Title: Roses in Winter
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson #4.5, Mercy-verse #14
In: Shifting Shadows (Patricia Briggs)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Werewolves
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ace fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: It was odd that they had done so little damage to her.
A short story whose main character originally appeared in the Mercy Thompson series. Secondary characters appear in both series. Kara Beckworth, a young lady turned to a werewolf far too early, is trying to learn control with the help of a very old and scary wolf, Asil. This story was published in Shifting Shadows.
The idea of a child werewolf was first introduced in Blood Bound. And it was certainly an interesting concept, especially since in the world of Mercedes Thompson, not many survive the change. Especially the young. Which has always kind of left me wondering – what happened to her after she went to live with the Marrok? We all know that it worked out well for Mercy (in a manner of speaking), and it has always been interesting to see what happened to a young thirteen-year-old, experiencing hormones, new powers and the urges of a werewolf. Roses in Winter gives us that tale. And also brings Asil’s current experiences to life.
Roses in Winter not only investigates what happens when werewolves first change, and how Asil, is, in fact able to bond with others, but also the ways in which werewolves are changed and the culture of Thanksgiving. This is all obliquely mentioned in Moon Called, but the dangers and the strict rules are really enforced in this short story when Kara struggles to make the change on her own. Asil’s willingness to help and nurture her through the difficulties of life as a, maybe not so fierce predator…
The imagery of the rose oasis in the middle of the snow is kind of beautiful. It is first bought about by the very title, but is bought far more beautifully to light when Briggs describes Asil’s greenhouse. The secret home away from home that features so heavily in Kara’s desire to control her wolf, and eventually, their battle to save her from those who wish her harm…