Second in the series (Written in Red, 2013) set on an Earth-like world, Namid, populated by a panoply of supernatural Others—and the humans who are their natural prey.
On the continent of Thaisia, in the city of Lakeside, a delicate balance has been struck between humans and the terra indigene—shape-shifting wolves, raptors, bears, vampires and worse—thanks to Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, who sees the future when her skin is cut. The Sanguinati, or vampires, have declared that no harm shall come to the “sweet blood,” but for werewolf Simon Wolfgard, she is more of a problem, since he is developing deeper feelings for Meg than any wolf should have. Meg has escaped the Controller, a slave master who owns a stable of young cassandra sangue women; he’s still trying to re-acquire Meg, his best prophet, since his other slaves are all foreseeing nothing but fire and destruction, and his rich clients are not pleased. But his real ambition is to put humans in charge by releasing two addictive drugs, contaminating meat supplies with ground-up bits of cassandra sangue, trapping vampires while in immaterial form and other acts of extreme provocation. Enraged, the terra indigene threaten to destroy entire cities; meanwhile, Meg’s urge to cut herself and see the future grows all but irresistible, knowing that she is the key to determining whether humans and terra indigene can learn to work together in mutual trust. This one is less exquisitely controlled than the previous book, with a plot that functions only intermittently; despite this, it delves more deeply into characters’ motivations, interactions and emotions, with the outcome even more compelling and wrenching.
Technically less accomplished but nonetheless fully satisfying.