Written in Red by Anne Bishop

NAL | Hardcover, 433 pages
March 5th, 2013
Urban Fantasy | Adult Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Set in an alternate universe where humans are the less dominant creatures, The Others series, is perhaps one that can easily be bypassed by readers of this genre. After all, shapeshifters and vampires have been written and reinvented many times over. So what else can it offer for readers and non-readers alike? 

Meg Corbyn escaped from prison that held beings like her: cassandra sangue. She’s a blood prophet; foretellers of the future read through blood that they’d spilled. They are slaves, used for profit by a man called the Controller. Their prophecies are worth a fortune, and their blood can be both   a source of bliss and violent death. 

When she stumbled upon Lakeside Courtyard, she saw a chance to hide among the terra indigene, the earth natives who rule the continent. She will be virtually untouchable if she’s under the protection of The Others. But first, Meg will have to gain their trust, beginning with the disdainful leader of the pack, Simon Wolfgard. 

When she was hired to be the Human Liaison, no one expected for her to last a day. But Meg is determined to make some semblance of life, and escape a nightmare. To their surprise, Meg became more than just clever meat. She started out as an amusing curiosity, then she slowly snuck her way into everyone’s lives. 

With prophecies thrumming in her blood, Meg will have to find a way to release them without letting anyone know what she truly is. But when human forces determined to bring down the Courtyard, and the Controller hot on her heels, Meg will have to heed the call of bloodletting.  

This is indeed, a rarity for me. To have enjoyed urban fantasy immensely – let alone read one – is astonishing. I procrastinated reading this for the only reason that I’ve never been a reader of the genre. Over the last few years, The Black Dagger Brotherhood is the only series that prevented me from being a reader-non-grata. That is an annual read, dear readers. Otherwise, I know nothing about the ins and outs of this field. 

Written in Red have been widely enjoyed by a lot of trusted friends on Goodreads, but I still had doubts. So last week, while I was packing for the weekend, I decided to take a peek to get a feel for the book. Well, colour me happy when a couple of chapters went by without my noticing. 

Let me be clear, I am not knowledgeable in this genre. I don’t know what makes for a fantastic Urban Fantasy read. What I can tell you is it has the clever ability to captivate until you’ve practically read the book in one sitting. The Black Dagger Brotherhood has the same characteristic, and why I am up to date with the series ( 12th book coming out next week). The world, the characters, and their stories are  highly immersive. Anne Bishop perfected a formula wherein abject suspense, and ominous terror was blended with heaping spoon of humour, and the characters are the proverbial cherry on top. 

I love Meg’s innocence and determination; I love Simon’s ferociousness, and Tess’s mysterious and fierce ability. I love the seemingly familial dynamics of the community, and the reluctant trust they placed on the humans that they let into their fold. I even love the Elementals, which I thought were the most powerful beings in this world. I love stepping into a different kind of universe where humans are subspecies that have to live and abide by the paranormals’ rules. 

It’s so exciting to find a series that I could love. I know it’s still early in the game (the second book just came out), but like I mentioned above, Urban Fantasy is pretty much unchartered territory for me. I have very little doubts that I will tire of these books easily. 

Do yourselves a favour and pick up Written in Red. Guaranteed to keep you up at night, not from terror but the book itself will not allow you to put it down. 

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