Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mercy Blade - Jane Yellowrock Bk #3 - Faith Hunter

     After an all too brief vacation for Jane/Beast with Rick, they are all called back to New Orleans because the weres of the world have come out of the supernatural closet.  With this development the vampire Master of the City, Leo, needs Jane to run an errand for him.  Leo needs Jane to go out to a bar in the boonies to tell a certain someone that he's Persona non Grata in New Orleans.  
     When she gets there she finds nothing but werewolves so, certainly the message must pertain to the alpha of the group.  Jane's luck holds true and he's not interested in hearing any message, just in killing the messenger.  Not even Beast in all of her bravado is speaking up in Jane's mind that she can take all of the werewolves since by quick count it's 12-20 weres to one. The door to the bar locks and Jane/Beast must fight their way out knowing that their death is sure to come, but just as a werewolf is coming for her throat a man with swords resembling Zorro comes out of nowhere to save her.  One of the hardest fights Jane/Beast has ever been in ensues and only through the stranger's help do they prevail.
     Having passed out at the end of the struggle she wakes up in the arms of the stranger who saved her.  He explains that his name is Girrard and that he was once Leo's misericorde, also know as a Mercy Blade, a sacred position charged with killing the offspring of vampires who have gone insane.  However, Jane doesn't know the real reason he's now returned after all these years, but she's sure that this is the man that Leo's message was meant for.  The man who just saved her life.
     Mercy Blade is a Jane Yellowrock novel of multiple plots that all intertwine into one.  I'd like to say amazingly so, and it would be for any other writer, but Ms. Hunter is a favourite of mine so, actually just sit back and enjoy the roller-coaster ride.  Character development seems to be key in Mercy Blade.  Not only for Jane/Beast, but for Bruiser, Girrard, Leo and Evangelina.  Yes, there are still your old favourite aspects from Skinwalker and Blood Cross here (with the exception of one for me) it's just like getting to know old friends even better.
     What's the one, you ask?  Well, the aspect that first drew me in with Skinwalker being one shapechanger book out of 40 that came out that year was how it was written.  Two souls in one body.  Beast and Jane.  When one was Alpha, the other was beta.  That meant that when one drove the bus the other had to sit in the back and could offer suggestions, but the driver didn't have to listen.  In Mercy Blade there's only one stand-out moment where Beast takes the reins and Jane has sit in the back.  In the three books those are some of the best conversations, between Beast and Jane, and some of the most revealing about the two.  I hope that the forthcoming book, Raven Cursed, includes more of these talks between the two.
     All in all, Mercy Blade was a stellar book with the introduction of what's sure to be an important character in the Jane/Beast universe.  My question is, will Raven Cursed happen in North Carolina or New Orleans?  Can't wait to find out!

Mercy Blade receives a 3.5 Stars out of 4

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