I read Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series as it has been coming out – it tend to just be great action packed urban fantasy, so then she had a second urban fantasy series in the same universe coming out, I of course had to check it out. And I was not disappointed – in some ways this is a more meaty story than the Yellowrock books.
This is a spin of series and I am sure it makes most sense as such. However the books can be read without having read the Yellowrock series.
Title: Blood of the Earth
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #1
Genre: Urban fantasy
Nell grew up in a polygamous christian cult off the grid. She was married as a teenager as a secondary wife to an elderly man, who has since died and left her his land. Nell has earth magic of some sort. Nell’s background makes her a very different kind of character to so many urban fantasy women, as she is very far from the modern women.
This is a book with a lot of character growth and when a government agency ask for her help she has to take on new roles. I might have said it before but I really enjoy the agency deals with the supernatural trope – and from book two this series has that.
It is quite a heavy and dark book at times with a lot of substance. The themes are about family, abuse of power, the power of tradition. The theme of the christian cult is explored in the first two books. In the first one it is pretty much all negative, but in the second one it gets more nuanced. There are also themes of identity and about growing into your self, as Nell is a young protagonist. She is finding her self in these books. The series also have themes of chosen and found family as Nell gets new friends and allies.
Where Hunter’s Yellowrock series is pure action, Blood of the Earth is more psychological. It is however still an urban fantasy book and there are plenty of magic and magical creatures too keep me interest. This is a book with Earth and Forest magic as it’s focus, there are however vampires and werecreatures as well.
Where the Yellowrock books are very urban and cosmopolitan, the Soulwood books are rural and are set in a conservative environment. This does affect the mood of the book a lot and it is great to see the world building expanded.
Oh and there is no romance so fare in the first two books.
Content warning: Non graphic mentions of rape, child abuse and violence against women.
Published: 2016 by Roc
Read: August 11th to 14th, 2016
The author: female, white, USA
The protagonist: Nell, white, female, young, uneducated, supernatural