Faith Hunter’s best selling dual natured urban fantasy heroine, Jane Yellowrock, has entertained fans since first meeting her in book one-Skinwalker-which released in 2009. With 9 full length novels and 36 individual shorts and novellas, this series continues to grow and expand, both in arc and characters, as it follows it own rules that keeps you guessing until the very end. Told from a first person narrative, we follow Jane Yellowrock’s journey as she discovers more about her heritage while graduating from a solitary rogue vampire killer to a premier enforcer for Leo Pellissier-the Blood Master of New Orleans. Action packed with a steady influx of magic, mayhem, and romance, Jane’s destiny begins the day she accepts a job in New Orleans only to discover herself pulled reluctantly into vampire politics and the steady stream of adventures that fall her way.
Love Jane, Love Jane's Beast
Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker of Cherokee descent in existence. An infamous rogue vampire killer for hire, Jane doesn't know much about her childhood, having been raised in foster care after she was found as a child wandering around in Yellowstone National Park. After she turned 18 years old, Jane took what little memories she had of her childhood and went back to Yellowstone where she discovered her ability. Jane’s ability allows her to shift into any animal she chooses. She also shares her body with another—a large mountain cat she calls Beast. Jane and Beast are not extensions of one another, but separate entities that share a soul. An interesting aspect of this series is the fact that Hunter uses science in explaining Jane’s shapeshifting. It’s not simply a matter of shifting and allowing ‘magic’ to explain the shifting of forms with no consequences. Jane has to calculate the mass of what she is shifting into and make sure she absorbs or expels the calories needed to maintain the form. Stronger than most and very well skilled in weapons and fighting forms, Jane is not immortal nor immune to harm. She is vulnerable and though she heals faster due to Beast, she can be hurt and killed.
Jane continues to search out her past as her memories increase with time. She gradually learns that Skinwalkers aren’t inherently evil as she has been led to believe and this offers her some hope. A quiet, stoic woman; an athletically built warrior, her size and manner belays her soft heart. The ultimate flawed hero, Jane is the champion of the underdog even at the expense of her own health. She will fight to the death to save someone she believes is weaker or unable to protect themselves. Her ability to love and want love in return is her greatest strength and vulnerability. Having been raised in foster care, family is an important connection that she strives for throughout the series. She often allows those who she thinks of as family to take advantage of her willingness to do anything for them and often expresses sorrow but not shock when they inevitably turn on her because she doesn't feel worthy of that love and loyalty. This comes from a deep seated guilt, intensified by her religious nature, over some things she has done in the past. In the beginning, she was sure of herself and the jobs she was doing. As time passes, she began to look back on her actions and questioned her motives, wondering who the monster was really and who the victim in her battles was.
Autonomy is also important to Jane. Given her connection with Beast, whose very nature demands no restraints, the need to maintain her independence produces constant strife between her and Leo Pellissier, the Blood Master of New Orleans. Again, this need is based in her childhood and her connection to Beast. She had no real choices growing up and once she was free, she battles for that freedom with a vengeance. Plus, she realizes early on that whoever controls her, controls Beast. As Jane grows though the series though, she learns that there are many ties between people that are given willingly and not used as a way to control or manipulate.
Jane and Beast exist harmoniously for the most part but one matter of contention between them is sex. Beast thinks sex in terms of building and continuing the pack. Multiple mates are acceptable and she pushes for Jane to mate with the various men they meet who Beast feels are strong enough to defend, protect, and produce strong kits. Jane is human and monogamy is very important to her. As is keeping her dual nature a secret. There is a mild love triangle that exists in the series. Both men express attraction to Jane though their loyalties, at this time, are to others and Jane is let down by them on multiple occasions. Her need for love plays a strong role in her actions towards these men. Hunter has kept this storyline very low key throughout the series and only time will tell which man Jane will choose-if either.
Along Jane’s many, many adventures, she has met a wide variety of humans and supernaturals who all have instigated themselves into her life; some as allies and some as enemies. I have compiled a small list of the most important people who Jane has met and whom she interacts with frequently.
