Monday, April 19, 2010

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Posted by Simcha 6:13 AM, under | 6 comments

* Warning: Review may contain some spoilers from earlier books in the series

It’s been a few months since Mercy’s eventful showdown against Marsilia, the vampire queen, and things have quieted down enough for Mercy to really focus on her relationship with Adam. But not everyone is pleased with having a coyote in the pack, and Mercy soon discovers that someone is trying to sabotage her, using pack magic. Samuel, Mercy’s long-time friend and housemate, is also having some troubles of his own which have forced his inner-wolf to take control. Unfortunately, if anyone discovers that Samuel is no longer “home” he will be eliminated. And with all of that going on, Mercy discovers that a friend of hers had gone missing after lending her a particular book, a book that apparently some of the fae would kill to get a hold of. Once again, Mercy finds herself in the center of a dangerous plot which threatens the lives of those she cares about, and will require some careful maneuvering on her part to get them all out alive.

Silver Borne had landed in my mail box just when I needed a fun, light read that I could easily lose myself in, and to that extent it served perfectly. I really enjoy the characters that Briggs has created in this series, so just getting to spend some time with them was pleasure enough. With that said. I have admit to feeling that the crisis that Mercy is involved in this time and it's ensuing confrontations were less satisfying than those in the previous books. I sensed that Silver Borne really intended to concentrate on Mercy’s relationship with Adam and her struggles with the pack, as well to provide Samuel some much-deserved attention of his own, but a dangerous encounter with the supernatural had to be included because it was expected. I didn’t mind too much though because the story was fast paced and well told and it had me hooked as soon as I started on the first page.

One of the things that I appreciate about Briggs is that she doesn’t neglect to integrate Mercy’s previous experiences into her character development, taking into account accumulated baggage from traumatic events of the past. Though in light of that, I would have thought Mercy would be a bit smarter about some of the decisions that she did make in the book, those which led to other characters (particularly underage ones) being put in unnecessary danger because of her.

But these criticisms that I mentioned are just small ones; things that had caused me to pause momentarily during my reading, and perhaps wrinkle a brow. There was one bigger issue that I had with the book, though, and that had to do with Briggs tendency to lead her stories to a particular climatic event, which she then only vaguely describes. I don’t mind the fact that many details were left out of Mercy’s rape scene, in one of the earlier books, and I actually appreciate that Briggs leaves details of the love-making scenes to the readers’ imaginations, but the similar treatment of an intense event in Silver Borne just weakened the result and left me wondering what had actually happened. I think that if Briggs wants to place her characters in such extreme situations she can’t shy away from providing more details of what actually takes place, otherwise there is no point in including them in the first place. When this particular situation was resolved, I didn’t get the sense that the characters involved had really suffered that much, despite the fact that we are told so.

Despite the few issues I had with the book, I very much enjoyed reading Silver Borne and I just wish that I didn’t have to wait until next spring to rejoin Mercy on whatever wild adventure she encounters next.


Yknow, the cover of this book COMPLETELY turns me off, and your review makes it seem like this really might not be the book for me. The big thing is. . .big. It would bother me.

Audrey, it's interesting that you say that because many people seem to like this cover but it bothers me because it has nothing to do with the book's content (the protagonist does not have a tattoo covered body nor does she wear tube tops). Have you read any of the earlier books in the series? Despite my criticisms, this is one of the few UF series that I actually like.

Great review.... it has given me food for thought!

I agree with placing Adam's daughter in danger! Not something I that should have been done.

I have Moon Called on my shelf to read. I have heard such great things of Briggs, I am looking forward to getting to it some time here. Thanks for the great review! I know after reading just a short story by her in an anthology, I can see she is worth reading.

Chas: Yes, that was completely unnecessary and I thought Mercy should have known better. Mercy even admits that it could have been avoided and I thought her actions should have had some repercussions. I wouldn't blame parents for being weary oh having their kids around her.

Melisa: Patricia Briggs is one of the four urban fantasy authors whose books I like, and you have probably noticed how picky I can be :) I definitely think you should give this series a try.

Great review! You make some interesting points.

I must admit, the whole 'cut away' at the climatic moment, did bother me slightly. But I kind of expect it now, as it seems to be Briggs style.

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