Dark Heir by Faith Hunter
Publisher’s Description: Shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is the best in the business when it comes to slaying vampires. But her latest fanged foe may be above her pay grade…
For centuries, the extremely powerful and ruthless vampire witches of the European Council have wandered the Earth, controlling governments, fostering war, creating political conflict, and often leaving absolute destruction in their wake. One of the strongest of them is set to create some havoc in the city of New Orleans, and it’s definitely personal.
Jane is tasked with tracking him down. With the help of a tech wiz and an ex-Army ranger, her partners in Yellowrock Securities, she’ll have to put everything on the line, and hope it’s enough. Things are about to get real hard in the Big Easy.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).
That’s *ALL* you care about? You don’t care about the story?
I just want Jane & Bruiser to have HEA. That’s my main goal. After that, everything is just gravy.
Well, we don’t see Bruiser much in this book, but when he does show up, he is some kind of smooth, let me tell you. He shows up a couple of times to help Jane relax when she’s wound tight, and he’s had a special cologne made to wear just for Jane that has catnip in it! I was pretty pissed at him when he let Leo bite Jane, but he’s really redeeming himself. I think *I’m* falling in love with Bruiser!
If we only all had a Bruiser. *sigh* I cannot picture Bruiser. I love doing the casting for the characters in Jane Yellowrock’s world, but Bruiser aka George Dumas has totally stumped me. I’m kind of sad that Bruiser didn’t make a big appearance in Dark Heir, but I’m glad he made an appearance at all. Have you checked out the covers on Jane’s series? The covers portray Jane well. I use her in my mind all the time. I also use the audiobook voice too. Khristine Hvam does Beast so so well. The writing and the audio match so well and is an awesome combination. Ok…..I kind of got on a roll there, didn’t I. Well…I can only say I love it so many times, you know!
Oh, I’m sure you could squeeze it in a couple more times if you really tried. 😉
Nervous Nellie says…
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Jane Yellowrock is one tough, kick ass woman. She is such a tangible character that I swear I’m riding along on her adventures in one of her weapons pockets. She is a supernatural creature that is decades old and guided by Beast. Beast is a beautiful puma that adds a lot of depth to Jane. It makes sense that Jane couldn’t know all the things that she HAS to know without help. That’s what makes the story more credible. Eli Younger. What can I say about Eli? He is a man that is hard as steel, but yet allows a little softness in his heart where Jane resides. I love having Eli and Alex be her blood brothers. That made me get all fuzzy inside. She is slowly putting together a family she can count on and love. Alex is growing up. He’s off probation and he’s made a spot in his heart for Jane too. Then we come to “Bruiser”. I *love* “Bruiser”. Really, who wouldn’t? He is a man that Jane can count on and being an Onorio means he can’t be killed easily, so Jane is free to love and not risk getting her better half? Significant other? Boyfriend? Mate? Partner? Whatever he may be called, dying in front of her. George didn’t make a lot of appearances in this story, but when he did, I got all fluttery inside. Jealous of Jane? Heck yes. Lastly, Leo. What can I say about Leo? Wicked. Evil. Double, triple, quadruple crosser. Master planner. There is so many titles that Leo holds. He didn’t get to where he is by being nice. Leo is the quintessential devious bastard, but in this story he was discomfited by having to admit to Jane that he made huge mistakes with/over/to the SoD. There are references to history of Joseph Santana, Immanuel, Adrianna, Amaury and how they operated before the vampires became more “civilized”.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Ricky-Bo LaFleur- the man I love to hate. He thinks Jane is “waiting on him.” Oh, golly, that is hilarious and would only come from him. He has no shame. Going from his mate’s bed to talking on the phone with Jane in a come-hither voice. Jerk. Edward Heartly – he’s a vampire I’d like to know more about. He was a master of his own clan, but he seems to lack the ferocity of Leo. In other words, he’s kind of nice. I keep seeing him surfacing in the story, so I KNOW we are going to see more of him. Wrassler – I grieved over him in the last book when he was injured. He’s good people, as Jane would say. Him and Jodi Richoux? I can only hope. Del-Adalaide Mooney- in love with Leo. Foolish vampire. I don’t think Leo knows the meaning of love unless you talk about George. That is a relationship that is so tangled and has so much history, that Leo and George can’t help but love each other. Bethany and Sabina? They are just nuts. So is Adrianna. As a fruitcake nuts.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The world is incredible. The author paints the vampires so perfectly. They are not creatures anyone can trust. They are devious and definitely have an agenda. The vampire world hinges on survival. Vampires have to claw, crawl, plot and plan a long game in order to get a good position because they live so dang long. You have to be the top of the totem pole to survive. It really mirrors nature in some ways so Jane fits in really well with her Beast. We humans really do have it easy. Anyway, returning to the subject. NOLA is a perfect setting for all of this drama. If you have ever been to NOLA, you can just feel the history in the city. If the old Ante Bellum houses and live oaks could talk, we’d get some stories that would peel paint from a barn, I’m sure.