Faith Hunter’s True Dead is true fun.
And, truly good.
If you’re a fan of Hunter’s work, and you should be, then you know that a Certain Someone died and left the Mithran world in chaos, Jane as the Dark Queen, Bruiser as Onorio Supersized, and a whole passel of enemies local and foreign. Those European vamps haven’t taken well to this “creature” becoming the Dark Queen and intend on eliminating Jane and her entire clan. It’s a complicated plan and a bold power move.
Plans Within Plans
I read the book twice to follow all the ins and outs of the storyline. It’s complex. Mithrans plan, and craft plans within that plan, and European vamps are the oldest, most entrenched vamps we’ve met. They’ve had centuries to get good at this stuff and dozens of scions to throw at Jane, her brothers, mate, and sworn loyal soldiers, to test her mettle.
Fortunately, Jane’s body is better after going through the rift, the cancer gone. However, her shifting is wacky. This instability leaves her vulnerable. This, plus the fact that she is the one and only Dark Queen, whose life is important on a grand scale, means lot of people want to protect Jane when all she wants to do is fight. The enemies keep coming, Sabina comes into play as well as Leo’s machinations, and a lot of power is gathering in New Orleans for Wrassler’s wedding. If this feels like its leading to something, well, that’s because it is.
Excerpt #2 from True Dead
Was dangerous for Jane to hunt and fight. Jane body was wrong. Had been wrong since Jane and Beast swam back through the rift. Was not sickness Jane called cancer anymore, but shifting was not always in Beast’s or Jane’s control. Shifting hurt Jane more sometimes. Other times did not hurt Jane at all. Did not know why. Was bad to not know. To not always control. And Jane body was too skinny, like young cat, needing more food than she could take in. Beast chuffed sadness. Padded out of room, pawpawpaw. Soft. Quiet. Down stairs in dark.
Went to back door. Lights in vampire dens—cottages—were lit and bright. Beast heard Koun laugh. Was good sound. Koun was old. Older than Leo had been. Older than most vampires. Was powerful. But did not laugh often because had seen too many die, had lost much. Beast smelled Tex out in dark, watching over den. Was good smell. Clan-scent. Except for Tex-dogs-smell. Tex-dogs marked trees and left scat on top of ground. Was stupid. All dogs stupid. But Tex liked dogs and trained stupid dogs to do tricks, like sniff out enemies and bombs and track missing humans and vampires. Tex made stupid dogs smarter. Was strange.
Beast padded to office. Smelled Alex at desk. Smelled much garlic and onion and stinky human pizza food. Smelled much coffee. Smelled gunpowder from Alex at gun-range. Smelled Brute—stinky wolf-scent—in room with Alex. Stinky human and stinky werewolf, Brute, spent much time together. Smelled strange lizard-with-wings-creature that Jane would not let Beast hunt and eat. Werewolf and large lizard Jane called Longfellow were asleep on big mattress in corner, lizard tail twined around Brute snout. TV over fireplace glowed and moved but had no sound.
Beast stood in dark and watched. Waiting. Breathing scent of own breath into room.
Brute nose twitched. Brute eyes opened. Brute leaped to feet and growled.
Beast chuffed. Padded into office.
Alex did not look at Beast. Said, “Are you playing games with Brute again? ’Cause you know the rules. All fights, even mock fights, go outside.”
Beast chuffed. Padded to Alex. Put paw on table.
“You swat my hardware and tablets to the floor,” Alex said, much patience in voice, “I’ll swat your nose.” Alex held up rolled papers. Still did not look at Beast. Was like cat action.
Beast liked Alex. Beast chuffed. Sat. Paw still on desk.
Alex said, “Okay. Am I talking to Jane?”
Beast moved head side to side as humans did. Felt stupid on Beast body.
“You want something?”
Beast dropped muzzle in nod as humans do.
“Do you want to know where Bruiser and Eli are?”
“Out hunting with Lincoln Shaddock. They heard about a small nest of vamps who might be building a food herd of unwilling humans. Could be Legolas’s heir, or his secondo heir, and his followers, or it could be another group they haven’t swept up yet. It’s just a reconnoiter, not a battle.”
Did not wake Jane. Jane would be angry. Beast was angry too. Beast growled.
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About Faith Hunter
Faith Hunter is the award-winning New York Times and USAToday bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock, Soulwood, Rogue Mage, and Junkyard Cats series. In addition, she has edited several anthologies and co-authored the Rogue Mage RPG. She is the coauthor and author of 16 thrillers under pen names Gary Hunter and Gwen Hunter. Altogether she has 40+ books and dozens of short stories in print and is juggling multiple projects.
She sold her first book in 1989 and hasn’t stopped writing since.
Faith collects orchids and animal skulls, loves thunderstorms, and writes. She likes to cook soup, bake bread, garden, and kayak Class II & III whitewater rivers. She edits the occasional anthology and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain’t.
Find Faith online at –
Facebook (official): https://www.facebook.com/official.faith.hunter
Facebook fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/753410901426312
Yellowrock Securities website: http://www.yellowrocksecurities.com
As I said, Faith Hunter’s True Dead is true fun. You will want to read it more than once, so settle in, put your feet up, and make sure you have a nice mug of tea by your side.
Make sure to check out Faith’s other series about Nell Ingram. Read about Spells for the Dead here.
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