Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Final Heir by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #15
Published by Ace on September 6, 2022
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Jane Yellowrock is the queen of the vampires, and that makes her a target as she fights to maintain control and keep peace in the city of New Orleans. She has enemies at every turn, because vampires live forever, and they keep their grudges alive with them. That includes the Heir, the vampire sire of the Pellissier bloodline, which gave rise to Leo Pellissier himself—Jane’s old boss and the former master of the city.
With the Heir and all the forces of darkness he can muster arrayed against her, Jane will need all the help she can get. She’ll find it in her city, her friends, her found family, and, of course, the Beast inside of her.
Now we come to the final book in the Jane Yellowrock series. The style of Final Heir felt very different to me. As usual, the point of view is Jane’s with her thoughts and where she is and what she sees. Because she is now often in a more political role, directing things, and being protected, we don’t see many of the battles and only wait to hear what happened and who might be hurt or dead.
I understood the Younger’s protecting Jane when she was fighting the cancer but it seems strange. Is it because she has lost many of the skills she had before when she was better able to shift or time walk? She is more human now in some ways. She hasn’t learned to draw on her powers from the crown or Glob or Dark Queen or even those skinwalker powers. It feels weird how little fighting she does, leaving other humans like Eli, her Consort, Bruiser, and the vamps and witches to do the fighting.
So much of the time, I felt like I was waiting for the attack, the battle. It was clear Jane didn’t know enough, about the attackers, about what they wanted, about her own powers. There was only a very slow, meandering to get that information. On the other hand, the invaders seemed to know a lot.
The handling of the last book aspects were excellent. There was a bit of an old home week feel as we saw some characters we hadn’t seen all the time. I really enjoyed having more witches around, especially Molly with her family including Angie Baby. It was awesome having Gregoire and Edmond back from Europe also. I enjoyed seeing Leo with his struggle and his new role. Reach came into things just a little. Deon and his food were a joy.
There were also more emotional scenes in Jane’s mind where she cared for certain people or characters so deeply. There were many more sex scenes and connected moments with Bruiser. The Youngers really shone in their skills and their outstanding support of Jane. Angie Baby had so many key parts in the story. Leo and Brute were others with big roles in how things played out.
I was surprised by how little Beast was part of the story, maybe because she was so strongly in True Dead. I also expected more of Gee and her brother, Ayatas. The last time she saw Aggie was shocking after I thought they were so close as she healed. The arcencials were not very helpful or prominent.
As an urban fantasy story, these books need to be read in order. Even when read in order, they are complex with many details and characters to follow throughout fifteen books. If you haven’t read them, much of this won’t make much sense to you. It’s been a great journey and I like where it has arrived. Thank you, Faith Hunter.
Q&A with Faith:
When is Queenie gonna teach Leo a lesson? He needs a good kick in the ass.
Jane – Leo is … Leo is a nutcase psycho, with about as much empathy as a pile of bricks. When I first met him, I figured if I kicked his ass, he would never learn anything, he’d just come back kicking harder. I figured I’d have to be the splinter in his toe, not the blade in his side. I’d have to needle him, not stab him. Unfortunately, Leo outsmarted me and gave me Edmund. And then made me a blood clan leader. Then … Well, it’s possible that he made me the Dark Queen. I mean, it’s possible that Leo knew that le breloque was in South Louisiana and that
I’d be drawn there. He was drinking the blood of the Son of Darkness, after that son had been bitten by an arcenciel. So… I think it’s possible that instead of me kicking his ass, Leo maneuvered me into a position of power, one that left me no choice but to take over. A nutcase psycho, with about as much empathy as a pile of bricks, but really, really smart.
What do you think Angie baby and Edmund’s pledge to each other is going to mean to you?
Jane – nothing but trouble. Like TROUBLE. So far, on the surface, she seems to be accepting that she can’t marry him, but I can’t trust her. She’s adorable, but let’s be honest here. She will find a way to get what she wants eventually. And I’d hate to be in Molly and Evans shoes when she tries for Edmund someday. Worse? I’d hate to be in Edmund’s. (rolls eyes)
Can you read the Jane Yellowrock and the Soulwood series as separate entities or do you have to follow a timeline?
