We belong to the King--those of us with the black roses tattooed on our left wrist, directly over our pulse. As if every beat of our hearts reminds us that we are not our own.
All the women with the fire burning within them are culled, tattooed and taken to the warriors, to provide more energy. Energy that the warriors will then use to defeat the barbarians from the ocean of sand. Women with black roses on their wrists are emptied of their power by those warriors, who care not that they die a shrunken husk.
In the King's library, The Book of the Rose says to honor the tattooed women. More than anything, I want to spit on its pages.
As for running--there is one thing worse than having a black rose on your wrist. That is for the enemy to find you and see the black rose on your wrist. Your death will be slow and excruciating at their hands...
What I liked: This new series, Black Rose Sorceress, from Connie Suttle showcases her imagination, her unconventional storylines, and intriguing characters. I never, ever thought I would be a Sci-Fi reader but Ms Suttle’s books have introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities.
The Rose Mark is the beginning of a new series and from what I can tell is not connected to any of her other works which is good and bad. If you love the characters in her previous books and liked their appearance in other series, you’ll be disappointed in not seeing them in The Rose Mark. BUT, a whole new list of characters in a different world more than make up for the familiarity of previous people.
Imagine from the time you are born, you know you’re not going to have much of a life and most of it will be painful and short. Our heroine, Sherra, laments having been marked with the Rose Tattoo and her projected service to the King’s warrior army. At the appointed age, Sherra is moved for her training. That’s another whole ugly chapter about being rose marked. Sherra has ideas to improve the training and prolong the lives of the rose marked but “politics” rears its ugly head. She does connect with some of the other trainees and makes friends but again they are not the favorites of the trainers. All they can look forward to is providing power to the warriors until they are drained dry.
One of the warriors takes an interest in some of Sherra's ideas which just makes her life harder with the trainers. But this warrior is just not anyone and Sherra soon finds out some of the real truths of the war that seems endless.
What is especially poignant in The Rose Mark is the way Ms Suttle incorporates some of today’s issues into her storyline. Not only in the archaic laws but the political power grabs between so many of the characters. It provides relevance to the storyline.
Sherra is a bit different than previous Suttle heroines. She’s strong but isn’t as accepting of what she’s dealing with in her story. She selfless in most cases but isn’t afraid to speak her mind even when expecting some type of punishment.
I could go on and on but this first book really grabbed and held my attention. Yes, I stayed up too late and felt like I was more than a bystander in the story.
What I didn’t Like: I can absolutely think of nothing not even the e-book pricing. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, it’s a free read but even at $4.99 for the e-book of your very own, it’s a bargain. Kudos to Ms Suttle for keeping the reader’s book allowance in mind!
Absolutely Highly Recommended!!