Book Review: Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock) by Faith Hunter

Dark Queen is the twelfth book in the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. You do need to read this series in order to get a firm grasp on the characters and the relationships. I do not recommend jumping in here, or in the middle. However, it is a fabulous series so I do recommend reading it, it is worth it.
As Enforcer to the vampire Master of the City of New Orleans, Jane Yellowrock stakes her reputation and her life on keeping her territory safe. But Leo has been issued a blood challenge by the emperor of the European vampires, who seeks to usurp all of his power and possessions. If Leo loses the match to the death, the city will be forfeit, and the people of New Orleans will suffer the consequences. Jane can't let that happen. Preparing for the duel requires all of Jane's focus, but with so much supernatural power in play, nothing goes according to plan. She has to rely on herself and the very few people she knows she can trust to stand and fight. Only two things are guaranteed: nothing is sacred, and no one is safe.
Dark Queen is more than I expected. I will admit that I have listened to the majority of this series via audiobook (and the readers is fabulous!) and I missed the voices, inflections, and cadence of the reader. My inner voice cannot compare to the audiobooks. However, after a while I was able to get past my longing for that voice and truly get sucked into the story like I always do. Jane has so much going on- still coming to terms with caring about so many people and her inability to protect them all the way she wants. Emotions are not her forte, and I can relate to her on that level. The upcoming battle, issues tied to the timeshifting, the brother coming out of nowhere, and more are all coming at her too fast to process, and she is barely hanging on. There are surprises and resolutions tied into the duel and not a dull moment to skim. Readers that have loved and followed the series thus far will both love and hate this read. I admit to fearing that this might be the last we see of Jane more than once, and worry just what will happen in this world next. I almost expected a different twist at the end, and had mixed feelings with the reveal- even though I already had it in the back of my mind. The ending left me needing the next Yellowrock or Soulwood book badly, to see what is to come, but hopeful. 
Dark Queen is a powerful addition to the series, and held some twists that had me seriously worried, and struck oddly close to home because of current family complications. 
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