‘Iron Kissed’ is book three in the ‘Mercy Thompson’ series of books by Patricia Briggs which is currently running at eight books but hasn’t as yet come to a conclusion. This is one of the better urban fantasy book series out there with fewer of the traditional stereotypes of masses of vampires all of whom are highly attractive. You will find characters such as the main character Mercy, who is a walker (this means she changes into a coyote at a moment’s notice), alongside other fairy type creatures and some werewolves.
Mercy is playing detective for Zee in this book as a payment for using a fairy weapon more than the agreed once in the last book ‘Blood Bound’. Zee brings Mercy into the Fae reservation in order to use her superior sniffing skills to try and discover who is murdering random Fae and bringing terror to the reservation.
As you can tell from the very short précis, this time we will be learning more about the Fae group of supernatural creatures. This made me really happy as one of my favourite urban fantasy writers would now be writing about my very favourite group of urban fantasy characters. Luckily, Briggs did not disappoint me in her depiction of the Fae characters, this is one scary group of traditional fairyland people. As Mercy discovers fairyland is not full of sparkly happy cartoon-like creatures all helping to tidy the house and make piles of shoes. No, these creatures are just as scary as the werewolves and vampires in Briggs’ books, in fact maybe more so because they can glamour themselves to look like innocent little children and old people. Even though I have read a lot of books about fairytale characters from around the world even I found myself discovering new creatures I’d not heard of and Briggs uses her own take on one of my all time favourite Fae creatures, the Kelpie.
One thing I really love about Briggs’ books, along with the great characters, is the pace. She doesn’t rely on random acts of sex or extreme violence but somehow her books grab the reader and pull you along. I had sat down with this book thinking just to start it, but I couldn’t put it down and ended up carrying it around with me all weekend sneaking in reading time when I could.
I think it’s because Briggs just manages to write such compelling storylines that she doesn’t need to rely on tricks, she could be writing about purely human characters rather than werewolves and vampires, you just want to keep reading to find out what happens next or to discover a new secret about a character. Trust me, you will find out secrets about some of the main characters in this series, some of which made me think completely differently about the way they act towards Mercy. This is another of the elements I like about her books is the fact that her characters have dimension rather than just being a werewolf, for example, they happen to be one from a particular place like Wales so they have a great deal of background to them as well as the surface characterisation we’re first presented with.
Overall, I cannot wait to start the next book in the series to see what happens next to Mercy, and I hope to see some of the Fae characters appearing in another book in the series.
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(pub: Orbit. 307 page paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-685-6)