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Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter


My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

It’s 4:00am here in central Florida. I just finished reading Death’s Rival and am totally unable to sleep. A combination of too many kick-butt pneumonia- fighting drugs, or  an overdose of kick-butt vampire-killing Jane Yellowrock in action? I can’t really decide which. But I figure if I’m wide awake, I may as well use the time for something productive, like reviewing this outstanding addition to Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. Dang, this book was good! Hands down, the best in a pretty good series, in my opinion.

Jane Yellowrock is a Cherokee skinwalker, who shares her body with Beast, a large mountain lion. Her methods of shifting forms are not like any other I’ve ever read about, and her past history is quite unusual. The books have grown in complexity over the series (this is #5) and Jane has become more and more fascinating, bimbo-factor cover art notwithstanding.

VERY SLIGHT SPOILER COMMENTS:  I was left less than satisfied with the ending of Book #4, Raven Cursed, since I’ve been a big Rick LeFleur fan from the start of the books, and that relationship was taking a real nose-dive. I had thought what happened to Rick in the previous book, Mercy Blade, would bring the two of them closer, but instead it drove a wedge between them. Of course, there was always Bruiser, the Uber-sexy, but oh-so-bound-to-big-bad-vampire, and thus a blood servant (eewww) that Jane has always been attracted to. Bruiser showed up in this book as even Uber-er Sexy, with new added talents, and all the potential for taking Jane’s mind off of Rick. But then along came Eli! Ricky-Bo, and Bruiser, and Eli, oh my! One thing Jane does not lack for in her life is attention from sexy men. Why settle for one love interest, when three could be thrice as nice, eh? 

For those more interested in vampire politics, rapid-paced action, and intriguing mysteries, than in the romantic entanglements, there’s plenty of that and some to spare, spread out over New Orleans and even into a bayou or two. It was a riveting plot, and I was loving every minute of it…right up to the end. Suddenly, disaster struck. Things happened. People were hurt, including Jane. And then…once again…Jane managed to blow it. GAH.  Just when I thought she had it all worked out, and was finally going to get it right, too. Again?  *Sigh* Now I HAVE to read Book #6. (I guess there is a method to Faith Hunter’s madness, after all.)

Bottom line, if you like well written Urban Fantasy with a focus on interesting Cherokee customs and lore, plenty of action, lots of sexy men lusting for your heroine, and the usual assortment of things that go bump in the night PLUS a few not so usual ones, I recommend this series. If you’ve been reading it all along, this latest book should really get your attention. Of course, the ending might be a bit disappointing to you, if you prefer your romances to run a bit more smoothly. But then, when you have three men (so far) to choose from, maybe losing one isn’t quite such a big deal. Made ME sad, though.  Check it out for yourself, and see what YOU think.

Death’s Rival: A Jane Yellowrock Novel

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4 thoughts on “Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter

  1. Books run on conflict, so I hope for, but don’t expect, romances to work out. And Jane has trust issues piled on abandonment issues sprinkled with some killer secrets, so it’s not surprising how bad she is at relationships.


    • Have you read this one, Caitlin?

      I don’t expect relationships to work out right away, of course, but I do expect them to make progress in that direction. My favorite guy gets practically written out of the story, then again, maybe not, and then again, Jane blows it yet another time? ARRRGGGHH. And to be honest, I had no trouble knowing she was totally wrong with her conclusion in this case, right from her first shocked reaction. She should have known better, too. She’s not stupid, and it had only been a few hours since these things were discussed, for Pete’s sake. Her trust issues need to start sorting themselves out, unless this time is really the end.

      Don’t get me wrong. This is still the best book in the series, in my opinion, but the ending has been tormenting me. I find I am thinking about it a lot, especially right before I drift off to sleep. That one particular scene where it all goes BOOM just replays in my mind. It’s not conducive to a good night’s rest. I have REAL people to be worrying about, and here I am worrying about a trust-impaired, skin-walking Cherokee woman who is a figment of someone else’s imagination! Or maybe I’m just worrying about Rick.



      • Yep, I have read it.
        Do you have Blood Trade, the next one, on your list?
        I’ve read it too, and I’m not sure it’s going to make you happy. A few things are resolved, but not much.


        • I expect Blood Trade to arrive Wednesday. Somehow I got a book behind on the series, and didn’t order it when it came out. I don’t mind if things aren’t totally resolved in the next book. I’d just like to think Rick hasn’t been thrown by the wayside? I frankly don’t blame him one bit for walking. But I feel really sad for him. He deserved better. And I’m mad at Jane! I’m thinking beast will never want her to be monogamous, anyway, but I’m hoping she will prevail, and with the right guy. For me, that’s still Rick. Eli has potential, but Bruiser…sexy or not…well, his total blood-slave-iness just creeps me out. It’s almost as icky as Leo is. Gah. He makes me want to run far, far away. On a bike. With Rick. Hahahaha.


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