Book Review: Dark Heir by Faith Hunter

Posted October 14, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Dark Heir 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.

Dark Heir by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #9
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
Published by Roc on April 7, 2015
Pages: 372
Format: eBook
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, Black Arts, Broken Soul, 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

Ninth in the Jane Yellowrock paranormal fantasy series and revolving around a Cherokee skinwalker with two souls in New Orleans. The focus is on Joses Bar-Ioudas.

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

My Take

Hoo, that Leo. He drives Jane crazy when he leaves out information she needs to be able to protect him and the humans of New Orleans. Part of his reasons are his greed for magical artifacts and his desire to protect his people and New Orleans while thwarting the EuroVamps. It’s a conundrum that drives Jane nuts!

Jane, of course, drives Leo crazy as well. He is intrigued by her sass, her disrespect, and her refusing to get in bed with him.

Oh, oh. Jane finds out about Adrianna’s previous relationship with Joses, and we know all about it through first person protagonist point-of-view from Jane’s perspective. And again, she is furious with Leo’s decisions.

I don’t get why Jane hasn’t blocked off that “secret” entrance.

So much of this is blood. Using it to enhance one’s power. Healing people. If it could be preserved, how valuable it would be for cures. Of course, it can also work in reverse, driving people mad and it makes Jane question whether that event back in the early 1900s and the subsequent “sipping” for years after made a difference in Leo’s, Katie’s, and Adrianna’s sanity.

Omigod, Officer Herbert has a redeeming quality, a fabulous Harley he calls Epona. Another thug, Brute, is a much more interesting character who has evolved from into a protector.

I do enjoy the exchanges between Beast and Jane — the two are definitely two different personalities. Beast is direct and is confused by Jane ideas even though Beast does try — she’s learned a lot over the years. I do enjoy “hunting” with Beast and how she sees the world around her.

Hunter mixes Jane’s Cherokee heritage with her Catholic upbringing beautifully. There is so much that is common to both belief systems.

It’s a nasty tangle of politics, feuds, and a wide range of betrayals with some scary action, as Jane and company try to contain Joses. Yet it’s offset by Jane’s snark and her desperate need for family and stunned appreciation for her friends.

The Kid is growing up…and Jane learns that being a skinwalker may not be a death sentence.

The Story

The EuroVamps continue to threaten Leo and New Orleans, in their so-underhanded way. Including the betrayals that help Joses Bar-Ioudas to escape and wreak bloody havoc throughout the city.

The Characters

Jane “Legs” Yellowrock, a.k.a. Dalonige’i Digadoli and “Injun Princess”, is a Cherokee War Woman and skinwalker who shares her body with another soul, Beast, with whom she’s now soul-bonded. She’s also Leo’s Enforcer. Bitsa is her Harley panhead, still being repaired by Jacob, her Zen-priest master motorcycle mechanic in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her partners in Yellowrock Security are the Youngers: the ex-Army Ranger, Eli, and Alex “the Kid”, a computer hacker extraordinaire well able to read legalese. Brute, formerly known as “Fire Truck” (Mercy Blade, 3), is confined to being a white werewolf, who can timewalk (Raven Cursed, 4).

George “Bruiser” Dumas is an Onorio (nearly impossible to make and results in a more powerful, more independent man), living off premises at the Saint Philip apartments, and in love with Jane.

Molly Everhart Trueblood, Jane’s best friend and an earth witch gone wrong (Raven Cursed), and Evan Trueblood are witches, with Evan still in the closet. Living in Asheville, they have two children: Angelina “Angie Baby” and Evan “EJ” Junior. KitKit is Molly’s not-familiar cat. Lachish Dutillet, an air witch, is the leader of the New Orleans coven. Butterfly Lily and her mother, Feather Storm, are weak yet useful witches. Aggie One Feather is a Cherokee Elder, shaman, and spiritual counselor. Uni lisi is Aggie’s mother.

New Orleans is…

…ruled by Leo Pellisier, the Master of the City. The fifteen-year-old-looking Grégoire is his best friend, best fighter, and his right-hand boy toy. Katie, Leo’s heir, is in love with Leo. Edmund Hartley is the vamp version of a bond slave, ever since he lost his duel as a clan blood-master. Adelaide “Del” Mooney is a human lawyer and Leo’s primo…and in love with him. Girrard “Gee” DiMercy is a Mercy Blade, an Anzû storm god, a Misericord, who delivers mercy to the long-chained and stabilizes vampires. Ernestine “Raisin” is Leo’s in-house CPA.

