Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Jane Yellowrock is in the house…and she is armed and dangerous.”
Jane Yellowrock is back and facing her greatest adversary ever in her newest adventure-Black Arts. Recently returned to New Orleans after facing trial for the murder of Evangelina Everhart, she is cleared of all wrongdoing but comes home heartbroken over her lost friendship with Molly Everhart Trueblood. When Evan Trueblood comes roaring into town, demanding Molly return to him, Jane learns that Molly was coming to visit her to make things right. Molly never arrived and Jane fears something bad has happened to her best friend. As if Jane wasn’t worried enough, blood slaves are getting sick while witches are mysteriously disappearing. As black magic begins to spread through New Orleans, making its way to Leo and Jane, Jane discovers that she must embrace and accept her own dark side if she is to come through this battle alive.
Black Arts is the seventh installment in Faith Hunter’s no holds barred urban Fantasy series. If I had to sum this book up in two words, I would call it New Beginnings. An action packed thriller that rips the makeshift bandages off old wounds and forces Jane to accept certain realities and deal with them once and for all. Betrayal, deception, and heartbreak all lead the way in this roller coaster ride of infinite proportions that will keep readers twisting and turning until the very last page.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. Jane embodies the perfect urban fantasy heroine. A strong supernatural warrior with a vulnerability that humanizes her. You can relate to her as you watch her conscience war with her actions. She doesn’t like killing but understands the necessity for it. Her loyalty is unquestionable as she has proven time and time again. She will fight to the death for you yet rarely is she afforded the same courtesy. A skinwalker with an unusual heritage, she has lead an exciting danger filled life since becoming the Enforcer for the Blood Master of the southern region (except Florida), Leo Pellissier. Known as The Vampire Killer, she handles security and Leo’s dirty work. She has come a long way from the subdued loner who began the series. In the last two books, we have begun to see a new Jane. A stronger Jane who is finally coming to terms with her other half and her childhood. She still carries a lot of guilt for things she has done in her life but is starting to let it go. Jane confronts some past deceptions on Leo’s part and I’m pleased to say she gets some revenge.
The romance in this series has always remained a steady but low-key hum in the background. It has also been somewhat of a sticky point with me. Jane’s Beast is a typical big cat whose penchant for multiple mates constantly battles against Jane’s more prudish nature and need to be faithful to one man. We were given some hope in the last book but something occurs in here that pretty much knocks out one candidate. Though their actions stunned me with their unintentional but heartbreaking cruelty, it didn’t shock me as they have proved to me throughout the series their intentions aren’t always honorable.
“…you’re all I ever wanted in this world. You’re all I ever needed…”
Beast lets Jane know there will be a reckoning for this betrayal but I have a feeling Jane won’t be as receptive to excuses this time around.
Prominent friends and foes play significant roles in Jane’s life-though it is sometimes hard to distinguish between the two in here. Leo shows us a new side, one he keeps carefully hidden. We learn that he knows much more than he let on and his regard for Jane is higher than she ever imagined.
“I am so sorry, my Jane, I did not know. I truly did not know. Even I would not have done such a thing to you.”
Changes in Leo’s household brings some much needed humor and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. Bruiser, Leo’s Primo, isn’t seen much in here but his rare scenes do help to open doorways to new storylines. The two characters who continue to amuse and delight me to no end are Eli and Alex Younger. Jane’s “pack” since they first met, they have had Jane’s back through thick and thin, never lying to her or letting her down as so many others have. As a fellow warrior, Eli understands Jane better than she understands herself. He sees her pain, her guilt, and accepts her for what she is; never judging her for the harsh decisions she has had to make.
“Let it out. Let it go. Don’t think…”
Everyone has their place and I for one could not imagine this story without each and every one of them.
Multiple story lines run concurrent until they reach a cross road and begin to intertwine and the main conflict becomes perfectly clear. Though diabolical and complex in makeup, the individual threads are easy to follow as we race our way towards a climactic and spectacular ending. Some actions left me cheering while others left me with my jaw on the floor. Faith Hunter brought it the table and owned it. Black Arts was a superb installment and left me wanting book eight immediately. Fans of urban fantasy will want to run on out on January 7 and pick up their copy ASAP.