Title: Written in Red
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Wow! Why did I put this book off for so long! From the very beginning I was hooked on this unique world and characters. I was not expecting such a dangerous world of paranormals but man did I love it. I bought the rest of the series before I was even halfway through this book, which never happens and tells you how invested I already am in this world.
This book (and the rest of the series) follows Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue, aka a blood prophet, who can see the future when her skin is cut. She has been a prisoner of the Controller who uses her abilities for money. When she finally escapes she finds herself in the Lakeside Courtyard, a business district run by the Others. While the Others have strict rules and hate humans, Meg finds solace and safety with them.
While I don’t usually love very detailed books, for some reason this one really worked for me. The detail and world building was amazing and captivated me from the very beginning. We spend a lot of time with Meg getting to know the Courtyard Others and learning the ropes of her new job. It may seem mundane but I was hooked the whole time and didn’t want to put down this book. Meg was a fascinating character who is learning to trust, experience life, and find her happiness. Meg’s ability as a blood prophet is fascinating, even though she has to self-harm for it, but also comes with a lot of side effects. I enjoyed learning about it and how she can use them to help the Others.
Meg’s relationship with the Others was great. I loved how she slowly earned the trust of some of the Others and started making friends. She is such a unique character that I never know what she is going to do next. She may be innocent but she is also a tough cookie, and I liked that dynamic.
Simon Wolfgard, who is the leader of this courtyard, was a great hero and I really loved to see him start to change his views towards humans, or at least this one human. Simon and Meg have a very strained relationship at first because Meg is so scared of everyone, but especially Simon since he controls if she can stay in the safe haven for her. By the end though, Simon has definitely started to feel something for Meg but he doesn’t really understand it all. I am very excited to see how their relationship progresses since humans are considered prey and food.
The Others in general are fascinating because this is the first paranormal/urban fantasy story I have read where humans are actively prey and are viewed that way. The Others see humans as food and are frequently eaten, and that is described in this. Also the paranormal creatures in this were just so unique and fascinating. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series and find out what other creatures are among the Others.
Overall, this is a wonderful and unique urban fantasy. I really loved Meg and can’t wait to see how her story continues.
Trigger warnings: self-harm; imprisonment; rape mentioned; death; gore;