Written in Red: A Novel of the Others by Anne Bishop
Meg Corbyn is running from something. Or someone. That’s the only reason a human would be willing to work as liaison for the terra indigene. But there’s something else strange about her that puts Simon Wolfgard on edge. Meg is human, but she doesn’t smell like meat. Her not-prey smell confuses and angers him, even as he gives her the job, a place to live, and arranges for food and winter clothing (since it’s obvious she has neither). He justifies it by rationalizing that the terra indigene in Lakeside Courtyard are in desperate need of a new Human Liaison to take the mail and package deliveries, as none of the human drivers will interact with the shifters long term. Humans sense that the terra indigene view them as nothing more than special meat, and that seems to make them…nervous…abo
Meg is running. She’s running from the Controller who viewed her as extra-sensitive skin to be sliced and sold to the highest bidder. As a cassandra sangue Meg’s blood carries prophecies, released when precise cuts are made on her body. Each cassandra sangue has only so much skin, however, and when the space is gone, so is her usefulness. While they have skin left, the cassandra sangue are kept under lock and key with every action controlled and scheduled. They have no friends, no conversation, no skill beyond their prophecy. To resist is to be punished with imprecise cutting that induces madness. But those maddening cuts brought Meg visions of how to escape…and images of her own death. Visions that contained Simon Wolfgard.
Even as Meg builds a life at Lakeside Courtyard among the terra indigene, making friends with the shifters and humans alike, the Controller searches for his lost property. It won’t be long before word gets out that a Blood Prophet is in residence. Will the terra indigene turn Meg over, or will the Controller truly learn what it means when they say “Human Law Does Not Apply Here.”
Though the book is 433 pages I finished it in less than two days because I couldn’t stop reading. I stayed up late – until I couldn’t stay awake any longer – and as soon as I woke up the next day I started reading again and kept going until I finished. It was THAT good. I highly recommend this novel. And yes, I will be checking out Bishop’s backlist while I wait for the sequel.