Wow. Just—wow. Moon Called was really good. Blood Bound got my heart racing with the tension and terror and high stakes. Iron Kissed is EVEN BETTER.
How often do you get to say that? Some authors really peter out as their trilogies or series continue. It takes real skill to keep your books on an even level, or to make each subsequent one better. So far so good, Patricia Briggs. You’re totally rocking these stories.
Moon Called focused on the werewolves, and Blood Bound on the vampires. Iron Kissed is about the Fae. It starts so innocuously. Come to think of it, it was like that in Blood Bound, as well. Stefan showing up at Mercy’s doorstep asking for help with something vampire-related. Zee calling Mercy up and asking for help with something Fae-related. Good friend that she is, Mercy complies. She does everything she can to help—both times in her coyote form. Both times getting in WAY over her head.
The crazy part is, Briggs starts the stories the same way—and takes them to entirely different (and almost equally good) levels. Blood Bound has more horror in it. Iron Kissed more suspense. Blood Bound deals with characters and creatures who are “evil” in the moral and/or religious sense of the word. The stuff that goes down in the climax of Iron Kissed is “evil” in the gut-wrenching, nausea-inducing sense of the word.
Trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault: whether you read this book is up to you. It is fantastic, and does end on hope rather than despair, but you’ll need a strong stomach to get beyond the events of the climax. They could be triggering.
I love how Briggs is able to grow Mercy into such a REAL character. Not changing her clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Putting her phone into her back pocket, which has cost her two phones already. Her hot chocolate comfort food predilection. Her strength of will that allows any romantic B-story through-lines to develop organically and make sense when they do (instead of the “instant” attraction of so many romance novels). The dialogue is wonderful. Mercy’s internal commentary is still a joy to listen to. The writing is so on point when Mercy’s internal voice changes while she’s under the influence. I’m impressed by the skill it must have taken to balance that just right, to avoid annoying the reader or popping them out of the story but still show that Mercy was not truly herself.
Damn. I’m so happy I found these books.
As a side note, Lorelei King does a FANTASTIC job narrating the audiobooks. She’s a gem, nails so many different voices, and has the Welsh, Irish, AND German accents down pat. I would definitely recommend the audiobooks for those who like that format. I’m eager to get my hands on physical copies of these books, though. I can imagine them becoming old friends, like some of the other series I re-visit from time to time.
I’m eager to start the next book. Briggs is doing such a wonderful job with these, and Mercy Thompson is the newest on my list of favorite badass female characters. ❤