The Journey of the Marked (The Miyran Heir) (Volume 1)
"A gripping fantasy adventure. A FINALIST and highly recommended." -- The Wishing Shelf Awards
"..Very adventurous, thrilling,and action-packed."-- Litpick.com
"What a rich, complex world thisauthor has created!" -- author Sunshine Somerville
The mark means honor. The mark invites death.
On a distant planet, Eros thrives in the Human settlement he calls home. Raised to follow his grandfather's noble footsteps, he studies the details of each species that co-exist here. But when the mark appears, he's called to fight, which changes his life forever.
Forced to abandon his home, the mark makes him the hunted. He's attacked the night he arrives in the city. A tough, street fighter named Kenrya saves his life. When they join others on the same journey, her cynical attitude drives a wedge between the group.
Given the perils facing them, can they put aside their differences and trusteach other long enough to survive?
Discover this epic adventure where an individual's unique abilities can change the course of the future.
Many parents lost their children forever, to lack of preparing or training them to withstand the torturous tasks that accompany the role of a marked one. How does one prepare a child of sixteen to take on such a burden?
Fantasy is not my preferred genre, but I've recently delved into the fantasy realm to expand my horizons and open my mind to new authors and stories. Am I ever glad I chose this one! The story started a bit slow for me, and there were a lot of characters to keep up with, and their backstories - again, probably because I'm not accustomed to high fantasy. But once I caught on, I couldn't let go. I enjoyed the way the author transitioned between various POVs to allow us into each character's head to connect to him or her, in a smooth, comfortable way.
The author has built a world of creative creatures and characters unlike any I've ever experienced. She provided just enough backstory on each one to help readers understand the characters' motives, but not so much that she told their entire life stories. Then she deftly wove these characters' lives together in a way that keeps a reader turning pages and having "aha" moments again and again.
I highly enjoyed this novel and was sad to see it end. But, does it end? Actually, it "pauses" in a satisfying cliffhanger that will compel you to read the next one in the series. I can't wait to dive back into the journey of these marked ones to see what adventures lie ahead.
It is not easy to create a new world for characters to inhabit. The physical descriptions and societal mores must align. There are secret pasts of characters to uncover, tragedies to unfold, alliances to be forged, difficulties to surmount and, perhaps, victories to celebrate. The new world, beginning as a seed of the author's imagination and flourishing through careful descriptions and dialogue, allows the reader to visualize a universe that is both fresh and exciting. McCray succeeds on all fronts.
I don't often gravitate towards the fantasy genre. Yet, what struck me about McCray's writing style is that she balances the allure of fantasy with the universal emotions that exist within all of us. Survival is a basic extinct. Her characters may be teens but their legacies were foretold and the burdens that they face are bigger than themselves. The mark that these young people exhibit force them into exile. They become fugitives and are hunted. Each character is resourceful and unique in his or her own right. Working together, they are able to confront terrifying scenarios.
Suspense and mystery play a significant role. McCray has fleshed out a variety of fascinating species with different attributes. The Graeliths are beastly creatures who hunt our protagonists. The tension is palpable from the outset of the book when we met Kenrya. She is one of the core characters. Like the other central teen characters in the book, she has been marked. We discover the marked are trying to reach a training camp where others who are marked learn how to hone their skills.
McCray has crafted so many different species within her narrative. Yet, she cautiously and meticulously enables the reader to get to know each one. These species learn from each other and help each other. Their differences signal their strengths as they combine their efforts along the treacherous road to the training camp. Along with Kenrya (an Arlian), we meet Eros (a Human), Prizene (a Krystic), Tip (a Liput) and Aretan and Ampal (Plintes). These are some of the main characters that dominate the plot. However, there are many more for readers to undercover. In addition, the action sequences are incredible. And if you're like me and you enjoy rich emotional scenes, McCray generously offers numerous pivotal moments.
For constructing a new and exciting world, for writing with emotional depth, for descriptive brilliance, for action, suspense and mystery, I give this book a Gold Book Worm Rating.
Don’t you just love it when you get a book as a gift, and it turns out to be a book you absolutely love? Well, fantasy fans, this is one book you will beg to get, love gifting, and revisit often while waiting for sequels! (Not too long, I hope.)
The Journey of the Marked is superbly written, an absolute page-turner with the perfect balance of spectacular scenes and serene passages. Every single chapter engages the five senses, giving you the colours, the sounds, the smells, the feelings… I looked forward even to descriptions, as all characters and creatures have been created with an original spark and fascinating anatomical features. The author loves her intricate worlds with their own customs, laws, creatures and history. Her fantastic imagination lends itself to movie making, because there is so much vivid showing instead of telling. This book is a fantasy fan’s dream read. It is utterly engaging – had me rooting for the characters from chapter two and never relented! The ‘marked’ reference is not a shallow pun, but emphasizes the plot’s strong message of fighting for your life and integrity even when you are different, and even when you do not even know what it is that makes you special, but you feel it in your gut that you must stay true to yourself. The author offers a wide range of strong personalities in both genders, and it will be difficult to choose your favourites.
There is nail-biting suspense with a cliffhanger feel to it, which is not only promising but infectious – you will want to read more by the same author and about the same characters! Thrilling, charming and simply fantastic! Bravissima, Rebecca P. McCray!