Cover Image: Final Heir

Final Heir

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Jane Yellowrock is the Dark Queen but before the coronation she must face the Final Heir and battle for everything. ARC from NetGalley.
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So it's a bit hard to review this book properly as it's the epic finale in a 15-book series, and I think most of the stuff I want to say would be spoilery in some way.

The Jane Yellowrock series has everything an urban fantasy reader will love, Vampires, Witches, Skinwalkers, magic, love, and an amazing world that sucks you in and will have you binging the entire series. 
Final Heir is pretty action-packed right from the start, everything comes together in this insane final battle that you are not sure if everyone is going to survive.  I literally could not put this book down until I reached the very last page, and I loved how everything was wrapped up, I can't wait to read this entire series again from the beginning!

I'm sad this is the last book, I'm going to miss Jane, Bruiser, Eli,  Alex, and the Everharts. Even some of the Vampires like Edmund and Gregoire.  I'm hopeful that we will get some snippets and updates about all my favorite people from the Soulwood series.
 I can't wait to see what Faith Hunter will come out with next.
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Well, here we are at the end of all things, Jane, Bruiser, Eli and company have a mighty task to finally defeat the last surviving Son of Darkness, who as we learned in the last book, surprise! he is connected to Leo, the former MOC and now Outclan priest. In this story, Jane cannot turn around without being attacked, hunted, or taking big time casualties and damages wherever she is. The witchy null prison where the SOD number two’s heart is being protected becomes the first scene of destruction and battle. Evil SOD vamp number three, Mainet Pellissier, aka The Heir, is seeking it with all his might so that he can become the one ruler of all vampires. As usual witches, bad and good, come into play with the Everharts, Truebloods, and most especially Angie Baby, lending their power and skills to fight the ultimate enemy.

Jane does not wear the crown of the Dark Queen comfortably. She has come a long way from the lost little girl Skinwalker with a Beast conjoined soul who hunted vampires for a living. Jane’s found family, brothers in all but blood, Eli and Alex as well as the sister of her heart, Molly, are all hands-on-deck with the near constant stress and strains of enemies at every turn, some of them possibly among her own people. Jane has to deal with so many Queen-adjacent issues and with the help of her very devoted love, Bruiser, who is well trained in the politics of vampires and humans, she must navigate the bayou dark waters of living in NOLA, protecting her people, giving Edmund his coronation as Emperor of Europe, fighting off the ultimate bad vamp, whose layers and centuries of plans make Leo look like an amateur at playing the very long game.

Big secrets are revealed, mysteries uncovered, and what the future looks like for Jane and company is laid out. Jane takes on the NOLA politicos threatening an outcome they will not like because the local officials are hindering instead of helping in the all-out war. Angie baby, though only eight years old, has some mighty powers that continue to rock and shock Aunt Jane and her parents. Angie is key in winning against Mainet and his evil minions that just won’t stop coming and who has a connection to the guardian angel, Hayel, whom we learned at the end of the last book was in big trouble being magically bound and suffering. Jane’s nasty granny plays a role as well as foes thought locked up and kept safe get loose. Leo wants to help Jane in battling his upline blood sire; however, he seems to have some kind of whammy put on him nevertheless he tries. This story has layers and layers of complications so pay attention y’all and stay sharp.

At number #15 in the series, this final Jane Yellowrock novel is quite a thrill ride and will keep readers continually on the edge of their seats, captivated and afraid in equal measures to see how it all works out. Jane’s great heart and never quit attitude along Beast who is best hunter as well as every one of her skills come into play including a few new ones to save all whom she loves from a horrible fate. Epic battles, catastrophic injuries, and magical powers abound with not a little intense emotion from Jane who carries the world on her shoulders. We loyal readers will be wailing and gnashing our teeth to the end can only dream to see Jane in the future, perhaps in the Nell series or short stories. There is though much satisfaction in knowing the end and seeing what the good things the future may hold for Clan Yellowrock, a light shining in the darkness.
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This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
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WHAT'S FINAL HEIR ABOUT?
The Vampire War in Europe is over—and the old guard seems to be defeated. Edmund is on his way to NOLA to be crowned and then some stability--and whatever passes for peace with the Mithrans should settle in for some time.

But first...there's the Heir to deal with. The last hope of the Sons of Darkness, the old ways—and possibly a turn to a darker time for humanity—still needs to be dealt with. Years ago, Leo Pellissier was given a prophecy about the defeat of the Heir and after Jane came to work for him, he decided she was at the center of the prophecy. Jane, as the Dark Queen, could defeat him. So Leo set to work organizing things in the way that only he can.

