Innocent refugees seek help at your city.
According to the government, throwing them into prison is the right thing to do.
Helping them is punishable by death.
What will YOU do?
The war refugees known as the Marked Ones are considered a threat to the City. When they die, they would return as undead that will violently kill anything in their sights. The Swordmasters have been tasked to capture all the Marked Ones in order to protect their City. New Haven is the only district in the City that provides a safe refuge for the Marked Ones.
“I have to save them all.”
It all begins when a rescue team from New Haven helps a group of Marked Ones escape from their undead oppressors. Kiera, a counselor among the rescue team, is burdened with keeping as many of the Marked Ones alive until they can safely reach New Haven. However, there are those who wish to see her fail…
“Capture them, protect our city.”
The Swordmasters have been sent to capture the Marked Ones before they could escape to New Haven. Gideon, a squad leader, is faced with a moral dilemma. Should he stay committed to his duty and capture these innocent refugees mercilessly? Or should he help them to escape, knowing that he would be punished by the law if discovered?
Our story begins when a team is sent to rescue Marked Ones and take them safely to New Haven. Kiera is a counselor in the team and it is her duty to bring all of the Marked Ones to safety. However, it is not easy, especially when there are people who are just waiting for her to fail. On the other side, there is Gideon, a squad leader for the Swordmasters, who is tasked to bring in as many Marked Ones as possible, regardless of the fact that they are innocent. He knows this is his job, but his conscience is telling him something else. What should he do? Should he do what he is ordered to, or should he risk it all and help the Marked Ones reach the safety of New Haven?
Intense and fast paced, The Marked Ones is one of a kind gem that you rarely come across. This is an EPIC fantasy (emphasis on EPIC because it is so awesome) that will have you hooked from the get go. I loved Kiera, but more than that, I loved Gideon. Together, these two showed perfect parallels and made me want to root for both of them. Their struggle was painful and they both knew it; however, they were determined to do what they had to and this made them even more awesome to me. This is definitely one of those novels that you recommend to absolutely anyone who likes to read because it has the ability to appeal to all kinds of readers. The cover is beautiful!
Nickey T. Hawke has created a rich and vast world that's chaotic and detailed, with a focus on characters that are outcasts. Gideon's team is filled with people who wouldn't necessarily be called heroic, but each one is likable and has the strength it takes to be a hero. Two opinions on the Marked Ones are shown through Gideon and Kiera, with their voices reading as if they're talking directly to you, putting you into the action with them. Kiera and Gideon have strong voices, both are similar in the aspect that they're conflicted. Both are compassionate and trying to determine what their beliefs in this world truly are, except they're on different sides. Gideon doesn't set out to be heroic. He makes mistakes, has fears, and flaws, but he honestly tries to do the right thing and that makes him commendable. Kiera is a strong personality with determination and a kind heart. She's dedicated to saving the Marked refugees, and is easy to relate to. The Marked Ones is rich in story with action that feels almost cinematic, a story of survival and finding one's place in the world.
Nickey T. Hawke’s The Marked Ones has a rich moral and social complexity that goes beyond the world building of most fantasy novels. The themes of friendship, romance, revenge, and hope are woven into a detailed political picture as Gideon struggles to make the right decision. Will he let the Marked Ones go, allowing them a second chance instead of punishing them for their plight, or will he fulfill his mission to protect his city? Those who aid the Marked Ones do not go unpunished. Amid a raid on a mansion with a hidden portal and an evil spirit in it, the views of those around Gideon—his outgoing friend, his earnest cousin, his bitter commander, and Kiera, the woman he’s falling in love with—add layers of tension that build from a quiet beginning to a tense, nail-biting conclusion. As much a profound drama on the human condition as an action-packed story, The Marked Ones stands out in a sea of young adult stories. Recommended.
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