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Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs: See No Evil

Apr 1, 2008
Meet Mercy Thompson, a stubborn, shape-shifting female mechanic that wears her heart on her sleeve. Mercy is a "walker", a supernatural being that can shape shift into the form of a coyote. Although she's not linked to the werewolf race or the cycles of the moon she's much stronger and faster than most humans.

In Iron Kissed, Book 3 in the popular contemporary fantasy series by Patricia Briggs, Mercy becomes involved in a local fae problem. It seems that a mass-murderer is on the loose and Mercy's talents are needed to catch the killer. Although Mercy is reluctant to assist because of the cunning nature of the fae she eventually agrees to help when asked by friend. What follows is an engaging adventure of intrigue and suspense.

The Story:

Mercy's former boss and mentor Zee, himself a member of the fae community, requests that Mercy accompany him to the fae reservation to investigate a recent string of mysterious murders. Because Mercy possesses an enhanced sense of smell while in the form of a coyote, Zee is hoping she can sniff out the identity of the person (or being) responsible for the murders. Mercy is forewarned not to ask questions about what she might see during the visit because although the fae announced themselves to the human race several years ago they try to maintain a low profile. The facade presented to humans is that of a kindly, jolly race; think elves and fairies. Their true nature is more deadly and they're known to use any means necessary to preserve the illusion.

Mercy's trip to the fae reservation proves to be productive: she's able to identify the killer. However a series of circumstances lands Zee in jail for murder. Because he's a friend Mercy attempts to prove his innocence but this exposes her too many of the fae's well kept secrets. Unfortunately Mercy's curiosity about their culture gets the best of her and she finds herself on a fairy hit list.

On top of that Mercy is forced to come to terms with her feelings for Adam and Samuel. Iron Kissed provides more back story on the two werewolves vying for Mercy's affections. Patricia Briggs does a brilliant job of delving into the psyche of the werewolf culture by highlighting their humanity while preserving the traditional mythology surrounding their violent and aggressive nature. The precarious and delicate mentality of two werewolves in particular is explored, providing insight into their motivations without emasculating them in any way.

An important arc occurs near the end of the book that represents a life changing event for Mercy. Loyal fans may be shocked by the tragedy but the event further humanizes the main characters. Briggs must be commended for her courage in introducing this development. It significantly strengthens the storyline.

With Iron Kissed Patricia Briggs has written another entertaining and believable fantasy adventure. As with the other books in the series the storyline is nicely balanced with action, humor, and a little romance. Reading Moon Called and Blood Bound, the first and second books in the series respectively, is recommended but not required. Patricia Briggs has a talent for providing just enough back story for new readers while maintaining the interest of return readers. Read the first books because they're just as enjoyable and captivating as this one.

Overall, Iron Kissed represents a solid winner for Briggs. It will undoubtedly score entries on several Must Read lists for 2008.
About the Author
Scarlett Moore writes reviews of urban and contemporary fantasy books written by award winning authors like Kelley Armstrong and Chris Marie Green. Come explore your darker side at http://bestfantasystories.com.
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