Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
True Dead by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #14
Published by Ace on September 14, 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Jane used to hunt vampires, but now she’s their queen. She’s holed up in the mountains with the Yellowrock Clan, enjoying a little peace, when a surprise attack on her people proves that trouble is brewing. Someone is using very old magic to launch a bid for power, and it’s all tied to the place where Jane was first drawn into the world of Leo Pellissier—the city of New Orleans.
Jane is compelled to return to NOLA because someone is trying to destabilize the paranormal world order. And because she now sits near the top of the vampire world, the assault is her problem. She will do what she must to protect what’s hers. Her city. Her people. Her power. Her crown
True Dead was exciting and had a story I needed and wanted. It has been almost two years since Shattered Bonds and that time gap hurt me. I didn’t remember some of the newer characters introduced there who were also key here. I had forgotten how much happened besides Jane being healed. She also started learning her role as Dark Queen.
Jane continues to figure things out about her newer abilities, the etiquette and politics of her position. She needs the history behind the making of her newest enemies. She has some excellent tools to help her in Alex’s computer skills, her own ability to scent magics, and various elders and diaries she can consult for more historical information. They help her form her theories and confirm some things.
Beast is both a help and a problem. She is making some of her own choices which leave Jane weak or in trouble. I love Beast but almost felt she was dangerous to Jane sometimes. Beast is bigger on fighting and sex than she is smart strategy. I hope they make a better understanding at some point to go forward.
It was great to see some favorite characters and learn more about what others have been doing. On the other hand, some characters are not around at all (the witches, Edmund). Of course, some characters die, not all of them the enemies. There are some characters who should die, but have yet to be brought to justice. The ending is a pause, before the next big battle they know will come.
I’ve long been a fan of the Jane Yellowrock series. I highly recommend this series, which does need to be read in order (like most urban fantasy). The fast paced action and complexity of the world and its magic systems is exceptional. The strategy along with both the planned and spontaneous attacks is thrilling!
TRUE DEAD Q&A with Faith Hunter:
Can you help me understand Jane and Gee’s Goddess blood more?
Answer: This is the first time I’ve been asked this in just this way. Short answer—Le breloque will only accept a few beings as its own. A very few humans throughout history, the arcenciels, and Jane. Gee DiMercy knew that the crown would take Jane. His blood and arcenciels’ blood is similar, as in they come from the same world and neither really belongs on Earth. Jane was an outlier, the only skinwalker with two souls who had not been driven insane. And … Beast knew an arcenciel back in the hunger times, so there was a connection. A sharing of meals. Perhaps … a sharing of blood.
I’m listening to Shadow Rites (again) and it has made me wonder. Is there any chance that you will do a series or follow-up novel in the future to let us know what happens with Angie Baby and Edmond once she is grown?
Answer: Not planning at this time. Not thinking that far ahead. I have contracts through 2022, and after that I’ll decide what to do series wise. I think about spinoffs all the time, but finding the character voices isn’t always easy. I try not to promise books I may not have in me to write.
When fighting the EV’s how did you decide who would win and who died and why? (A few of my favorites were gone.)
Answer: A few of my favorites were gone too. I had no idea when I started who would live or die, except for the chicky who got burned up in the rising sun. She had to go, and it had to be bad. Why? TRUE DEAD holds the answers.
Your books rollercoaster readers’ emotions, but what was the personally most emotional scene for you to write?
Answer: I’ve been writing for over 30 years. After all this time, the most emotionally difficult to write was the scene in BETRAYAL (by Gwen Hunter, first pub’ed in 1994) where my character waits for her husband to come after her to kill her. He was abusive, dangerous, violent, and she knew with a certainty that he was going to kill her. So she let him come. That set-up scene, where she prepares herself emotional and physically and spiritually for what was to come, was powerful and empowering for me. And still one of my best.
It has already been established that Jane can travel to alternate universes if that’s what we can call it when she met Joann and Papa Legba. Could it be that she did again and the Sangre Duello actually took place not her time but in the other one?
Answer: Nope. That alternate universe was a special situation, part of what is called a crossover story. However, CE Murphy (author of the Walker Papers) and I might be talking into doing a second crossover story… Maybe. ?
Beast growled low, showed killing teeth again, eyes still on Koun. Sat with cow meat between claws. Ripped cover off meat and spat to floor. Tore meat off. Ate. Swallowed. Ate chunks. Water-blood ran across floor.
“You are angry. So, the messy kitchen is a lesson for Eli. What are you going to do to George? Hack up a hairball onto his pillow?”
Beast chuffed. Ate more meat. Belly was full. Dead cow meat was gone.
“Tell me, Vengeful Cat. Would you like to join the vampire hunters? The Chief strategist of Clan Yellowrock would be happy to follow you into battle.”
Beast ear tabs perked high. Venge-ful Cat. Was good name. Beast nodded as human does.
“Do you go in cat form, or do you shift into Jane?”
Most vampires and humans in Winter Court of Dark Queen did not know the I/we of Beast was not always Jane. Most did not know how to talk to not-human-forms. Koun knew how to talk but did not always act with knowledge. Koun asked two questions at one time. Could only ask one. Beast waited. Stared at Koun.
Koun pursed lips, thinking. “Do you hunt vampires in cat form?”
Beast licked paws and muzzle free of blood, rough tongue getting all blood and meat-bits from paws and toes and off pelt. Shook head no.
“Shift then. I’ll weapon up.” Koun turned and left kitchen, closing door softly.
Beast looked at office area. Met Brute eyes, blue as sun on ice. Brute shook head and went back to big mattress in office corner. Turned three times and curled into ball with lizard. Beast raced up stairs and into sleeping room. Went to place where Bruiser kept clothes. Nosed open door. Found Bruiser best shoes for dancing. Carried one to empty room and hid in empty closet. Could bite holes in dead-cow-skin-shoes with killing teeth, but did not want to make Bruiser sigh. Hiding shoe was enough. Chuffed. Padded back to bedroom, to bathroom, and leaped into place where humans lay in hot water. Was cold on Beast belly. Took claws off of Jane.
What the heck are you doing? Jane shouted at Beast.
Beast reached into Jane skinwalker magics and thought about Jane half form. Did not know what would happen when shifted. Did not know what form I/we would be. Most of Jane people did not know of Jane shifting problems. Some knew secret. Beast liked secrets. All cats liked secrets.
Tour Wide Giveaway:
Enter to win some fabulous prizes! Giveaway is open to US residents only.
- 3 winners will receive a bag of Faith’s tea blend + a signed manuscript revision page
- 3 winners will receive a signed manuscript revision page
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