In the 10th installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, Sookie delves deeply into supernatural politics. Sookie knows beyond a shadow of a doubt now that she is not only drawn to "supes," but she is one herself. Her cousin Claude who is 1/2 fairy 1/2 human comes to live with Sookie just as her good friend Amelia has to leave...throughout this book everyone is trying to clean up the messes and settle the deaths of the fae war. Sookie is not sure whether or not she can trust Claude, but Claude has chosen to remain in the human world and must practice living more of a human life.
Sookie's relationship with Eric and her friendship with Pam deepen in this novel. While Sookie is dodging her seemingly insane Uncle Dermot and another fairy who is loose in her woods, she and Eric are also stunned at the arrival of Eric's maker and brother. Eric's maker has brought his brother to Eric as a last ditch effort to save him. Sookie comes face to face with the ugly reality of vampire life; what one's maker orders must be fulfilled. Just as it is impossible for a vampire to enter a house without first being invited, it is impossible for a vampire to deny his/her master's wishes. Sookie's blood tie to Eric (what he calls their "marriage") also complicates matters because Sookie realizes that since she has been made a part of Eric's bloodline, she is also a part of his maker and brother's bloodline.
Bill, who is still suffering severely from his injuries ensued in the fae war while saving Sookie's life, also experiences a life changing event when his own "sister," Judith, returns to give him blood and save his life. Sookie is responsible for contacting Judith, and when Judith arrives filling in the gaps of her history with Bill, Sookie is emotionally confused.
Fairy politics intertwine with vampire politics and shifter politics and can be a little confusing at times. At times while reading it, I felt like I was reading at least 2 different story lines, specificaly Sookie's life as a human with fae blood and Sookie's life as the girlfriend of the Vampire Sheriff of Area 5.
I'd been waiting for this book since the day its publication date was announced, but after reading the first two pages, I was lost. There was a lot from the previous book that I simply did not remember. This is exactly the reason I sometimes like to read a series after it is complete rather than in the midst of it. Also, it was a little difficult to keep all the vampire details straight after watching the Tru-Blood series and reading 17 Anita Blake books while waiting on this book to come out.
This was a fast read...I actually read it at the beach in less than 2 days. What I liked about this one is that Jason's character has definitely developed and finally matured. What I don't like is Sookie's relationship with Eric; it's just weird. Call me romantic, but I just think Sookie is supposed to be with Bill. Bill's "sister" Judith's return, however, is a forshadowing of romantic angst to come between Sookie, Eric, Bill and Judith. We'll see how that goes.
I do like that Sookie is making amends with her family members who are "from the wrong side of the blanket," but Sookie's newfound need to "kill" is strange right now. While I can see where those hard feelings would come from, they are just so not like Sookie. There is a certain charm in Sookie remaining a somewhat innocent, complicated, hardheaded, telepathic Southern woman rather than a cold-blooded killer.