Thursday, 17 January 2008

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

When Mercy's former boss, Zee, is arrested for murder, she feels it's up to her to prove his innocence. Whether he wants her help or not.

The third in the Mercy Thompson series. Iron Kissed has two main plotlines. The first deals with Mercy having to make a choice between the two men in her (love)life. Adam - the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, and Sam her childhood sweetheart (also an Alpha). It's a decision she needs to make soon, before there's bloodshed.

The second plot is the mystery of the book. Several Fae have been murdered out at the Fae reservation and Zee takes Mercy there, to see if her 'coyote' nose can track the murderer. Although it initially seems like everything is resolved, Zee ends up being charged with murder and Mercy wants to put things right.

Although I don't think it's essential to have read the previous books in the series to follow Iron Kissed. You'd be missing out on two great stories if you didn't read Moon Called (Bk1) and Blood Bound (Bk2). Plus the build up to the Adam/Mercy/Samuel plotline is in those books. And a lot of the background as to how the Mercy Thompson Universe works and the relationship/family set ups of the various species groups.

One thing I very much enjoy about the series is how in each book we learn more about the characters and their relationships. One of my favourite things is how the dynamics of the werewolf pack is explored. In Iron Kissed I wish we could have spent more time learning about Honey and Peter, and Ben. For me, the scene between Ben and Adam at the end was one of the most powerful in the book, especially when Ben is having trouble expressing himself. I hope we get to spend more time with them in future books.

In Iron Kissed we learn more about the mysterious Fae and also how to deal with them. The fact that they can't lie but have their own special way of telling the truth. Which is interesting because ultimately that's how Mercy saves herself at the end of the story.
"It's easier to get forgiveness than permission."
For me this quote is at the heart of the book. In a way this has been Mercy's attitude since we first met her in Moon Called, and probably has a lot to do with growing up as a coyote in a werewolf pack. It's a very easy thing to say when you have no way of knowing what the consequences of your actions will be.

Some of Iron Kissed is very difficult to read. Patricia Briggs doesn't pull back, her characters have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Sometimes there isn't an easy solution and it isn't always easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Especially when the person you have to forgive is yourself.

The temptation to skip ahead when reading this book to see where the story is going, is almost overwhelming. It's that good. But you must resist. It's a story that once you start reading you can't stop. The Mercy Thompson series gets better with every book and in my opinion it's one of the best urban fantasy series around at the moment. If you love urban fantasy and you aren't reading the Mercy Thompson series, then I really think you should be.


KMont said...

This one took some recovery time...but it was as good as you say. I don't look forward to those consequences of Mercy's in later books, but I still want to read on. Hoping for a vamp fix in the next too.

Naomi said...

You always manage to make me interested in books I wasn't interested in before... I liked Moon Called, but wasn't blown away by it, whereas now I'm intrigued.

BTW, what did you think of Blood Engines?

Carolyn Jean said...

Great review. I've read the first two, and I am really curious about what happens. Some have used the word tragedy. I have such a big TBR pile, but I think I need to move this one up!

That quote about forgiveness is something we use all the time in the world of advertising, like if you want to use a company's logo or testimonial without asking, and then if they get mad, you just take it off the site or whatever.

LesleyW said...

KMont - I think the vamps do make an appearance in the next book.

Naomi - Review of Blood Engine coming soon. I was sure you'd mentioned it on your blog but couldn't find the post. After finishing it I was interested in what other people thought.

Carolyn Jean - Yes, something terrible happens. I must admit when I was reading it was with this sense of approaching doom, because I heard of the 'tragedy' thing as well. Hence also my comment about not skipping ahead. I would definitely recommend moving this one to the top of your pile.

Has said...

I really loved reading this book- I think the review at Dear author summed up perfectly what I felt about it- it hit all the right notes and that ending was very very poignant and heartwrenching.

I agree with Lesley that this is one of the best series in the genre and I really cant wait for the followup. And Patty in a chat- has stated that we will see more of the vampires in the next book. We just have to wait for a whole year now for the next book - although I am really looking forward for the first chapter excerpt- the next book is going to start straight after the ending of Iron Kissed :)

scooper said...

I loved this book! I cried and smiled while reading it. Mercy had and has so much to deal with in past and future books. This story makes me appreciate Ms. Biggs writing all over again. It's no wonder that she's on my top fav. authors list.

donna said...

This is definitely one of the best books I've read. Briggs' series just gets better as it goes along. I always anticipate her books, but I'm dying for the next Mercy.

Has said...

Just a heads up guys- The Mercedes Thompson series is going to comic book form ala Anita Blake and the up current Sherrilyn Kenyon series'. Dabel Brothers are going to produce them and its going to start off with a prequel mini-series about how Mercy met up with Zee and co. Mike Patty's hubby also stated at the hurog message board that the subsequent comics will be adaptions of Moon Called, Blood bound etc-
I am so looking forward to this and we are going to see how Mercy met up with everyone :)

Here is the Press release

LesleyW said...

It seems a pretty unanimous (I know I've spelt that wrong) opinion that this is one of the series to follow.

Has - I saw the press release. I've never picked up any comic book related tie ins before. But I'm definitely going to be getting this one.