Monday, November 28, 2011

Early Review of Killing Rites (The Black Sun's Daughter, #4) by M.L.N. Hanover

     "Spells are magic," I said, "And Magic fades. You told me that. Magic fades, and I'm getting stronger."
     "All right," Ex said.
      There should have been a flash of lightning, a crack of thunder. The rain just kept dripping. The TV show went to commercial. I felt Ex's gaze on me like I was a puzzle he couldn't quite fathom. I took a deep breath, sighing it out slowly. When I spoke my voice sounded weirdly calm and matter-of-fact. You know. All things considered.

     "I think I have a rider." (from Vicious Grace)

At the end of 'Vicious Grace', Jayné reached the conclusion she had a rider in her. In 'Killing Rites', Ex and Jayné attempt to get rid of the rider with the help of Ex's former mentor, Father Chapin. He and his fellow priests perform exorcisms regularly. While it takes some convincing, after seeing her in action they understand why she's sure she's possessed. But during the exorcism something goes very wrong...

Jayné is truly a fun character. In Vicious Grace, she believed she'd lost her innocence when she lost her "rose colored" view of her uncle, but I don't think she has. Yes, she's wiser than she was before, but she seems to always try to find the good in things (riders and people alike) unless it's obvious there is none. She's stronger than she thinks, but still emotionally vulnerable.

In this book, we learn more about Ex's background and why he gave up his profession as a priest. The tension created by Ex's and Jayné's seemingly growing attraction was fun to watch. I liked how Jayné realized she was vulnerable because she was no longer with Aubrey and didn't want to start something unless she was sure about her feelings. I also liked how Ex handled things when he said nothing could be started without things being resolved such as her possessing a rider. He'd already been involved with someone who had one, and he wasn't about to take a chance it was the rider in her doing the driving and not Jayné. Talk about complicated.

The internal conflict Jayné develops in regards to her feeling for her inner rider is a nice touch. It's saved her life more than once, but she can't fathom how having one inside herself can be a good thing. Jayné still doesn't know what the rider capable of or how long its been riding her. Speaking of Jayné's inner demon, we finally find out why the series is called The Black Sun's Daughter. I believe it was taken from the part of the story where Jayné's rider admits: "I am Sonnenrad, The Voice of the Desert," the rider said. "I am the Black Sun and the Black Sun's daughter."

Midian, the vampire from Unclean Spirits, makes a brief appearance in this book. He disappeared at the end of book one and this is the first time Jayné has crossed paths with him since. It's meeting like these that make me sympathize with Jayné's conflicted feelings toward riders. One of my favorite passages in the book is a conversations which takes place between Midian and Jayné, where Midian imparts some words of wisdom to her. This is from the tail end of the conversation
     "And--this is me talking now--no more stroking your inner victim. Bad for your skin."
     "Yes, Oprah," I said, but I smiled when I said it.
     "Hey. F@ck you too," he said grinning. His teeth were black where they weren't yellow.

I am loving the series and really loved the book. I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I look forward to seeing where this series goes next.

Notes to keep you in the know:
According to wikipedia, "The term Black Sun (German Schwarze Sonne), also referred to as the Sonnenrad (the German for "Sun Wheel"), is a symbol of esoteric oroccult significance. Its design bases on a sun wheel incorporated in a floor of Wewelsburg Castle during the Nazi era. Today, it may also be used in occult currents of Germanic neopaganism, and in Irminenschaft or Armanenschaft-inspired esotericism - but not necessarily in a racial or neo-Nazi context."
To learn more about the Black Sun, here is a link to wikipedia:

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