Now it's the endgame—time for the rest of the dominos that Leo set up to fall, for Jane to end the Heir, and change everything for the Mithrans. And possibly the rest of the supernatural world. Assuming she can. There's no certainty about that. There's also no certainty about who will survive this endgame—even if she manages to vanquish the Heir,* she may not survive the attempt. Even worse (in her mind) family, friends, and allies may die.

* He's a significant enough power that I don't feel too silly using a word like vanquish.

This isn't going to be easy. This is for all the marbles—and that's a great way to end a series.

THE YOUNGERS
Of all the characters we met along the way, I may miss Alex and Eli the most (as soon as I say that, I start to think about Angie, and question myself—but I really don't have time to go into that). Eli hasn't changed much since we first met him—he's opened up a bit more, he may be a bit more emotionally mature, but he's essentially the guy we met at the beginning. Faith Hunter's answer to Joe Pike. He knows his business, he enjoys the work (as grim as it is)—maybe finds a peace in a fight that he can't find elsewhere. He's also incredibly loyal, he takes care of his people—first and foremost, his brother.

Aside from Jane, no character in the series has changed—grown, developed, and matured--than Alex Younger. He started off as a rebellious, unhygienic, hacker—focused only on what he could do with his computer. And maybe not letting his brother down (too much) again. He's now an adult, he's responsible, he can handle himself in a fight, and there are things/people he cares about in his life—he's still a wiz with the computers, thankfully. He's essentially a version of Alex with a different weapon-set.

Their humanity (Eli is still largely human) is one of the few lasting examples we have in the series at this point, and they keep things grounded in the middle of all the vampires, weres, witches, extradimensional beings, and whatnot. They're great because of that, they're great outside of that, too.

I do feel bad for poor Eli—in the last couple of books, he's really taken a beating. It's even worse in this novel. If he survives to the end (I'm carefully not answering), he's going to have physical and psychological scars that are going to last. I know he wouldn't have it any other way, he gets them doing what he thinks is right. But still, you can't help but feel for the guy.

BEAST
The Beast and Jane dialogue/interchanges in this novel were fantastic. I relished each of them.

Once again, Beast has her own agenda—as is her right and fitting for her character. But given the stakes here, some of the information she decides not to pass on to Jane is hard to believe. Sure, Beast may not get all the details, but I don't see how she doesn't understand the urgency and the importance of what's going on.

But you know what? I just didn't care. I like how Beast is her own creature—she comes through for Jane when the chips are down, but on her terms.

HOMECOMING WEEK
There are so many supporting characters in this book, that it's really hard to fathom. There are so few characters from the series (that are still living/undead) that don't at least get a named drop or a check-in. But several show up for more. There were characters that we'd lost track of—a couple that I'd forgotten even existed played a role in this book.

Hunter pulled out all the stops for this book.

I'm probably not alone in spending time reflecting on the series as a whole as I read this book, and bringing up so many names from the past (ones we may have regretted losing track of—and a couple we were probably happy to have lost) really helped with that.

THE CHAPTER TITLES
I don't think I've talked about the chapter titles in these books before—and that's a crying shame. I'm not a big fan of chapter titles in general, but this series has featured some doozies. Several of them in Final Heir are amongst the best in the series. I really don't have a lot to say about them—but complimenting the chapter titles is overdue. There's a lot that Hunter does right in these books, and this is just one of the more consistent and amusing.

FINAL HEIR AS A SERIES FINALE
I'm not entirely sure it's fair to do, but I can't help but think about other series finales--particularly in the UF genre.* Last year, I compared the Alex Verus finale to the Iron Druid Chronicles. Final Heir doesn't match up well with either of them--it's more like the ending of the Kitty Norville series (and not dissimilar to the ending of The Hollows)—Jane and her friends and allies are up against a vampire (and his forces) bent on world domination in a final face-off. Okay, now that I start thinking about it, there are a lot of parallels between the two--but this isn't the time for that.

* Benedict Jacka's been talking about ending his series recently, and a lot of what he's had to say is helpful when thinking about things like this. I'm not going to use his categories to talk about Final Heir because of spoilers, but if you haven't read these posts (even if you haven't read the Alex Verus series)—go check it out after you read Final Heir.

