I’ve been anxiously awaiting this latest installment in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series for several months, so actually surprised myself by waiting for a few hours after its delivery before actually delving into my new treat. (And I give you fair warning: I’m a FULL-ON Mercy Thompson fan; I have all the books, including the off-shoot Alpha and Omega series, the graphic novel, and the comic versions of the story.) This installment did not disappoint.

It took Briggs until this sixth book to tell us more about the Native American heritage that allows Mercy her shifting capacity, but she did it with the same combination of verve and matter-of-fact attitude as she’s previously described the werewolves, fae, and vampires. In her world, being Other is not cause for flightiness, simply an added dimension that enriches the world around us for those who choose to see.

In fact, I think that’s what I like best about the series as a whole: Not only is Mercy a heroine who knows how to handle herself, but she has not lost her sense of wonder at the things in the world that are bigger than she is. Her Faith has kept her alive on more than one occasion, and she doesn’t take it for granted. Nor does she make excuses for it when she bumps up against those who have a harder time holding on to that perspective.

There’s a lot to appreciate about this step in the story, most especially the deepening of her relationship with Adam, but the love letter that serves as the post-script to the adventure at the very end of the book summed up very nicely what any lover would want to have told to them. I weathered the adrenaline rushes of the story without too much issue, but that missive had me in tears. So I will close now to go hug those I hold dear, and hope that every other reader is reminded that we can’t take our partners lightly, and now is always a good time to say “I love you.”

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