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Yiyú (meaning literally Black Jade), commonly called Jade, is a black weretiger and a recurring supporting character in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. She is the former tiger to call of one of the Harlequin, and becomes the black tiger to call for Anita Blake. Jade was severely abused by her former master, who used pain to control her, and is left with deep trauma and insecurities.

Jade is Anita's first female lover. (Although Anita had a previous metaphysical experience with Belle Morte.) Jade thus makes Anita "heteroflexible" rather than heterosexual, as Anita still considers herself mostly straight.[2]


Jade is delicate, petite, and Chinese with long straight, shining black hair. She is shorter than Anita by inches and can fit under Anita's arm like Anita can fit under most of her boyfriends' arms.[3]

Jade's eyes are "an orange so dark they look brown. In the right light, they were the color of fire when it burns deep into the wood." Her eyes are uptilted from her Chinese descent.[4]


Jade is "fragile", and extremely shy and timid after centuries of abuse by her former vampire master. Anita describes it as Jade having a victim's mentality, and "being basically an abused wife".[5] This comes out in multiple ways, such as her not wanting eye contact during sex because it's too aggressive. She also does not like men due to her abuse, but she allows Domino to join her and Anita in bed, and Nathaniel and Crispin are "tolerated". Jade dislikes male vampires even more, although she becomes friendly with Damian after he tells her of his own abuse, and Jean-Claude is also able to gain her trust.[6] She fears that her old master might still take her over again.[7]

She's girly and enjoys doing "girl stuff" like going out shopping, and she wants Anita to do it with her.[8]

She likes the truth like Anita does, and doesn't forget when she's lied to.[9]

Claudia thinks that Jade is "afraid of power," which is why she's Anita's weakest tiger.[10]


In Bullet, Jade comes to St. Louis to spy for her master. She pretends to be an attack survivor and wears brown contact lenses to hide her tiger eyes. When Domino's power feeds into Anita, Anita senses a black tiger with no clan and attempts to call Jade to her, but Jade resists. Anita approaches her and takes her hand, and she finds Jade is extremely powerful. With the ardeur, Anita senses that Jade has been extremely lonely without other black tigers, and Anita and Domino "both smelled like home" to her. Jade's master intervenes and tries to control both her and Anita. With the help of Domino, Anita succeeds in breaking the connection between Jade and her master, and she marks Jade as her own black tiger to call.[11]

Through her connection with Jade, Anita learns of another Harlequin among the weretigers. The man, Topaz, is apprehended by their security. When Jade isn't with Anita, she stays with Domino. Topaz reveals that he and his master maneuvered to get Jade to Anita, so that Anita might break her free from her abusive master, and also make her master weak enough to be killed.[12]

Jade remains in St. Louis with Anita, and although she can fight and is fearsomely good, the centuries of abuse have left her with the mentality of a victim.[13]

In Hit List, Jade does not appear and is not directly referenced. In the epilogue chapter, Anita is back in her own home two days a week, and "sometimes other tigers" stay over, which could possibly include Jade.[14]

By Kiss the Dead, Jade has become Anita's regular lover and has let Domino join them in bed. Anita now considers herself "heteroflexible" because of Jade, since Anita prefers men and Jade is an exception. Anita feels protective of her, but still isn't used to the idea of being with a woman.[5] Being with Jade also makes Anita more sympathetic when Brice comes out as gay.[8]

When Anita is hurt and Jade learns of it, Damian tries to calm her. He takes her to Anita so Jade can see for herself that Anita is okay. She's in such a panic that she's "head-blind" and Anita can't reassure her mind-to-mind. God notes that she "spooks easy" and Domino is quick to defend her, as he is very protective of her. Jade runs in and leaps into Anita's arms, wraps her legs around her waist, buries her face to Anita's neck, and mumbles in Chinese.[15] She joins Anita and Jean-Claude to cuddle on the bed while they talk with Asher. When Anita gets frustrated with Jean-Claude about sending Asher away, Jade tries to soothe her by rubbing her face against Anita's waist. When Asher seems to make an attempt at seduction, Jade gets up to leave because she fears that Anita and Jean-Claude will have sex with Asher. She backs up into Domino and startles, and doesn't want him to touch her either, but he is able to escort her back to her room.[16]

In Affliction, Jade does not appear, but she is referenced several times. Jean-Claude references Jade as one of the people who remind him that he is not a monster and does not wish to be one.[17] Anita later states that she hasn't been brave enough to go out with Jade in public.[18] Anita promises to herself that she would see about going out to dinner with Jade and Nathaniel when she gets back to St. Louis, but also reflects that Jade puzzles her and she "needed a wingman" to date her.[19] Nicky points out that it still weirds Anita out to date a girl, but Anita says that when she's around Jade she likes her, she just never saw herself with a girlfriend.[20] At the end of the novel, Jade is listed as one of several people who were happy about the marriage proposal until they learned they were not included.[21]

In Jason, Anita asks J. J. for help with pleasuring Jade since Jade is her first female lover. The three women along with Nathaniel Graison, Jason Schuyler, and Domino go to bed together. But when Jason and Nathaniel get more involved, Jade asks Domino to take her from the room, and the two leave.

Jade's ongoing issues and insecurities, and her refusal to seek help with therapy, leads to Anita ending their relationship.

