Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Blood of the Earth - Faith Hunter
Hunter, Faith. 2016. Blood of the Earth. New York, NY: Roc Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-0451473301. $7.99 USD.
I was looking forward to this spin-off from one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series involving Jane Yellowrock, an American Indian Skinwalker, set in a New Orleans not quite like our own. One good thing about this title is that it is not necessary to be familiar with the Yellowrock series to enjoy this book, though the background is helpful, especially with all the were-creatures discussed.
Nell Ingram, a young widow, grew up in a cult-like church community in the south, and although she has escaped and is no longer obligated to the discipline of the church, she still has family ties. However, with the location of her land so near theirs, she is regularly harassed by certain misogynistic male members of the "church."
Nell has a type of supernatural power that is connected to her land, and I enjoyed how the author used anthropomorphism to reflect the emotions of the land and unique descriptions of its power. It was intriguing to watch the main character, Nell, grow and change over the course of the book, coming out of her shell and gaining confidence in her self and her powers. I like that we aren't told too early what kind of magic she possesses, which keeps the mystery fresh and propels you to keep reading. I do have to admit I wasn't fond of the dialect that Nell uses at times, what she calls the "church" language; though after some research, I found out "you'uns" has been around for a long, long time and represents a diminutive of "you ones" from Scottish or Irish settlers. Very interesting, but a little awkward - it interrupts the flow of reading and makes the characters seem not so bright. Other than that, I enjoyed Blood of the Earth, and the appearance of some of the characters from the Yellowrock series. A second title in this spin-off series will be published in November: Curse on the Land. And of course, I will continue to look for the next Yellowrock title!