Derek Lee, an ex-Marine, is Leo’s Enforcer-to-be who, as he learns more about her, does not like Jane. His men include Angel Tit, the best com and security guy on the team. The Vodka boys include V. Martini and V. ChiChi. Juwan, a sharpshooter, has just been honorably discharged from the USMC.

Wrassler is still recuperating from the loss of his leg. Roman was a new guy. Mario Esposito is/was an Italian vampire. Zelda is a blood-servant. Gretchen is also known as Titan Two. “Tex” is the only vampire who gets on with dogs. Liam, Vivian, and Rebecca are young vampires. The agoraphobic Pinkie is the maître d’hôtel at Acton House, a boardinghouse for vampires. Pinkie’s predecessor was Professor Acton, a scion of the owner.

Sabina Delgado y Aguilera, the Keeper of the Blood Cross, and Bethany Salazar y Medina are outclan, 2,000-year-old priestesses for the vampires, the keepers for their holy relics. Who have their own feud.

Clans in New Orleans
Clan Arceneau is led by Grégoire. Dominique is his heir and in love with him. Brandon and Brian Robere, twins, are Grégoire’s Onorios. Adrianna, who had been his secondo heir, is a traitor who hates Jane. Sina and Brigit are her blood-servants; Lanah and Hope had been her scions, as are Lorraine and Cieran. There’s a blood-slave/meal who had been rescued from Lucas Vazquez de Allyon, the MOC of Atlanta and Greater Georgia (Death’s Rival, 5).

The other clans include Laurent and Bouvier, the only three that survive besides Pellisier. The no-longer-existing Clan Mearkanis had had two human blood-slaves, twins. Ming Zoya had become the blood-master of Mearkanis until she disappeared. Rafael Torres had been her heir. Mishael Chrysostomos had been the blood-master of Mearkanis.

Katie’s Ladies is…
…the oldest, continuously operating whorehouse in New Orleans. Katie is its madam and Jane’s former landlady. Deon is her three-star Jamaican, flamboyantly gay chef.

Asheville is…
…ruled by Lincoln Shaddock. Dacey Mooney is his heir and Del’s mother. One of his scions, Amy Lynn Brown, is valuable for her ability to shorten the time the long-chained have to be held for curing. They all want her.

Joses Bar-Judas, a.k.a. Joseph Santana, is the son of Judas Iscariot and one of the Sons of Darkness, one of the original vampires who is also a witch. Shimon Bar-Judas is his older brother and even worse.

Law Enforcement

New Orleans PD
Detective Jodi Richoux is in charge of the woo-woo room and a friend of Jane’s. Detective Sloan Rosen is Jodi’s second-in-command but stays in the office due to his previous undercover work. Officer Herbert is a chauvinist pig who hates all supernaturals.

PsyLED is…
…a department of Homeland Security, the Psychometry Law Enforcement Division. Soul, an arcenciel, is the assistant director. Special Agent Rick “Ricky Bo” LaFleur, a former NOLA detective is now a werepanther, is in charge in this area. He had been Jane’s boyfriend.

A Mithran is the polite term for vampire. Reach had been Jane’s primary source for vampiric research. Until he betrayed her. The Damours were a vampire-witch clan that sacrificed witch children. Amaury Pellisier had been Leo’s uncle and the previous MOC. Arcencials are light dragons, serpentes iridis. Immanuel had been Leo’s biological son (Skinwalker, 1).

Daniel has a black belt in hapkido, tae kwan do, and tai chi, and he’s Jane’s sensei. And he now knows Jane’s been holding back. The Gray Between is where Jane’s skinwalker magics exist. Sylvia Turpin is sheriff of Adams County, Mississippi, and is Eli’s girlfriend. Charley is the preacher of the church Jane used to attend. He’s not too keen on the use Jane made of the church’s baptismal font. The Angel Hayyel had touched Jane/Beast and Brute (Raven Cursed). Zareb is a former con who’s found the light and works as a cab driver now. Brenda had been Jane’s favorite housemother when she lived at the Catholic orphanage. An u’tlun’ta is a liver-eater.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a black background of jail cells with lime green as the contrast showing up in the author’s name at the very top and the stylized bat motif along the left border. The lime also appears as the aura swirling around the black leather-clad Jane in a fighting stance, her long black braid whipping behind her. Her right hand holds a dagger upright behind herself while her left holds a sword horizontally. The rest of Jane is her harness festooned with objects and weapons. The rest of the text is in white with an info blurb immediately beneath the author’s name, a distressed font forms the title that is set at an angle with the series info following the angle of the title. There’s an epigraph to the right of Jane’s head. A testimonial is on the left between Jane’s torso and thigh.

The title is Joses Bar-Ioudas, the Dark Heir everyone wants, for different purposes.

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