VW mechanic, Mercy Thompson, is a shape shifter. She is a walker who shifts from human to coyote at will. In the world that Mercy inhabits, the werewolves, fae and vampires exist alongside humankind.
However, the fae and the werewolves have been somewhat forced to make their existence known to the public. In Iron Kissed, the fae call in a debt from Mercy and she must deliver. There have been numerous murders in Fairyland and her mentor, Zee, wants her to help him “sniff” out the killer.
In this entry, we learn more about the world of fairyland. We learn that the fae are a secretive bunch who choose to keep to themselves. Since being outed to the public, they now live on reservations. The laws in fairyland are swift but not always just. There is a hierarchy of power within their community where there are various types of fae who have a certain degree of power and who would like to remain unnoticed. At the top of that hierarchical power structure are The Gray Lords who rule fairyland and it’s inhabitants. The fae are very protective of their secrets and are willing to sacrifice one of their own to keep them that way.
There are several interesting subplots that support the main plot of the story. For instance, there is the choice that Mercy must make between two suitors: Dr. Samuel Cornick who is a medical doctor and the son of the Marrok. The Marrok is the leader of all the werewolves and they are led by Bran. They also raised Mercy with the pack before she struck out on her own. Then there is Adam Hauptman, the Alpha of the Colombia Basin Pack, who has already declared Mercy his “mate” without her permission. Mercy’s reluctance to choose between the two men has led to a weakness within the pack’s infrastructure. The pack is restless and their leader is short-tempered. The pack continue to remind Mercy that she must make a decision soon.
Then there is the social issues and politics about the supernatural community that I enjoy the most. Like humans, the werewolves and fae have to deal with the hate groups, the ignorance and bigotry and if anybody gets out of line, there’s someone to help with damage control. Magic and folklore play a significant role in this series and is inter-weaved nicely to help solidify this wonderful world that Briggs has created. Mercy is a great narrator. Her posturing and maneuvering within the supernatural community is a dangerous balancing act. She is knowledgeable of folklore, having a degree in history. She is often useful in her coyote form because of her sensitive nose and is often protected by Adam’s pack when trouble comes calling. Despite being helpful, Mercy often finds herself knowledgeable of sensitive information regarding the supernatural community that will always put her in harm’s way.
Iron Kissed was a quick read. Brigg’s fans shouldn’t be disappointed. Mercy does choose her man in the end so no more going back and forth. There’s plenty of action, monsters, politics and dark magic to burn the midnight oil late into the night. On the softer side, you have flirting and kisses with some “heat” but no explicit sex scenes. Readers learn a little bit more about Zee that goes a bit beyond the “glamour.” And then there’s Mercy herself, who has to deal with the emotional aftermath toward resolution’s end. The mystery of “who shot John” wasn’t terribly difficult but then that didn’t bother me.
This is yet another strong entry in the Mercy Thompson series with one major plot point resolved. I’m sure faults can be found if one were to look closely enough. However, I was too engrossed in the story to notice them (if at all). New readers, this book can stand alone but if you’re interested in reading the first book in the series, it is Moon Called and after that, Blood Bound. As a former Laurell K. Hamilton fan, I am quite pleased to be engrossed in a well written and well structured urban fantasy series that blends the elements of fantasy with reality almost seamlessly. My grade A.
You may purchase this book in ebook or paper format on Jan 2, 2008.
[tags]Patricia Briggs, Fantasy Reviews, Fairyland, Werewolves[/tags]