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Authors: Faith Hunter

Mercy Blade

Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the Novels of Faith Hunter
Blood Cross
“Readers eager for the next book in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series may want to give Faith Hunter a try.”
—Library Journal
 
“In a genre flooded with strong, sexy females, Jane Yellowrock is unique.... Her bold first person narrative shows that she’s one tough cookie, but with a likable vulnerability ... a pulse-pounding, page-turning adventure.”
—Romantic Times
 
Skinwalker
“Seriously. Best urban fantasy I’ve read in years, possibly ever.”—C. E. Murphy, author of
Walking Dead
 
“A fantastic start to the Jane Yellowrock series. Mixing fantasy with a strong mystery story line and a touch of romance, it ticks all the right urban fantasy boxes.”—LoveVampires
 
“Stunning ... plot and descriptions so vivid, they might as well be pictures or videos. Hunter captures the reader’s attention from the first page and doesn’t let go.”—SF Site
 
“A fabulous tale with a heroine who clearly has the strength to stand on her own ... a wonderfully detailed and fast moving adventure that fills the pages with murder, mystery, and fascinating characters.”—Darque Reviews
 
“A promising new series with a strong heroine.... Jane is smart, quick, witty, and I look forward to reading more about her as she discovers more about herself.”—Fresh Fiction
Host
“Hunter’s world continues to expand in this highly original fantasy with lively characters where nothing can ever be taken for granted.”—
Publishers Weekly
 
“Hunter has created a remarkable interpretation of the aftermath of Armageddon in which angels and devils once again walk the earth and humans struggle to find a place. Stylish storytelling and gripping drama make this a good addition to most fantasy collections.”—
Library Journal
 
“Readers will admire [Thorn’s] sacrifice [in] placing others before herself.... Fans will enjoy reading about the continuing end of days.”—
Midwest Book Review
 
“With fast-paced action and the possibility of more romance, this is an enjoyable read with an alluring magical touch.”
—Darque Reviews
 
Seraphs
“The world [Hunter] has created is unique and bleak ... [an] exciting science fiction thriller.”—
Midwest Book Review
 
“Continuing the story begun in
Bloodring
, Hunter expands on her darkly alluring vision of a future in which the armies of good and evil wage their eternal struggle in the world of flesh and blood. Strong characters and a compelling story.”

Library Journal
 
“This thrilling dark fantasy has elements of danger, adventure, and religious fanaticism, plus sexual overtones. Hunter’s impressive narrative skills vividly describe a changed world, and she artfully weaves in social commentary ... a well-written, exciting novel.”—
Romantic Times
Bloodring
“A bold interpretation of the what-might-be. ... With a delicate weaving of magic and scripture, Faith Hunter left me wondering: What’s a woman to do when she falls in love with a seraph’s child?”—Kim Harrison
 
“Entertaining ... outstanding supporting characters ... the strong cliff-hanger of an ending bodes well for future adventures.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“The cast is incredible.... Fans of postapocalypse fantasies will appreciate this superb interpretation of the endless end of days.”
—Midwest Book Review
 
“Hunter’s distinctive future vision offers a fresh though dark glimpse into a newly made postapocalyptic world. Bold and imaginative in approach, with appealing characters and a suspense-filled story, this belongs in most fantasy collections.”
—Library Journal
 
“It’s a pleasure to read this engaging tale about characters connected by strong bonds of friendship and family. Mixes romance, high fantasy, apocalyptic, and postapocalyptic adventure to good effect.”
—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Hunter’s very professionally executed, tasty blend of dark fantasy, mystery, and romance should please fans of all three genres.”
—Booklist
 
“Entertaining ... a promising new series.... Steady pacing, dashes of humor, and a strong story line coupled with a great ending neatly setting up the next adventure make this take on the apocalypse worth checking out.”

Monsters and Critics
 
“Enjoyable ... a tale of magic and secrets in a world gone mad.”
—Romantic Times
ALSO BY FAITH HUNTER
The Jane Yellowrock Novels
Skinwalker
Blood Cross
 
The Rogue Mage Novels
Bloodring
Seraphs
Host
ROC
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, January 2011
Copyright © Faith Hunter, 2011
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47677-2

http://us.penguingroup.com

To my Renaissance Man,
who plays guitar and sings me to sleep, never says no to a
challenge, and brings me chocolate
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
(in no order whatsoever)
 
Mike Pruette, Web guru for
www.faithhunter.net
and fan.
Rod Hunter, as always, for the right word when my tired brain was stymied, and for making the research trip to Louisiana so much fun.
Joyce Wright, for reading everything I write, no matter how “weird.”
Kim Harrison, Misty Massey, David B. Coe, C. E. Murphy, A. J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, Tamar Myers, Greg Paxton, Raven Blackwell, Christina Stiles, and all my writer friends, for being our own unofficial writers support group.
The Puddy Tats fan group.
My cowriters at
www.magicalwords.net
.
Lucienne Diver, for doing what an agent does best, with grace and kindness.
Last but not least—
My editor at Roc, Jessica Wade, who has helped to sculpt the multisouled Beast in Jane.
Y’all ROCK!
CHAPTER 1
I Didn’t Know You Had a Brain
I rolled over, taking most of the covers with me as I stretched. I felt like a big, satisfied cat—well fed, well loved, and nearly purring with contentment. Beside me, still snoring softly, was Rick LaFleur, my boyfriend.
Crap
. I had a
boyfriend
. I was still trying to get used to the idea. We’d been together for more than a month, when he wasn’t disappearing into the underbelly of New Orleans investigating—well, investigating something he had yet to share with me. Or when I wasn’t tied up with vamp HQ security systems. The Master of the City had ordered a total upgrade of the grounds; I was earning my retainer.

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