Welcome to our second to last week of Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. We last left Mercy half unconscious while Stefan, her vampire friend, drank from her with a supposed plan to help them all escape the vampire-sorcerer-demon who has plans to slowly and entertainingly kill all of them.
After Stefan drinks from Mercy and gives her some of his own blood, she’s able to ignore her injuries enough to move. Littleton returns, furious with Andre for trying to kill Ben the werewolf too quickly. Beaten to near unresponsiveness, Andre lies limp. Littleton puts his wrist in front of Andre to allow him drink. While Littleton is distracted and Andre recovers some, Mercy sneaks up behind Littleton and stabs him in the heart with a stake. Unfortunately, with her wounded body, she can’t generate the force needed. Littleton turns on her. At last, Mercy drives the stake the rest of the way through Littleton’s heart by slamming a car battery against it like a hammer. She cuts of Littleton’s head with the knife Zee gave her and ignites his body with a fairy disk.
Reader Comments: This was a swift resolution to the conflict. It was both a little too much so, perhaps because I’m used to long, drawn out climactic battles, and yet perfectly fit because there was no way Mercy could survive if the battle had drawn out.
Writer Comments: From growing up with werewolves, Mercy knows that angry weres not in control of themselves attack anyone nearby, so when Adam and Samuel first get free, she logically should get eaten. However, Briggs has both werewolves break this tenant. Both are enraged with the wolf fully in control, but they guard Mercy instead. Mercy doesn’t understand why, but we readers do. This violation of expected behavior shouts loud and clear that Mercy means far more to these men than she could ever understand, enough that even their wolves think of her as worth protecting.
Samuel insists Mercy go to the hospital, so the werewolves, Stefan, and Mercy arrive in frightening display, blood covered and Adam looking ready to commit murder, in the ER. When the triage nurse panics at the sight of them, Mercy has her call Tony, the police detective. Tony arrives and accepts that Mercy killed the thing that was causing problems. He also agrees to allow Samuel to claim he was helping out with police business and thus missed shifts at the hospital. After, Samuel takes Mercy home and buries his face in her neck, confessing how he had the least control of all the wolves and will leave so he’s not a danger to her. Mercy reminds him that, unlike everyone else who was around Littleton for only a few days at most, Samuel was near him for weeks since the hospital was so near where Littleton slept during the day. All the struggle Samuel had with control came from fighting the demon’s influence for so long. This comforts Samuel and he kisses Mercy. She kisses him back.
Reader Comments: Oh, I’d forgotten they kiss here. This was the point where I started really wondering if maybe Mercy should end up with Samuel rather than Adam after all.
Writer Comments: Just as one portion of the conflict wraps up, Briggs introduces a further complication. Because she’s writing a series, she cannot afford to tie off all her loose ends. The relationships and love triangle are her best thread through all the novels. Here, she makes sure her readers know that some intensive moments await between Adam, Mercy, and Samuel.
Two weeks pass, and Samuel won’t broach the subject of their kiss. Stefan returns from investigating Andre’s activities in Chicago, and Andre’s trial finally arrives. But, because no permanent harm came to the seethe, Marsilia releases Andre with not even a tiny punishment. Rather, she’s intrigued with the idea of a sorcerer, and as Stefan tells Mercy, wants Andre to create another. No one can stop them. Bran, Adam, and Samuel can do nothing because acting against Andre would be perceived as an act of war between werewolves and vampires, and Stefan must obey Marsilia. But Mercy has no such constraints. She doesn’t give Zee back his vampire slaying kit right away. Instead, she goes hunting for Andre’s house.
Reader Comments: This makes up for the swift slaughtering of Littleton. Andre, the true villain, still lurks, undefeated in the shadows and escaping justice.
Writer Comments: Going along with my reader comments, let me add one important detail: Briggs sets this all up so Mercy, the heroine, is the only who who can defeat Andre, the villain. The hero/heroine should always hold the true key to resolving the plot and taking down the villain.
Mercy goes looking for Andre’s house. For weeks, she searches. One day, she gets caught in coyote form, but the collar she wears has Adam’s phone number on it. Adam collects her and confronts her about her avoiding him. He insightfully suggests that Mercy’s afraid of how she wants to submit to him, and as a means to compromise, he offers to let her take charge of their relationship. Mercy agrees without meaning to, and when she gets home, Samuel smells Adam on her and kisses her again. Mercy and Adam go on another date, but Mercy finds the sight of Adam suppressing all his instincts heart-wrenching. After, she can’t face Samuel, so she goes hunting Andre again. She finds a new house with several ghosts, a clear indication that it’s a vampire residence. She enters and finds the vampire’s lair beneath the house, but it isn’t Andre. It’s Wulfe, the Wizard, the one that controls the chair that forces out truth. When Mercy realizes she has the wrong house, she walks away, but Wulfe, dspite it being daylight, follows her. He tells her that he won’t tell if she kills Andre.
Reader Comments: The scene between Mercy and Adam was such fun, especially when, as a coyote playing fetch with some children, Mercy drops the ball at Adam’s feet. Mercy’s humor is such fun.
Writer Comments: Wulfe’s earlier appearance in the book could have signaled him as a throw away character serving only one purpose, but Briggs is a better writer than that. She gives Wulfe this second scene and accomplishes more while revealing new layers to Wulfe. Aside from the fact that Wulfe is utterly creepy in this scene, his willingness to allow Mercy to walk away knowing she intends to kill Andre speaks volumes about how he views Marsilia and Andre. Using this minor character in later scenes to fill other roles strengthens the character
I hope you’ve enjoyed this round of Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. Join me next Monday for our last part of the novel.