. Humans are idiots. My species in this book made me both angry and ashamed. The things the Humans First and Last movement did in the last book and what happens in this book shows just how many of the humans in this world are more monstrous than the terra indigene. The human pack of Lakeside and few others excepted, the humans in this book are truly monsters. I couldn't believe after what happened in the last book that they didn't learn from their mistakes. There were several things that happened in this book that shocked the hell out of me and I cried several times while reading. I felt like I had gone through the emotional wringer by the time I had finished. Vision in Silver was only a battle, the beginning of the real war started in this book.
Bishop never lets us forget that the terra indigene are not even remotely human. Some of them have learned to live in human skin when they have to like Simon. And even though he is one of the Others that is even somewhat close to being human, he is very clearly not even close. He's still a wolf. His understanding of humans through his interactions with the human pack has improved but it is still only a very basic one. The scary thing is Simon is not even a tiny bit scary when compared to the Elementals and their ponies. Vision in Silver forced us to acknowledge there are scarier things than Tess in Thasia, but this book showed that the Elementals are small change compared to what has been hiding in the wild. *shudders* I know this is a fictional book but these new terra indigene scared the hell out of me.
There is a lot of political intrigue in this book but there is also so much more to it. Yes. Terrible things are happening but there's also a promise of what could happen when the war is over and that promise is beautiful. Meg and Simon are still the cutest non-couple ever and the romance is so slow burning that it's almost glacial. But they are slowly becoming more than friends and it's the sweetest thing ever! They're developing a true romance of both the heart and soul through new experiences for both of them and it's just so wonderful! I adore them both so much!
This series, you guys! This series! It's so good. I'm just going to sit over here muppet flailing about it. The over a year wait for the next book might kill me. I need to know what is going to happen to my darlings next! I need book five like I need air!
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley