Masques by Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs writes wonderful urban fantasy. Until I read Masques, I had almost forgotten that she also writes really great classic fantasy as well. Masques is the first book in her Sianim series, which is being reprinted by Ace, and it is a great start.
Aralorn is a pretty cliché heroine for a fantasy novel except that she's not pretty. As the bastard daughter of a powerful noble, Aralorn has all the makings of your typical female hero. She follows the script pretty well: she's got magic, she's good in a fight, and she doesn't take orders from her boss. It's funny because it's the normal character sketch for an urban fantasy character as well. Briggs is so good at writing this character type, so Aralorn makes a great heroine.
Set in a classic fantasy world, Aralorn and her co... Read More
Patricia Briggs(1965- )
Shortly after her sixth birthday, Patricia Briggs discovered there were dwarves living in the mines and elves in the forests of Butte Montana. The hob in the garage really startled her the first time she met him, but they’ve been good friends ever since. The urge to share her discoveries with the rest of the world led her to writing. Now she lives in Washington state with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. There is a nice resource for writers at Patricia Briggs’ website.
The Sianim Series — (1993-1998) Publisher: When the peaceful kingdom of Reth is overrun by Geofrrey ae’Magi, the evil master of illusion, Aralorn, weaponsmistress of the shapechanging race, and her companion, Wolf, attempt to overthrow him.
Masques by Patricia Briggs
Masques by Patricia Briggs
Aralorn, a short, plain, and outspoken young lady who always hated to “sit and sew” in her father’s court, works as a mercenary and spy. She’s not particularly good with the sword (the staff is her weapon of choice), but her shapeshifting ability is a pretty useful skill. She’s sometimes aided by the wolf she saved a few years ago. He comes and goes and Aralorn knows that he’s more than he seems. When the evil mage Jeffrey starts planning world domination, Aralorn and Wolf plan to stop him.
Masques kept me entertained for 9 hours and 48 minutes (I listened to Brilliance Audio’s version). Though there’s nothing new in Patricia Briggs’ debut novel, and not much that surprised or inspired me, it was pleasantly diverting. Masques is definitely predictable in places and it relies on a few too many convenient occurrences as well as several t... Read More
Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
Wolfsbane, the sequel to Patricia Briggs’ debut novel Masques, was written later in her career and just published last month. It continues the story of the shapeshifters Aralorn and Wolf, whose relationship has developed significantly since the beginning of Masques. Aralorn has been called home after a ten-year absence because her father has died. When she and her “pet” Wolf arrive, they find some evil magic at work and a mystery to solve.
As you’d expect, Briggs’ writing is better this time. She has a smooth style that I find pleasant to read (or in this case, listen to, since I read this on audio, again read by Katherine Kellgren). I enjoyed spending more time with Aralorn and Wolf and agree with Ms. Briggs who, in the humble introduction to the book, said she wrote Wolfsbane Read More
Mercedes Thompson — (2006-2014) A modern paranormal urban fantasy series. There will be at least seven of these. Dabel Brothers and Del Rey are producing a graphic novel based on the series. Publisher: Mercy Thompson’s life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn’t exactly normal herself.
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
For a woman raised by wolves — OK, werewolves — Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson has turned out all right. Though Mercy's half-Native-American heritage allows her to shapeshift into a coyote, instead of a wolf, she's taken care of herself by working as a mechanic and keeping her nose out of supernatural matters. But her eastern Washington town has too many such matters: her former boss is one of the fae; her neighbor is the local werewolf Alpha; and her client with the Scooby-Doo-inspired van is a vampire. Moreover, times are changing, as the fae have made themselves known to humanity, which isn't accepting their existence with perfect grace. And though Mercy has found her niche between the natural and supernatural worlds, their slow collision threatens to crush her.
To date, author Patricia Briggs has published three novels starring Mercy (Moon Called, Blood Boun... Read More
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
I sure hope that Mercedes Thompson will turn into a longer series because Patricia Briggs started off just right. The characters are believable and the way that Ms. Briggs handles the various supernatural groups (fae, vampires, lycanthropes) is something that you can actually see happening. The situation just feels real.
My favorite part is the main character. Mercedes Thompson is a tough kid with a bad attitude who knows her limitations. Unlike Anita Blake, Mercy actually has limits and vulnerabilities that are real. She gets herself hurt like a normal person would and she's not able to just kill the bad guy despite it all. She's smart, she's talented, and she is realistic. The rest of the supporting cast fits in well around her and each is well developed.
Last thing: NO PORN! Patr... Read More
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
This it the third volume of Mercedes Thompson and to this point Patricia Briggs has done a wonderful job of blending relationship stuff with some interesting, at times tense, urban fantasy. She has a great grip on the world she is writing and her heroine, Mercy Thompson, is very well developed.
Ok, here comes the reason this got 5 stars: Mercedes Thompson gets the crap kicked out of her in a major lasting way and it's completely her own fault. Talk about a great change from some of the other urban fantasy authors who let their characters get away with being stupid over and over again. The details would spoil the story, but let's just say that Mercy stays true to who she has been so far and pays for it big time. Warning... what happens to her is really harsh and for some people may be a bit too traumatic for easy reading. This is an adult series, ... Read More
Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
In Bone Crossed, the fourth installment in the Mercedes Thompson series, Mercy is learning to cope with her new role as the mate of the local werewolf pack while still suffering the effects of a horrific assault that occurred at the climax of Iron Kissed. Complications from inter-species conflicts remain a central theme, and her relationship challenges don’t simply fade away, but Mercy Thompson does not cry mercy.
Patricia Briggs keeps the story moving, introducing new plot elements which require Mercy to constantly re-evaluate and adjust. Another author might wave a magic wand and make things all better for Mercy, but Briggs doesn’t, and my respect for her writing deepens as a result. Too many authors leave their heroes static, allowing everything to magically work out right witho... Read More
Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
Woohoo! Another Mercy Thompson book from Patricia Briggs’ is hitting the shelves. I had just finished book four (Bone Crossed) only a few weeks ago, so I was very happy to get a chance to read Silver Borne so soon afterwards.
I love the Mercy Thompson series. I started reading it while waiting for the next Dresden Files novel and they have been a worthy diversion. Silver Borne, the fifth book in the series, continues the story of Were-Coyote and VW mechanic Mercy Thompson. With each installment Mercy has found herself in deeper trouble, and Silver Borne carries on that tradition with enthusiasm... Read More
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson has been through a lot. Patricia Briggs has not spared her heroine anything and, in River Marked, if feels like Mercy is finally going to get a break... This feeling, however, is not to last...
The first quarter of River Marked focuses on Mercy's plans to marry alpha werewolf Adam Hauptmann. She's also still dealing with some of the lingering problems from previous books, like the recovery of her vampire friend Stefan and her continued adjustment to being a coyote in a wolf pack.
After the wedding, Mercy and Adam head out on a honeymoon that is fated for disaster. With the usual lead-up, Mercy must eventually confront and defeat a truly Lovecraftian monster. I have to give Briggs credit for dreaming up such a nasty creature!
The best part of River Marked is the interaction betwe... Read More
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Slipping back into the world of Mercy Thompson comes so easily for me. I don’t struggle with a huge readjustment because everything feels so familiar and Patricia Briggs has such an easy style to enjoy. Tragically, this at times means that I am not as engrossed in the story as I expect to be, because it feels much like more of the same thing over again.
Frost Burned is the seventh novel in the MERCY THOMPSON series. Mercy has gone through a lot in past editions, so when she is caught up in a relatively mundane car accident I almost had to chuckle because it’s just her luck. The fact that she and her stepdaughter are not seriously injured in the crash is about par for the course, but when she starts to make calls back to her husband and his werewolf pack, things begin to fall apart.
In many ways, the continued evolution of this series, reflected in the atte... Read More
Alpha and Omega — (2008-2012) Publisher: Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member — and as his mate.
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs has chosen to write a spin-off series during the middle of her very successful Mercedes Thompson series. I am not complaining, because Mercedes Thompson has been really good, but it’s something of a surprise to me.
Briggs opens Cry Wolf, the first installment of Alpha and Omega, without a lot of explanation of what has happened in the story so far. We are taken straight to a scene in Chicago where Bran, the Marrok (Werewolf Overlord), is cleaning up the mess caused by his son Charles rescuing Anna. Anna is a different type of werewolf than we have known before and it makes for some interesting diversity as her specialized abilities become clear. The first 60 pages or so are spent on establishing a r... Read More
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Anna Latham may be a rare Omega werewolf (as opposed to an Alpha/pack leader), but it hasn't done her a bit of good. Abused and degraded by her Chicago pack, she's at once freed and claimed by Charles, a strapping son of the Marrok (the North American werewolf lord) with rare abilities of his own. Anna returns with Charles to the Montana wilderness, both eager and hesitant to begin her life anew; but even the Marrok's home territory isn't exempt from the prowling of a rogue werewolf — and an even older and more sinister evil...
Cry Wolf is the first book in Patricia Briggs's Alpha and Omega series. However, it's important to note that it's a spin-off from her Mercy Thompson series (which includes the Marrok and his sons and references the purifying of Anna's pack) and a continuation of t... Read More
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
Werewolves have recently come out of the closet, sparking prejudice among their human neighbors. Bran, leader of all North American werewolves, is cracking down on anyone who breaks Pack law, as these transgressions engender more bad feeling between humans and werewolves. Thus, the use of capital punishment has increased. Bran’s son, Charles, is the designated executioner, and his grim task (and his guilt about it) is battering his psyche and driving a wedge between him and his wife, Anna.
So, to help Charles’s mental health by giving him something more heroic to do, Bran sends Anna to help the FBI crack a tough case with Charles as her backup muscle. The case is that of a serial killer and rapist who has evaded capture for decades. The murderer initially targeted human victims, later killing fae as well, and the last few victims have been werewolves. Anna and Charles have information and skills th... Read More
The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs
I think that the ability to create a world that is filled with magic and unknown places is perhaps too great a task to do in one book. There is a degree of detail that we, as readers, have come to expect due to the growing trend of long multi-volume series.
In The Hob's Bargain, Patricia Briggs does a good job of telling a story within the constraints of a single volume. The heroine is interesting and relatively likeable, but not terribly believable. That's probably because there simply isn't enough space in a single short volume to do much in the way of character development.
The setting is a small village that goes through several disasters in a short time. The heroine loses her new husband and her family and is plagued by an onset of magical power in a community that equates magic with evil. Add to this mix the return of m... Read More
Strange Brew by P.N. Elrod (ed)
The theme of Strange Brew is witchcraft. This anthology features nine well-known urban fantasy authors, each with their own spin on the theme. Some of these stories feature well-known characters. Others focus on characters who are secondary in the author's series, or characters who are entirely new. Glancing at the table of contents and doing a little mental math, most of the stories are around 40 pages, give or take a few. (The longest is Karen Chance's at just under 60.) As is always the case with anthologies, I had my favorites and my less-favorites, but if you like urban fantasy, there will probably be something here for you.
"Seeing Eye" by Patricia Briggs: A werewolf enlists the help of a blind witch to help him find his brother who has been kidnapped by a sinister coven. The wit... Read More
The Hurog Books — (2002) Publisher: Most everyone thinks Ward of Hurog is a simple-minded fool-and that’s just fine by him. But few people know that his foolishness is (very convincingly) feigned. And that it’s all that’s saved him from death at the hands of his abusive father — who’s always seen Ward as a bitter rival for power. When his father dies, Ward becomes the new lord of Hurog. Until a nobleman declares that he is too dim-witted to rule. Ward knows he cannot play the fool any longer. To regain his kingdom, he must prove himself worthy-and quickly. Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly serious turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. They are Hurog’s most precious, powerful treasure-and Ward is certain his enemies will kill to possess them.
The Raven Duology — (2004-2005) Publisher: Tier, a baker’s son, goes off to war, and then meets Seraph, a Raven mage. They leave their homes behind to start a farm in a mountain land where the Shadow magic makes others fear to live.