Read this book! Seriously! I heard lots of good things about it and was expecting a good book, and it still blew me away.
The characters are excellent. Srilani is a tough girl who can fight her way out of trouble but also has a vulnerable heart. Too many books and movies don't get that balance. Either the girl is an almost heartless, kick everybody's butt kind of girl or she needs saving all the time. Sometimes in Christian fiction, the tough girl is the one who needs to be softened until by the end of the book she's totally given up her tough girl attitude. Srilani is none of those things. She both saves the guy and needs to be saved. She finds a way to be vulnerable but without losing her fighting edge.
Not only was Srilani awesome, but her male lead was also amazing! Aldan can hold his own with her and doesn't fall into the helpless male sidekick stereotype.
Best of all, several of the other characters also got their own points of view in the book. The character voices were all distinct, so I was never confused.
I also adored the setting. Too many fantasy books fall into the trap of basing their setting only on Europe. It's fantasy. It can be set anywhere. The setting in Mardan's Mark is based off the Gulf Coast area of the United States, which gives it a flavor not found in many other fantasy novels.
Finally, the cultures of the different kingdoms are well-done. I could see parts of all kinds of cultures, but I never felt they were directly based off any one culture in the real world.
I want to pick up this amazing adventure story and keep reading, but I have come to the end.
Kathrese McKee introduces us to the characters of Mardan’s Mark in such a way that I was not confused about who was who, and a glossary is included if you need help. I quickly had suspicions on who had good vs. bad intentions, which I enjoyed. I fell in love with many of the characters and cannot wait to read the next adventure in this series!
Mardan’s Mark contains a map at the beginning to help you understand the fantasy land of the story. There is travel by sea and land, sometimes with the help of horses. I hope no one is disappointed about the lack of dragons or other mystical creatures in this fantasy work. That didn’t bother me at all, but my daughter might miss it.
There is plenty of action and a bit of romance. We learn of our heroes’ strengths and weaknesses, their desires and responsibilities. It made me consider the pros and cons of slave vs. free and poor vs. rich.
I highly recommend Mardan’s Mark and can’t wait to share it with my children who are 17, 14, and 12.
My favorite books are the one's I can't put down. Even better when you're sad that it ends because I miss the characters. Mardan's Mark does not disappoint.
From page one I was drawn into the story, turning pages quickly to see what happened next. And each time I thought I might reach a place where I could set it down, there was yet another plot twist.
Lovable characters, lots of suspense, and vivid descriptions. I often felt like I was right there with the characters. I plowed through Mardan's Mark in record time only to find that I missed the characters once I finished. Can't wait to read more!