With the rebellion now in full swing, shifter-mage hybrid Sunaya Baine has no time for distractions.
She must find out the true identity of the Benefactor and pull the plug on the Resistance’s funding before they succeed in their grand plans for genocide and destruction.
But the heat is upon Sunaya now, and it demands to be sated. And since the Resistance has marked her for death, she can no longer walk freely amongst the very people she is trying to save. Death, danger, and desire hem Sunaya in on all sides, and with her friends caught up in their own problems, she cannot truly count on anyone except herself.
Does Sunaya have what it takes to wrangle her unruly shifter instincts and embrace her heritage as a mage once and for all? Or will she succumb to the forces around her, and finally lose her way?
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Title: Marked by Magic
Series: The Baine Chronicles #4
Author: Jasmine Walt
Publisher: Dynamo Press
*WARNING: minor spoilers*
*WARNING: sexy times are in this book. Lovable prudish readers advised*
“Relax,” Iannis murmured, quietly enough so that only I, and perhaps Fenris, could hear. His hand found its way across the backseat and squeezed mine gently. “I trust you.”
There was a lot of slaying in this installment, one I’d been waiting three whole books for. Sunaya was used to getting bagged on because she was only having to deal with it from a small scale, but after the humiliation she went through in this, you can bet your ass she’s realized the true recognition she deserves, and everyone who was ever dick to her will see themselves in Hell!
I wish. They get their dues but not all of them (I’m looking at you, spineless little shite enforcers) get what I specifically wanted in the punishment department. God, this book was worth waiting for. I’m a bit sad to realize that it’ll be another long wait for book five, but I can manage. I think. Sunaya gets some real shit done, and the detective work she goes through contributes to the main question: who is the Benefactor?
It was chaos and war at the end of Hunted by Magic, and now Sunaya finally got to go smack in the middle of it all. It was a sad thing to see such fear and prejudice birth so much unnecessary death, but it’s true. The cold fact is that when we’re scared, we’re driven to do things we normally wouldn’t. And sometimes, such anarchy gives way to those who would sooner slice their mamaw’s throat before letting someone else get to all that stands to be lost: power, order, and total control.
This was a bit more emotional, dealing with Sunaya’s two halves that she’s struggled to make peace with for years. She also finally gives Iannis an ultimatum, to choose all of her or none at all. It was established in the last book, but honestly, we didn’t really get to see much struggling since she rarely saw the dude.
Remember that spoiler I was telling you about?
And speaking of MIA, I didn’t really get the ending. She figures everything out but then gets sent to an island. I get that, but what I don’t get is why the ending was about her skipping all the chaos and gritty details of ending the war. She spent all that time involved, and doesn’t even get to be there for the ending?
And another thing. Her heating cycle as a female shifter was cool because it was a prominent issue slowly building up as each book passed, and when we finally get to her being in heat, there were some issues with her maintaining her self control because all she really wants is Iannis. I liked this, and her ability to find some self control, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel at how weird it was. Like, this big buildup of her needing a sex partner resulted in her learning self control and shagging the love of her life on a beach days after it passes. Like… what now? Don’t get me wrong, I’m super glad it happened the way it did (clean cut and all) but at the same time, it just feels weird. How can something that’s been a HUGE THING in the entire series so far amount to nothing more than self control and affirmation that she wanted him even outside of her heating cycle? Where was the drama? The agonized hours of being torn between needing to sate the fire and wanting so badly to be with only one guy? I don’t know. Like I said, I loved the way it played out, but it still seemed a bit anti-climatic. Am I a pervert for wishing things had been a little more naughty? (Don’t answer that in your head! It was a rhetorical question.)
And some things were left unanswered. I do enjoy a good book that keeps you guessing, and I understand that as a series, sometimes it takes multiple books before you get an answer, but seriously:
- Why could Sunaya suddenly hold conversations with revered god-like figures?
- Who made the red smoke, do we not get to know if they ever figure out that it’s gonna be used in the final FINAL attack, if not in the next installment?
- Where did Com’s girlfriend go?
I’m going to stop now only because the last time I had a complaint (“why was she so forgetful???”) it got revealed as a major plot twist in this book. And that complaint was from Bound by Magic. Sooo I’ll stop here.
Okay Moving On
I loved the detective work coming back into play and her total involvement in every race (mage, human and shifter). It was great to see her really struggle, to see her fight so hard for all of their acceptance, only to be shunned and despised just for being what she was. Not only did it make me cry, it added a lot of character to Naya, and though it was painful to read, it still made things interesting for this enforcer. She proved herself time and time again, and in the end, she deserved a nice little break.
It’s a definitely recommend MUST READ WHY AREN’T YOU READING IT RIGHT NOW type of series. Walt knows humor of the LOL variety, how to write a toe-curling hot scene, and never fails to keep to Baine’s voice. Enforcer Sunaya Baine’s this hilarious, mildly jaded and free-spirited half-breed who follows her heart and what she believes is right. She’s rough around the edges, but she always means what she says, and honestly, life is never boring with her. I cannot wait for the next installment.