Anne Bishop has created another world in which I would like to wander. However, being human and considered 'meat' by The Others, would make it a short hike.
In Written in Red, an alternative Earth, Thaisia, is the setting for this world and Meg Corbyn is a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet. By making cuts on her skin, she sees visions of the future. This practice is both painful and euphoric. It also means she has been locked up and controlled her whole life, learning about the world by watching videos and looking at pictures, learning so she can describe what she sees in the visions. To her Controller, she and other blood prophets are a source of a very lucritive fortune. But Meg manages to escape and make it to a Courtyard where she seeks to hide against recapture.
A Courtyard is a city within a city, controlled strictly by The Others, the terra indigene, and maintained to keep an eye on the humans (or monkeys, as they are called). When Meg reaches Lakeside, she finds a job as the Human Liaison, despite Simon Wolfgard's, a shape-shifter, unease. She's human, meat, prey, but she doesn't smell like prey and he and the other shifters can't figure her out.
From the very first day on the job, Meg is determined to succeed where others have failed. Mainly because it is only in the Courtyard she is safe from being returned to her Controller. And from the first, her naive approach to The Others slowly, but surely, worms it's way into their heart and protection. She makes sure Winter and her sisters has their books, she delivers packages to the Sanguinati (vampires with a twist) endearing herself to the head of their clan, and she gives treats to the ponies, all which in turn means that Meg is "theirs" and they protect what is "theirs".
While there are aspects of the book which are predictable, the overall read is great and Bishop has created a world which is different and fascinating. This world in which the shifters rule and don't have to hide what they are is engaging. A world in which a werewolf is the least of a humans worries if they anger an Elemental, or worse.
Murder of Crows is due out in March, 2014 and I am tapping my foot impatiently. It's on pre-order already.