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I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

287 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 2, 2008

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About the author

Patricia Briggs

109 books28.1k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children, and six horses and writes full time, much to the delight of her fans.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,508 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
January 24, 2011
I fucking cried like a big baby made of baby tears and the only down side to this whole novel was the very last sentence. Don't think she was ready for that step AT ALL but still... Someone give me a hug!

*runs off to cry some more*
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
April 26, 2020
#3 in my 2020 Mercy Thompson reread! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Patricia Briggs, who has explored werewolf and vampire societies in the first two volumes of her MERCY THOMPSON urban fantasy series, turns her attention to fae society in this third volume. In the second book, Blood Bound, Mercy had been lent a powerful knife, a fae treasure, by Zee, her former boss and a fae, to kill a demon-ridden vampire. When Mercy used the knife for an additional and very much unauthorized purpose, she knew there would be consequences and that she would need to repay the favor in some way. It turns out that owing a favor to one of the fae is pretty much as dangerous as owing a favor to a vampire.

Like the werewolves, the fae have been gradually disclosing their existence and some of their members to humanity, based on the theory that with the ever-increasing sophistication of technology, humans were going to find out about them anyway and it would be better to control the process. Many of the fae who are publicly known have moved to a reservation outside of the city of Pasco, Washington, in a development that echoes America’s treatment of Native Americans. In this case, however, the fae are using the reservation to hide magic that would alarm humans, including magical links to Underhill, the fae world.

Zee asks Mercy to help investigate the serial murders of seven fae on the reservation, using her sharp coyote sense of smell. When she finds a particular human’s scent at all of the murder scenes, Zee and another fae, known as Uncle Mike, go to this person’s home to confront him ― and find him already dead, attacked by someone or something with superhuman strength. Zee is found there at the murder scene by the police, and the fae rulers abandon him to the human justice system to avoid an unwanted investigation into fae affairs. Mercy stubbornly continues with her independent investigation of the case, determined not to allow Zee to take the blame, but in doing so she’ll expose herself to unimaginable danger.

The climax of the story is extremely traumatic for Mercy *trigger warning* . This deeply disturbing event and its repercussions were dealt with honestly and realistically, without being too explicit. I could quibble about the very end of the story, but it added a welcome note of hope, even if it didn’t strike me as entirely believable. [ETA: The beginning of the next book in this series, [book:Bone Crossed|3128411], recasts this incident, so I'm withdrawing my quibble.]

Complicating Mercy’s life further are her relationship woes, including the love square/trident that irked me in Blood Bound. Those issues come to a head in this volume and while the final resolution in one sense seems overly facile, as two men drop out of the running with much less fuss than I expected, in another sense Mercy is still struggling tremendously with commitment issues, especially since she fears that she may lose her autonomy and ability to make her own decisions. Her thought processes as she works through her fears and considers the nature and character of the man she is choosing to be her partner are instructive in a larger, real-world sense, despite the urban fantasy setting.

After three books, I’ve been well and truly sucked into this series, and have grown highly attached to many of the characters. Briggs’ MERCY THOMPSON books have improved with each successive entry in the series.
Profile Image for carol..
1,576 reviews8,239 followers
May 24, 2016
The book that committed me to continuing the series.

Zee, Mercy's mechanic mentor, needs the help of her nose investigating a recent death on the fae reservation. Briggs gets to pull out all the stops and introduce the readers to a number of fae and their magical artifacts. Investigating the crime scenes proves fascinating, and also points out a person of interest. Next thing Mercy knows is that Zee is being held in the human jail as the primary suspect in the POI's murder. In the interests of keeping fae business from human scrutiny, the fae intend to let Zee take the blame. Mercy, of course, can't bear to have her innocent friend blamed, so she continues to investigate the murders, bringing her to the attention of a number of powerful fae. At the same time, Mercy attempts to balance her love life between Samuel, roommate and childhood love, and Adam, her current crush.

When it comes to plotting, there was a much better balance of interesting things happening without reliance on dramatic, life-threatening events. There's the investigation, the music festival, a night out for pizza, and a meeting for a change of pace. At first, it wasn't clear where the murder investigation would go, but eventually it narrowed down to an obvious suspect. While choosing between potential love interests is often a plot device that has me eye-rolling, I thought Mercy's dilemma was handled nicely with gentle self-revelations rather than dramatic angst. The ending was truly gut-wrenching. Any frustration I would have leveled at Briggs was mitigated by Ben's perceptive and emotional explanation. Mercy is allowed her trauma but also to regain some of her self-confidence in a capstone fight.

Mostly, however, I just loved the introduction of various fae. Briggs did a nice job with the eerie threatening power of the fae, capturing the capriciousness and ruthlessness of folklore fae. Kudos for the Walking Stick, one of my favorite non-sentient (?) characters ever.

Still, for a female-led urban fantasy, there's an awful lot of males around, with most of them engaged in rating each other on the dominance scale. It's the kind of thing that will end up putting me off a series.

Re-read May 2016

January 21, 2021
Reread on Audible in July 2020
I love this series and I loved this book on reread just as much. The audiobooks are fantastic, narrated by Lorelei King. She does such a good job with all the voices. She really brings Mercy to life, and is great with Adam and Samuel as well. This book proves that human evil is probably the worst of all evils.