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ OMG. That’s really all I can tell you that could encompass I’ll I feel about this story. All the other Jane Yelllowrock stories are awesome, but we are getting into some heavy hitting stuff. The first vampire? Holy cats! (Get it? Beast/Cat?) Anyway, the SoD or Son of Darkness is the scariest thing I think Jane has ever confronted. There was some small revelations but I have a lot of questions yet. Where is “Bruiser” going at night? What is his relationship with Bethany exactly? What has his relationship with Leo developed into? I know that Leo grieved George when he left Leo’s service. I cannot imagine that after all those years of service, George is just done. Period. I think there is something else going on there. I am just warning George right now that he’d better not put the hurt on Jane or he’ll have me to deal with. Really scary. Right? *Choke* What is going on with Bethany and the witches? Molly? What about Molly? So many questions and I’m so deliciously waiting on answers. I hope this series goes on for a while anyway. I love these people. Yeah, okay. Maybe even Ricky Bo – a little. Maybe.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ In total I have read this book twice in a week. It is so engrossing that once I opened the cover, I was past the point of being able to do anything else until it was finished. That’s what I call a book! Everything is put together so well. The characters are all separate people. None of them even echo each other which is a huge accomplishment. They each have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. It is unquestionably a delight to read. This world/characters/story is so good and I can sink far into Jane’s world, take a beating like Jane does and even feel like something the cat dragged in like she does. Get it? Cat\Puma? Joke? Oh, never mind.
Invested Ivana says…
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ It’s kind of hard to top Nell’s review. 😉 The Jane Yellowrock series is one in which we are both heavily invested. Jane and Beast are such great characters – snarky, competent, self-doubting at times, both vulnerable and strong. It’s been so fun watching the characters develop as the novels, novellas, and short stories have come along.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ When Eli and Alex Younger were introduced, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them or what their purpose was – were they a replacement for Molly, for Reach, for Rick? But dang if I haven’t fallen in love with them, too. I got all sniffly when Jane asked them to be her blood brothers. I also have to admit I favored Rick for Jane for a long time. I just couldn’t be a Bruiser fan while he was still tied to Leo. Bruiser has really turned that around, though. While he didn’t appear in this book much, I think this is the book where I finally fell head over heels for Bruiser. Oh, he fascinated me before, but I think now he has my total trust. His whole role in this book is simply to support Jane, and he does it beautifully without any ego or rancor. He shows up when she needs him, and doesn’t interject himself when she doesn’t, demonstrating total faith in her and her abilities. And catnip cologne? That is some level of smooth. The way he woos not only Jane, but Beast as well, demonstrates not only his acceptance of, but his love for everything Jane is. It’s very hard not to fall in love with that. Finally, I was so excited when Molly appeared and it looked like she and Jane would be friends again. Jane’s realization that she doesn’t hug often, while she was hugging Molly, was very touching. But, I’m still apprehensive about the future of that relationship. I really hope they can be friends again.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The more we learn about the world Jane inhabits, the scarier it gets, in my opinion. In this book, we meet an “original” vampire, one of the first. Because of him, more original vampires are on their way. One bad crazy vampire is scary enough, what will more be like? Will anyone survive? What more will be revealed? While reading Dark Heir, I swear I could feel the warning tremors that precede a massive earthquake; while this story is big, something bigger and scarier is coming.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ One thing I really love is when later books in a series tie together everything that has happened since the very first book, especially when the elements didn’t seem connected before. To me, that is a demonstration of amazing skill and forethought as a writer. Dark Heir accomplished this beautifully. Ms. Hunter takes us all the way back to the first book to explain the current circumstances – the skinwalker posing as Leo’s son and heir; the blood diamond and the involvement of the witches; the light dragons; the role of the Mercy Blade and the reason all the vamps seem just a tad crazy; the angel’s involvement– all these elements are coming into focus so we can see more of the “big picture.” Yet I suspect we still haven’t seen all of it. Additionally, while this book is showing us this history, it’s also the launching point for the “next big thing” — what’s going to happen when the European delegation arrives. Keeping all this in mind over the course of six or more years seems to me to be an amazing skill and makes for a thrilling story.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Every time a new Jane Yellowrock book comes along, I want to reread the whole series just to experience it all again – and I’ve done so at least once every year since 2009 in either print or audio. These characters are friends, people I deeply care about and want to visit with often. The ability to evoke that kind of connection is, to me at least, the hallmark of a great writer and a great story. Thank you, Faith, truly, for sharing your stories with us.
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