Book Review: Black Arts by Faith Hunter

Posted October 7, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Black Arts by Faith Hunter

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Black Arts by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #7
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
Published by Roc on January 7, 2014
Pages: 336
Source: my own shelves

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Also in this series: Blood Trade, "Easy Pickings", True Dead

Also by this author: Blood Trade, Kicking It: These Boots are Made for Stalking, Blood in Her Veins, Mercy Blade, Shadow Rites, Bloodring, Seraphs, Dark Queen, Shattered Bonds, Broken Soul, Dark Heir, Cold Reign, Blood of the Earth, Curse on the Land, Flame in the Dark, "Water Witch", "Explosion On King's Street", Skinwalker, Dirty Deeds, "Shiloh and the Brick", "Black Friday Shopping with Nell and Occam", Circle of the Moon, Blood Cross, Spells for the Dead, "Easy Pickings", True Dead

Seventh in the Jane Yellowrock paranormal fantasy series and revolving around a Cherokee skinwalker who shares her body with the soul of a mountain lion in New Orleans.

If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Jane Yellowrock books on my website.

My Take

Beast’s attitude toward children of all species is so sweet. She so loves kits.

Hunter uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Jane’s perspective — we know everything she’s thinking and feeling. Well, okay, since Beast is part of Jane, we also get Beast’s thoughts. Some of those thoughts include those returning memories of Jane’s, of her father and her grandmother.

I love that Katie has finally entered the computer age and is so enthralled with it, lol. Katie isn’t the only one revealing things, Jane is also revealing her skinwalker heritage to Jodi and some others. And to Aggie of her memory of torturing a yunega for his actions. Hmmm, Jodi is interested in Wrassler…

Leo is incredibly devious, with layers and layers of planning, who has a need to control everyone around him. He takes such great delight in trying to control and “own” Jane. A constant battle of words and weapons with these two.

Jane and the Youngers are full of the snark within their family as well as the rest of the world. I do enjoy the nicknames Jane hands out…more family.

Bruiser has gained independence from Leo — Leo kicked him out! It leads to a new level for Jane, and it cracks me up, as Beast continues her opposition to Jane’s romantic thoughts. It is such a crack-up. Beast wants lots of mates while Jane is heavily influenced by the Catholic orphanage that raised her from twelve on.

It’s a combination of the warmth of friendships and the fears and tensions of worry for those friends added to Leo’s duplicities that make Jane Yellowrock so fascinating.

The Story

Molly is missing and Evan is terrified. Meanwhile Jane is wondering if the missing Bliss and Rachael are tied to the same mystery.

Jane will do whatever she has to to find Molly in a search that will lead Jane deep into more of Leo’s convoluted plotting and exposing her to a new enemy. One who is stronger and more powerful than she has ever faced.

The Characters

Jane “Legs” Yellowrock, a.k.a. Injun Princess, is a Cherokee/Tsalagi skinwalker, so old that she had walked the Trail of Tears with her grandmother (her first form was we sa, a bobcat). And everyone knows she’s a skinwalker now. Jane is also Leo’s part-time Enforcer. Aggie calls her War Woman. Beast is the mountain lion whose soul shares Jane’s body and has been bound to Leo. Eli Younger, a former Army Ranger and health nut, and his younger brother, Alex, a.k.a. Stinky or the Kid, who is a genius computer hacker — and on parole for hacking the Pentagon, are partners in Yellowrock Securities, and they all live in one of Katie’s houses. Bitsa is the name of Jane’s Harley, ’cause it’s put together from bits of this and that by a Zen Harley master. Edoda had been her father, Lisi her shaman mother, and Uni lisi her much scarier grandmother.

Molly Everhart Trueblood, an earth witch, is Jane’s best friend who lives in Asheville, North Carolina. KitKit is a kitten that Aggie’s mother insisted Jane take. Evan Trueblood is Molly’s husband and an air sorcerer. Angelina, a.k.a. Angie Baby, is their scary daughter, scary because she has so much power, too young. Ka Navista is the Cherokee Indian doll Jane had given Angie. Little Evan, a.k.a. EJ, is their son who also has witch powers. Molly has seven, er, six now, sisters, including Regan and Amelia. Bedelia Everhart. Evangeline Everhart Stone had been the oldest Everhart sister (Raven Cursed, 4). Shiloh was Evie’s daughter who ran away from home and went missing.

Eldreth Everhart is Molly’s grandmother? who translated Grimm’s Little Red Riding Hood, using another ancestor, Philomena Everhart, as Red. Theodosia Everhart is the grandmother in the story.

New Orleans vampires are…

…led by the Master of the City of New Orleans and the Southeastern US, except for Florida, Leo Pellisier. George “Bruiser” Dumas is Leo’s primo (chief blood-servant), head of security, and Leo’s official Enforcer — and in love with Jane. Bruiser has also recently become Onorio (nearly impossible to make and results in a more powerful, more independent man; Blood Trade, 6). Leo’s Mercy Blade, Girrard “Gee” DiMercy, an Anzu (thunder god bird) is a master swordsman who helps vampires maintain mental and emotional control and gives mercy to vamps who do not survive the devoveo (the ten-year curing time for new vampires; Mercy Blade, 3). Grégoire is Leo’s secondo heir and had been turned centuries ago by a pedophile vampire. He’s the best swordsman in America. Adelaide “Del” Mooney, a lawyer, is the human hostage from Shaddock, Dacy’s daughter, and Leo’s new primo. Luther Astor is the Mithran hostage. Edmund Hartley used to be the blood-master of Clan Laurent but lost a Blood Challenge. Sabina Delgado y Aguilar is an outclan, very old, vampire priestess. Louise is a housekeeper and Quesnel is the sommelier.

