Werewolves, Vampires, and Fae, OH MY! Iron Kissed is number three in the Mercedes Thompson trilogy, and this time we get to learn about the fae! Moon Called showed us werewolves, Blood Bound was vampires, and this one is all kinds of fae.
In this world the Grey Lords (rulers of the fae) forced the more benign fae to expose themselves to the public, so the world knew about fae before werewolves. They just… didn’t know much about fae. In Iron Kissed the panicking Grey Lords are calling off all bets to go after one of their own, Zee – the mechanic uber-fae that sold Mercy the VW repair shop – who is suspected of murdering a human. Said human was also stealing super-items from the fae, so, while the death the police found wasn’t caused by Zee, he was going to kill him anyway. And this is something I love about these books. They really don’t bother playing nice.
Mercy finally made up her mind about who to be with, which was decently written into the plot. I didn’t like using that as the ending though. She doesn’t get out of her entanglement scott-free, however. She’s managed fairly clean escapes in the last two books. This time, were it not for a sudden transformation of one of the faerie super-items into a healing tank she would have lost limbs. Of course, since it’s not meant to be a dark book, she lives and heals, and even gets over the psychological damage which was pretty nasty.
I felt like the ending was a little clumsy. Things needed to wrap up neatly, but with how the rest of the plot charged through, things just needed to be messier. I get why Briggs used the super-item trick, and it worked for more than just healing Mercy, but it was too sudden of a change from something that causes someone to turn into a figurative puppet to magical healer. As a fan of the book, I’m glad Mercy pulled through, but as a critical reader I would have had less trouble believing it if the damage to her physically had just been survivable on its own. I read through in two or three shots, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up in the story, but that part of the ending really broke the magic. Even though it still took a couple of days for her to be better, it was too much of a god-move. “I wrote myself into a corner I don’t like, but I don’t want to back up and fix it.” That’s what it struck me as anyway.
But I still loved the book. I enjoyed the fae characters and society. I enjoyed how some things just didn’t work with the blending of humans and fae, and the issues between the werewolves and the fae. I haven’t done much into looking at Patricia Briggs past these three, but I’m curious what her other work is like. These were nice for light reading. You don’t have to think hard, the language is easy, and the stories are very captivating. I’m glad I finally got the chance to read them, and I highly recommend them.