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Monday, April 23, 2012

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs: Reread Part 4

Today, we continue our read of Patricia Briggs’s Blood Bound, the second in her Mercedes Thompson series. To catch up or refresh your memory, please check Part 1, Part2, and Part 3.



Chapter 7

Tony, a police friend of Mercy’s, comes to her garage and takes her to lunch to ask for help with figuring out the cause of the upsurge in violence. A heat wave alone would not explain it. Mercy helps him as best she can, mainly by steering him away from the fae, who would probably kill him if he started sniffing around their business, and by suggesting he talk to Adam before approaching any other wolves. She also volunteers to ask Zee if he knows anything. Tony presses for Mercy to become a consultant, but that’s too dangerous for her to agree to.

Reader Comments: It’s nice that Briggs doesn’t forget the normal humans and how this all affects them.

Writer Comments: Tony was introduced in Moon Called, the first book of the Mercedes Thomson series. In using him here, Briggs ties her series tighter together rather than diffusing it as introducing a completely new cop would have done. It’s good to get as much millage as you can out of a character, and in doing so as Briggs does, it deepens the story while making it neater and tidier as well.

When Mercy gets back from lunch, she learns that Warren has been severely hurt. On her way to Adam’s to see him, she calls Kyle, his ex who broke up with him because Warren lied to him about being a werewolf. Kyle arrives at Adam’s about the same time as Mercy. While Samuel stitches what’s left of Warren up, Kyle talk to him to give him a reason to live, and Adam guards Warren to ensure that none of the lower ranked wolves see his wounded state as an excuse to permanently remove him from the pack. Warren’s life hangs in the balance still when Mercy goes home, unable to help anyone. Marsilia calls and tells Mercy that she needs help finding Stefan and killing the sorcerer. Mercy jumps at the chance, despite it being Marsilia who’s asking, because she finally has something she can do to help.

Reader Comments: The interaction in this scene between Adam and Mercy is wonderful. It’s full of tension, undercurrents, and emotion. At this point, when I first read it, much as I liked Samuel, I was really rooting for Adam to end up with Mercy.

Writer Comments: There’s nothing like the threat of death to instill fear and tension into a plot. Don’t forget about this tool.

Chapter 8

Defying everyone she knows who looks out for her and would never sanction her stepping into the hunt for the sorcerer-vampire, Mercy goes to Uncle Mike’s, a pub that caters specifically to the fae and other preternatural creatures, to meet Marsilia. After the doorman tries to kill her with magic, Uncle Mike, a fae himself, steps in and offers her safe conduct inside. For all Marsilia and Andre, another vampire, try to intimidate Mercy, she’s tired of the game and tired of watching her friends suffer and will have none of it. Marsilia finally confesses that she needs Mercy to go after the sorcerer-vampire, that Mercy is their only real chance because of her walker ability to resist magic. After Mercy agrees, Marsilia sends Andre with her to help. On the way out of the crowded pub, one of the fae realizes that Mercy does not fit the usual cliental. She’s nearly human as far as they’re concerned, and that can’t be allowed. The fae declare a forfeit, and Mercy is forced to give them a musical performance to even be allowed to leave. She gets up on stage and belts out a capela, in the middle of the searing July heat among a bunch of creatures driven out of Europe by Christianity, “O Holy Night.” By the end, the fae are stunned and allow her to leave.

Reader Comments: This last bit with Mercy insulting the fae while giving them exactly what they asked for with a song is, perhaps, my favorite part of the entire series, at least that I’ve read so far. It fits Mercy and her coyote self so well.

Writer Comments: Briggs uses distinct change in Mercy’s behavior in this chapter to mirror the shift in the story. Prior to this, the secondary characters had gone after the antagonist, but now, Mercy fully steps into her role as active protagonist and adversary of the villain. Her attitude becomes daring and dismissive of those who would like to use her. She shifts her sheep necklace, the one she uses to ward off vampires because she believes the sheep is a much battery symbol of Christ, on the outside of her clothes and clearly had little concern for standing up to powerful vampire mistress.

Thank you for joining me today for this reading of Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. Join me next Monday for chapters 9-10 and every Wednesday and Friday for further forays into the speculative and life.http://lauraleenutt.blogspot.com/

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