Author's Name : Kathrese McKee
Genre : Fantasy, Adventure
Series : Mardan's Mark Series ( Book One )
Srilani is second in line to the throne, and she’s always known what is expected of a princess — bring honor to her family and marry well. Aldan has been a pirate’s slave for as long as he can remember, and all he wants is to be free. The Twin Kingdoms have been sister nations for centuries, but now their unity and existence are threatened by enemies both inside and outside their borders.
After pirates abduct Srilani and her three siblings, they are stranded behind enemy lines and across the Great Gulf. As the eldest, Srilani is faced with the dangerous task of bringing her father’s heir home. She convinces Aldan and his two fellow slaves to share their journey to freedom. These unlikely allies — seven young captives — must defeat the web of lies, murder, and betrayal tearing the kingdoms apart.
My Musings :
I had just finished the Caina Amalas series by Jonathan Moeller and I was looking for more fantasy books when I came across Mardan's Mark as a freebie on Amazon Kindle. I immediately bought the book since I loved the book cover and the blurb interested me. I got to say the author didn't disappoint me though she is a new one.
As I said earlier, I loved the look of the book cover. But I couldn't relate to the "character" on the cover. She looks too old to represent any of the female characters.
The story revolves around two main characters, Srilani and Aldan. They are very daring and intrepid. They do what they have to do in spite of their difficulties and are real enough with their limitations and their strengths. They are strongly supported by Srilani's siblings and Aldan's friends. Each of the side characters are well developed. I enjoyed the tension between Srilani and Sam, how she has to prove herself to him. Srilani grows from a haughty princess to a sensitive woman while Aldan leaves his pirate persona behind on his way to a heir. Sam is abrasive yet gentle while Linus is the strong silent type. Rene comes across as a gentle, mild tempered girl in the beginning but she develops a temper near the end. The twins,Maelan and Jamson are good sports to get through their ordeal with minimum fuss. The characters' growth is gradual and natural. The romance between Srilani and Aldan, and between Rene and Sam is foreseen easily. Maelan and Linus enjoy their camaraderie but we got to watch if anything develops between them.
The book starts right away with political intrigue and a pirate adventure. It combines my favourite genres - Fantasy and Adventure. The plot wasn't hurried. It includes trials to test the characters and a chase of getting over the obstacles to get to their destination. Their shipwrecked situation reminded me of the Swiss Family Robinson which is one of my favourite books of all time. The only disappointing thing is I don't see any map in the book. One of the things I love about fantasy books is the map. It helps to plot the course of the novel. Otherwise the book scores a perfect century!
In short, I am looking forward to the next book with bated breath. Hope I don't run out of breath before that! * grins*
My one line review : Perfect blend of intrigue and adventure with well developed characters in a well defined world
My rating : 5/5
My reread factor : 5/5