Fort’s brother Chivalry is mourning the death of his wife (his 19th!!), and during this time, Fort must take over the duties as tithe collector and general peacekeeper for his family. So far things have been fairly quiet, but when the head of a werebear clan is murdered (via stabbing), he’s very suddenly in control of a major investigation. Complicating this is the relative absence of his mourning brother, and the alarming weakness of his aging, yet still very powerful mother. You think that’s a full plate for our Fort? Think again. As you know, he’s been resisting the pull of going full vampire for a while now, and even went vegetarian in an effort to stave off cravings for anything blood related, yet he’s starting to have quite the appetite, and events force him to confront his destiny in a rather spectacular way. Luckily he’s got the guidance of his (very scary) sister Prudence, whose being awful nice to him all of a sudden. Fort doesn’t consider it lucky, because his vampirism is been something he’s been dreading, and even feeding from his mother is something he wishes he didn’t have to do, so the thought of using innocent humans horrifies him.
Ok, so, ML Brennan has got Fort hot on the trail of a bear killer, but Fort would be at loose ends if he didn’t have the help of the always wonderful kitsune Suzume Hollis, who he really, really wants to date, and she knows it, but hasn’t yet made up her mind. And it’s killing me. Seriously. You can cut the tension with a knife (see what I did there?). Fort is also really, REALLY struggling with his impending transformation, and well…if you think Prudence is creepy when she’s killing mercilessly, somehow, she’s even creepier when she’s being super nice and helpful to Fort.
This is one of my favorite series, and Brennan does a fine job of balancing mystery and action with quite fascinating vampire family dynamics, politics, and turmoil, and what turmoil! Come to this series for all the best things about urban fantasy, and stay for the snark, Brennan’s unique take on vampires, and of course, the effervescent Suzume, and the always endearing Fort. He’s my favorite reluctant vamp, for sure.
Also, best ending ever. That is all.