The fifth book in Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series picks up more or less right where the fourth left off – with Jane and Anyan heading for the UK, and a supernatural war, instead of getting naughty at home like they’d (finally) planned to.
The pending war is down to Morrigan, former leader of the Alfar (collective name for the fae in Peeler’s fictional world) having murdered her husband and betrayed her own kind in her quest for power (that old chestnut). Jane has been chosen as a champion for the halflings (the little guys, generally good, though there’s some ambiguity about that…) and must find Morrigan and stop her before she completes her goal and wreaks havoc on Earth…
The plot for this one is fairly straightforward, but Peeler handles it with her usual attack and engaging style. This time out, it becomes increasingly clear that Jane can’t continue just being one of the little guys, and that there will be no going back to her old, quiet little life like nothing happened. She is the Champion – given an incredibly powerful magical weapon by one of the oldest of the magical creatures left in the world, it’s down to her and her alone to rally enough of an army to stop Morrigan. It also means that, as well as no longer being able to hide behind someone bigger, she has to begin taking everything about her power and the danger that her kind are all in seriously.
That said, it takes a while before it starts to seem as though Jane IS taking it all seriously enough. This is mostly down to Jane’s personal insecurity about her own ability to fulfill the role she’s been given – and interestingly, she is given the role instead of Fulfilling Her Destiny – but I must admit, at times it got a little frustrating to hear her still cracking jokes and bemoaning her interrupted sex life with Anyan. Though when things do take an unavoidable turn for the very dramatic, it’s to Jane’s credit that she does finally commit and step up to the plate, accepting the responsibility she’s taken on. I just hope that the seriousness of everything sticks for Jane into the next book. Peeler’s great with the entertainment factor in her books, but at this stage in the game I really want to get the sense that Jane’s really feeling the weight of everything she’s taken on.
In her favour, Peeler has certainly set up quite the dramatic scenario by the end of this book. I won’t spoil it for anyone who’s yet to read it, but to quote the author herself (via Twitter), “Oof!”
Oof, indeed. Also? The villain turns into a dragon. A DRAGON. This wins all the points ever, just because. DRAGON!!
I will definitely be reading the next book.