Rummanah Aasi
  I have mixed feelings about reading series. I like well developed plot arcs, meeting and seeing characters grow with each volume, and getting a clearer picture of the world that the author has created. What I don't enjoy is reading a series where the story and characters go no where, which is why I dropped the House of Night series by mother-daughter duo, P.C. and Kristen Cast, despite the fact that I already read 7 books in the series. I'm lenient with series than with any other books because I know how difficult it is for an author to set up their world and establish their characters. The series may have its flaws but eventually the author finds his/her stride, the writing becomes clearer, and the characters become alive, which makes the book take flight. As my friend Kayla mentioned once to me (I'm paraphrasing here. Sorry, Kayla, if I jumbled your words): "Give me fascinating characters and I will follow the author where ever he/she goes". I feel the exact same way with the Mercy Thompson series and the third book, Iron Kissed, especially.

Description: When her former boss and mentor, a fae, is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, Mercy is determined to clear his name and show he is innocent regardless of how dangerous it is for her. Time has also come for Mercy to decide which of the two alpha male werewolves, Sam or Adam,  she will claim as her mate, because if she doesn't one of them will decide for her. Mercy has got a lot on her plate, what will she do?

Review: The Mercy Thompson series gets better with each book. The world building becomes sharper, the plot arc slowly builds, the pacing gets better, and the writing is a smoother. Like the previous books, Moon Called and Blood Bound, which focuses on a specific paranormal community, werewolves and vampires respectively, Iron Kissed continues the trend and spotlights the fey. The paranormals live amongst the humans yet they face discrimination and strict laws that are pretty similar to Marvel's Xmen. With each book, I enjoy the new mythology and folklore that Briggs introduces. 
  Iron Kissed picks up where Blood Bound leaves off. Mercy is still haunted by her actions in the last book, which Briggs nicely sums up to bring the reader new to the series up to speed without slowly down for those who are already updated. A new mystery arrives when Mercy receives a frantic call from her former boss about powerful fae instruments stolen and murders occurring on the fae reservations. Things get worse when her boss is framed for murder and is thrown in jail. There are a lot of twist and turns in the plot, some of which I had anticipated before hand and others that took me by complete surprise, but it is Briggs' dynamic characters that bring this series to life and the only reason why I continue to read this series.
  Mercy is a heroine that I admire. She is a complex and strong. I appreciate Briggs creating a character of color, who for once is the main lead and not a sidekick character. Mercy is utterly loyal and will do anything to help those who she loves. A child of a single teenage parent, she was raised by a pack of werewolves and has always fought to stay independent. While she is physically strong, she is also vulnerable. She is constantly trying to fit in and create a place to call home. We see more of this come to light in this book. Unlike the two previous mysteries, this current conflict is much more personal to Mercy. To her, her boss is like a surrogate father who has guided and cared for her, which is why she doesn't hesitate to put her live in danger in order to save him. Mercy goes through strong emotions and turmoil in Iron Kissed, but how she maturely deals with her problems is what makes her real, appealing, and admirable.
  Sam and Adam, Mercy's love interests, are honorable men who also have a fair share of flaws. To be honest, I have been conflicted with both of them. It is clear that both of them care deeply for her and have to come to her aid regardless if their own lives are at risk. While there is a traditional love triangle in this book, I thought Briggs did a great job in not dwelling on the angst or have a character walk off because of the outcome, which took me by surprise. The love triangle wasn't solved completely out of emotion, but rather logic. While it may come across as anticlimactic for some, I loved how maturely it was dealt with and how the characters stayed true to themselves throughout it. Finally, there is a resolution but no baggage that characters carry.
  As for the mystery, I figured out the identity of the murderer ahead of time but I did not expect how it unfolded nor the emotions that were revealed after. I won't mention what happened exactly because that would be a huge spoiler, but I will say that it was very powerful and made me reread the section quite a few times to really understand what had happened. What took me off guard completely, but in a good way, is the character of Ben. Ben, in the first two books, came off as being prickly and shady. I didn't care for him at all, especially with how he acted around Mercy. My opinion of him, after reading Iron Kissed however, completely changed how I see him now. Ben is a man who has a dark and tragic past, who is working on his recovery. I have warmed up to him and now understand him better.
  If you are considering to read the urban fantasy genre or looking for a book that has mystery, suspense, romance, and great characters, I think you will really enjoy this series. I really look forward to reading the next books to see what else Briggs has in stored for me.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and an allusion to rape. Although the series is marketed to adults, I think this a pretty clean series to recommend to strong teen readers.

If you like this book try: Bones Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4), Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews or  Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
4 Responses
  1. Christina T Says:

    Wow, this sounds like a series I'd like! Great, well written review. You gave me just enough details to create interest in reading the series without spoiling anything for me since I haven't read any of the books yet.

    I haven't read any urban fantasy for adults but I am a big fan of the Vampire Academy series and I've enjoyed other urban fantasy for teens. I am going to add this to my TBR list.

    Thanks for the review and the recommendation!


  2. Thanks, Christina. This series was recommended to me from a friend of mine. I had not read urban fantasy before, but thought this was a great introduction to the genre. I hope you will like it too!


  3. Jenny Says:

    This is my favorite of all the Mercy books and it's because of what happens at the end. Okay, that sounded like I like what happens to her, which is not the case, I just loved the emotional aspect of it, it made me love Mercy even more and I feel very protective of her now if that makes sense. I love how the relationship between Adam and Mercy changes because of it and Ben was truly a highlight in this story! Lovely review Rummanah:)


  4. Thanks, Jenny! I know what you are trying to say. The scenes with Ben and the ending is very powerful. It stayed with me long after I finished it. It's my favorite out of the three that I've read so far. Hope to read the other two before the new Mercy book is out. :)


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