Marked for Death

Marked for Death

by Matt Forbeck

Marked for Death begins a new epic trilogy set in the world of Eberron, Wizards of the Coast's newest D&D(R) campaign setting.

His most recent title for Wizards of the Coast was Secret of the Spiritkeeper, the kickoff novel for the Knights of the Silver Dragon(TM) young reader series for Mirrorstone(TM) Books.

  • Series: The Lost Mark
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.47
  • Pages: 377
  • Publish Date: March 1st 2005 by Wizards of the Coast
  • Isbn10: 078693610X
  • Isbn13: 9780786936106

What People Think about "Marked for Death"

However before too much is learned, a group of Knights arrive in town looking for a certain dragonmark, a marking that grants powers to whomever has one. Unfortunately for Kandler, his adopted daughter, Esprë, bears the mark and is kidnapped by those responsible for the attack. Then again, it is hard to have an exciting story with characters that do not feel realistic or are one note. Marked for Death started out great, but fizzled as the story went on. Having Kandler's adoptive daughter kidnapped by the villains allowed for an interesting premise of him and his friends/allies getting her back. The first time when this happened, it didn't really seem to matter but when she is constantly re-kidnapped, it feels like the story doesn't really know where else to go. Te'oma is the one bright spot in the otherwise dull and boring characters in Marked for Death. Marked for Death is a good introduction to what dragonmarks are and how they play an important role in Eberron. Marked for Death doesn't really feel like a book you should read if you have no prior knowledge of the world. It's also inconstant with some of the details we learn in the novel, like the placement of Esprë's mark and Xalt never using any weapons. Quite frankly, nothing stands out and it just feels like your run-of-the-mill fantasy/adventure novel cover. The characters and story felt weak after a while. The story felt like it was recycled, helped in part by having Esprë kidnapped again and again. Thankfully, Te'oma is the only interesting and complex character in the story. All in all, Marked for Death isn't how you want to start a trilogy. With weak characters and an uninteresting plot, Marked for Death leaves the reader feeling bored and not into it.

Idiotic characters: I'm not just talking about the lack of development of the characters (they're all SUPER flat) but they constantly make idiotic decisions that have no place in the world they're supposed to live in. Then add the repetition problem - "We're allies, no we're not! Wait, we're not." Most of the characters are supposed to be powerful veterans, or highly trained fighters (or both) but they act like they're 13 year olds who have a 5 minute memory.

This may be because the other two Eberron books I have read were so good. But, as I said, I did enjoy this book and there were a number of things I liked about it: First, the premise on which it was based was both interesting an intriguing. For one thing, while the characters were interesting their actions were often inexplicable. Furthermore, at times the characters seemed flat and uninspired showing little development as the story progressed. Overall, I feel that the story got better as it went along and having started the second book in the series I can tell you that it is better than the first, especially in terms of character development.

While many of the previous reviewers have complained about the repetitious nature of the plot, with Espre being captured time and again, it actually worked rather well for this novel. The plot gets going when forces from Karrnath appear to capture her out from under the noses of Kandler and a group of knights of the silver flame (who were also out to find her). It is sort of funny how every time Kandler has Espre in his arms once again and you think he surely won't allow her to be captured again, something bizare happens and Te'oma is there to take advantage.

I'm listing it, because there really isn't that much to say: veteran protagonist must save helpless daughter, she's kidnapped, trusty sidekick helps the vet from "The Last War" (which is a fantastic concept that we can only hint at because this is an absolute world-building book and series--bear in mind this book is a subseries in this world), the rescue mission becomes quite cyclical after they capture this "helpless" woman/daughter who is being kidnapped by various factions because of her powers...

Firstly - this is a D&D novel.