Friday, April 22, 2016

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

This book is, if not THE climax, at least a climactic point in Bishop's series about The Others. The most powerful of the natives, who are seldom seen by humans, or even some of the more public Others, have finally come to the conclusion that the human race must be culled, and removed from the lands they acquired by treaty and subsequently violated its terms. I'm sure that any parallels to the story of native Americans and early settlers in this country are merely coincidental, aren't you? The story seems to serve as one of those "what if?" parables, given the premise that the technology of the Europeans turned out to be less powerful than the magic of the natives, who in this world are not at all human, instead of the all too human Indians they encountered in reality.

The question is not whether the humans must be culled, but how deep the cuts should go. We are stuck with hoping that the humans who have been cooperating with the Others in places like The Courtyard will be granted reprieve from the general slaughter which is to come.

The only issue after the end of this novel is exactly where Bishop will take us next, whether to tales of rebuilding and survival, or into some utopic time of cooperation between the survivors and the Others.

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