‘Final Heir’ – Jane Yellowrock #15 by Faith Hunter

Jane Yellowrock is the queen of the vampires, and that makes her a target as she fights to maintain control and keep peace in the city of New Orleans. She has enemies at every turn, because vampires live forever, and they keep their grudges alive with them. That includes the Heir, the vampire sire of the Pellissier bloodline, which gave rise to Leo Pellissier himself—Jane’s old boss and the former master of the city.

With the Heir and all the forces of darkness he can muster arrayed against her, Jane will need all the help she can get. She’ll find it in her city, her friends, her found family, and, of course, the Beast inside of her.

‘Final Heir’, the last Jane Yellowrock book, is aimed at people like me who’ve been following Jane Yellowrock for more than a decade and have watched her change from a ‘Have Stakes, Will Travel’ vampire hunter for hire, riding into New Orleans on Bitsa, her rebuilt Harley and nothing but her clothes. her weapons and a whole lot of secrets, to someone who, without ever becoming a vampire, now leads and protects them. Along the way, she’s moved from lone operator to someone with a found family that includes some very dangerous humans, witches and vampires. She’s also found out a lot more about her own origins and has developed a sophisticated and mutually rewarding relationship with BEAST the Puma Concolor who shares her body and her ‘soul home’.

I’ve read all of the previous fourteen books, None of them is short. All of them have plots so complicated that you’d need a pretty smart piece of software to map all the relationships, plots and betrayals and with each book what you thought you knew gets twisted into something yet more complex, like a piece of origami that moves from simple swan to mind-boggling menagerie.

‘Final Heir’ is the book where all of that complexity finally resolves itself in a way that brings an end to most of the conflicts and offers most of the players a hopeful future. I’m normally sceptical of happy endings but even I had to admit that I was glad that, at the end of this book, BEAST is able to declare herself happy.

‘Final Heir’ is also a long book. In audiobook form, it runs for 17hrs 15 mins. When I was 2.5 hrs in, I made this note:

“The pace is… unhurried. There has already been a skirmish in which key characters were injured but most of the time has been spent with Jane unravelling the layers of politics and vamp history that wrap themselves around the plot like reeds around a swimmer’s ankles slowing it down, or on Jane reflecting on her own emotional state and moral health

Reading this cold, you might expect that I was likely to set the book aside before the halfway mark and move on. I knew that was never going to happen. Why? Because I had to know what happened to Jane and her people. All that unravelling and how Jane felt about what she found out WERE the story.

It helped that Faith Hunter writes well and that I’m in love with Khristine Hvam’s narration. The action scenes, as always, were spectacular. My emotions were played like an instrument, as characters I’m invested in were put at risk.

‘Final Heir’ isn’t the best book in the series. The bad guy is a little underdeveloped. Some of the regular characters get given what, in a long-running TV series, would be called a walk-on cameo. But the emotions are still powerful and the main characters, especially Jane’s found family continue to develop. Hell, I wanted Angie to have her own series, even though she’s still a child (although a scarily powerful one).

What ‘Final Heir’ excels at is what pop psychology would call ‘closure’ and what I found myself calling ‘Faith Hunter Explains It All’. The plot is a fiendishly clever final reworking of everything we learned in the first fourteen books, A reworking that provides clarity, and the possibility of a hopeful resolution. Of course, this being a Jane Yellowrock book, hopeful outcomes can only be achieved at great personal risk and are usually paid for by pain and sacrifice.

In my opinion, Faith Hunter delivered something very rare: a series finale that works and which gives the fans what they want. If you’re one of those fans then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.

Personally, I’d have been happy if the series had ended with ‘Dark Queen’. It wouldn’t have been a happy ending for Jane but it felt real to me and it gave Jane a chance to end things on her own terms and do right by her people.

On the other hand, I enjoyed ‘Shattered Bonds’ which cleverly rebooted the series, giving it a boost in energy that allowed ‘Final Heir’ to deliver a very different outcome.

So, this is goodbye to Jane Yellowrock. It’s definitely not goodbye to Faith Hunter. I’m already a fan of Nell Ingram and the Soulwood series and Shining Smith and the Junkyard Cats series. I’m sure there will be more good things to come. Maybe even a series about Angie.

One thought on “‘Final Heir’ – Jane Yellowrock #15 by Faith Hunter

  1. “Personally, I’d have been happy if the series had ended with ‘Dark Queen’. It wouldn’t have been a happy ending for Jane but it felt real to me and it gave Jane a chance to end things on her own terms and do right by her people. ” Could not agree more.

    And an Angie series? I’d line up for that one.

    Liked by 1 person

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