Once more, I’m going to have to put a SPOILERS warning on this. Since this book is the latest in the Jane Yellowrock series, it hasn’t been out too long.
Okay, so this is take two. I wrote out this whole thing and…it didn’t publish. *sigh* So, Dark Heir is Faith Hunter’s latest Jane Yellowrock novel. We come into it with Jane and her partner, Eli and Alex Younger, prepping the New Orleans vamps for their upcoming (though when exactly is unknown) meeting with an entourage from the Europeans Mithrans (yeah, I don’t really like that term for vampires. Why gussy it up?). They’re doing pretty well, things are relaxed, which is naturally when things go to shit.
New Orlean Master of the City, Leo Pellisier, is keeping a secret in the basement. One that’s a bit of an open secret among the vamps and the reason the Europeans are sending an entourage. Chained in one of his sub basements (clearly enchanted to keep out water since New Orleans is below the water table) is the original vamp. The son of Judas Iscariot (not the first time I’ve seen this sort of theme but not quite used enough to be trope-y either), Joses Bar-Judas is the progenitor and therefore the strongest with the strongest blood.
Leo keeps him chained and starved in the basement to feed off from. Joses is clearly gone round the twist at some point as evidenced by his killing of fifty-two people upon escaping his confinement (with help from some conspirators against Leo). He only fed on a few of them, the rest of them he just killed for the fun of it.
Jane (temporarily) resigns her commission as Leo’s enforcer to take a contract from the city and the state to hunt down Joses and bring back his heart. The trouble is, he’s not only the world’s strongest vamp (and getting stronger the more he consumes blood), he’s a vampire witch. Jane calls on some locals for help and gets a surprise visit from her best friend Molly Trueblood (I think…Maybe it’s Everhart? Can’t remember and too lazy to open the book up again right now), a witch from the Tennessee area.
Since this book is relatively new, I won’t do a play-by-play. Suffice it to say, there’s thrills and chills (I just had to. It was right there), chases and near misses. The thing I really like is that even though Jane is in a somewhat steady relationship with honorio George (better known as Bruiser), Faith Hunter hasn’t turned her into a damsel in distress. So many writers start out with strong female characters who “don’t need no man” but eventually get with a man and all of a sudden, they can’t do anything without said man. If they’re hurt, they need the man to care for them and get pissed if he doesn’t. If they were a no sex until marriage type, they’re suddenly porn worthy in how much sex they’re having (I’m looking at you Anita Blake).
Jane has been and looks like she always will be (knock on wood), a kick ass woman. She saves herself, even when it looks like she’s about six inches from death. And then she ends up saving the city/state/world. Awe. Some. So do yourself a favor and pick up these books. You don’t have to read the other books in order to get this one, but it certainly helps. Rating: A.