Patricia Briggs, Expanded (possible spoilers, sorry)

Patricia Briggs is one of my favourite authors, and frequent source of rereads. While I have not read every single book of hers (there are two I couldn’t get into when I tried). The older books will be harder to find in print, especially if you want hard cover editions. But they should all be available in Ebook or Audiobook format, depending on your location.

She has two Urban Fantasy series, which are located in the same world. She also has one stand-alone novel, and three series of the “traditional fantasy” (my term) or Epic Fantasy genre (here is a list of various Fantasy sub-genres). One of the reoccurring features in all of the books,and a large part of the reason I love them, is the world building especially in the traditional fantasy books. She not only teaches us about the characters, but also the worlds she invites us into, past and present. I also love her strong characters, especially the women, because they are also realistic, and not copies of each other, unlike other authors. One of the only downsides to her books, in my opinion, is that they often feature sexual violence, or situations where one or more party cannot give consent to sex. But it is never dismissed as a minor thing, or unimportant. Sometimes unactionable by the characters, yes, but not a good thing in anyway. And compared to other author’s works, they play a minor part in the series and generally not that graphic.

I will start by saying I haven’t read the Hurog Duology, but others fans adore the two books. Then there is the stand-alone book, Hob’s Bargain, and it is my least favourite. But, once again others love it. And it’s very well written. Just not my favourite cup of tea. It’s about a world where all except certain types of magic were either dampened or suppressed by a huge spell. And people with magic had to hide it, or risk death. That is, until the spell is broke. And we see how a isolated village deals with this, as the magical world around them wakens.

Next is the Raven Duology. And, as with the rest of Patricia Briggs’ work I adore it, and wish there were more books available in the world. It is a world of nomadic travellers and city-folk/town dwellers (my words). Where only certain people are allowed to practice magic safely. Unlike in the Hurog world, magic isn’t suppressed here. Rather there is a terrible prejudice for unknown magic users, in part due to true stories (exaggerated or not), and false stories promoted by an unknown party. And a lack of understanding to what the magical part of the world actually looks like. In this story, the main characters are a Traveller and a kidnapped farmer, and few other folk. They work to free the farmer, and uncover a disturbing cause of the prejudice against Travellers and the reason so many have died in over the generations. Also lots of magic use, and sword fighting. It is fun, and funny. It is sad, at times, as any good series is. It’s full of life and it’s ups and downs. It’s full of interesting tales.

Then we have the Sianim Series. Which is 4 books featuring 3 different main couples for the books. the 3rd and 4th book might be able to be read without reading the others, but I’m not sure if everything would make sense. The first two books feature the same main characters, and are set fairly close together. The third book happens some time after the second, and the fourth years after the others. The first two main female characters are sent to spy on powerful people, and become embroiled in dangerous situations as a result of this. The third female is hired to find out who or what is killing the nobles in the city she lives in. This world is much larger then the other two I mention above, and we find out about a mage war that threatened the entire population in the past, and possibly the present. We also find out about an emerging threat in the third books, the second dealing with the aftermath of the first book, and the heroine’s family. While it is a slightly more serious series then the last, and the first Ms. Briggs published, it is full of amusing stories to break up the sad times, and historic legends.

Second to last is the first of the two Mercyverce (as fans call it) series. Both series are still being written, with events occurring that effect each other. There is also a book of short stories, that doesn’t fit entirely in either series. The first series is the Mercy Thompson Series, which is currently expecting it’s 11th book next March. The main character is Mercedes Thompson, who is a shape-shifting Coyote, and half Native American (tribe unknown, due to her father’s death) half Caucasian. She is a VW mechanic, who is known some of the local supernatural community, due to her upbringing with the werewolves, and being taught car repair by a metal working Fae. This ends up causing her a lot of trouble, as the Fae and eventually the Werewolves are out to the public, and tensions between the groups and the government come to a head, along with the usual bad luck of having villains crossing her path that she must defeat for the survival of herself and/or her friends and family.

Last of all is the Alpha and Omega series (A&O), it has five books, the latest published this pasted March. It starts directly after the first Mercy book, but has some inconsistencies due a time lapse between writing the ending of Moon Called and the short story that began A&O, also called Alpha and Omega. The main couple meet in the short story and quickly fall into lust and the potential mate bond their wolves want. (this series doesn’t destined soulmates btw, but a magical bond can form between wolves and their partner, if the wolf/wolves accept the other person as a spouse for their human half.) After that, they travel dealing with various issues in order to protect the werewolves and humans from different entities.

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