Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.
Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.
Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out.
Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter is the first in an exciting new paranormal series set in the same world as the Jane Yellowrock novels featuring a new heroine, Nell Ingram, who wields dark and powerful magic as old as the earth and finds herself working for the covert operations unit PsyLED, policing paranormals in Tennessee.
I have wanted to try a Faith Hunter novel and jumped at the chance to try her newest Soulwood series. New readers will find themselves easily transported to this world with Hunter's vivid writing. There's some background information in the beginning as to how Nell became involved with Jane Yellowrock and the paranormals that surround her.
Yes, the infamous Rick LaFleur is featured in this series and though I don't know all the details from his involvement with Jane, it is clear Nell is the star of the show, while readers are made very aware that Rick is stuck in some deep and strange stuff - and karma or justice has been served.
What readers are really going to enjoy about this new series is the questionable magical nature of Nell. It becomes very clear that she has some sort of earth magic, yet, it seems to be from something very old. Hunter cleverly leaves us clues, hinting at possible sources and I loved that about the story. Nell draws power from nature and it seems to be an almost symbiotic relationship which makes for some rather interesting outcomes when she tests her magic.
Nell is a great new lead heroine to follow. She can shoot a gun (and does many times) as well as draw magic, taking the protection of her land very seriously. She's escaped from a cult but has strong family ties there making shady gray areas more complex. Feisty, innocent and protective, her very nature fits perfectly.
The Tennessee setting of backcountry and vast wooded areas lends perfectly to the atmosphere, the very sentient nature of the trees and land will give you chills while drawing readers into a believable magic that Nell possesses.
Blood of the Earth introduces a fantastic new heroine and series by fan-favorite author Faith Hunter. The series blends mystery and paranormal with kick-ass action and magic and Nell is not to be messed with. This is a great new series to dive into and I can't wait for more.