by T. Mack
I’ve written before about the reasons to love the Mercy Thompson book series. This latest installment is just one more. Fire Touched is the ninth book in Patricia Briggs’s best-selling series. While it lives up to its predecessors and continues the trend of being awesome, there is one little down-side.
In this book, Mercy has recovered from the near-fatal events of Night Broken, which was released two years ago. She and her husband’s werewolf pack are called to help the local police deal with a fae monster who is causing death and destruction on a nearby bridge. Following the incident, Mercy makes a very public declaration that she and the wolves will continue to defend their territory from any threat as well as offer sanctuary to anyone they choose, including the individual that the monster (a troll, it turned out) was sent to recover. This act creates ripples and a very real possibility of war with the fae. Mercy and the pack must now face off with the leaders of the fae–the ones who sent the troll and who want their lost “property” returned. The pack will do all they can to protect the fugitive, but the greater concern may be keeping themselves protected from him.
Fire Touched has all the elements that fans love about the Mercy Thompson books. It continues the story of the characters we’ve come to know and love. Basically, if you’re a fan of these books, you will like this one. If you checked the series out and didn’t dig on it before, that won’t change. If you have never tried the series, I recommend it highly for those who love urban fantasy and supernatural fiction featuring werewolves, vampires, faeries and shape shifters. I do not, however, recommend that a new reader to the series begin here. This book relies heavily on knowledge of and emotional investment in the characters. And there are a lot of them! Without knowing anything about them and their history through previous titles, this book would be very difficult to enjoy. The author does drop reminders in the text, many of which are completely unnecessary for those who have stuck with the series this far. However, she is not able (and should not try) to catch someone up fully who is jumping into the series at this point.
Fire Touched picks up the story not too long after the events of Night Broken, the eighth book in the series. I must admit that Night Broken was my least favorite of all the Mercy Thompson novels because it seemed to be mostly a catty competition between the main character and the ex-wife of her husband. Because of that, I’ve never gone back and read it again in the two years since it was released. Honestly, I’ve forgotten most of what transpired in it aside from the aforementioned cattiness. When the author dropped reminders about previous events, I was completely blindsided because I didn’t remember any of that at all. And that brings me to the down-side of this book…
If you’re going to read this one, you probably need to go back and refresh yourself on the previous title. It’s not completely necessary in order to follow this story. But if you’re anything like me, it will be a bit irritating to have events from the other book mentioned without having any recollection of them. So I’ll be going back to read book 8, not because I liked it or really want to, but because I want to remember the things that happened to one of my favorite literary characters.
Fire Touched is as well-written, imaginative, fun, and humorous as the other books in this series. It has all the same characters and elements you either liked or disliked before. If you enjoyed the previous books, you’ll like this. If you didn’t enjoy those, don’t bother with this one. If you think you might like them, start at the beginning with Moon Called and go from there.
Rating: 4.5 SHIELDS
Take to the comments section. Have you read the Mercy Thompson novels? What do you think of the series as a whole and this title in particular? How long do you think this series should continue? If you haven’t read this series, tell me about one of your favorites.
If you’re interested in reading the Mercy Thompson novels, see a reference for the book chronology below:
#1. Moon Called (2006)
#2. Blood Bound (2007)
#3. Iron Kissed (2008)
#4. Bone Crossed (2009)
#5. Silver Borne (2010)
#6. River Marked (2011)
#7. Frost Burned (2013)
#8. Night Broken (2014)
#9. Fire Touched (2016)
Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson (2015)