Cast of Characters
A large mountain cat who shares a soul with Jane. A separate entity whose thoughts and actions are completely independent of Jane. Beast has been with Jane since she was a child and has protected her as a parent might.
Blood Master of New Orleans and the Southern Region (except Florida). Jane’s boss. Leo rules his territory and subjects with an iron fist covered in velvet. Deceptive dangerous, Leo is fascinated by Jane and very possessive of her. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1.
Aggie One Feather
A Cherokee shaman who tries to help Jane recover her memories and accept who and what she is. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1.
George Dumas (Bruiser)
An Onorio. Leo Pellister’s Primo, blood servant, occasional lover, and an admirer of Jane’s. He helps her when he can but he is completely loyal to Leo. Introduced in skinwalker, #2.
Leo Pellister’s former Mercy Blade (assassin). He and Jane have an uneasy relationship based on the fact that neither knows what the other is exactly and are both dangerous predators. Introduced in Mercy Blade, #3
One of the oldest vampires residing in New Orleans. Leo Pellister’s second in command and his heir. Owns and operates Katie’s Ladies; the oldest brothel in New Orleans. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1.
A human soldier who works for Leo Pellister and who Jane has worked with frequently. Circumstances have led them to an impasse and for now, they have an uneasy alliance. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1.
A blood servant of Leo Pellister’s though the why is unknown. A powerful vampire, a master in his own right, who has saved Jane on multiple occasions though Jane is unsure why he has such a strong interest in her. Introduced in Black Arts, #7.
Molly Everhart Trueblood
Jane’s best friend. An earth witch born into a powerful family of witches. Married to Evan Trueblood-a warlock. Helps run the family business with her sisters. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1.
Jane’s goddaughter and Molly Everhart Trueblood’s daughter. Jane love her unconditionally and the feelings are reciprocated. A very powerful young witch whose powers and personality are growing in unexpected ways. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1
Rick LeFleur (Ricky Bo)
Former human detective who was bitten by a werewolf and unable to shift. Currently works for the PsyLED (paranormal division of Homeland Security). On and off boyfriend of Jane’s. Introduced in Skinwalker, #1.
Former Army Special Forces. An employee in her security business and a friend. Strong, silent, deadly, and 100% in Jane’s corner. Eli’s loyalty is only to Jane. Introduced in Death’s Rival, #5
Little brother to Eli and the third employee in Jane’s security business. A teenage hacker whose computer skills are phenomenal and sense of hygiene is questionable. He, like his brother Eli, is loyal only to Jane. Introduced in Death’s Rival, #5
Below is a comprehensive list of the Jane Yellowrock series, both primary works and subsequent shorts and anthologies.
*Jane Yellowrock Series Reading List
- Skinwalker, 2009
- Blood Cross, 2010
- Mercy Blade, 2011
- Raven Cursed, 2012
- Death's Rival, 2012
- Blood Trade, 2013
- Black Arts, 2014
- Broken Soul, 2014
- Dark Heir, 2015
- Shadow Rites, 2016
Anthologies and Novellas
- “Signatures of the Dead” in Strange Brew anthology 2009
- Easy Pickings, 2011 [with C. E. Murphy] A Jane Yellowrock and Joanne Walker Crossover
- Cat Tales, a collection of four short stories, 2011, e-book only
- “Golden Delicious” in An Apple for the Creature, September 2012
- Have Stakes Will Travel, a collection of short stories: “Wesa”, “Haints”, “Cajun with Fangs”, and “Signatures of the Dead”, 2012
- Kicking It: All-New Tales of Murder, Magic and Manolos, 2013
- Jane Yellowrock World Companion, 2013, includes “ First Sight”, “Dance Master”, and “ Beneath a Bloody Moon”
- Blood In Her Veins, Nineteen stories from the world of Jane Yellowrock, 2016
Faith Hunter’s epic urban fantasy series only gets better with time as her strong and vocal fan base can certainly attest to. With a compelling heroine and increasingly exciting storylines that only gets better with each new installment, this series continues to deliver.
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