Lifemarked Review

Lifemarked by David Estes is the fifth and final book in his Fatemarked epic fantasy series. After having read thousands of pages, we are finally here at the end. The fate of the Four Kingdoms rests in the final battle with the Horde. I’m just going to come flat out and say it: I consider Lifemarked a disappointment. I was fairly excited after having finished Deathmarked but I should have known that it would end up being like this.

One of my biggest gripe with Lifemarked is how the author somehow decided it was a good idea to just pile on all the action at once. We go through battle and skirmishes on and on to the point where I did something I haven’t really done in the previous books and that is skipping over these redundant sections until I got to the dialogue. The execution felt really off. For one, we as the readers most likely know that our heroes won’t be outdone in these fights prior to the main battle so reading them felt like a huge chore. Secondly, the author just doesn’t seem to mix things up a bit in these fighting sequences. I could only stand having to read of the barbarians and soldiers being impaled or hacked at for so many times before I eventually get bored. I guess the author felt the need to turn this into a blockbuster movie and so what does every action movie require? Action. And lots of it.

“The scales of justice are not borne on one man’s shoulders alone.”

Jai Jiroux

Regarding characters, I still don’t feel the connection with many of them. Did I root for them? Sure. But that’s only because there wasn’t really any other choice. The whole ordeal between Gwendolyn and Siri the dragon just felt weird with that whole “my soul” thing they got going on. Tarin and Annise are still irritating. I’m still a bit confused as to who or what Lisbeth is, Roan will just be Roan and Rhea will always still be that woman who has changed for the better and always reminding us of it every single darn time. Helmuth’s backstory was at least a bit interesting to read in the last book but here in Lifemarked, he’s just a cookie cutter villain who has nothing going on for him. I really felt the author wasted too much time talking and rehashing of past events instead of building on the present.

The ending we got is pretty much what we’ve all come to suspect in a way. While I understand it may not be to the author’s style, I really think adding a bit of political and character scheming/backstabbing and plot twists would help a whole lot with the story overall. My general rule is if I don’t at least consider rooting for the villain, even if just a little, the author would have failed me. Although I enjoyed reading the epilogue at the end, I just couldn’t help but keep finding plot holes. Bear Blackboot’s mission to the mountain just felt completely unbelievable as well as Noura’s adventure into a certain location and encountering certain people after so many years have gone by.

“Hope is never naive.”

Falcon Hoza

Sounds like I’ve written a pretty negative review here and for the most part it is. I just hate when I have to do this because I have such high hopes going into it. The signs were there it would end up being this way but I stubbornly refused to acknowledge it until the very end. Is this series a bad one? Absolutely not as I would not have made it to the last book if it was. I just wished the author would have done many things differently, however.

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