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…
Oh, this was one of my most-anticipated reads for the year – I tell everyone who will listen about how The Others is one of my favourite urban fantasy series, hands-down. And this instalment will not leave you disappointed. I say ‘more of the same’ with the utmost of love – it’s more of the world in and out of The Lakeside Courtyard, more glimpses of the characters we’ve come to know and love, more human-Others politics, more Simon and Meg, more hilarious interactions in the midst of turmoil and possible doom.
Indeed, after the events of the previous book, there is a definite sense of things coming to a head – a catastrophic reaction from the elder, stronger, legendary Others is imminent – and the only question is whether the humans allied with the various courtyards will survive the revenge storm that is to come.
While supplies are being stockpiled, Meg is trying to figure out how to help the other blood prophets, and Simon is a tad overburdened trying to keep everything together and make sure his people are safe, facing an impossible existential question. We also get insight into the workings of Ferryman’s Landing, Sweetwater and Prairie Gold settlements, populated by others, humans and blood prophets living and working together in harmony. The connections between them all are greatly emphasised in this instalment.
Two things that I’ve noticed about this series, now that I’m 4 books in:
- It’s interesting that we don’t seen any romantic relationships with any of the Other inhabitants of the Courtyard. I mean, I think it’s a refreshing change from series where every character has to be shacked up with someone else, but I would be very interested to see the dynamics depicted between two of these ‘beings’, for lack of a better word. Which leads me to my next point: Henry, Nathan, Blair, Jester, Tess – we don’t even know much about these characters, and this is book 4. It would be awesome if we got more insight into anything about them – likes, dislikes, background, how they feel about everyone else. We really only get their thoughts in relation to Meg.
- I know that ‘strong female characters’ do not mean women with physical prowess, but rather well-written women with their own complex motivations, etc. That said, most of the women depicted tend to fall into the ‘traditional’ female roles and need to be protected (Meg and her human pack, for example.) All the leaders in the series, save for one, are male. Simon’s business committee are male. All the enforcers and police officers are male. I would have liked to have seen at least one woman who is, actually, physically strong and capable in that manner.
What do you think, readers? Especially with regards to the previous two points. I’d like to know your opinions.
If you’ve loved the series this far, then Marked in Flesh will be another fabulous reading experience for you!
-Simon’s bison problem and everyone’s reaction to it is utterly hilarious.
-Baby Sam. Keep being cute, you little cinnamon roll.
ARC received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.