Review: Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter

10 Jan

Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter
Mass market: $7.99
Penguin/ROC (January 2011)
ISBN: 978-0-451-46372-2

Favorite Line: “I leaned in close and whispered, “You touch me like that again and I’ll rip out your throat.” (p. 49)

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker—and a vampire killer for hire. But lately she’s found herself taking blood money from the very vampires she used to hunt…

Things are heating up in the Big Easy. Weres have announced their existence to the world, and revived the bitter tensions that run between them and their old enemies: vampires. As a trusted employee of Leo Pellissier, Blood Master of the City, Jane finds herself caught in the cross fire.

When Jane is attacked by a pack of marauding werewolves, she is thankful for the help of a mysterious stranger named Girrard. He explains that he used to be Leo’s “Mercy Blade,” a sacred position charged with killing vampires who have gone insane. What Jane doesn’t know is why this powerful assassin left New Orleans—or, more troubling, why he’s now returned. It’s definitely not to make Jane’s life easier…

Mercy Blade is book three in Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series. It’s told in first person and builds upon the previous two books. There are a few new characters introduced, but the main romantic interests, Bruiser and Rick, are both still around.

Unlike the other books in the series, Jane came across as flighty. I think it’s because of a storyline which will be continued in the next book, but it could be due to Beast’s influence. Jane makes a logical decision that I whole heartedly agree with in regards to her romantic interests. Instead of being happy with her decision, I felt sad and felt regret for the lack of possibilities in that direction.

I hate that Jane is not a character who falls in love with the right person quickly. I want her happy and in love with a strong man who is capable of both protecting her and providing the love and support she needs. The story has a solid conclusion, but I’m not certain Jane has found or will find a permanent mate. Enough about love. Let’s chat about vampires, well one in particular: Leo.

I know the vampire master of the city is a selfish and manipulative butthole, but I’m having a hard time disliking him. I mean, really, what do you expect from a creature who has been alive as long as Leo? My feelings didn’t change in this book, but the distance Leo places between himself and others is front and center. This book does a good job explaining how he came to be twisted when Girrard questions, “To kill their own children? Would it not bring you to the brink of insanity?”

Overall, Mercy Blade is a solid addition to the Jane Yellowrock series. The overall story progresses as at least two characters are changed in different manners. One of the changes is clear, the other not so much. Hunter just tells us that Jane is needed. I fully expect the next book  follow up with those characters. As usual, expect a cliffhanger ending at the end of this dark and treacherous story.

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