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Marked for Death: The Lost Mark, Book 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2006

    Quick, Action-Packed Story

    Let me start by saying I enjoyed this book but found it a little disappointing. This may be because the other two Eberron books I have read were so good. But, as I said, I did enjoy this book and there were a number of things I liked about it: First, the premise on which it was based was both interesting an intriguing. Basically, in Eberron there are twelve Dragonmarked Houses. A select few of the members of these houses are born with (or develop) dragonmarks which are marks on the body that look like tattoos and grant spell-like abilities to those born with them. Each house exclusively has one type of dragonmark. In the distant past there used to be thirteen dragonmarks but only twelve remain, as one family (the House of Vol) was mostly eradicated. The premise of this book is that the lost thirteenth mark, The Mark of Death, has returned. The good guys seek to find and protect the bearer of the mark while the agents of a cult known as the Blood of Vol seek to find and use the bearer for their own purposes. Second, the book gives a nice overview of Eberron by incorporating a lot of Eberron-specific content into the story. For the most part this is done without overwhelming the reader. It does not read like a bunch of gaming information thrown into the novel. Instead it works within the structure of the story. Third, the story is quick-paced and action-packed. The actions scenes are for the most part well written and descriptive. While I often found myself sympathizing with the plight of the main characters and wanting to know more about them I thought this is where the book could have been improved. For one thing, while the characters were interesting their actions were often inexplicable. For example, in the beginning when a group of strangers are expected of a very gruesome murder, the mayor orders the justicar (sort of a town sheriff) to arrest them and perform a trial by fire. The justicar refuses and the mayor has him arrested and thrown in jail. Does he then have the strangers arrested and subjected to the trial by fire. No, instead he invites them over to dinner unguarded and with their weapons. This is just one of many examples throughout the book of scenes that left me scratching my head. (I was also a bothered by the shifter's inability to distinguish the shifter by her smell as mentioned by a few of the other reviewers) Furthermore, at times the characters seemed flat and uninspired showing little development as the story progressed. The dialogue could also have been better. Finally, the story does get a bit repetitive after a while, although not so much that I found it annoying. Overall, I feel that the story got better as it went along and having started the second book in the series I believe that it is better than the first. So if you are a fan of Eberron or RPG-related books I would probably recommend this book.

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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    Posted February 5, 2009

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