Mercy Thompson: River Marked by Patricia Briggs
|Mercy Thompson: River Marked by Patricia Briggs|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The urban fantasy series goes very rural, but does not suffer one jot, as a river-based monster threatens an idyll.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: March 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
Mercy, the female car mechanic who is half-Native American and half-Caucasian, and can turn into a coyote, has bitten the bullet and married Adam, the Alpha werewolf of the region. But not long into their honeymoon at an idyllic riverside camping ground they have to themselves, she finds something is about to break their peace. Their presence there was, shall we say, requested, for a killer is lurking in the river waters, and only they can see to it.
More than many another book I can remember, this has a kind of fractal quality to it - you can look at it interminably and find more depth of detail. It is certainly not all about the monster in the lake versus the honeymooners. Within that is a lot about Mercy's own heritage, and the bloodlines and history that make her such a unique character. Beyond that the battles of opposites are clear - Mercy and Adam against much older things, native versus the modern, magic contra the mundane, and so many more.
Deeper than that too is the ever-precise look at the natures of Mercy and her werewolf, and the bonds between them. It's been prevalent throughout this series that the body language, ever-shifting power balances and statuses between the pair are given a clarity to help make this a fully-realised relationship. Patricia Briggs has always managed to write about her takes on fantasy character types with the utmost conviction.
This was an unusual entry to this series, making it so much more a rural fantasy than an urban fantasy, and bringing it more in line with her other series - the one started by Cry Wolf. As a result, however much I liked the old cover designs, the new look doesn't feel like too bad an idea, and with this being pretty much self-contained this is still a great place to jump on board this franchise, if necessary. Here is a cinematic modern take on indigenous American legend, with bravura psychological nous and strong narrative and plotting. Men will easily accept the relationship side of things, making this a genre title to impress anyone.
I must thank the publishers Orbit for my review copy.
The series started with Moon Called.
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