Spoilers ALWAYS included
Patty Briggs is one of my favorite writers, and I think Mercy is one of my favorite characters. She is ballsy and doesn’t take any prisoners. But she is not super woman, I think one of the hardest scenes I ever read was where Mercy was sexually assaulted in a previous book, her recovery from that incident I think is some of Briggs’ best writing.
But on to the actual book, it started out a little slow for me. I think Briggs was trying to establish an intimate relationship with Adam and Mercy, but it honestly just felt to drag on. The last half of the book picks up and became a very enjoyable read. Briggs is one of the fantasy writers that doesn’t stay in one or two of the supernatural categories, she is willing to include any and all supernatural elements, and she blends them in such a way that is still cohesive for the reader as well as entertaining. This book is no exception. There is interaction with her vampire friend who needs Mercy’s help, the werewolf pack Mercy is no married into, the fae sending Mercy and Adam to the honeymoon spot as well as the Fae villains, as well as the exploration of Mercy’s heritage which brought in a whole new supernatural element never explored before.
Mercy has always been an outsider in the books, she is the only one of her kind, or so she thought. As a coyote raised by wolves, I believe that Mercy has always been content with the road her life went down. She has even mentioned in prior books that she has looked in mildly to her heritage but never really took it further. This book changes all of that, her heritage rises up to meet her.
I love the Native American culture, and I love that Briggs did not just make this about one specific tribe, in fact in the end Mercy is the child of all of the tribes because her father is one of the remaining immortal figures Coyote that serve the Great Spirit that all of the Native Americans believe in. The extensive culture that Briggs explores in this book is amazing, and it is great that she was able to not only make a plot that was interesting to the reader but also gives Mercy more depth and a clear and remaining link to her past, that is sure to show up in the following books.
The book was full of small sentimental moments that long time fans of these series would appreciate. I believe my favorite of these moments would be Bran at Mercy’s wedding, acting all parts of the father he really feels he is to Mercy. Seeing the bond Mercy had developed with the most powerful werewolf in the world is something so sweet and special. I also love that Mercy is becoming more and more like a mother to Jesse, they have always had a good dynamic together, but it has begun to really evolve into a parent and child dynamic that has been so great to watch evolve.
I also really love the small moments Mercy has with Stefan. Stefan was a main element in the prior book. One of my biggest issues with a lot of series writers is they forget the prior books existed for some characters, the main character always remains changed but the others just seem to be along for the ride. Briggs never does that to her characters. While Stefan was not a main player this time around, she didn’t forget him and showed him as the damaged vampire he should be. And true to her form Mercy does everything she can to help him heal. And in the end when Mercy herself is healing from the situation within this book, Stefan comes along to help her as well. The moment between the two of them at the end was sweet not just because of Stefan caring for Mercy when he was still clearly not completely well himself, but also the interaction Coyote and Stefan have together. Mercy is clearly a character that has the ability to unite elements of the supernatural that prefer to remain separate and also typically at odds.
Over all this is a book I loved reading, even though it to in my opinion, took far to long to pick up. The continual mundane activities that Mercy and Adam go through for so much of the beginning of the book reminds me almost of how Harry Potter’s last book seemed to go on forever when they were on the run, it was just more and more of the same over and over again for far to many pages. I also think she made the river monster far to large, I think she could have made the monster even slightly smaller and way more believable within that context. But overall I think the book was great, probably my second favorite of her books.