Blood Bound & Iron Kissed: Mercy stays true and pays for it

fantasy book review Patricia Briggs Mercedes Thompson Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron KissedBlood Bound & Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

In Blood Bound, Mercy tries to pay off her debt to the vampires by helping them hunt a demon-possessed vampire. In Iron Kissed, when Mercy’s former boss is framed for murder, she defies him and the fae by seeking the true killer.  (No vampires in this one.)

My quick synopsis fails to do justice to the fast-paced, complex plotting in each book (and thought-out imagining of the structures and tendencies of werewolf, vampire, and fae societies). Each is told from Mercy’s smart, no-nonsense perspective, and it’s to the author’s credit that, even though I usually like first-person narrators with above-average eloquence, I never tired of her voice. True, I have my quibbles (e.g. the first-person viewpoint is limited in its ability to present information, which is tough in novels that rely heavily on mystery; and also, there are a few long passages of deduction or conversation that seemed to go a bit too perfectly to get to the right outcome) — but overall, the writing is solid and keeps things moving. It’s also mostly free of sex and profanity (though with regard to the latter, there are a few too many instances of someone starting to curse and stopping short).

Although these books lack that superior element of style, enlightenment, or brilliant plotting that would warrant a fifth star, they’re solid modern fantasy/action/mystery entertainment.

Recommended as paperback purchases or library loans for fans of this genre who are at least of high school age.

~Rob Rhodes

book review iron kiMercedes Thompson, Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed 4. Bone Crossedfantasy book review Patricia Briggs Mercedes Thompson Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron KissedIron 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, so I don’t have a problem with it, but keep that in mind.

Iron Kissed took a little while to really get going. There was a little more of the relationship/romance stuff than before, but it’s not so cloying that it degrades the story into a romance. If you liked the first two Mercedes Thompson books, then Iron Kissed will be a treat, too.

~John Hulet

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ROB RHODES was graduated from The University of the South and The Tulane University School of Law and currently works as a government attorney. He has published several short stories and is a co-author of the essay “Sword and Sorcery Fiction,” published in Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading. In 2008, Rob was named a Finalist in The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Rob retired from FanLit in September 2010 after more than 3 years at FanLit. He still reviews books and conducts interviews for us occasionally. You can read his latest news at Rob's blog.

View all posts by Rob Rhodes (retired)

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