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Genre: Urban Fantasy | Shifters | Paranormal
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Read Count: 3 times :)
My Rating: 4.8 stars!
Description: I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator… Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name. Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…
I should preface this by saying this is my third time rereading this book, I love the Mercy Thompson series :) It’s such a fun PNR / Urban Fantasy read that when I caught sight of it on my shelf, I couldn’t resist the urge to reread it. And thank god, because this was definitely my favorite Mercy book so far in my reread!
The main character, Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a coyote shifter, also known as a walker. She’s an auto mechanic and neighbor (as well as mate – but that’s a touchy subject) to Adam, the Alpha of the local wolf pack. Adam may have declared Mercy as his mate when he first moved in, but it’s it’s less than official, more of a destination than any indicator of a relationship towards them. At least that’s what Mercy thought… although in the past two books (spanning about six months), things have been heating up between the two, and now Mercy’s not so sure. Especially when’s got childhood sweetheart Samuel (and dominant werewolf) as her roommate, she feels tugged in two different directions.
Mercy is one of my favorite heroines in urban fantasy, because she’s strong, together, sensible and totally, fiercely independent. Not only that, but she’s a fighter, and she’ll fight anything that walks. It may not always be to their face, but it may be subtle, Mercy-style. Which made the events in this book all the more heartbreaking, as we saw Mercy break, due to events out of her control, and I – no joke – am fighting back tears thinking of the scene I just read as I’m writing this. It was definitely a more emotional book than we’ve seen from Patricia Briggs in the past, but it was perfectly executed. She handled some heavy issues in this one, and did it well.
“It’s only fair to warn you that you sealed your fate tonight. When you knew you were in trouble, you came to me. That makes twice, Mercy, and twice is almost as good as a declaration. No more excuses, Mercy. You are mine, and I am keeping you.”
In the first book of the series, Moon Called, Mercy helped Adam deal with a werewolf situation that left him in trouble and his daughter kidnapped. She helped, but her help left her in debt with the vampires, a debt she paid off in the second book, Blood Bound. But in helped the vampires, she was left indebted to the fae, leaving us with book three. You see how the cycle works? Poor Mercy. Someone is murdering the fae, and the the BFA (Bureau of Fae Affairs) thinks Mercy’s fae friend and mentor, Zee, is the culprit. The fae aren’t fighting the charge, because they don’t care and don’t want an investigation into their affairs. But Mercy is dead-set to prove that Zee had nothing to do with this, and pits herself not only against the fae, who don’t want her involved, but against the worst possible enemy: humans, armed with anger and magic they don’t understand.
Briggs really stepped it up this time – I was enthralled with this one from the first page, even having read it before, and it was all I could do to keep my emotions together and keep reading to make sure Zee made it. Mercy’s world is full of monsters, each scarier than the next, and I love how all-encompassing Mercy’s world is, although I’d imagine Mercy doesn’t feel the same way. Each new book adds another layer to this vibrant world that it’s hard to get my head straight and separate fiction from reality – although who really knows? The world of the werewolves is as fascinating as it is intricate – werewolf politics, indeed – and so are the vampires. In the last book, Blood Bound, we saw how terrifying it is the way their seethe functions. Now, we get the fae, an uncommon addition to urban fantasy and I ate it up. Urban Fantasy isn’t just vampires, and I love Brigg’s mentality on that.
Iron Kissed was a huge ground-breaker for both the world and the characters, with development in all fronts. The reader (and Mercy’s) connection grew with many of the characters, specifically the wolves, even some that we didn’t previously like. Ben deserves big hugs 🥺 Adam’s character shines as fiercely passionate, and Samuel is still delicious and adorable – although the light love-triangle (that really wasn’t) is put to rest. The pack dynamics stand out beautifully in this one. Overall, this was a standout performance for the series, and I hope it continues to get better and better as it has so far with Brigg’s light, subtle touch she brings to the books. It’s a rich but sparing narrative, but human and emotional elements make her writing spectacular ✨ (Read my review of book one)
Series Reading Order
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What are you currently reading right now? Do you have any paranormal / urban fantasy recommendations? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!