Author: Faith Hunter
What I’m Talking About:
Picking up a few weeks after the end of the previous story, Shadow Rites finds Jane and Co. at the center of yet another potentially fatal dilemma. Beginning with a magical attack on her house in the middle of the night by unknown witches, it starts with an adrenaline rush and maintains that frenetic pace throughout. Jane has changed over the course of the series, however, and, unlike the impersonal nature she once wrapped herself in so determinedly, there’s an undercurrent of affection in her now that makes her even more compelling.
Far from the impulsive loner that she once was, Jane has learned many, many things since she first began working with the other supernatural elements that populate the series. Jane is a hero, in every sense of the word. While there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to save those she loves, in recent stories she often “runs the numbers” to gauge how much of herself she can sacrifice for them and live in order to do the same again in the future, should they have need. Just as important, however, is that Jane is no longer acting on her own, and those who love her are entitled to make sacrifices for her, in turn—a fact she’s still trying to accept.
One of the most interesting aspects of these stories is that each is built around a specific happening or mystery, the components of which may at once fill in missing information from previous novels, while laying the ground work for events yet to come. Shadow Rites further expands on this template, the pieces of unsolved puzzles from earlier titles suddenly snapping into place, thereby reshaping Jane’s world to accommodate even more unknowns. It’s been an intriguing pattern so far.
While the Jane Yellowrock series works perfectly well without an excess of romance coloring the narrative, the fact that Jane still has a mostly-steady love life in Shadow Rites was particularly delightful. The intimacy between Jane and Bruiser is a hard-won thing, and I think Ms. Hunter is spot on to limit these interactions to anticipation and the happily reflective afterglow that follows—at least until the next disaster has them both taking off at a sprint. Bruiser is too much the gentleman, and Jane too private, to justify anything sexually gratuitous.
I think my favorite thing about this story is that, all this time, Jane has been inadvertently building something she’s always desperately wanted, but never thought she’d have—a family. Comprised of a grab bag of species, abilities, ages, and genders, “Clan Yellowrock” is like none other, and everyone in it is as loyal as they are formidable. I firmly believe that Jane deserves nothing less. Plus, seeing them close ranks and collectively send Leo packing when she needed them to was kind of glorious.
Having been a fan of this series for quite a while now, I have to say that Shadow Rites is my favorite Jane Yellowrock book to date. As her inner circle grows, Jane has become a better, stronger, wiser version of herself, even if giving her heart means she has more to lose. Though the chaos around her seems to increase by the minute, Jane is more balanced than she’s ever been, and seeing her in moments of real happiness is wonderful. I still strongly advise that this series be read—short stories and extras included—from the beginning. It’s a lot to cover, but this series is absolutely worth it.
My Rating: A, Loved It
Exclusive Short Story
IT’S JUST A DATE Part SEVEN
From the world of Jane Yellowrock
Copyright Faith Hunter
I heard Eli and Syl speed down the hallway, their steps odd, as if they crouched low to avoid the fog. I raced to the back of the kitchen and swung open the door again. Outside was the purple vapor, the spell rolling outward. I took a step back.
On the other side of the smoke was Eli and Syl, backing up the alley. Looks like they had gotten out just in time. My partner stared at me through the purple smoke, face empty of expression. Battle face. The face he had worn so often since I was hit by magical lightning and he and Bruiser and had carried my burned body through the city.
“Can you jump through it?” Eli asked, his tone calm, too calm. Glacier cold.
The spell sensed the open door and boiled in. It brushed my skin with a burning, stinging sensation, like steam, not smoke, hot and wet, not hot and dry, a sensation like tiny needles made of scalding mist, slicing and thumping into me. I leaped back, brushing the purple away. Where it had touched me, I was stained lavender in swirls and parallel lines, like some kind of tribal markings. Or like a spell tattooed into my flesh. Marking me. Why? To what end?
My blood was rising to the surface and pooling. It hurt where I touched it, like a burn from hot steel. I hissed. “No. Can’t jump.”
Eli crouched, as if ready to dive back inside. To save me. I slammed the door.
This was bad. This was very bad.
The publisher is offering one (1) copy of SHADOW RITES as a prize to one lucky commenter here on the blog. To enter for your chance to win, fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment below, telling us what is your favorite long-running series that you enjoy to read.
Winner(s) chosen at random from all eligible entries. This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only (PO boxes prohibited), where not prohibited by law. Open to participants, 18 years or older, who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. Prize will be delivered by the publisher. This blog, its reviewers, and the owner are not responsible for items lost in the mail. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to abide by these terms.
There is a tour-wide giveaway for 1 complete set of the Jane Yellowrock series (all 10 novels!), plus one $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. For more information, please visit the Shadow Rites blog tour page.
About the Book:
Slaying Vampires is child’s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans supernatural players is another story…
Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep. A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Series: Jane Yellowrock #10
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (384 pages), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley
Reviews in the Series:
Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #3)
Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #4)
Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #5)
Blood Trade by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #6)
Black Water by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #6.5)
Black Arts by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #7)
Broken Soul by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #8)
Dark Heir by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #9)
Kicking It Anthology edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price
Blood In Her Veins: Nineteen Stories From the World of Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter
About the Author:
Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.