Another amazing effort from Faith Hunter, who is in top form with "Curse on the Land". Nell is a fascinating and flawed character dealing with witches, magic, missing ley lines, ancient entities and plague. Quite a handful for a newly minted PsyLED officer.
Skillfully plotted, and impeccably written, "Curse on the Land" is an enjoyable story for new readers or long time fans. Brilliant addition to the Urban Fantasy universe of Jane Yellowrock.
If you are unfamiliar with Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock world, and haven't read the first Soulwood book, trust Faith Hunter to write a totally enjoyable book for newcomers. The background information from the first book 'Blood of the Earth" is skillfully presented over the course of the first chapter, and sprinkled naturally throughout the course of the story. No dreaded info dump here. "Curse on the Land" is structured as a police procedural with a lot of magical forensic work. We see the inner workings of PsyLED, the magic cops who are tasked with keeping humans and supernatural folks safe. Nell is smart, has unique magic herself, and has trouble adapting to the structure of working with a team.
If you've read "Blood of the Earth" "Curse on the Land" picks up right after Nell returns from her stint at "spook school", reuniting with Unit 18. Nell makes a number of newbie mistakes, but overall is working hard to shed both the narrow definitions of womanly behavior from her fundamentalist cult upbringing, and her knee jerk reaction to authority. The sweet romance arc with Occam the were leopard continues, as does the destructive Rick/Paka relationship arc. We find out more about Tandy, Tlane, and JoJo, and they all play significant rolls in solving the central mystery. The Vampire Oak tree is acting up, as is the evil Brother Ephraim. Just one bit of info that may come in handy, Light Dragons or Rainbow Dragons are powerful magical beings from another dimension that are fond of humans.
And lastly for followers of the Jane Yellowrock series, Jane makes a cameo phone appearance, Soul as a senior PsyLED officer is present to handle the political fall out and prevent things from spiraling out of control. The tension between humans and witches escalates, as does the conflict between PsyLED and other Law Enforcement Agencies.
There are major developments in the Rick/Paka situation which go back to events in "Mercy Blade" and "Raven Cursed". Many things are completely resolved, with enough problems left to guarantee Soulwood 3 will be entertaining. Can't wait to find out why Nell is sprouting leaves, and just what's up with the Vampire Oak tree.
Can't wait to see what happens in "Flame in the Dark" --Soulwood 3.