Hunter has spent several books lining things up for this confrontation—not unlike Leo Pellissier's machinations in getting Jane to this point. Looking back at all the ins and outs from this perspective really is impressive. Final Heir is filled with combat and battles—maybe more than most novels in this series, they're definitely more savage and meaningful. I don't have a word-count, but I'd wager the final battle is longer than any we've yet encountered in the series. Hunter really gave her fans what they've been wanting (and will be missing). This is an epic villain, with giant stakes, it has to be an epic scene.

Better yet, following the battle, the novel's dénouement also serves as one for the series—and if the final battle gave fans what they wanted, then they're going to be knocked for a loop by the dénouement. We get the few dangling threads tied up and a good look at what the future offers for most of the characters.

I had expected a lot from the finale aspect of this book, and Hunter surpassed it.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT FINAL HEIR?
I think this is a bit more rambling than I want to be—it's also longer than it necessarily needs to be. Part of that is because there's so much to talk about in this novel—and I've barely scratched the surface so I don't give it all away. Part of the longer-than-usual nature of the post is also that there's part of me that knows I'm pretty much done with these characters when I hit "Schedule." Sure, I'll listen to the audiobook sometime next year, and I'll likely re-read/re-listen to the series sometime after that. But all of that is revisiting. Finishing here is finishing the series, so I'm trying to drag it out.

For the first four or five books, this series served to fill the time while I was waiting for other Urban Fantasy books to come out. But around then it took on the role of being something I needed filler for while waiting for the next Yellowrock book. And lately, it's one of those series I organize my reading schedule around. Listening to the series on audio over the last year has really helped me see all the ways Hunter's been preparing the characters and the readers for these events, and it's truly impressive. As it now stands, the Jane Yellowrock series ranks near the top of the UF pantheon for me (completed or on-going series), beating out stiff competition.

But let's set that aside for a moment and just focus on this book—it's full of all the action, the heart, the magic, and sense of family we've grown accustomed to. Jane Yellowrock finally finds her place in this world (sure, she found it before, but it's more solidified now), her priorities are intact, she's doing good in ways she hasn't been able to before--and those that she cares about (many she'd never have considered caring for 15 books ago) are in good places. Just for the character work alone around Jane, this book is worth the time.

I think someone new to this series would come away from this one entertained and impressed—I don't know why someone would do that, but I'm sure someone will.

From the jaw-dropping (whoa, Hunter's taking no prisoners!) first chapter to the last lines that genuinely made me misty, Final Heir was a great ride. If I have to say au revoir to Jane, Bruiser, Eli, Alex, and the rest—especially Beast—this is was quite the way to do it. Bravo, Faith Hunter.
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I loved this series. I am unsure if this is to be the true finale or if the title and ending just gives us a bit of a break. Without spoilers, it's Jane/Beast kicking butt and taking names. Deon is my favorite and I'm half in love with Bruiser myself. It was a great story and if it ends the series, I'll be sorry to see it go, but it certainly went out well.
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Most amazing finale! I'm so sad this series is over but the last third of the book is un-put-downable. I love the way it ends. Fans will NOT be disappointed.
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While the last few titles in the Jane Yellowrock series have been a bit over-the-top, it has nonetheless been an enjoyable series. If Final Heir is indeed, as both the title and the ending imply, the end of the series. Jane has gone out on a high note. Many thanks to NetGalley and Ace Books for a fast and enjoyable read.
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Jane... Jane.. Jane.. and Beast. How weird it is to finally come to the last book in your series?  I'm not ready. Not at all. I'll admit. I had this ARC on kindle for several weeks before I finally worked up the courage to dive into my last adventure with you, Bruiser, Eli, Alex, Gee, and not so Baby Angie anymore.  There's so many of these characters that I have fallen in love with their resilience and strength over the last 13 years and 15 books that it's truly hard to let them go, but with that said, I did. 

Final Heir was everything that I could have asked for the final book in a longstanding series.  Jane and Co. was faced with another big bad, probably the biggest of the series, and I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how it would play out.  It was rough going, and because this is an ARC, I can't share too much. I will say, however, that this story is one for the record books. The ending might be one of the best series finale endings I've read in a REALLY long time. 

So, with a broken heart, I bid adieu to Jane, and hope that maybe some day we will get more stories from these guys. I don't think it will be the same without them.
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BEAST IS THE BEST!  This is a satisfying end to a great series.  The first 30% of the book was a bit of a drag for me.  After that, the hits just keep on coming.  The casts of characters I have grown to love over the years show up.  Even a couple I don't like.  There is an unexpected heartbreaking scene for me at the beginning that set the tone of this book.  This is the end of this chapter for Jane.  A new chapter or perhaps a totally new book will start in her life.  There is so much to process in this book.  There are big fight scenes, blood, gore, sex, and loss.  Still, this is balanced with a bit of humour here and there.  One of my favourite characters because she is such a precocious 8 yo is Angie-baby.  I really hope there is a spin-off series for her.  Or more novellas with her growing up and coming into her own.  She is a handful.  I am glad she is not my daughter.  lol. 

