"Dark Queen" brought the long story arc of Jane Yellowrock's relationship with Leo Pellissier, Vampire Master of The City of New Orleans to a dramatic close and found Jane putting her affairs in order and slipping away to die on an estate in the Appalachian Mountains where Beast can survive.
If none of that makes sense to you, then head back to the beginning of the series and settle down for a fun ride with strong characters, complex relationships and an ever-evolving world of vampires, witches and weres.
If it does make sense to you, then the good news is that "Shattered Bonds" gives a promising basis for rebooting the series in a slightly different direction.
I was pleased to see that Jane and Beast are centre stage in this novel. I always enjoy Beast's appearances but this storyline develops the relationship between Jane and Beast in a convincing and interesting way.
The ensemble cast that makes up Jane's adopted family, the Younger Brothers and George Dumas plus the extended Yellowrock Clan are all in play plus Molly Trueblood's family (husband, children and all her sisters).
There's another, apparently invincible and extremely nasty, Son Of Darkness to face and Jane is still dying of a magic-related cancer.
This is a novel where the intense scenes that shape the relationships between the characters are the ones that shine; where Jane makes some very unconventional choices, even for Jane and where Faith Hunter once again comes up with a plot that plausibly twists what we thought we knew into a new shape.
Khristine Hvam does her usual splendid job with the narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.