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Review of "Written in Red" by Anne Bishop

Updated: Oct 14, 2018


"Written in Red" by Anne Bishop.

Interspecies relationships have been rocky from the start, especially because the Others consider humans their prey. When a strange young woman named Meg blows in from the street asking Simon Wolfgard for a job in his town run by the shapeshifters (the Others), he is forced to consider the effect on the already tenuous relationship between the Others and the humans. A prophecy made about Simon compels the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard to hire Meg as Human Liaison, but it doesn't take long for Simon to suspect that the girl has a secret.

Meg is running from her own prophecy, and as she settles determinedly into her role in the Courtyard, she begins to attract deadly attention.

Someone is looking for Meg, but now that the Others have claimed Meg as their own, they would die to protect her, and they face increasing threats to the peace in their Courtyard and between the species. It will only be a matter of time before the tension breaks and the Others unleash their unfathomable, deadly power.

"Written in Red" immerses the reader in the power struggle between the conquering humans and the shapeshifting Wolves, Hawks, Vampires and Elementals, who are fighting to maintain their wild places in the land. Bishop is a fine storyteller who wields her pen to create vivid characters, high stakes, and rich mystery. The style of her tight prose allows her readers to delight in every gesture or else race alongside her with the action.

There is a refreshing lack of extraneous detail in her writing that keeps the story moving--and the reader thirsting for more. Bishop will have you tirelessly rooting for the good guys and begging for a delicious demise for the villains. The plot keeps ticking, and every second you can feel the oncoming explosion.

This is the most fun read that I have had in a while. Many fantasy stories create a vibrant world, but often that world is sadly inaccessible to the reader as the author drags us through a complicated plot bogged down in details and verbosity. Bishop's prose style is conversational, concise, and specific; vivid, and often humorous. I so appreciated this energetic romp through this upheaval in the history of Lakeside.

Trigger warnings include: adult language, sexual references, and a strong reliance on the topic of cutting. Parents, if you are wondering if this would be an appropriate read for your teenage children, I would suggest either researching the book or reading the book before passing it along. Having read it yourself, you can then address this topic naturally with your children.

But that's just one person's review. Have a different view? I'd love your thoughts. Add a comment below!

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