Written by Patricia Briggs
Published January, 2008 by Ace
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves / Shifters
Purchase: The Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia
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Meet car mechanic and coyote shapeshifter Mercy Thompson. Being a lowly "walker" in a world of vampires, werewolves, and fae once kept her safe. But Mercy's bark-and bite-are not so harmless any more...Though Mercy Thompson can shift her shape into that of a coyote, her loyalty never wavers. So when her former boss and mentor, Zee, asks for her help, she's there for him. A series of murders has rocked a fae reservation, and Zee needs her unique gifts, namely her coyote sense of smell, to sniff out the killer.
But when Zee is accused of murdering the suspect Mercy outed, he's left to rot behind bars by his own kind. Now it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.
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...
Iron Kissed is a damned near perfect example of urban fantasy. With a mystery that will keep you guessing and a great mix of fae, werewolf and other supernatural beings, this series just keeps getting better and better. Iron Kissed is my favourite Mercy Thompson novel so far!
“Just as I’ve always known there are monsters in the world, monsters and things even more evil, I’ve always known that it is God who keeps evil at bay.”
The first novel in the series, Moon Called, was all about the werewolves. Blood Bound, the second installment, revolved around the vampires. Iron Kissed, if you can’t already tell from the title, focuses on the fae of Mercy Thompson’s world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I absolutely love that each book has its ‘focus’, rather than trying to overpack the world with all the supernatural beings Patricia Briggs has created for this series. Sure, the werewolves still make up a good chunk of the novel – being friends of Mercy, after all – and Mercy still has the drama with the vampires on her mind, but this book solidly revolves around the fae and a curious string of murders that have taken place on the reservation.
Mercy’s friend and former boss, Zee, has always been present in the series, but in Iron Kissed we really get to see him shine. This time around he’s a more central character, and we finally get to learn more about his history as well as the role he plays within fae society. Patricia Briggs has done a great job of creating unique and individual characters that you can’t help but get attached to. With that, you can also see how important Mercy’s relationships are – and how each one is different.
“When things started to get dangerous, it was important to have people who knew as much as you did. That way, when you stupidly got yourself killed, someone would have a starting place to look for your murderer.”
I love how loyal Mercy is. With Zee in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy does everything in her power to prove his innocence. Even after Zee puts his foot down and promises retribution for her ‘betrayal’ of some of the fae’s secrets, Mercy is determined to help her friend – no matter the cost. Though she has her faults (as every good character does), you can’t help but love her and for an ongoing series with no end in sight, that’s important.
I think the whole ‘fae murder mystery’ plotline has been my favourite since the start of the series. We get to witness Mercy investigating the fae reservation which has so far been a ‘no-go’ zone as well as come into contact with some pretty scary fae – even a Gray Lord. Uncle Mike became a more prominent character, and we got to learn more about the Anti-Fae groups that exist within the United States. The fae also have a whole host of magical artifacts, which made for an interesting turn of events. Though I had my suspicions as to who may be responsible for the murders, I was never really sure of them – nor could I figure out how all the pieces fit together. It was a fun ride.
“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.” – Adam
Iron Kissed also saw Mercy come to terms with her feelings for both Samuel and Adam. My earlier complaints about Mercy and the lack of clarity regarding her romantic feelings were improved upon a little within this book, as she was forced to really think about her future with each man. There was even a bit of a chat with both Jesse and Honey regarding the future of the pack and Mercy’s possible future with Adam. It was a nice change of pace from the usual ‘glossing over’ Mercy seems to do.
What will probably stick most with the reader after reading Iron Kissed is Mercy’s tangle with the ‘murderer’ toward the end. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but there is something that happens in these scenes that I wasn’t expecting – particularly as the fate for a main character. I’m really interested to see how Mercy deals with the events of Iron Kissed in further books and hope Patricia Briggs can really showcase the strength of being a survivor rather than a victim. Given the popularity of this series, I’m guessing that she does.
I’m hastily writing this review so that I can go and dive under the covers and continue on my Mercy Thompson spree with Bone Crossed. While I’m still waiting for that ‘WOW-totally-blown-away’ moment, to merely say that I was enjoying this series would be an understatement.