Obsidian Butterfly is the ninth in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series of horror/mystery/erotica novels by Laurell K. Hamilton. The events of this novel take place in May, a whole 9 months after the events of Blue Moon.
In Obsidian Butterfly, Anita Blake travels to New Mexico to repay the favor that she promised Edward at the end of The Killing Dance. Edward wants Anita to assist in a set of apparently supernatural attacks that have left numerous victims dead, and has skinned alive many survivors.
In the course of the investigation, Anita learns more about Edward's personal life than she ever has before. She meets Donna, Edward's fiancee (in his civilian identity of legal bounty hunter "Ted Forrester") and Donna's children, Peter and Becca. She and Edward also come into conflict with a number of mercenaries who work for Edward's former boss, "Van Cleef," allowing Anita to learn a few clues about Edward's former life.
Anita also comes into contact with a number of possible suspects and sources for information: the aztec vampire and purported goddess Itzpapalotl; her priest and human servant Pinotl; local ulfric, Roland, and Roland's necromancer/vargamor and local tough guy Nicky Baco.
Ultimately, Anita learns that a second Aztec vampire/god, Red Woman's Husband, is awakening in New Mexico. After sleeping for centuries, Red Woman's Husband began awakening when Riker, (Harold's boss) raided his tomb, stealing several jade idols. In order to finish his awakening, Red Woman's Husband's priest and his animal servant have been skinning and killing the people who bought the idols stolen from his tomb, animating the skinned corpses as servants.
Riker takes Becca and Peter hostage in an attempt to force Anita to protect him from Red Woman's Husband, but Anita, Edward, and Edward's associates Bernardo and Olaf rescue Edward's family and kill everyone involved with their kidnapping. Anita is captured by Red Woman's Husband, who plans to consume her life energy to complete his awakening, but with Itzpapalotl's help, she is able to kill the vampire instead.
Realizing that Edward loves his soon-to-be family in some way, Anita leaves them without interfering and returns to St. Louis to begin work on her own romantic relationships.
Characters in Obsidian Butterfly
Obsidian Butterfly features the following major characters.
- Anita Blake
- Itzpapalotl - The Master of the City of Albequerque.
- Jean-Claude & Richard Zeeman - Have only minor roles in this novel, contacting Anita briefly by dream and mentioned trying to reach her by phone, respectively. Initially, Anita explains that she has taken a "break" from dating either of them and has done her best to block off their spiritual connection. By the end of the novel, she has decided to accept and renew her connection with both men.
Other than the characters discussed above, Obsidian Butterfly features only one recurring character, FBI agent Bradley Bradford. Agent Bradford backs Anita up against the local police when necessary, and warns Anita that agencies within the US government are reviewing her file, possibly with the intent of recruiting her for her animator abilities.
The novel briefly mentions Marianne repeatedly, but she never makes a real appearance.
Non-recurring characters include
- Cesar - A wereleopard who acted as a sacrifice for Itzpapalotl's stage show at Obsidian Butterfly.
- Seth - A werejaguar priest who fed Itzpapalotl and her minions by cutting himself with a silver blade and allowing them to drink from the bleeding cuts. Anita has to save him from his mistress, when he has problems becoming aroused for an offering, Anita uses her leopard aspect to stimulate his jaguar side.
- Lieutenant Marks - Officer in charge of the investigation of the Albuquerque killings. Due to his right-wing religious beliefs, he takes an instant dislike to Anita for being an animator (quoting to her Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live") and repeatedly tries to keep her from assisting with the investigation.
- Pinotl - The human servant and high priest of Itzpapalotl.
- Detective Hernando Ramirez - Cheerful, optimstic, and romantic; he likes Anita in more than a professional way. However, Anita already considers her plate full with her unresolved issues with regards to Jean-Claude and Richard back in Missouri.
- Doctor Evans - Doctor Evans is in charge of treating the "survivors" of the serial killer's attacks and also treats Anita's injuries.
- Lenora Evans - Wife to Dr. Evans, Lenora, is a practicing witch who tells Anita that closing herself off to Richard and Jean-Claude has left her vulnerable to metaphysical attack.
|Anita Blake Series|
01. Guilty Pleasures • 02. The Laughing Corpse • 03. Circus of the Damned • 04. The Lunatic Cafe • 05. Bloody Bones • 06. The Killing Dance • 07. Burnt Offerings • 08. Blue Moon • 09. Obsidian Butterfly • 10. Narcissus in Chains • 11. Cerulean Sins • 12. Incubus Dreams • 13. Micah • 14. Danse Macabre • 15. The Harlequin • 16. Blood Noir • 17. Skin Trade • 18. Flirt • 19. Bullet • 20. Hit List • 21. Kiss the Dead • 22. Affliction • 23. Jason • 24. Dead Ice • 25. Crimson Death • 26. Serpentine • 27. Sucker Punch (novel) • 28. Rafael
|Short Stories||Magic Like Heat Across My Skin • Blood Upon My Lips • The Girl who was Infatuated with Death • Those Who Seek Forgiveness • Selling Houses • Beauty • Dancing • Shutdown • A Girl, a Goat, and a Zombie • Wounded • Sweet Seduction|
|Comics||The First Death • Guilty Pleasures & Handbook • The Laughing Corpse • Circus of the Damned|