Book Reviews

Book Review/Giveaway: Mardan’s Mark

Award Winning Young Adult Adventure Fantasy

Get your copy of the first book in the Mardan‘s Mark series and instantly start your next adventure



Srilani is second in line to the throne, and she‘s always known what is expected of a princess — bring honor to her family and marry well. Aldan has been a pirate‘s slave for as long as he can remember, and all he wants is to be free. The Twin Kingdoms have been sister nations for centuries, but now their unity and existence are threatened by enemies both inside and outside their borders.

After pirates abduct Srilani and her three siblings, they are stranded behind enemy lines and across the Great Gulf. As the eldest, Srilani is faced with the dangerous task of bringing her father‘s heir home. She convinces Aldan and his two fellow slaves to share their journey to freedom. These unlikely allies — seven young captives —must defeat the web of lies, murder, and betrayal tearing the kingdoms apart.

Pirates, princesses, and prophecy combine in an epic adventure. Plunge into the fray!


I’m becoming quite the fan of young adult fiction, thanks to Kathrese McKee and YA author Mary Hamilton. When Kathrese asked me be an early reader I readily agreed, anxious to read her book after hearing such great things about it. I wasn’t disappointed.

From page one I was thrust into a world of royal intrigue, intense fight scenes, a bit of romance, and more. It was hard to put her book down, because I just wanted to find out how the siblings would get back home. The scenes with the pirates are worth reading the book alone, but if you need more incentive then read on. Kathrese does a great job of weaving a tale of hope into her story line. She doesn’t take the gospel and drill it into the book page by page, but rather she is gentle and persuasive. I enjoyed watching the characters grow in their faith little by little as they experienced heartache and triumphs.

I loved the variety of characters, but found myself attached to a two in particular. Linus, a slave who doesn’t speak much but has a rich back story begging to be told. I also would love to see more of Sirlani’s younger sister, Maelan. I kept waiting for her to take on more of a story line, but it never happened. I have a feeling we will see both of these characters again!

This would be a great introduction to fantasy for anyone who isn’t sold on fantasy books. It’s a fun read, but with characters that are endearing. It’s also a book that can cross over into anyone’s library as a favorite read, while being enjoyed by adults or teens.

Kathrese McKee has graciously offered a free ebook copy of this book to one of you! In order to be entered, just leave a comment.

We will randomly select a name on Sunday, January 25th   Monday, January 26th. 


Kathrese is currently hard at work on Healer’s Curse which runs concurrently with Mardan’s Mark. It will be published this March.


Kathese headshot

Texas author, Kathrese McKee, writes epic adventures for young adults and anyone else who enjoys pirates and princesses combined with life’s difficult questions. She is committed to exciting stories, appropriate content, and quality craftsmanship.

Mardan’s Mark is the award-winning first book in the Mardan’s Mark series.

Once upon a time, Kathrese worked as a systems engineer for EDS and various oil and gas companies. Then, she taught Reading and ESL at the middle school level. These days, she edits fiction, home schools her children, and turns a blind eye to the feral dust bunnies lurking beneath her desk.

17 thoughts on “Book Review/Giveaway: Mardan’s Mark”

  1. Thanks to everyone who entered. It’s always a blessing to see such a great response to a giveaway, especially when it involves a book as wonderful as Mardan’s Mark.

    I’m happy to announce that Kimberly Abel Vogel won the free copy. Congratulations, Kimberly! I will send Kathrese your email, so the two of you can coordinate how you will receive your free kindle copy.

    Have a great week!


  2. My daughter loves books about dragons, and, recently, I was able to persuade her into reading a book about pirates. I think this one might be right up her alley! Like Kimberly, I’m going to use my kids as an excuse to read YA books. Thanks, Stacey!


    1. When I became a middle school Reading teacher, I had the perfect excuse for reading YA. But you don’t actually need an excuse; there are many thought-provoking, well-written books in the Young Adult category. Thanks for leaving a comment, Rachelle.


  3. Andrew, So far I have plans for three books. However, I have ideas for at least five books. During NaNoWriMo, I wrote a novella that runs concurrent to Book One. The plan as of now, is to publish that in March. Thanks for commenting. Good luck!


  4. Hello, Nancy. Yes, yes, yes! Mardan’s Mark was written for my children; the youngest is my thirteen-year-old boy. So pirates, sword fights, peril, and just a dash of true love’s kiss (as in The Princess Bride movie). Thanks for asking about boys and books. That’s a topic near to my heart.


  5. Sounds like a great read. I enjoy the idea of following the spare in stead of the heir, plus pirates always keep things interesting.

    Jacket says it’s the first in a series. How many books will be in the series?


    1. Hi Andrew, it’s great to see you on my blog. I hope to have your book on here one day soon. 🙂 Kathrese responded to your comment below. It sounds like it’s going to be a great series. I’ve entered your name in the drawing.


  6. An e-book copy would be great!! I love having multiple books available on my reader. Do you think a teen boy would enjoy this book? David likes fantasy….


    1. Hi Nancy, thanks for commenting. Kathrese responded to your comment below. I personally think David would really like it. The focus of the book is on escape and their journey, so not so much romance. 😉 Thanks for entering!


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