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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
When Nosu called her princess, everything changed for Osezele. She had only admired him from afar, but it wasn't just their relationship that changed; everything did. She had lived a sheltered life. Her knowledge of the marked was limited to the small snippets her mother had allowed her to learn which, considering the lengths she had gone to when Osezele was born, was more dangerous than could be imagined. Osezele had been born marked, but not wishing to see her daughter taken from her grasp, her mother enlisted the help of her sister to hide the tell-tale sign from the Spotters. A change is coming, one that threatens all those bearing a hidden mark. It seems the danger is approaching on more than just a single front, and one is heading straight for her. Can Osezele and her new friends prepare for the danger about to arrive on their doorstep, or will life as they know it change for all who possess a hidden mark?
Crimson Night is Book One in Obehi Dibua's The Marked series. Within these pages, you will find a detailed and gripping urban fantasy based in Nigeria, and centering mainly around Osezele's boarding school. There has been great thought put into the creation of this world, and the marks within. From shifters to witches, there is an array of talents, and a class/hierarchy designated for each. Those born with a mark should be located at birth by Spotters and raised in their own communities, but some parents chose to hide the mark, raising their child as they saw fit. Osezele is unaware she possesses a mark, and suddenly finds herself thrust into a secret world she had no idea existed. I loved watched her grow and develop, gaining confidence through alliances and friendships as she comes to understand the world she is a part of and the powers she is coming into. There is a very real feel to every aspect of this book, from setting and characters to the application of magic and social structures. This is a story of friendship, discovery, danger, impending threat, and magic, all presented in a captivating manner with characters you can really grow to admire. This is an excellent start to what I feel will be a very promising series.