Iron Kissed has made me even more of a fan of Patricia Briggs. This story takes off shortly after Blood Bound. Mercy and her friends are still recovering from dealing with the demon-possessed vampire, and the wave of violence that he inflicted on the Tri-Cities area. Do not be fooled into thinking that things will go back to normal for Mercy. The heat is on as the pressure to choose between two werewolves who want her as their mate: her former flame, Samuel and the sexy, powerful alpha of the Tri-Cities pack, Adam, gets explosive. Normally I hate love triangles, but Ms. Briggs handles this one so well, I was loving it. I could see how it was hard to choose between Samuel and Adam, because they both have a lot to offer a girl, although my heart already made the choice for her, and I was glad that Mercy made the same choice. I adore both Adam and Samuel, for different reasons. They are both tough and powerful men, with a primal edge that I just adore. Adam is protective but he knows that Mercy is always going to be her own woman, and works hard to give her space, even though his urge to claim her is increasingly hard to control. Although he is dominant and formidable in his own right, Samuel is more touchy feely and does sweet things like cooks for Mercy and provides her with the feelings of home and hearth that she sometimes misses from being part of Bran’s pack long ago. I enjoyed the flirtations she had with both guys, and I didn’t feel like she was stringing them along. It was clear how hard it was to choose one man, and possibly lose the other. Ms. Briggs balanced the tension beautifully in this book.

On top of emotional/relationship aspects, is the mystery about who is killing Fae at the Walla Walla faerie reservation. I love reading about the Fae, and this book didn’t disappoint me. Ms. Briggs captures the ruthless/dangerous aspects of these creatures, but also the allure and the otherworldly appeal awesomely. Mercy is in serious danger in this book, and there are some moments that are intense and very heartbreaking, as Mercy puts herself in jeopardy to save her friend Zee from being framed for the murder of a bigoted, anti-Fae guard who worked at the reservation.

Ms. Briggs is my favorite fantasy author, and this book only solidifies her place in my keeper shelves. She writes urban fantasy with a light, subtle touch, her narrative sparing but rich at the same time. She has all the human elements that make an urban fantasy book call to this reader. Yet she also gives a reader the magic and the preternatural creatures that make fantasy one of my favorite genres. I loved her wolves from book one, and this book makes me love them more. Adam is just awesome, but Samuel is delicious and adorable too. And the rest of the pack and their dynamics stands out beautifully, especially Ben. I loved how Ben was able to talk to Adam and Mercy and help them through the horrible situation the potential mates found themselves facing in this novel.

This book was just fantastic. In fact, I feel the urge to read it again already, although my tbr pile is calling me to other books. I’m so glad that I have the rest of the books to come back to when I get my reading schedule under control. Ms. Briggs, I want to shake your hand. You know how to write an enthralling book for fantasy lovers, and you proved it with Iron Kissed.

Casting Choices:

Julia Jones as Mercy Thompson:
julia jones Pictures, Images and Photos

Christian Bale as Adam Hauptman:
so good in a suit Pictures, Images and Photos

Wentworth Miller as Samuel Cornick:
Wentworth Miller Pictures, Images and Photos
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,910 reviews853 followers
April 9, 2020
Re-read for the 3rd time April 7th 2020. Again, more intense with this re-read because I knew what was coming, but also loved this installment so much, because things were finally settled romantically. I forgot how much Mercy learns about the supernatural community in the first few books, when she thought she already knew a lot being raised by the werewolves and all. Great way to educate the reader without making it an info dump. This way every new discovery is interesting, almost like piecing together a mystery.

Re-read March 23rd 2017. A little more tension reading this one, because I knew what was coming. Loved, LOVED Adam! I know I said it last time I read, but it bears repeating! :)

Iron Kissed
was deceptively calm in the beginning, and then all hell broke loose. Parts of the ending were shocking and heartbreaking, and then touching and heartwarming. You’ve won my heart Adam!

As you can probably guess from the title, the mystery here revolves around the fae. Mercy is called in for assistance by her former boss and sort of father figure. The fae are a dangerous and powerful race full of secrets, and don’t like outsiders discovering them. So of course, Mercy puts herself in grave danger to help out her friend. Fortunately, she has the wolves at her back.

I’m not going to go into a long review, but I will say this is my favorite so far of the series. As I said it was heartbreaking and intense for Mercy and I’m sure the after effects will haunt her in the future. The situation with Adam, Samuel and Mercy is finally resolved and I’m thrilled with how things turned out. I can’t wait to see how it impacts Mercy and her friends in the coming books.

I want to mention that I was pleasantly surprised by Ben who I have been wary of in the past. He stepped up and won my heart in the process.

This series is shaping up to be a favorite of mine, burrowing into my heart a little more with each installment! I listened to the audio version of this book and I highly recommend it Lorelei King’s narration was perfection!

