Written in Red by Anne Bishop.
2013. Roc. 433 pages.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.
I love Urban Fantasy. And Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy is still one of the best examples of world-building that I have ever read. Bishop is a master of building worlds that deal in interesting ways with gender, race, class, and person-hood. The Black Jewels trilogy focused on violence against women and how dangerous misogyny can be. In Written in Red the first book in a new series, we get new issues to explore and re-interpret, and think about. Race, land rights, the drug trade.
Of course, there is also magic, vampires, werewolves, assassins, intrigue, and more. Written in Red is fast-paced, with rich, interesting characters, and a mystery that keeps the pages turning.
In Written in Red we are given a world that almost is like our own, but subtlety different. There is technology – cars, computers, etc. But we are also given the “Others” non-human creatures who want access to human technology, and control natural resources (even the weather) there is a lot of tension, and politics.
I loved it and can’t wait to read the next book.