Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Mardan's Mark" by Kathrese McKee

About this book:

  “Death is not their deepest fear.
  Abducted by pirates and taken behind enemy lines across the Great Gulf, Princess Srilani is determined to save her sisters and younger brother, the crown prince, from captivity.
  She convinces their caretaker, Aldan, and his brother slaves to share the perilous journey home. This ragtag group of unlikely heroes sets out on a quest — pursued by cutthroat pirates, merciless priests, and marauding soldiers — to return the heir to his kingdom before war breaks out.
  In this epic adventure fantasy, Srilani and Aldan risk everything to save a prince and a nation, discovering along the way that death is not their deepest fear.”

Series: Book #1 in the “Mardan’s Mark” series.

Spiritual Content- Isaiah 49:25 at the beginning; Many Prayers to, praising & thanking El [God of all Creation]; Blessing & trying to heal someone; Messages from El via an angel (not one with wings or a halo); Many talks about El, believing in the Creator, His healing & His timing and will; Some ‘H’s are capital when referring to El; Aldan is skeptic about El, but tries praying to Him; Many mentions of El & peace; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of visions & promises from El; Mentions of blessings, holy days & worshiping; Mentions of those not being in El and/or any god; A mention of something being like a miracle; “May El bless you” is said many times; a “for the love of El” is said;
*Note: A scene with a king kneeling to a god & asking for something (the king gets in trouble for doing so); A witch; Many mentions of gods, idols, god’s priests and temple guardians, a temple, spirits, evil, sacrifices and incantations for a god, witchcraft/dark arts, a witch and her chanting (board-line semi-detailed); A few mentions of the gods helping someone; A couple mentions of “damning evidence” and “damning words”; A mention of someone being the son of the devil; A mention of a she-devil; A mention of a devilish maneuver; ‘Gods’ is said like a replacement for a minor curse at the beginning of a sentence twice.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘biddy’, a ‘drat you’, two ‘gah’s, two ‘idiot’s, three ‘dumb’s, four ‘shut up’s, nineteen forms of ‘stupid’; Sarcasm; Mentions of curses (said, not written (a fake one is written “Azor’s teeth!” four times)); Lots of fighting, hitting, battles, weapons, using weapons to injure/kill, blood, killing, bodies & the smell (very semi-detailed); Passing out, pain & injuries (up to semi-detailed); Water & almost drowning (up to semi-detailed); Drinking wine; Many mentions of fighting, weapons, blood, injuries/scars, pain & dying/deaths (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of slaves & slavery; Mentions of murders, deaths, bodies, blood & the smell (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of murders, assassinations, killing, betrayals, deaths & daggers; Mentions of fighting & wars; Mentions of pain, injuries & threats; Mentions of drowning & almost drowning; Mentions of killing one’s self before something bad happens; Mentions of torture & screams; Mentions of fevers, blood, a popped out shoulder, screams, stitches, injuries & wounds (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of beatings; Mentions of drinking, a drunk, wine & spirits; Mentions of hunting, traps, animals & dressing them (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of tattoos; Mentions of throwing up; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of lies & lying; A few mentions of executions; A couple mentions of gangs & robbers; A couple mentions of debts; A couple mentions of jealousy.

Sexual Content- a hand kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, two semi-detailed kiss, dreaming of kissing & being kissed (semi-detailed), and a boarder-line semi-detailed // detailed kiss; Wanting to be kissed again; Noticing, Staring & Smelling (up to semi-detailed); Blushes; Touches, Embraces, Hand holding, Flutters, Tingles & Nearness (up to semi-detailed); Unwanted touches, nearness & smelling (up to semi-detailed); Seeing a man’s bare chest (up to semi-detailed); Talks about a kiss; Talks about touching & touches; Mentions of blushes; Mentions of heartbreak; Mentions of noticing; Mentions of lovers, reputations, virtue & purity; Mentions of a kiss; Mentions of men’s jeers, crude gestures, innuendos & insults at two young women (not written); Mentions of women being men’s property & owning them as slaves; Mentions of revulsion from a man’s comments & him wanting to kiss/taste Srilani (along with wanting to taming her himself, but he won’t because she has value as an untouched virgin); Mentions of a king’s concubines; A few mentions of virgins; A few mentions of married couples kissing (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of a man not taking advantage of a woman; A couple mentions of the idea of a woman giving herself to a man; A couple mentions of a fate worse than death for women; A mention of a man maybe getting a wife or two and fathering some [children]; A mention of tales of captivity in brothels (no details); A mention of a man planning to use a woman & letting others watch (no details, doesn’t happen); Love, falling in love & the emotions;
            *Note: Mentions of women’s curves (& a couple mentions of a man drawing the outline in the air); A couple mentions of someone being a pain in the butt.

-Srilani, age 17
-Aldan, age 19
                                      P.O.V. switches between mostly them but also Sam & Rene
                                                 396 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens- 
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
I like books with maps. And books with character lists. It’s really quite helpful. Random details about myself to the side, this novel was different. A good different. There’s not too many Christian Fiction books out there with pirates and royalty. I frankly like that there’s more, like Mardan’s Mark, coming on to the scene with different kinds of characters.
There’s many things I can appreciate about this novel. For one, the names were fun. (I have no clue how to pronounce them, but they at least look cool.) Another major one, it wasn’t as stressful as past Fantasy books I’ve read. Goodness sake y’all, I’ve worked up a sweat reading books where you don’t know who’s going to make it to the next book in the series. I had little-to-no-anxiety while reading this fantasy, which was another nice change. Things happened quick and baddies were taken care of nearly as fast. There also was no sibling bicker between any of the sibling, which was nice.
But, now, there were things I wasn’t quite sold on. One of them being the healing of a woman via calling on El and singing a song to Him, {El is supposed to be God} it just felt a little bit off to me, but I’m not quite sure why. Some parts didn’t seem very respectful to God, so I feel like that could have been better. There also was a lot of killing and fighting in this nearly-400-paged-novel, which effected the ratings, of course.
Different parts reminded me of Lisa T. Begren’s Remnants series, just with maybe a little more fighting and less romance. Personally, that can be good and not-so-good for me, so for those who really enjoyed that series, you might check out this one, just know it’s not a Dystopian.
I did enjoy Mardan’s Mark, though, it has an interesting plot and world its set in, no doubt about it, has a story to be told. I found it very well written, and even though there were many mentions of other characters, I didn’t get lost following who was who. An impressive feat while not using the character lists (which I wasn’t aware was at the back of the book until near the end), as I normally get lost with such plots. I look forward to reading the #1.5 next and seeing what happens to this interesting cast of characters.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Author for this honest review.

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