Favorite quote:

“It's only fair to warn you that you sealed your fate tonight. When you knew you were in trouble, you came to me. That makes twice, Mercy, and twice is almost as good as a declaration. You are mine now.... Ben says you might run. If you do, I will find you and bring you back. Every time you run, Mercy. I won't force you, but. .. No more excuses, Mercy. You are mine, and I am keeping you.”
Profile Image for Angie.
645 reviews1,012 followers
January 3, 2008
So this series just keeps getting more and more intense. And in such unexpected ways. I love it when an author has the ability (and the guts) to slip in a real shocker without compromising her characters or the story as a whole. In a series, that's particularly hard to do without making it seem like a gratuitous plot twist inserted merely to keep the series going. Patricia Briggs has a 7-book deal for her Mercy Thompson series and book three has shown that not only does she know exactly what she's doing, but that we can trust her. To keep her characters and her world consistent. To take them down the right paths and introduce them to the right people...or werewolves and vampires in this case.

Mercy lives in a world where werewolves, vampires, and the fae exist side by side with humans. The first book, Moon Called, focuses on the werewolves. The second, Blood Bound, centers on the vampires, including Mercy's quirky Scooby Doo loving friend Stefan. In this third installment, coyote shape shifter and VW mechanic Mercy Thompson is called in to help the fae solve a series of murders on the local fae reservation. Soon after, her friend Zee is arrested for the murder and, just like that, Mercy's in the thick of it, determined to clear Zee's name no matter what. Add to that the increasingly imperative choice she must make between the two werewolves in her life: Adam Hauptman (the Alpha of the local pack who's already claimed her as his mate) and Dr. Samuel Cornick (the wolf she fell in love with at 16). In what is becoming classic Briggs style, Iron Kissed combines an intriguing mystery with a streak of compelling romance, interspersed with glimpses of your worst nightmares. The combination is the height of entertainment. And what holds it all together is Mercy herself. The girl doesn't know the meaning of the words back down. I absolutely love these books.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,847 reviews507 followers
December 13, 2020
Read first time-> December 21, 2010

It's difficult to write a review on a book you have read so many times.

The first time I read it was in 2010 and to this day, Iron Kissed is still one of my favorite books.

In Iron Kissed, Mercy will have to help Zee who has been imprisoned by the humans after finding him at the scene of a crime. Mercy knows Zee is innocent but when the Fae turned on Zee, she won't rest until she can find the true killer to save her friend's life.

Iron Kissed is also the book where Mercy will make a choice in regards to her love life. Is it Sam, the man she fell in love with when she was sixteen? or is it Adam, the alpha of the werewolf pack she has fallen for?

Not to say I don't like Sam but hands down, I was Team Adam (and still am).

Mercy is such an amazing heroine. She is resourceful, smart, caring, and deadly when she needs to be. She likes to protect the people she cares about and this is mostly the main reason why she is always in danger.

Like Samuel said: "You have a real gift for getting into trouble, don't you?". Yes, she does but she also knows how to be a survivor in a world where things go bump at night.

This book is also the one responsible for me loving Ben. He becomes one of my favorite characters in this series after his insight and emotional speech helps Adam understand what Mercy couldn't say.

I won't deny it. Iron Kissed always brings tears to my eyes.

Earlier, I said I was team Adam but I'm really Team Mercy. She is the one I enjoy reading about.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
January 17, 2022
Short review with spoilers::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

There were somethings I liked about this book. Not enough to save it but..... I still really liked Mercy and Adam. I also liked getting to understand Ben more. Still I feel like there was not much depth or development with the Characters and their relationships. I didn't really feel that the rape of Mercy was necessary and I didn't like it. If she would have been raped in book one ok I could deal with it but to let us readers fall in love with her for 3 books. To show us what a brave fighting hero she is, then have her raped, and have that rape watched by Adam and all the wolves just seemed wrong. I'm also pissed that all this time I have been waiting for Adam and Mercy to really become a couple and he just says he loves her to Ben. Honestly I didn't feel it. How does he love her? He doesn't spend any damn time with her. Top that off with the author cutting the part where Mercy and Adam would finally get together. To just have her take off her shirt and then the end. That's bullshit. It is a rip off to the fans waiting for them to have their moment. Overall I am getting really sick of the disappointment this series keeps serving me and if book four doesn't give me some depth Imma bounce out. I'm not going to read a ton of books that have no real depth. I need to feel a connection. It would suck too since I bought all the paperback/hardbacks of the series and they were not cheap.
Profile Image for Jojo.
265 reviews24 followers
November 3, 2016
I liked the main plot of this one better than the first two. Fae! Interesting! And Zee is awesome.

I had a lot of issues with other things though. I think I would enjoy this series a lot more without the romance, and this book had more of that than the others did. I think that, if the choice is between Adam and Samuel, Mercy made the right choice; that doesn't mean I like Adam. I hate all the werewolf dominance stuff, and Adam has his dominance turned up to eleven. He's controlling and possessive and can control her against her will (and does, immediately after saying he won't; I don't care if he thought it for her own good, that should not be his call) and, oh yeah, will stalk her to the ends of the earth if she tries to get away from him. That's not romantic, it's creepy as hell. He might give her more freedom than Samuel would have, but not by much. I feel like she's giving up a lot of herself for him, and he doesn't seem worth it. Mercy goes on about pretending to be submissive, but it seems like she's actually submitting to him more than she realizes. I'm just really uncomfortable with their relationship.

