This book, #9 in the series about Mercy, was not the best of the series. It proves my point that most series get tired after book #6 or about. It just took this series longer to get there.
It’s still a good, enjoyable book, and frankly, I liked it better than a few previous books about Mercy, but then I prefer lighter reading fare. I don’t like too much emotional intensity, and in that, this book was a good fit for me. It also lacks one important component of all the previous books about Mercy: she wasn’t gravely injured in the end. I liked that too.
The story centers on the conflict between werewolves and fae. When Mercy’s wolf pack (or rather Mercy herself) offers a sanctuary to a human boy who had been lost Underhill for decades and only recently escaped, the fae want him back. There are skirmishes and underhanded attacks, but Mercy is adamant: the pack should protect the fugitive. Even more, Mercy declared that the pack would give sanctuary in their territory to anyone who asks for it. Adam backs her claim.
After that, politics are in full swing. Bran, the Marrok of all North American werewolves, is not happy. The fae are not happy, although they have different factions and are fighting among themselves. The vampires are coyly watchful. And the humans are stupidly ignorant.
This nicely explosive situation serves as a background for a bunch of familiar characters the readers are eager to meet again.
The pace of this story is fast, the writing superb, and the characters are old friends by now. As always, I admired Mercy, with her compassion, her inner strength, and her stupid penchant to be heroic. I liked her stepdaughter Jessie. I lusted for Adam. And I craved Mercy’s enchanted elven walking stick with a mind of its own.
All in all, it was a good, solid urban fantasy and a pleasurable read.