“Mardan’s Mark” by Kathrese McKee
Mardan’s Mark Series Book One
Review ecopy source: The author
My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
About the 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.
Hmm…I am quite torn about this book. On one hand, the adventure was fantastic. On the other hand, the spiritual aspect of this book caused great concern for me. If it weren’t for that, I would’ve really adored this book. It was terrifically written, the plot engaging, and the characters very like-able, my favourite being Sam. I know most people loved Aldan as the main male character, but for me, while Aldan was okay, I really liked Sam. I liked Rene’ too until a certain scene came about.
I really appreciate the lack of stress in this book – let me explain. Most adventure/fantasy novels put you through a great deal of stress with lots of scenes that just have you on the brink of a breakdown (haha!), and this book had just the right amount of ‘dangerous’ scenes that had you frightened, but not so much that you were stressed for a long time. I really was glad of that! I don’t like being stressed out when reading. :D
However, concerning the spiritual aspects… There was a scene where some of the characters were administering help to a dying person – I assumed they were going to pray over the person, which I agree with – God is our Healer – but they began chanting and that’s what healed the woman. It was a very strange, and discomfiting scene in my opinion. And that wasn’t all – the whole ‘feeling’ of their relationship with God – El as He was referred to in the book – was not Holy to me. It made me very wary.
The abundant references to Sol, or the Sun, was also very concerning to me. They even prayed towards the sun, which the Bible tells us not to do. Afterwards, the character doing this said to another “We worship El, the Creator of Sol” – but then you wouldn’t pray towards the Sun, or bow your face to it, which they did. Sol was mentioned much too much to just be a passing remark of the sun being a light in the day. It also made me very uncomfortable.
There wasn’t a great deal of respect shown to El either – they used sentences that I would normally think were a curse word – “For the love of —” was used frequently, and that isn’t respectful in my opinion.
So, you can see why I’m torn. Had it not had these spiritual aspects, I would’ve completely loved the book. And I did enjoy it, it just has great concerns for me as well.
I’m not sure I’ll read the next one, Healer’s Curse, because of the emphasis they put on Healers having “the gift”. Only God is the Healer, not people.
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review which I have given.