Seriously, this series has got some of the worst copy covers I've ever read. *frowns* What's up with that?
Mercy at one point thinks, in this book, that she's suddenly not quite so anonymous in the preternatural communities anymore. That after spending nearly 15 years without any significant contact with them, she's been absolutely embroiled in mess after mess for the past couple of years.
First it was helping Adam get Jesse back, then she owed Stefan for that one. After helping Stefan, she ends up owing the fae. And this is where we pick up Iron Kissed.
Fae are getting murdered on the reservation, and they have no idea who's doing it. Zee and Uncle Mike call Mercy in to sniff around and see if she can come up with anything. And she does. But then things go bad. Zee's arrested for murder of a human, the fae look to be leaving him to hang, and Mercy won't stand for it.
Patricia Briggs seamlessly builds her world, it's ever-evolving and growing and as more is revealed to us, the more in love I fall. In this book we learn quite a lot more about the fae, but also we get a much deeper look at the tensions between humans and the preternatural communities. It's the start of something that doesn't seem to really come to a head until much later in the series, a slow build of the tensions.
I loved this book. It's a page-turner for me to this day (several re-reads later), and I can never put it down or stop reading it. The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing. We also get a lot more insight into Mercy's relationships with Samuel and Adam, and how Adam's claiming her as his mate affected him and the pack, in this book. And I'm glad to say I was ecstatic when she chose.
I don't want to say too much about this and risk spoiling anything because it's such a wonderful book. But I will say that there's some very hard moments in it. Heart-breaking, and wrenching, and they had me in tears several times. The climax is still incredibly difficult for me to read, but it's one of the best handled instances I've ever read of this particular situation (though it may still be a trigger for some.
And it does end on one big cliff-hanger, though the main story is tied up. It was hell waiting for Bone Crossed to come out when I first read this. And I'll say that I was happy Bone Crossed took a step back from where things seemed to be heading in that final scene of Iron Kissed, as I thought it was far too soon.
P.S. I loved Ben from, nearly, the first moment we met him, but I have to say my love and care for him solidified in this book. He's so fantastic. On this re-read, I've nearly flailed all over him every time he shows up.