In our latest self-published author spotlight, I present to you: The Deadly Mark, by Katherine Nader.
“The Deadly Mark”
Katherine Nader was raised in Lebanon, then moved to Canada in 2004. She is currently studying Biology, English, and Professional Writing at the University of Toronto.
Threatened by the desires of dangerous men who see her as nothing more than a pawn in their games of power, Princess Kathleen finds herself coveted by a cruel prince who is determined to marry her at all costs. Her only ally is Eden, a man hired by her father to keep her safe. But how can Eden protect her, when the person who wants to harm her most is Kathleen herself?
If you put all the politics and courtly intrigue aside, The Deadly Mark is basically the story of a tormented princess who turns to suicide in order to escape the machinations of the various overbearing males trying to control her life. I enjoyed following Kathleen’s story, because her self-destructive nature, coupled with her questionable decision-making skills, gets her into all sorts of sticky situations. Kathleen is a very empathetic character, and it’s easy to sympathize with this girl who is manipulated by everyone around her. I also enjoyed the character of Eden, the loyal guardsman, because he truly has his work cut out for him keeping Kathleen from offing herself at every available opportunity.
My two main issues with this novel were the length, and the point of view. The book is fast-paced, which is good, but it moves so quickly, and the setting descriptions are so sparse, that I had trouble keeping track of where the characters were, and why they were doing what they were doing. So I would have definitely liked to see more description—Kathleen is a princess, after all! A few mentions of “soaring archways”, or “golden chandelliers”, or whatever would have definitely helped immerse me in the world. The other problem I had was with the POV. The Deadly Mark is written in omniscient third person, which means that you can see into every character’s head. This takes a lot of the mystery away, because you already know what everyone is thinking.
These issues aside, I did enjoy reading The Deadly Mark, mostly because Kathleen and all her foibles greatly amused me. It’s pretty good for a debut novel, and I have high hopes for the author in her future writing endeavours.
4 out of 5 stars
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