Today's book review is Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs.
This is the third book in the Mercy Thompson series. Although it does repeat enough background that it would probably make sense on its own, you should start with Moon Called, because it's really good. It has a solid enough ending that the series could have ended here, but I know book four is out in hardcover.
This series continues to feature excellent worldbuilding. We get more details about more magical creatures, and it still hangs together as internally consistent. There was a fairly important issue in the last book where I realized that the situation the characters were in shouldn't have worked given the rules we'd been presented. In many author's works, such a thing would have just been an ongoing flaw, but we addressed it head-on early in this book, and actually explained it in a way that makes sense. The political interplay between different species has some ugly parts, but it's consistent and believable.
There's a lot of breathless action in the adventure side of this story, but the really important parts of the story are the romance side. In most books, that would be, if not a flaw, at least a clear indication that this wasn't the book I wanted to read, but it is really well done here. The tension between independence and commitment is so thick that it is difficult to just sit still and read the book. The characters are so real for me that I want things to work out so desperately that I kept finding myself terrified to the point of having to stop and pull myself together, not in the fights, but in the romantic parts.
Really, what keeps this book from being perfect for me is that I'm so emotionally engaged that it kept kicking me out of the story.
9 out of 10.
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