Series: Sentinels of New Orleans #5
Published by Tor on November 8th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.
With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ—stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders—can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.
It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.
5 Favorite Scenes: BELLE CHASSE
Scenes are hard-working things. They all serve a function in a novel: to move the story along from one point to the next. They are the building blocks upon which any work of fiction is created. If they don’t do their job properly, the story stalls or heads off in the wrong direction. They have to be herded like sheep.
But like any flock of sheep, some scenes are the favorites of the shepherd—or border collie, or novelist, in this case.
Here are five of my favorites from BELLE CHASSE (sans spoilers), in no particular order.
1) Surgery by Dr. Strangepirate. Heroine DJ has a bullet in her thigh that needs removing. There is no anesthesia. There is no doctor. There are no sterile conditions. There is an undead pirate, a loup-garou, a Cajun merman, a bottle of brandy, a leather strap, and a knife. I think you can imagine how that goes over. At one point DJ thinks, “Oh, God in heaven. We were going to re-enact every bad bullet-removal scene from every bad historical movie ever filmed.” And so they do.
2) The Marauding Marble Stag. When DJ is trying to extract her friend Eugenie from a church in Shreveport that is in the middle of a simultaneous funeral service and fight between an elf and a faery, the quickest way back to a transport is through the adjacent cemetery. Wealthy Louisianans are fond of putting elaborate statuary on their above-ground crypts, so when a trio of Blue Congress wizards give chase to our heroines, they animate a giant marble stag from atop a nearby crypt. The stag chases the women through the graveyard until a well-timed shot by DJ forces the stag to change course and chase the Blue Congress wizards instead. Damn, but those life-size stags are heavy.
3) Rene Goes Shopping. DJ and Eugenie are on the lam and hiding out with Jean Lafitte in an 1815 version of the swamplands south of New Orleans. It isn’t exactly a shopping mecca and they left modern New Orleans in kind of a hurry. So it’s left to DJ’s Cajun merman buddy Rene to slip back into New Orleans and retrieve some clothes for the women, along with some holy water for ritual magic. Unfortunately, both DJ’s and Eugenie’s houses are being watched so Rene is forced to shop and steal—and get revenge. “I was pissed at having to shop for women’s underwear three days before Christmas, me and every loser who’d forgotten to buy his wife a present,” he told her. “Plus, since I couldn’t get the holy water from your house, I had to steal some from the Prompt Lady of Succor church, so I’ll probably go to hell, too. You owe me.”
4) The New Orleans Second Line Parade. In NOLA, where we have many parades, there is often a group of revelers who form a “parade behind the parade,” dancing and following it down the street. This is known as a “second-line.” DJ takes advantage of a second-line parade through the French Quarter to escape some wizardly thugs: I waited for the right time. Waited. Waited. Waited. Finally, as a tall woman in a poufy red dress waltzed past, twirling her umbrella over her head, I gave Dreadlocks a good zap with the staff, shoved him toward her, ducked, and zoomed through the crowd like a pinball, head-butting anyone who didn’t move fast enough. I bounced off an umbrella twirler and was shoved toward a handkerchief waver, then did it again. Of course, then she runs into something unexpected, but…no spoilers.
5) DJ and Jean visit Faerie. It was supposed to be a quick trip into the Faerie capital city to find Prince Christof but, of course, nothing is simple in Faerie—and Christof and his brother are in open warfare. Faerie is not a normal place—or a safe one: The first thing I saw when we materialized at the Tower Tavern was a black bear with human hands, holding a frosted glass beer stein from a spot behind a long, highly polished wooden bar. The second was Florian, the Faerie Prince of Summer, standing at the end of the bar and shooting a spinning ball of fire from his outstretched fingertip directly toward my head.
And there you have it! There is a sixth favorite, but it’s too spoilerific so, well, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. What’s your favorite from this or a previous Sentinels book?
Check out my review of Belle Chasse next week!
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