Derek “V. Lee’s Surrender” Lee, an ex-Marine, is second-in-command of Leo’s security at vamp HQ. His team includes former Marines, all African-American, including Angel Tit, the Tequila boys: T. Jolly Green Giant, T. Sweaty Bollock, T. Antifreeze, T. Sunset, T. Trash Can, T. Red Dragon, and T. Acapulco as well as the Vodka boys: V. Martini, V. Lime Rickey, and V. Sunrise. Additional security includes “Wrassler“, Steven, Stephen, Locke, and Jimmy Joe “Hawk Head” James and Tattoo Dude who rotated in from Arceneau.

Katie’s Ladies is…
…a vampire whorehouse located behind Jane’s house. Katherine “Katie” Louise Dupre, a vampire, is Leo’s heir. Tom, a.k.a. Troll, is Katie’s Enforcer and primo blood servant. Deon is her three-star Jamaican chef and gayer than all get out. Ailis “Bliss” Rogan; Rachael Kilduff; Christie, who is a dominatrix; and, the shy Tia, who’s flirting with Alex, are some of the girls.

Clans in New Orleans
There are only four left after previous events: Laurent, Bouvier, Arceneau, and Pellisier. Grégoire is the leader of Clan Arceneaux with Adrianna as his secondo heir…and Jane’s enemy, once allied with the Damours. Dominique is his heir. Grégoire has two Onorios. Imogene is a blood-servant and housekeeper. Macon Brown is a blood-slave.

Clan Laurent is led by Bettina. Sonya has several human blood-servants: Jocelyn is her primo, Liam, and Vivien. Clan Bouvier has two masters: Innara and Jena, mind-joined anamchara. Roland is their clan heir. Renee Demours had led the Rousseau Clan in Blood Cross, 2.

Asheville is…
Lincoln Shaddock‘s territory. Dominique, a vampire who is Grégoire’s heir, and Winston Beavers, a human are the hostages from New Orleans. Amy Lynn Brown is a vampire who cut eight years off her devoveo and who can bring new vamps out of the devoveo much earlier than usual.

Jacques “Jack” Shoffru is an MOC from Mexico who used to hang with Jean Lafitte, running the Ring Leader and the Lady’s Virtue as pirate vessels. He’s also a person-of-interest to an alphabet soup of agencies. He carries a lizard, Longfellow, with him. Bancym “Cym” M’lareil is Shoffru’s heir.

The International Association of Weres represents…

…shapeshifters. Raymond Micheika is the leader of the Party of African Weres (PAW). Kemnebi is an angry wereleopard whom Jane made her beta (Raven Cursed, 4). Asad, a werelion with whom Jane has been corresponding, is the emissary from PAW. Nantale is his wife. Paka is an unmated female wereleopard who agreed to help Rick.

Law Enforcement

New Orleans PD
Detective Jodi Richoux, with a witchy background, is the cop in charge of the paranormal unit, which works out of the basement woo-woo room. She and Jane are working on a friendship. Lou Redkin works in Missing Persons.

PsyLED is…
…a federal enforcement agency, Homeland Security’s Psychometry Law Enforcement Division. Soul is in charge in this area with Ricky Bo LaFleur, a former NOLA detective and a black wereleopard, one of her agents. Pea is the kitten-sized grindylow assigned as Rick’s “guardian”.

Mithrans is the polite word for vampires of which there are two types: those who adhere to Fame Vexatum (they take only enough blood to survive) and the Naturaleza (who will drain as many humans as they like). The Vampira Carta is the Mithran legal code. A gather is a sort-of democratic meeting of vampires. Blood-slaves are hangers-on who are addicted to vampire blood in a vamp household, used for odd jobs, to be passed around. Blood-servants are a higher class with contracts and sworn to a particular blood-master. The blood diamond is a black magic artifact filled with the power from murdered witch children (Blood Cross). De Allyon is/was a vampire who came over with the Conquistadors, and he adhered to the Naturaleza (Death’s Rival, 5).

Sheriff Sylvia Turpin of Natchez is dating Eli (Blood Trade, 6). Reach is a never-met hacker extraordinaire who sells his research abilities to anyone. Guilbeau’s Restaurant, where Scott Scaggins is the general manager, was the site of a party from which Rachael and Bliss went missing. A couple of blood-slaves, Devin and Ozzie were also at the party. Lewis Aycock‘s company was hired as party security. Alonzo Nubbins owns a car service that caters to vampires. Uni lisi is Aggie One Feather‘s mother. Aggie is an Elder of The People, a shaman, and Jane’s spiritual counselor. A u’tlun’ta, a skinwalker gone bad, is a liver-eater. The Angel Hayyel came to “aid” Jane/Beast in Raven Cursed. War Women were important to the tribe, executing and torturing, buying and selling, or adopting prisoners and so much more.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a busy coral background of forest, Beast, and mists rising up around Jane who’s dressed in a fitted leather tank top and pants, festooned with straps holding her weapons. Her long braid is whipping through the air as she wields a long length of chain. At the top, against a black background is the author’s name in a red-coral and an info blurb beneath that in white. The title in a distressed font is at an angle beneath that with the series info beneath the title to the right, both in white, as is an epigraph to the right of Jane. At the very bottom is a testimonial, also in white. The left edge has a border in black and coral with stylized bats.

The title is a reference to both Molly and Jack Shoffru using Black Arts.

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