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on 24 February 2017
This was my first foray into an Anne Bishop novel (I know, I know!) and I absolutely devoured it. The premise turned everything we know about urban fantasy on it’s head. In this world humans are weak and vulnerable they do as they are told and stay where they are told. The Others (being the paranormal creatures we are used to seeing lurking in the dark) rule the world and hold the keys to the kingdom so to speak.

Meg Corbyn has escaped from her owner, as a Cassandra Sangue, a blood prophet, she has even less rights than a standard human, essentially a slave she has been used for her psychic abilities. Now that she has escaped she has no intention of going back even if that means working for The Others.

As I read this novel there were things I expected to happen, things that would fit the formula of an urban fantasy cum paranormal romance. But Written in Red didn’t cross that line. It stayed firmly in urban fantasy, with some fast-paced action, heavy suspense, and strong world and character building neither of which overlapped on the story which was full of emotion.

There were a variety of threats from different angles, making this multi-dimensional and meaning as a reader you didn’t know where the attack may come from exactly. It made reading much more enjoyable and interesting than just waiting for “that” person to make their move.

Meg was a wonderful character, she was strong but still showed immense weakness that was relevant given her trauma. Her vulnerability was something she didn’t like to show but it would come out at times and with certain characters as her trust built. I felt a real affinity with her which only grew as I got to know her more as the book progressed.

Simon is the leader of the Others in the Lakeside community, a werewolf who lets Meg live and work in the community. He is strong and I felt Anne Bishop shows strongly he is a wolf through and through, even when he is in human form the wolf is always there, he never forgets who is is first and foremost.

Whilst this doesn’t slip into being a paranormal romance, it is clear there could be a romance element in future books. I don’t think this would overwhelm or take away from a main storyline though. Anne Bishop has very carefully woven the underlying elements of what could be a romantic storyline into the book but it is subtle and not a main part of the story.

I haven’t enjoyed an urban fantasy this much for quite some time, I will definitely be getting the second book in this series as soon as I can and will be checking out more Anne Bishop novels very soon.
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on 11 March 2016
Although Anne Bishop is one of my favourites due to her Blood Jewels series, when this was published in 2013 I didn't buy it as it looked like YA Fantasy and now I'm retired I don't feel impelled to read that genre. Last summer, however, desperate for a new book, I thought 'what the hell' and clicked the buy button. Wow! Plus, it was great to then be able to buy books 2 and 3 without having to wait for them to be published.
Unlike another reviewer, I didn't expect this to be on the level of 'War and Peace' and so was able to thoroughly enjoy Meg and the gradual unveiling of the world of the Courtyard and the Others. I have just read the 4th in the series, 'Marked in Flesh' and am looking forward to the 5th - even though it may be the finale of Meg's story.
Notice I do not give a summary of the plot, in depth character analysis etc - those you can get from Amazon or Fantastic Fiction. All I will say is, if you enjoy alternative world fantasy/sci fi of a fairly undemanding nature but a jolly good read, then buy it! You won't be disappointed.
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on 22 May 2017
Not having read anything by Anne Bishop before I was a unsure what to expect. I've read a lot of shifter and vampire books but I thought this was unlike any of these previous ones.

I loved the relationship between Meg and Simon and the way the "Others" refer to her as "our Meg". The world building, the character descriptions, just wonderful.

A series I will definitely be carrying on with.
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on 1 September 2016
What a fantastic read! Such a good book and so well written. I love Meg! What a fantastic character. The world created is so unique such a lot of book for the money. This monkey loved it! X
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on 17 July 2017
It's 3.30am, and I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. Such a great discovery! I can't wait to read other work by this author!
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on 29 June 2017
I could not put this book down! Brilliant world building and great characters, the story just kept getting better and I can't wait to Read the next book.
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on 5 July 2014
If you want time to catch up on your sleep make sure you start reading this book when you know you have the opportunity to sleep into the following day. If you don't, a lot of self control will be required to ensure that you don't stay up till the wee hours of the morning. Which is what I did. I have barely had 4 hours sleep and yet all I can think about is this book. Wishing I had savoured it more as it was so fantastic loved loved loved it
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on 14 June 2017
I was hoping for a good story, but it was really bad
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on 7 January 2017
**I purchased a copy of this book for my own enjoyment, with no expectations of a review**

Written in Red is the first of Anne Bishop’s latest series, The Others. This is the world of Namid, where humans dwell uneasily alongside a class of apex predator unlike any other. The terra indigene, also known as 'earth natives’ or simply as the Others, control the majority of the planet. Humans live in tracts of land, grudgingly at times, leased to them by the Others.

The terra indigene have evolved into many different forms. There are shifters of various types, from Wolves to Crows. There are the Sanguinati, drinkers of blood, similar to vampires yet not. There are the powerful Nature spirits, the Elementals, who embody the awesome powers of nature itself. And there are darker beings that even the shifters and Sanguinati fear.

Meg Corbyn is a human fleeing captivity. She ends up at the Lakeside Courtyard, an enclave of terra indigene within the human city of Lakeside. The Courtyard is in need of a Human Liaison and they accept Meg into this position. She goes above and beyond in this job, and the Courtyard becomes very protective of her. When her captors catch up to her, they learn the peril in challenging the true masters of the land. And the Others themselves learn of one of Namid’s greatest creations, both terrible and wonderful.

I am soooo glad I waited to read this series until I had four to read! The Others has, hands down, become my favourite of Bishop's series. Readers of her Black Jewels series will see echoes of Saetan, Damian, and others in Simon, Vlad, Henry and the rest in the Courtyard. Similarities can also be found between Meg and Jaenelle, females whose strength and power is hidden beneath innocence and pseudo-fragility, only exposed when absolutely necessary.

There are strong themes of respect for the land, proper management of resources, the delicate dance between two disparate cultures, and learning tolerance for one another on both sides. I kinda have to agree with the terra indigene, that humanity can be a disrespectful plague upon the land. We can create wondrous things, yet often destroy land rather than working in harmony with it. We overrun areas rather than remaining in balance. We may not have irritated terra indigene to cull our human herds, but one day, perhaps soon, perhaps decades from now, a new slate-wiper virus will come along to thin out ranks as bubonic plague, influenza, and tuberculosis did to ancestor populations, of this I have no doubt.

🎻🎻🎻🎻🎻 Highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of Bishop's other works, enjoy paranormal romance/drama, or if you enjoy fresh takes on classic tropes.
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on 15 February 2016
What a fantastic start to a series. I loved the Jewels novels,and I could not have dreamed that Anne Bishop could have surpassed them but she has. We are introduced to a whole new reality, beautifully described and close enough to really resonate. Us humans are the interlopers, living amongst the Others under sufferance only. The Others are everything supernatural that you have ever read about and they are the native earth dwellers- the "terra indigene". Meg is the heroine, more human than the Others, not as human as us, maybe a bridge between. Just a great story, tugs the heart strings and makes you think- and written so well, reading it is like chocolate for the mind.
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