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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: Written in Red 
27th-Oct-2013 11:48 am
Today to Read
Written in Red, by Anne Bishop. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 433 pages, first in the series.

This was a very good book. I re-read it twice already.

In this universe, humans live in settlements and cities that are always on sufferance of the others. The Others are all of the natural creatures of power, from werewolves and vampires to the elementals and the seasons incarnate. In the town of Lakeside, The Others have decided to be more integrated than in most places, which is leading to both understanding and conflict. The major conflict comes from the fact that The Others who even deign to notice humans regard them as prey, not exotic bedfellows. The Others are predators, through and through, and have no plans to change that attitude.

The story opens with a runaway human woman, Meg, sheltering from a storm at The Others' enclave by Lakeside. Why she is running away is obvious, but her experiences prior to freedom are only slowly unfolded during the book. Understanding and empathy come organically across the characters, as she learns about them and they learn to like her. There is, naturally, some personal internal conflict for those Others who find themselves regarding Meg as a friend rather than inconveniently talkative prey.

The story was told from multiple points of view, and every character had his/her/its motivation. From the three main human police officers to young werewolf who won't shift to The Other running the enclave coffee shop, everyone brought baggage and meaning to the story. A lot of it felt unnecessary in and of itself, but the story that was built was all the richer for each little added aspect.

If I didn't see her name on the cover, I would not have believed it. After the Dark Jewels series and my floundering through Sebastian, I never thought Bishop could write a series without angst-filled sexual content. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of anything more than normal relationship/friendship tensions.

I picked it up on recommendation from my sister. I recommend it to all the urban fantasy fans out there, including Ambyr.

Books read in 2013
Comments 
27th-Oct-2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I liked it a lot. Also read it twice in short order.
27th-Oct-2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
The sequel will be out in March.
27th-Oct-2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
The only flaw with your review that I could find was "and I saw S yesterday and did not send the awesome Anne Bishop book on to Blushing Grace to read".

Relatedly - could I borrow the book?
27th-Oct-2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! However, in order to do so, you must now convince AmazonMink to read it and hand it over, as she will be house sitting for us starting tomorrow...
28th-Oct-2013 02:08 pm (UTC)
Actually, Quixotic_Goat snagged it, so now you have to get it from him.
27th-Oct-2013 07:08 pm (UTC)
I'm... dubious. But your previous problems with Anne Bishop are similar to mine, so... I'll give it a try. And you should pick up Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.
28th-Oct-2013 02:08 pm (UTC)
I was dubious, but now... I'm a believer.. I couldn't leave her if I tried...
28th-Oct-2013 12:58 pm (UTC)
I'll give it a try then. Thanks for the recommendation.
28th-Oct-2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
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