The rape was another thing I had issues with. The actual event I could deal with; it was horrifying, but that was the point. But I was very uncomfortable with the aftermath, particularly that she was ready for a sexual relationship so soon after it happened. A sexual relationship with someone who, like her rapist, can potentially control her against her will (I don't care if he says he won't). It seemed way too soon for that after such a seriously traumatic event. I don't like rape as a plot device anyway, but rape as a plot device that ends up bringing people together romantically? CREEPY.

The werewolf politics and whatnot just make me generally uncomfortable. I like Warren and Ben, but I could do without all the rest of them and be very happy.

I'll definitely get the next book in the series whenever it is published, but, yeah, I also definitely have a lot of issues with it.

Still fun that it's set where I live though. This one was especially weird since, not only could I picture where everything was, but they were at Tumbleweed. I go to that music festival every year! If this book was real, I would have walked right by Samuel when he was performing that day.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,122 followers
July 29, 2015
The 3rd book in the enchanting Mercy Thompson Series and the more I get to like Mercy….
 photo alpha-couples-1-mercy-adam_zps5dhu9jsu.jpg
This is an intense and emotional story.

Mercy becomes involved in some dangerous things when she becomes involved in the fae world and politics in her quest to save her former mentor and fae, Zee. Filled with nerve-wracking moments, suspense and tension – you just can’t wait for turning the next page to finding out what happens now!!! You kept guessing until the very end and it’s certainly not what you expect!!

The world building continues growing and it’s becoming more and more interesting with all the different characters.

We finally get to see Mercy making up her mind about the man she really loves…and I was beyond happy with her decision!!!!

A great and fabulous read.
Profile Image for Sanaa.
413 reviews2,552 followers
September 16, 2019
[4.5 Stars] What is it with third books in urban fantasy series? Seriously. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews was one of my favorites from the series, and it was the third book in the series. Iron Kissed is no different, though with a catch. I'll get to that at the end.

I loved how we got more fae in this book. It was cool learning more about them, and can we all just collectively acknowledge how much of a badass Zee is? Seriously if him and Aunt B from Kate Daniels series ever had a conversation, that would be one hell of a meeting!

I also love Mercy, her character development, how she thinks, just her entire decision process is amazing. She goes through so much in this book, so freaking much, and I admit it was a little hard to read at times. I'm not going to spoil why it got so dark, but needless to say it soured a little bit of my feelings concerning this book, makes me a little less likely to immediately pick up book 4, and it's the reason I had to knock off at minimal a half star rating. I loved this book, but the ending.. well. It's difficult is all I'm going to say. I know I've gushed a lot but know that I too am slightly conflicted by my gushing.

Sorry for the weird review but I wanted to keep this spoiler-free... anywho... hopefully we see some Stefan in the next book... hopefully? may be?
Profile Image for Lightreads.
641 reviews534 followers
December 29, 2008
Oh my God, you guys. Stop the presses! I have figured it out. The sudden, shocking explosion of paranormal romantical urban fantasy written in the first-person on a plucky, mouthy heroin? You wondered why, and now I know.

It's not the blood-tingling appeal of a sexy vampire. Oh no no no. It's much better than that. I mean, this is 2008, for God's sake. We're, like, post feminist, okay? We want books about plucky, smart-mouthed heroins who every man [vampire, werewolf, police officer [delete as applicable]] inexplicably falls in love with. But we really don't want to get carried away, right? Don't want to ruin a good thing. Which is why this whole paranormal romantical first-person fantasy thing is awesome – your [vampire, werewolf, alpha of the pack [[delete as applicable]] can be the overbearing, obnoxious, belittling asshole of yore, but it's all right, he can't help it, it's the nature of being a [vampire, werewolf, alpha of the pack [[delete as applicable]]. You have the awesome hotness of a disrespectful, dominating love interest, and none of that nasty guilt! Even when our heroin is raped and spends the rest of the book angsting about how this means the pack won't respect her boyfriend anymore! Win!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
April 25, 2015
I have mixed feelings about Iron Kissed.

It started absolutely great - Mercy gets in the middle of fae trouble, story finally moves forward with new plot twists. But... Romance.

I love suspense/mystery side of this series much more than romance. It "pops up" in the weirdest situations and I was just: "Get over yourself already, woman!" I didn't really feel chemistry between Mercy and Adam because there is no actual interaction - just endless Mercy's soliloquies about why she likes Adam and why she likes Sam and why she can't choose (but she did choose, it's obvious from her rants, plus constant repeating of what happened before with both men. So yes, romance ruined Iron Kissed for me.

On the other hand, mystery was brilliant. I was on my toes whole time and I really didn't guess who was the bad guy. I never thought that it would be - I actually had few other suspects, but never .

Ending was... wow. Powerful. Also, it made me like pack dynamics more. Speaking about how the story ended, I noticed one thing - it is so obvious that Iron Kissed is a little bit older book - it's quite tame (actually, term conservative would be better in this case) when it comes to explicit scenes. I guess authors braved with more graphic descriptions later.

