Title: River Marked
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson #6, Mercy-verse #17
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Werewolves
Publisher: Ace fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Figuring out why he’d been mad should have been a lot easier.
Welcome to Patricia Briggs’s world, a place where “witches, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters live beside ordinary people”. It takes a very unusual woman to call it home – and there’s no one quite like Mercy.
Getting to the altar wasn’t easy for coyote shifter Mercy Thompson and Alpha werewolf Adam Hauptman. And yet Mercy clings to the hope that their Columbia River honeymoon will be drama-free.
She couldn’t be more wrong.
Being a different breed of shapeshifter – a walker – Mercy can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her. Until now. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River – and innocent people are dying. As other walkers make their presence knwon to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil…
In the past Mercedes Thompson books, Mercy’s Native American heritage doesn’t seem that integral. It serves to keep her apart from everyone else, creates her unique powers, but generally it isn’t touched upon. Until River Marked that is. Finally, some of Mercy’s heritage and cultural background begin to come to light. Not being American, I’m not sure how true to the actual experiences of Native Americans Mercy’s are, but I enjoyed the journey nonetheless.
I liked that Coyote plays a big part in this story, as does the Native American devil that is about to bring about the destruction of the world. They play well into what (little) I know of Native American culture and just further build upon the world that Briggs has painstakingly created. It layers the idea of immigration and European-based fae onto the natural magical beings of the Americas. I loved how this story took a completely new turn into the world of Mercy, but also helped to build it further along the same lines. I could only wish to be as adept at such beautiful and complex world building.
Adam and Mercy finally seem to be gaining their “happily ever after”. Yet, as with this entire series (and, really, every good series), that isn’t the case. Mercy’s ability to love and do the right thing, at great cost shine through, as does Adam’s love for her. Although I’ve enjoyed the courtship of these two throughout the rest of the series, it really isn’t until this book that I actually get their relationship. Their support and love for one another, coupled with the respect that they have for each others’ personalities shines like nothing else throughout this story.
And, although I loved visiting the Native American heritage of Mercy, it is the love between Adam and Mercy that shines through most vividly.
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