MARKED IN FLESH
The Others #4
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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
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.
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
Marked in Flesh is a pivotal book in The Others series, finally giving us a terrifying taste of just what's out there in the wild country as the Humans First and Last Movement makes one mistake too many. In the previous books we've been treated to the more "civilized" species of Others, those who are able to interact with humans without causing them to go catatonic with fear, but with each new installment we've gotten fleeting glimpses of the Elders, and we can't help but let a vengeful smile crease our faces as they make their presence known.
The Humans First and Last Movement are at their most appalling in Marked in Flesh, the hatred and prejudice they spread all the more infuriating because it's in no way exaggerated despite its place in a piece of fiction, and we can't help but want to snarl as the Others do at their sense of superiority and entitlement. It's downright impossible to root for any side but that of the Others and the handful of humans who've formed relationships with them over time, and when extinction threatens we're simply unable to muster up any sympathy for those who merrily paved the way to their own destruction.
While this fourth book takes us outside of the Lakeside Courtyard more than any of the previous books, introducing us to yet another group of new characters residing in a town eventually linked character-wise to those we've visited in books past, Meg, Simon and the rest of Lakeside Courtyard are still at its heart. Some of the intimacy of the first two books is missing though, with beloved characters like Sam, Tess, the Crowgard and the ponies existing only on the periphery, but given the size of the events taking place as humanity begins to reap what its sown it's an understandable loss.
We're sent reeling for nearly the entire second half of this story, the Elementals across Thasia teaming up with Ocean herself and the Elders to mete out much-deserved punishment, but Ms. Bishop wraps things up on a hopeful note with a small and beautiful moment between Meg and Simon. It hints that perhaps the romance we've all been waiting for is on the cusp of becoming reality, which of course makes the wait for the next book all the more painful. As has always been the case though, it will undoubtedly be one worth waiting for.