I should rate this book, right? Romance is 2 stars, mystery 4 stars, writing changed depending of subject, so it would be... 3 stars.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,514 reviews859 followers
April 28, 2017
This was the best yet! When I read the first book in this series my reaction was : meh- I can't remember what persuaded me to read the second one but it turned my opinion round. And now the third instalment has completed my re-education.
Mercy Thompson is such a great character. She has backbone, she is completely loyal to those she loves, brave, curious and the cast around her are just as interesting .
I read this in only 2 sittings and loved every minute. Towards the end there is a traumatic event that happens and this and its aftermath are dealt with in the best of ways by Patricia Briggs.
The love triangle is over and I'm keen to pick up in the next book where this one leaves off.
Recommended. ( But read the series starting at the beginning!)
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,645 reviews1,512 followers
March 27, 2020
Re-Read I'll stick with my initial rating. There were a few kind of repetitive parts that seemed a little much but overall the story was still really well done.

I'll I have to say is...Tim


4.5 Stars

Note to self, never use a Fae item more than you are allowed to, it gets you into nothing but trouble. Mercy owes the Fae a favor and Zee hopes that if she helps them solve a string of murders on the reservation she will be able to fulfill the favor without much dismay. Haha we all knew it wasn’t going to be that easy right.

“She sees ghosts,” said Samuel, impatient with my whining.
I see dead people,” I deadpanned back. Oddly, it was Uncle Mike who laughed. I hadn’t thought he’d be a moviegoer.”

Since Mercy has a great sense of smell and an ability to see ghosts she agrees to check out a few crime scenes to help Zee find out who is killing Fae on the reservation. It seems easy enough an open and shut case, smell the bad guy and the Fae will distribute justice. But like everything Mercy sticks her nose into it always becomes more complicated and Zee ends up in jail for murder and the Fae have noticed Mercy and have a growing interest in her.

This was an emotional book for me. The author really took some bigger chances and man our heroine goes through some huge trials. I teared up and cried in parts. The trauma that Mercy endures is difficult to read through, but very well written and goes to show that even our heroine is not safe from terrible deeds.

Break out character of the book award goes to Ben! I hated Ben in the first book, he grew on me a bit in the second and now I think he might be one of my favorites. The way that Ben stands up to help Mercy by explaining things to Adam was in a word WOW. He grew on me so much in that speech and it meant more since he really laid into our Alpha when that is a bit taboo as a low wolf. But Ben saw things clearly and I really got a great insight into the mind of a victim.

Let’s also say that the love triangle gets resolved in an interesting way that I really felt good about. I understand both Samuel and Adam more after this book and their motivations. This is one of the few love triangle resolutions that felt true to me. I liked that Mercy was strong enough not to bounce between the two men in her life and use them against the other. Instead she figured it out and resolved things like an adult.

This was my favorite in the series so far even with the harsher content. It was handled very well and believably.
Profile Image for Angela.
3,199 reviews371 followers
February 5, 2018
February 2018 Reread. Buddy read with Sarah and Erica.
January 2017 Re-read: Buddy read with Sarah

December 2015 Re-read: Buddy read with Sarah: Every time I start this book I have a huge sense of anticipation and - at the same time - a huge sense of apprehension. This is one of my favorite books in the series and considering it deals with one of the most difficult triggers (for me), that's saying something. So, TRIGGER WARNING (AND SPOILER): this book contains rape.

It is not gratuitous, nor is it graphic, but it happens. And it never feels like one of those things that happens just to make the heroine suffer (as I've read in so many books). It's a real trauma and it's handled with care and delicacy.

The relationship developments in this story are what really drove me. We learn so much more about everyone that this is the book that ended up cementing my love of ALL the characters in this book. Samuel's quiet despair - and care, in spite of that; Adam's stubborn, steady love; Ben's ... well, I'll let you read and find out. Then, through it all, tying everyone together, is Mercy. It's her strength of heart, I think, that draws so many people to her. When she claims someone as hers, that's it. They're hers. She will do anything for them, anything to help them. This doesn't mean that she forgives or forgets easily, but that she still loves - always. I love that about her. I also love that she's smart, and she knows how to work around the autocratic ways of the Pack.

Another reason this is my favorite book (of the first three) is that it deals so much with the fae and their artifacts. The fae in this series are fascinating. These aren't the fairy-tale fae that you've read about (unless you've been reading the really dark stuff). They're dangerous, not usually nice, and incredibly tricky. Though they can't lie, they do the next best thing and obfuscate with truth. And I love them. I always want more of Mercy's dealings with them. Probably because they kind of scare me.

I will say that I'm not a fan of where the book ends. It's a hell of a cliff-hanger - and not necessary. But, luckily, you can now pick up Bone Crossed immediately and pick up right where it left off. And that's just what I did.

Original Review:
Mercy at one point thinks, in this book, that she's suddenly not quite so anonymous in the preternatural communities anymore. That after spending nearly 15 years without any significant contact with them, she's been absolutely embroiled in mess after mess for the past couple of years.

First it was helping Adam get Jesse back, then she owed Stefan for that one. After helping Stefan, she ends up owing the fae. And this is where we pick up Iron Kissed.

Fae are getting murdered on the reservation, and they have no idea who's doing it. Zee and Uncle Mike call Mercy in to sniff around and see if she can come up with anything. And she does. But then things go bad. Zee's arrested for murder of a human, the fae look to be leaving him to hang, and Mercy won't stand for it.