The chapters fly by with action scene after action scene as different combined assaults hits Jane and her vampires.  Jane is slowly picked apart by different foes coming from all sides.  Since the reader is seeing from Jane's point of view, we are just as frustrated trying to figure out how the attacks tie together and the real culprit behind it all.  When Jane finally puts it together, it may be just a little too late.

There are casualties in this war as Jane fights to keep her crown.  Her desire to no longer be Queen as well as change the entire vampire way of life is not well received by some of the older vampires.  Jane depends upon her powerful witchy friends, vampires, and a missing angel.  The threads from previous books all come together as we learn more about the angel.  It is astonishing how the angel times into everything from the start.  There is a lot going on in this book and I don't want to give any spoilers.  Suffice to say that Jane's friends stand by her.  Just as some of Jane's past comes back to haunt and hurt her.  This urban fantasy is recommended to fans of this series who want their happily ever after.
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Faith Hunter is at it again with her amazing characters and killer plots.  This series is on my list of most re-read, and I'm adding Final Heir to the list!  So, so good!
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Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for gifting me an advanced copy. Below is my honest review.

Final Heir... the last book in the Jane Yellowrock series. I wasn't ready for this. I've been following this series for years, and I knew it was coming, and I still wasn't ready for the end.

Thankfully, Faith Hunter did an excellent job tying up the series with a satisfying ending and a helluva ride to get to that ending.

This series is long - this is book 15 - and you definitely need to read the rest for the proper appreciation of all of the character development and plot woven into Final Heir.

Highly recommended series. One of my absolute favorites, it will be missed greatly.
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And so it ends, with not quite a whimper, but not quite a bang…much like the last few books, there was way over the top action, and far too much magic woo-woo. I still don’t understand how someone who has become as all powerful as Jane still keeps getting hurt. I make no secret that I desperately miss the Jane Yellowrock of the early books, when she and Beast were kick-ass babes. The last few books went in a completely different and weird direction. The books were overly introspective and wordy; and Jane just become more and more powerful. It was all about the woo-woo. Almost like reading a DC comic book, with vampires and dark magic.

A few twisties at the end, especially for Leo and Vampires in general. Hunter made some left turns on standard vampire lore. The saddest thing of all for me was that as much as I loved the early books, when I finished this I didn’t even feel a twinge of sadness that it was over, it was more like relief. At least there’s still her Soulwood series. I’m still enjoying it.
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This is bittersweet, since it is the end of an amazing series! I have really loved the world-building, the way she created the family within this world, just about everything as the series went on. It's been one of my favorite urban fantasy series in the past few years, and I couldn't recommend it more highly. I will definitely be revisiting it.
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I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

This is the fifteenth, and final, book in the Jane Yellowrock series. That saddens me a bit as I have found myself really enjoying the characters and stories in this series. I know there are possibilities of some cross-over stories, and will look forward to any of those coming along.

Easy for me to say I really, really liked this book. As I had an ebook copy, I couldn't swear to it, but it felt longer - like it was more pages than an average book. I just checked and that is not the case. That must mean I was slow to read it as I knew it was the final book, and just did not want it to end. Faith Hunter has doen a wonderful job creating a story world and characters, with background that at times even I could not keep track of. Being able to sort of 'wrap all the loose ends' together in this final book was interesting. I don't think it was loose ends per se, but more of finalizing what happens to the characters, and the state of the world with the effects of said changes. All in all it was wonderfully done, and I would definitely refer this series to anyone that enjoys adult urban fantasy.
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Wow. This book is full of action, suspense, and OMG moments. Jane as always is flying by the seat of her pants and doing her best to keep everyone safe while still hunting the bad guy. I can't say too much about this book without spoiling it because there is not much that did not have a significant impact on the story. Unfortunately for me there still seem to be some unanswered questions. I have heard this is the last book of the series, I hope not because I really love it and want more. I guess that is the best compliment you could give an author.
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So so so good. I loved it. Could not put it down. Faith Hunter is best writer..Jane/Beast will always be best hunter. If this is truly the last book I am so sorry to see it go. Maybe they will come back to visit?
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