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Mercy Blade
Faith Hunter
Roc, 320 pages

Mercy Blade
Faith Hunter
A native of Louisiana, Faith Hunter spent her early years on the bayous and rivers, learning survival skills and the womanly arts. She liked horses, dogs, fishing and crabbing much better than girly skills. She still does. In grade school, she fell in love with fantasy and science fiction, reading five books a week and wishing she could "write that great stuff." Faith now shares her life with her Renaissance Man and their dogs in a Enclave of their own.

Faith Hunter Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Blood Cross
SF Site Review: Skinwalker

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Katherine Petersen

Fans of Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock novels will gobble down Mercy Blade, the third installment in this series, which has all the complexity, twists and surprises readers have come to expect. Jane's vacation with her boyfriend, Rick LaFleur, is interrupted by an announcement that the weres are coming out of the closet. Leo Pellessier, master vampire of New Orleans, has planned an event to parlay with African weres, but before the party, he sends Jane to deliver a "get out of town" message to a persona non grata. Expecting to confront a vampire, Jane faces off instead against a pack of werewolves thirsty for blood as vengeance for Leo's killing their leader many yeas ago. Jane is saved by Girrard (Gee) diMercy, the persona non grata and Leo's former Mercy Blade. The Mercy Blade killed vampires who did not regain their sanity and helped their sires maintain their sanity. Gee's appearance raises a number of questions such as: Why did he leave? Why does Leo want him gone? Why did he come back?

The story gets more complicated after Rick disappears, the wolves start turning up where they shouldn't and one of the weres turns up dead. Jane has to unravel the plot, try to save Rick -- although he might be cheating on her -- and try to stay alive.

Fast-paced, filled with action, Mercy Blade is a thrill ride from start to finish. I started out trying to read it slowly, savoring each chapter, so it wouldn't end too soon, but after about chapter 12, I simply couldn't put it down. Hunter has an amazing talent for capturing mood -- whether it's danger or sensuality -- so you feel like you're a participant rather than just an observer. I've said this before, but it bears repeating that she can evoke more sexual tension in a dance than many writers can with an entire graphic sex scene. Hunter gives readers a bit more insight into Jane's past, has her dealing with self-confidence issues in the man department, tests her patience with houseguests and shows a bit more of the relationship between Jane and Beast. Beast is just one of the reasons Hunter's Jane Yellowrock books rise far above others in the crowded urban fantasy genre. It takes a lot of talent to shift viewpoints and deal with two souls sharing the same body and have it work so effectively.

My only complaint is that I have to patiently wait another 9-12 months for book 4. Patience isn't one of my virtues. For readers who already are fans of this series, this one is a gem. For those who haven't met Jane yet, I recommend starting with Skinwalker, the first book in the series, as these books are best read in order.

Copyright © 2011 Katherine Petersen

Katherine Petersen started reading as a young child and hasn't stopped. She still thinks she can read all the books she wants, but might, at some point, realize the impossibility of this mission. While she enjoys other genres, she thrives on fantasy, science fiction and mysteries.

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