Reviews

Storm Cursed

“This is our territory,” I said, giving him the words he needed. “We don’t allow black magic in our territory.” 

When Mercy Thompson declared the tri-cities protected territory of the Columbia Basin pack last year, she didn’t expect that duty to come calling so soon. Again. Only this time the threat might be closer to home.

Someone is working black magic in the tri-cities and they’re leaving quite a few bodies behind them while they do it. Mercy, Adam, and the rest of their family must find out who it is, and fast, before this violence breaks the fragile peace in their city, and the country too.

The eleventh addition to the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs dropped at the beginning of this month and it was a whirlwind. Literally.

Between the witches and goblins and miniature zombie goats, yes you read that correctly, there’s enough magic and chaos to go around in Storm Cursed.

I’ve been reading this series, and its companion series Alpha & Omega which shares a timeline, for years. Briggs has been amping up the stakes and the drama for many novels now and this one seemed to do the same. The big clash between the Fae and the United States has finally come to a lull and tense negotiations are about to begin when the trouble goes down for Mercy and friends. I would have loved for the book to have spent more time with that plot line, as I am still eager to know a lot more than we got to see this time, but the main plot is a terrifying group of witches trying to stop these talks. Overall, the story was pure and gripping fun to read.

One thing I’ve always loved about Briggs is the way she writes characters and that is where this book also shines. Her main characters are complex, tough, layered, and beyond relatable while also being a coyote shapeshifter and a werewolf. That’s a feat. I love spending time with Mercy and Adam and that they grow and change along with every story. Their relationship continues to be one of my favorite to follow throuought all of its various developments.

They’re joined by some of my favorite supporting characters and the books are well-known for the bedrock that they create in this world. I find it so fun and interesting that Briggs cycles carefully through her side characters when she assigns who will have a larger role in each book, because it creates something pretty wonderful. I never know who I’m going to get the privilege to hang out with in the next book until I get to read it and she always brings a new layer to a beloved character when they take the spotlight.

I loved seeing more of Stefan after the last few books and it was great to have Tad take a larger role in this one too. As always Zee was there to support his own, and Paul had a powerful moment as well that left me quite heartbroken. I can’t wait to find out more about Sherwood! Knowing Briggs, I’ll have to wait a few books to piece all of the connections of his fascinating backstory together, but that’s honestly half the fun.

I even loved spending time with the villains in this book. Specifically Wulfe, though he doesn’t play the central villain in this particular story. His unique brand of psychotic politeness and violence was a hilarious backdrop to some of the moments in this book. And yet again, Briggs has me wondering about all new questions to a character I thought that I’d known well for many books. I can’t wait to know more. The central villains themselves are the things of nightmares. Briggs has an unnatural ability to write visceral and disturbing moments that stay with you for a long time.

In addition, Storm Cursed is another great example of Briggs ability to tie in plot threads across her series. She’s a master at making the smallest connections between ideas that seem forgotten and then end up being important pieces of story.

My only complaint about Storm Cursed is that it was too short. In some ways, that’s just me complaining and I need to get over it. Patricia Briggs had a couple of very tough years personally and yet she still put out a great book and I loved it, I can’t say otherwise. At times though, I felt that the length also held moments back from what I thought they could have been at other times in her writing. It was as if the story rushed by me like a train, too fast to see all the wonderful, beautiful details that I know she spent time and effort crafting. If anything this complaint is a high compliment because this book could have been twice as long and still as good, but I would love to see her books grow a little longer as the series goes on.

Storm Cursed, despite my desire for more of it, was yet another solid addition to the Mercy Thompson series. I highly recommend it and will definitely be reading it again when I revisit this wonderful series.

“Coyote’s Daughter,” he said. “We shall sing them to the great death.”

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