I loved this book. It's a page-turner for me to this day (several re-reads later), and I can never put it down or stop reading it. We get a lot more insight into Mercy's relationships with Samuel and Adam, and how his claiming her as his mate affected him and the pack, in this book. And I'm glad to say I was ecstatic when she chose.

I don't want to say too much about this and risk spoiling anything because it's such a wonderful book. But I will say that there's some very hard moments in it. Heart-breaking, and wrenching, and they had me in tears several times.

And it does end on one big cliff-hanger, though the main story is tied up. It was hell waiting for Bone Crossed to come out when I first read this.

P.S. I loved Ben from, nearly, the first moment we met him, but I have to say my love and care for him solidified in this book.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,800 reviews488 followers
March 19, 2017
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book left me with all kinds of feelings. I have had a hard time getting it out of my head since I finished it hours ago. This was a re-read for me but it has been roughly 6 years since the first time I read this book and it really had a bigger impact on me this time around. I have so much love for this series having read all of the books set in the Mercy world and now working on re-reading them as time allows. This book felt like a really pivotal book this time around since I know how things do work out. I am in awe of the magic that is the Mercy Thompson series.

Mercy is asked by Zee to help out with an investigation investigation involving the fae. Things get a whole lot more complicated almost immediately after when Zee is arrested and charged with murder. Mercy knows that he is innocent so she is going to do everything in her power to set the record straight even when she is told to leave things alone. I will be honest and admit that I didn't remember who the bad guy was in this mystery and was trying to puzzle through everything right along with Mercy and she discovered new pieces of information.

The other major point in this book focuses on Mercy's love life. In the previous books in the series, Mercy has had both Adam and Sam showing interest in her. Sam ended up moving in with her as roommates and Adam has declared her as his mate. Sam and Adam are both very strong Alpha wolves and a choice has to be made. Mercy does finally figure out where her heart is in this book and she does it in a way that reminds me why I love her character as much as I do.

The final section of the book really got to me. It was intense to say the least. I was emotionally all over the place as I listened to the everything that happens to Mercy. I was angry for her. I wanted to cry for her. I wanted to help glue back all of the pieces or try to do something to make it be that things didn't really happen. I think that the way that Patricia Briggs decided to share how Mercy was feeling during the aftermath of the big event is genius. I am in awe of her writing ability. Mercy dealt with the pain by turning into her coyote. In doing so, the way she acted and her body language took on a very obvious meaning. It was powerful stuff to say the least.

I loved the narration of this book. Lorelei King did a spectacular job in narrating this story. There are quite a few characters in this book and she did a fantastic job in using different and consistent voices for those characters. She really showed the emotions of the characters during this story. The pacing of her reading was really nice and I found myself being able to listen for hours at a time.

I would highly recommend this series to others. I do think that this is a series that is best read in order since the relationships between the character grow and change over the course of the series and events from earlier books do come up from time to time. I can't wait to continue with my re-read of this fantastic series!

Initial Thoughts
The ending of this book was a lot more intense than I had remembered. Such amazing storytelling and the narration added to the experience.

Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 76 books16.9k followers
June 3, 2016
Also finished this while traveling in Australia. Yep, I'm on an urban fantasy kick and this series is meeting all my expectations for great UF.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,598 followers
December 26, 2015
*** 4.40 ***

I read this in one breath... Mercy and her battle for survival after some of her choices, which are never well thought out but always deeply felt, kept me up most of the night. This time it is the Fae friend who is in trouble and Mercy's devotion to those she calls her friends once again lands her in some deep and dark waters... Some times literally... This same loyalty is what makes me fall more and more with this character - she is everything I think a good UF leading lady should be - emotionally strong, loyal, smart, but at the same time not invulnerable, quite disadvantaged when it comes to magic and physical strength when it comes to her very powerful enemies... Well, with every book the stakes on her safety are raised and she takes more blows both physically and emotionally... By the end of the book we wonder if she will ever be strong enough to live through her latest adventures...

I do not want to give anything away - the fun of reading these books is the tension that comes with not knowing how things will progress.. . The books continue being written in the classic Urban Fantasy stile and I do believe they get better with every new issue. Patricia Briggs is a gifted story teller and I like diving in the pool of her creativity despite it not being as flashy or frantically paced as some of the newer books out there... I am a fan and am impatient to finish this review and get into the next volume. So, as always, happy reading to all!!! :-)
Profile Image for Theresa Ijachi.
103 reviews69 followers
December 24, 2017
Third book in the series and I still haven't rated any book more than 3 stars.

Mercy Thompson has done it all, Rescue the werewolves, vampires and now faes. Yes friends, there's nothing she isn't capable of.

One of the issues I had with this book was the fact that she doesn't really shift into a Coyote often but she did frequently in this book and I found it so boring.

I really enjoy this series but there's nothing special about it.
Profile Image for Kathylill .
162 reviews176 followers
January 11, 2015
Lately I’ve been craving some alpha-shifter-romance novels and I stumbled upon my Mercy Thomson shelf. There was a time before my kindle, you know, when I ordered books and never really read them resulting in me hording a full shelf of Patricia Briggs novels that are now morphing into dust catchers in my basement. I’ve been reading Mercy Thompson a few years back but never went further than book nr. 2. Unfortunately, this hasn’t kept me from pre-ordering every fucking book which leaves me no other option but to admit that clearly I suffer from compulsive book hoarding syndrome. There you have it, I need help, medical care, psychological therapy.