In Crimson Death, Jade does not appear, but she is referenced several times. Anita tells Damian that Jade "had more issues than [Anita] could deal with in bed with another woman," so Jade isn't her lover anymore. She also says that if she and Jade "had matched up better in the bedroom" then Jade "might have been [Anita's] only-ever girlfriend," but she and Jade like opposite things in bed.[22] Jade was tentative in the bedroom, waiting for Anita to always take the lead.[23]

When Anita needs to feed the ardeur on Domino to heal herself, she asks him if Jade will be okay with them doing so. Domino is certain she'll be fine because she "wants to fuck [Anita] too." Anita thinks that her relationship with Jade had been "unsatisfactory" for Anita and "frustrating" for Jade, and she doesn't want to be dragged back into it after having sex with Domino again.[24] When she and Domino have sex, he asks Anita to look into his eyes. Anita thinks this is because Jade wouldn't want to look into someone's eyes during sex because she feels it's too aggressive.[25]

Although Jade isn't directly referenced in the scene, Jade presumably saw Domino's death when Anita threw open her metaphysical shields for help when they were attacked in the hotel room.[26]


  1. Bullet, chapter 46, Jade has been mourning not having other black tigers "for more than a thousand years."
  2. Kiss the Dead, chapter 14.
  3. Kiss the Dead, chapter 37: "She was tiny, shorter than me by inches, short enough that she fit under my arm, when I put my arm across her delicate shoulders."
  4. Kiss the Dead, chapter 37: "Her uptilted eyes looked brown, but I’d spent enough time looking into them to know they were actually an orange so dark they looked brown. In the right light they were the color of fire when it burns deep into the wood and you think the flame is out, but if you don’t douse it with water, it’ll flare up and burn the house down."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kiss the Dead, chapter 14: "What I didn’t add out loud was that the new label [heteroflexible] was one that fitted me now; there was a girl in among all my boys now. Her name was Jade, and we’d rescued her from a sadistic master vampire that had abused her for centuries. She’d been his tiger to call, and now she was mine; my black tiger, my Black Jade, which was what her Chinese name translated to. I honestly tried not to think about the whole thing much. When I was with her, I felt protective, and God knew she was fragile from centuries of being basically an abused wife of the vampire that had been her master, but to say I wasn’t entirely comfortable with having a woman in my bed was an understatement of gigantic proportions."
  6. Kiss the Dead, chapter 37: "Jade had paid Domino the highest compliment she had for men; she let him join us in bed. Nathaniel was tolerated in the bed, and Crispin, a white tiger and stripper at Guilty Pleasures, but she seldom slept with me because I kept insisting on all these men being there. Her abuser had been male and it had given her a bad opinion of them; the only thing she disliked more was male vampires. Damian had won her over with tales of his own abuse at the hands of She who made him. His vampire mistress made Jade’s master look sane. She’d had to accept that women could abuse, too. Jean-Claude and Asher had enough stories of Belle Morte, and then there’d been the Mother of All Darkness, and Nikolaos the first Master of the City of St. Louis had been one crazy bitch. Crazy didn’t discriminate on the basis of gender." "Jean-Claude had won her over by being himself. It had been interesting watching him work to gain her trust. He’d always told me the only woman who ever frustrated his plans was me; watching him charm Jade had made me believe that statement."
  7. Kiss the Dead, chapter 37: "Jade believed that if I died her old master would take her over again. I wasn’t just her rescuer, I was her continued salvation. We couldn’t even tell her that she was wrong, because you weren’t supposed to be able to cut the bonds between master and animal to call without killing the old master. But what I knew, and he hadn’t, was that part of what made it work was Jade’s willingness. She had wanted freedom, and when I offered it, she’d thrown her free will into mine. It’s so much easier to rescue prisoners if they want to come with you. I’d offered love and safety, he’d offered hate and fear; who wouldn’t choose love?"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kiss the Dead, chapter 14: "Would I have been less sympathetic if I didn’t have Jade in my life? Maybe, but I did, and I hadn’t been out in public with her yet; part of that was that I didn’t enjoy shopping, or most of the girl stuff she wanted to do."
  9. Kiss the Dead, chapter 37: "She was way more girly than I would ever be, but liked truth the way that I did, and once lied to, she never forgot. Again, like me."
  10. Kiss the Dead, chapter 30, Claudia says: "He’s [Sin is] clan tiger, so that’s a step up in metaphysics, but I’d say he’s one of the least powerful of your tigers. The only one weaker is Jade, and I think her problem is she’s afraid of the power."
  11. Bullet, chapter 46.
  12. Bullet, chapter 47.
  13. Bullet, chapter 48.
  14. Hit List, chapter 41.
  15. Kiss the Dead, chapter 37.
  16. Kiss the Dead, chapter 38.
  17. Affliction, chapter 03:
    "I don’t think I’m always the civilizing influence, Jean-Claude."
    "Nor do I, but through all the metaphysics we have Richard’s conscience, Micah’s sense of fellowship, Nathaniel’s gentleness, Cynric’s sense of fair play, and Jade’s memories of the terrible use that her master made against her of his ultimate power. The people we have gathered and bound to us have helped make us powerful, but they also help me remember that I am not a monster and do not wish to be."
  18. Affliction, chapter 48: "I still haven’t gone out in public with Jade on my arm even though she’s been in my bed for over a year. There are all different kinds of bravery, Mephistopheles; this just isn’t your kind."
  19. Affliction, chapter 48.
  20. Affliction, chapter 63.
  21. Affliction, chapter 82.
  22. Crimson Death, chapter 21.
  23. Crimson Death, chapter 33.
  24. Crimson Death, chapter 72.
  25. Crimson Death, chapter 74.
  26. Crimson Death, chapter 76.