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, 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 …
With this book, this series became my favorite in urban fantasy. I really enjoyed the first two, but I loved this one. To some extent, I can pinpoint the difference, but largely, it’s because I have grown to love these characters. Over the past two books, they’ve begun to develop, but here things start moving in a solid direction between them. The strength of a series is in how the characters grow and change over the course of it, not necessarily how they stand up on their own (for me at least) and Patricia Briggs has done everything right.
As always, Mercy is a fantastic heroine and remains that way. She knows what’s right and what she has to do to save her friends. She takes unnecessary risks, but she calls for backup when she needs it. She is a strong woman and deals with some incredibly difficult stuff in this novel, which is handled extremely well and in what I thought a realistic way (having never experienced it myself, thankfully, I can’t say for certain). She chooses between Sam and Adam, finally, and her choice makes perfect sense in context of what is revealed in the book and how those characters begin to develop. Nor is the romance heavy-handed, but just perfect and organic.
The plot is an exciting one and, for me, completely unpredictable. I had no idea who the villain was until the reveal, even though it all made sense. Some new details about the world, especially with regard to the fae, are revealed which fit in nicely with what happened in the previous two books. Tensions between the human world and the supernatural world are increasingly clarified. Eerily, this is an echo of what happens in history; people band together in protest groups and seek to persecute the Other, regardless of how similar they are to that Other. This makes Mercy’s world feel even more real and fleshes out the dangers she and her friends encounter.
If you enjoy urban fantasy and aren’t reading this series, you should by all means start ASAP. As soon as I finished Iron Kissed, I bought the fourth one, Bone Crossed, and I’m going to recommend this series to all who are interested in speculative fiction.