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No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. In this thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and prey on 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. 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.
© 2013 by Anne Bishop
“A stunningly original yarn, deeply imagined, beautifully articulated and set forth in clean, limpid, sensual prose. A must for fans desperate to move beyond boilerplate urban fantasy.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Dazzling new Urban Fantasy from Anne BishopMay 5, 2013Those of us who have read Anne Bishop's Black Jewel novels know all about her unparalleled ability to build complex, multilayered and breathtakingly imaginative fantasy worlds. In Written in Red, she has ventured into urban fantasy territory with the same assurance. Written in Red shows us a contemporary world peopled by humans and "The Others": vampires, shape-shifters and the elementals, who embody the forces of nature itself. Unlike other urban fantasy worlds, the Others are the actual landlords and the humans exist only on sufferance. Unfortunately, despite uneasy coexistence, the humans tend to forget that they are holding none of the cards on occasion.
Meg Corbyn is a cassandra sangue, a blood prophet prized by her human captors for her prophesies which are revealed by the cutting of her skin. Meg and the other women in her "benevolent institution" have been systematically mistreated. Meg manages to escape into a brutal winter where she stumbles into The Courtyard, a settlement of Others led by Simon Wolfgard. The Courtyard is one of the few progressive settlements allowing any access to humans. She sees a sign in the window of Howling Good Reads (gotta love that!), Simon's bookstore. The settlement is looking for a Human Liaison and Meg is desperate enough to apply. Simon is no fuzzy wolf looking for love; in fact he dislikes and distrusts humans as much as any of the Others. But his instincts tell him to give her a chance even though he knows she is not telling the truth about herself. Meg is grateful for a job, shelter and the fact that human law does not apply inside The Courtyard, but she also knows her Controller will stop at nothing to get her back. Can she, The Courtyard and the nearby human city of Lakeside survive the coming storm?
Written in Red is not a short book and some may find it a bit slow moving. There are multiple story lines involving a decent human cop named Montgomery, and Asia Crane, a human woman stupid enough to try to scam The Others. I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters and watching trust develop between the Others and Meg. She has been institutionalized all her life and watching her learn how to function in her new environment is both amazing and touching. It's clear in the end that Meg has found her place in the world. It is also clear that there is much, much more to tell so I must look forward to the next book in the series. Written in Red is sometimes terrifying and sometimes beautiful- a must listen. Alexandra Harris did a great job with narration and gave unique voices to all the characters.