The Rose Mark: Black Rose Sorceress, Book 1 (Unabridged)
by Connie Suttle
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Sherra We belong to the king - those of us with the black roses tattooed on our left wrist, directly over our pulse. As if every beat of our hearts reminds us that we are not our own. All the women with the fire burning within them are culled, tattooed, and taken to the warriors to provide more energy. Energy that the warriors will then use to defeat the barbarians from the ocean of sand. Women with black roses on their wrists are emptied of their power by those warriors, who care not that they die a shrunken husk. In the king's library, The Book of the Rose says to honor the tattooed women. More than anything, I want to spit on its pages. As for running - there is one thing worse than having a black rose on your wrist. That is for the enemy to find you and see the black rose on your wrist. Your death will be slow and excruciating at their hands...