The first Mercy Thommpson book was even better than I remembered and I was sucked right back into this world. Then I skipped the second book, Blood Bound, because it was all about the vamps and went right to the third book Iron Kissed, which focuses on the fey. I love Briggs’ fey, especially Zee. Why? I am just so impressed about the accurate German references in this book. As you might know, Briggs graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and her love for German cars, German language and German fairy tales shows. I adore it!

But the more the story in Iron Kissed progressed the more it got difficult for me to really like it. Some of the scenes were so bewildering.

"Ménage-à-trois" or "Curtain up for alpha monstrosities":
A love triangle is not per se something I dislike, but in this case both male characters and the execution of the romance were more than perplexing. Mercy switches her "love/affection" between her childhood sweetheart Sam and her more recent attraction to Adam. I was into neither of them.

Sam a several hundred years old Werewolf tried to seduce her at age 16 not because he loved her or anything but because Mercy in his eyes was the only female worldwide (talk about specialness, yo!) who can give birth to werewolf puppies. What a creepy, pedophile, manipulative bastard. And now he is Mercy’s roommate and wants to win her back? And she lets him court her, because she has these First Love memories? He coldly manipulated her into falling in love with him when she was just 14, he wanted to marry and mate with her when she was 16/17. This is just something … simply no! And there is this moment after a party when they both laugh it off and decide they are not in love with each other and never will be? This was the lamest solving of a love-triangle I ever heard of. You just don’t fall out of love one night after being in love for more than 15 years. Just no!

And then there is Adam, Alpha supreme, and imho asshole superlative. He is constantly invading her personal space, he showers his unwanted affection on her, he declared her his mate before his pack and now she has to deal with the ramifications. And everybody pesters her to decide although she never wanted to be his mate in the first place. Example: He installs a security system in her garage without even asking her. I never for one second felt emotional attached to their “romance”. I just couldn’t care less about his character. There is a scene at the beginning where his daughter comes home after being beaten by some high-school dumbasses and he doesn’t care that she is bleeding and hurt, he doesn’t call a doctor … What he does is shouting and intimidating her further into telling him who did it so he can go and murder them. Mercy has to constantly tiptoe around his volatile character and play submissive wolf just so that Adam doesn’t turn HULK punching walls.

I mean really this is sooooo not romantic: a pedophile creep on the one side and an aggressive cave-man who barely controls himself on the other. My bullshit-o-meter alarm is blaring.

How to change from awesome to stupid female
Mercy’s character also made a 180 degree turn from the first book to this one. She gets herself non-stop into stupid and dangerous situations and then runs screaming to Adam for help where in Moon Called she was the one who saved Adams life and helped save his daughter. It’s like she digresses from a smart and inventive, albeit impulsive heroine into an emotional instable bunny that needs constant saving and pampering. It was very sad to witness her decline.

The mystery elements and the overall storyline as well as the world of shifters, witches and vampires really kept me engrossed. But the romance and character development annoyed the hell out of me.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,929 reviews386 followers
December 20, 2018
2018 Re-Read

Several things struck me as a re-read the third book of the Mercy Thompson series. Number one, I’m still disappointed that there were no vampires anywhere in this one! Number two, I’m somewhat disappointed that Briggs resorted to rape as a plot device—I think authors go there entirely too often. But Briggs did it for a reason: it actually moved the plot along (i.e. brought Mercy & Adam together), and it gave Ben a chance to redeem himself. We learn why he’s such a jerk and we can forgive him to some extent. Number three, the reader learns far more about Briggs’ version of the Fae, who are dark and tricksy just as I likes ‘em.

And I still wish that Mercy had some women friends to talk things over with. All of us gals need our women friends!

Original review:

Stefan! Where are you??? Seriously, he is MIA in Iron Kissed. Bloody vampires, they think they have all the time in the world….

One of the things that I appreciate about Mercy Thompson is her loyalty to her friends. And she has to be very loyal indeed to make her way through this third installment of the tale, because everyone seems to be trying pretty hard to convince her not to trust them anymore.

She takes a big risk to fulfill her obligation to the Fae and what do they do? Make her life miserable! Even her mechanical mentor Zee is reportedly saying nasty things from the jail cell that he has ended up in. Despite the fact that she is trying to exonerate him and the rest of the Fae seem to be willing to let him take the fall.

Plus, the werewolves are behaving like werewolves (i.e. bossy, pushy, insistent) when maybe they ought to just tone it down a notch. There’s a reason that Mercy is such a tough cookie, and it’s from dealing with them for her whole life. At least by book’s end, it seems that Mercy has made a choice between Adam and Sam, and it seems well reasoned and sound.

