Thursday, July 3, 2014
Written in Red (The Courtyards of the Others) by Anne Bishop
No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.
Once again I picked an audio book by a author whose books I have never read and once again I am hooked. Written in Red by Anne Bishop drew me in and would not let me go.
The world building caught me first the characters kept me glued to the book. This is a world where the geography is like ours but the Others and the cassandre sangue (who are a form of human) are very different. Only the humans like us remain the same and they are not the dominant species.
Some of the Others are shape sifters, some are elementals and some are something no one even the rest of the Others ever want to meet. To the Others humans are just meat. Meg Corbyn is human but also cassandre sangue or blood prophet. She does not smell like prey as other humans do.
That sets up part of the conflict in Written in Red. Meg Corbyn is at the heart of the conflict. Meg has escaped a life she hated and the Others take her in. Human law does not apply in the Courtyard where she now lives. She is a very refreshing character. She was raised in isolation and has a very different reaction to the Others. She has an innocence that helps her win over the ones she is in contact with. Simon Wolfguard is the Other who gives Meg the job in the Courtyard. The fact that Meg does not smell like prey keeps him conflicted. The interaction between the two can sometimes be very dangerous and sometimes be very amusing.
The book can be a little dark but there were things that lightened it up I loved the names of the stores in the Courtyard and they did add a light touch. Howling Good Reads, A Little Bite, and Run and Thump - a bookstore, a coffee shop and a gym all owned by the Others.
Writing in a way that brings all of the elements of a book together into a cohesive whole takes a lot of talent. Anne Bishop has that kind of talent.
If I had been reading Written in Red it would have been a book I could not put down. Since I was listening I ended up listening to it in my house instead of my car because I had to know what was going to happen next.