Faith – You can, but you miss lots of good stuff. I was about eight or nine books in to the Jane Yellowrock series when I began to consider a spin off. With a spinoff there is always a common backstory that overlaps, and that overlapping grows organically. What I didn’t expect to happen was the lingering coinciding that came from Rick LaFleur’s presence in both series. I could have taken the easy path of just killing him off, but he was interesting. Dark. So, instead, I moved him into Nell’s life, let him become one of the reasons Nell has multiple stories to tell, and gave Jane a different love. So yes. You can read either series alone or together and with or without the novellas and shorts in BLOOD IN HER VEINS and OF CLAWS AND FANGS.
Jane’s character seems to be more intense than Nell Ingram’s even though they both have struggled with dark incidents in their pasts. Do you have more of an affinity with Jane or Nell? Which character has been more fun to write?
Faith – I don’t like or dislike either Jane or Nell more than the other. Both are fabulous to work with for entirely different reasons. Jane is harder to write simply because there is so much backstory in her life. The Jane Yellowrock series will finish at 15 books, the last FINAL HEIR. To keep Jane fresh, I’ve had to write in some major changes and obstacles to overcome, and her challenges are always more physically dangerous and physically difficult than Nell’s will ever be.
That said, Nell has to overcome so many social and emotional problems that Jane never will, because Nell was raised in (and escaped from) a polygamous cult. Her place in the real world is uncertain, and because she started out as the only one of her kind, Nell is stumbling along in the dark, finding her way. When put in context, with Nell as a law enforcement officer, there is a layer of internal conflict that Jane will never face.
Sooo… Like a good parent, I didn’t answer to say which of my children I prefer. (gives cheeky grin)
Talking to a werewolf in wolf form was difficult. At the house, we had a soundboard that Beast could tap on to communicate. It was new and it made our lives so much easier, but out in the wild we were still stuck with the Q and A, yes and no, method of communicating, a series of questions to which Brute could respond with a no head- shake or a yes nod.
“Brute. Is there trouble?” Brute nodded.
It was daylight or near enough, so that meant the trouble was not likely a vamp. “Is one of my humans in trouble?”
I asked my way through the list: witch, were-creature, cops, ICE (who had, lately, gone after vamps because the long-lived ones didn’t believe in documentation), para-haters, PsyLED—the Psychometric Division of Homeland Security—and half a dozen others before Brute made a disgusted chuffing sound and stared at the sweathouse. I turned to see Aggie, standing in the open doorway, her right side hidden, probably carrying the knife. “One of the tribal people?”
Head shake. He looked from Aggie to the firepit, now with only a few glowing coals left.
“Oh,” I said, feeling stupid. “You know something about the angel?”
Brute nodded. “What is it?”
He turned and disappeared into the gray light. “Crap,” I sighed out. “Not a yes/no question.” I looked at Aggie. “He doesn’t usually run away when I mess up.”
Aggie frowned and turned her back on me, picking up a leather scabbard and sheathing the blade. Her shoulders were hunched, her head down. I didn’t know if her posture was angry, exhausted, shamed at drawing a weapon, or something worse.
She shook her head, the motion weary, and asked, “Could your vision be in a graveyard? You’ve fought battles there before, and blood drinkers frequent them.”
I frowned, thinking. Watching her move, the stress and uncertainty in her jerky movements. Fear, again. She was afraid and I didn’t understand.
She turned to face me, the scabbard nowhere in sight. “A church?” she asked. “A cathedral?”
Tour Wide Giveaway:
There’s a tour-wide giveaway open to US residents!
- 1 winner will receive a Yellowrock Securities leather bracelet
- 5 winners will receive a Beast is Not Prey leather bracelet
- 4 winners will receive their choice of a $25 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble
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