Mercy needs some women friends in the worst possible way. Much as I love Kyle and Warren, they just can’t replace what female friends have to offer—people to talk to, no holds barred, about the things that are bothering you, not trying to fix, just to listen while your sort it out for yourself by trying to explain it to a trusted other. As strong as Mercy is, she could be even stronger with a woman or two on her side.
Profile Image for Frank.
164 reviews1 follower
December 5, 2020
These books are trashy. Normally, I enjoy them anyway, they are a guilty pleasure. This third book in the Mercedes series has the weakest plot of them all. Not much really happens in it. I can forgive that, since I find the books to be near-romance novel quality. The biggest problem I have with it, other than the main character's whining about the decisions of her love life, is the author's inability to write. Oh, Briggs can compose a sentence and her grammar is fine, but the treatment she gives certain situations and topics in the book is . . . I don't want to say ham-fisted, because she crafted it well. She just didn't craft it right. The male behavior (even the behavior explained away as 'werwolf' behavior), the culminating event of the book, all should have been treated with more depth and respect and understanding. I guess I will have to give away a bit of the end of the book to better explain this. There is a rape in the book. Yes, the rape has certain supernatural characteristics in it, but it is still a rape, and still presented very much like a non-magical criminal rape. Now, maybe Briggs did do research on the subject, and maybe she did speak to rape victims before writing the book. Maybe she even (and I certainly hope not) was the victim of violence, sexual or otherwise, herself. If she was or had done any of that, I would be totally surprised. The way the main character deals with her rape in this novel, you would think Briggs didn't do any of that. It reads as if she never spoke to a rape victim before, or even watched a moderately serious movie on the subject.
This is probably my last Briggs novel. The author's inability to realistically portray the seriousness of certain events (or explain them away, such as 'he was sexually abused as a child and that's why he's a real jerk now') totally killed it for me. I enjoy the universe and mythology she has set up in these books. I would love to see some other author write a story in the same setting.
Profile Image for Nafeeza.
252 reviews4 followers
March 8, 2017
By the end of this I just want to hug MERCY, Adam, Warren and BEN (even Samuel) and tell them it will be okay. *sniff*

3/5/17 -The Buddy Read continues over @ BB&B minus a certain someone who shall not be named for her abandonment of us...
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews351 followers
April 14, 2020
Iron Kissed was a wonderfully written but in the end a tough read. It definitely stepped the series up to another level and I am so excited to continue the series!
Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews433 followers
May 31, 2013
This one just blew my mind. I couldn't stop reading and what happened in the last 3 chapters?

I have to have more...More!

My mom keeps annoying me saying that even being addicted to books isn't good. But MOM...

Profile Image for Woman Reading .
437 reviews288 followers
February 18, 2021
What happened to all of the years of carefully keeping to myself and staying out of trouble?

With Iron Kissed #3, I realize what role Mercy Thompson plays in the supernatural world. She may not care about a quest with a "Q" other than the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but Mercy is either the catalyst or the game-changer.
“You have a real gift for getting into trouble, don’t you? That was one thing I forgot when you left the pack.”
“How is any of this my fault?” I asked hotly.
He sighed. “I don’t know. Does it matter whose fault it is once you’re sitting in the middle of the frying pan?” He gave me a despairing look. “And as my father used to point out, you find your way into that frying pan way too often for it to be purely accidental.”

In Iron Kissed, Briggs turns her attention to the Fae. The Gray Lords decided to go public with the existence of the Fae about 30 years ago. One result is the creation of reservations strictly for the Fae and one is located nearby Tri-Cities, Washington. The reservations are guarded with border walls and federally funded guards. Another outcome is the rise of anti-Fae groups.

Mercy's mentor and only Fae friend is Zee, who sold his garage to her when he retired and went public as Fae. Zee is unique because he's able to work with metals while industrialization and the prevalence of iron decimated Fae populations. Mercy knows the rules in order to remain safe from the Fae, but she also owes them a favor because she had borrowed something necessary for survival in Blood Bound #2. And now it's time to pay the piper. Seven fae residents in the reservation have been murdered. Zee and Uncle Mike, a Fae tavern owner, want Mercy to use her coyote nose to sniff out the murderer.

Briggs hasn't written a simple mystery yet, and this one maintains the pattern. Mercy immediately identifies a suspect, but events go sideways as her friend Zee is falsely arrested for decapitating that very same suspect. Mercy prizes her independence and her small circle of friends. She continues to investigate despite the intimidating presence of powerful Faes and Zee's anger at Mercy's continued involvement.
Nemane smiled suddenly, the expression flowing across her face, giving it a delicate beauty I hadn’t noticed before. “I like you,” she said to me. “You play an underhanded and subtle game—and like Coyote, you shake up the order of the world.” She laughed... Then, almost to herself, she murmured, “Perhaps…perhaps this won’t be a disaster after all.”

But a 35 pound coyote can't avoid all the shaking and she runs into serious jeopardy. Iron Kissed has a climactic scene that's a punch in the heart.
If I let them all treat me like I was broken, then how was I going to convince myself I wasn’t?

#0.3 Homecoming 3 ☆
#1 Moon Called 3.5 ☆
#2 Blood Bound 4 ☆
#4 Bones Crossed 3.5 ☆
#5 Silver Borne 3.5 ☆
#6 River Marked 4 ☆
#7 Frost Burned 3.5 ☆
#7.5 Hopcross Jilly 3.5 ☆
#8 Night Broken 4 ☆
#9 Fire Touched 3.5 ☆
#10 Silence Fallen almost 4☆
#11 Storm Cursed 4 ☆
#12 Smoke Bitten 3 ☆
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