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Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Iron Kissed

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Iron Kissed (2008) Patricia Briggs

This is probably the hardest Mercy story to read, but I read it, and cried like I always do.

Samuel had learned to write before typewriters and computers rendered penmanship an art practiced by elementary school children. His notes always looked like formal wedding invitations.

“Shoot,” he said, the word obviously not giving him the satisfaction to be gotten out of cruder terms.

“Cheeses crusty, got all musty, got damp on the stone of a peach,” I agreed. He looked blank, so I repeated it with proper emphasis. “ChEEZ-zes crusty. Got Al-musty. Got DAMp on the StoneofapeaCH. My foster father used to say those around me all the time. He was an old-fashioned sort of wolf, too. He especially liked the Stoneofapeach. ‘Stoneofapeach, Mercedes. You don’t have the sense God gave little apples.’”

“Sandra is turning forty today. I think she needs a birthday dirge, whatd’ you all think?”

The crowd erupted into applause that quickly settled into anticipatory silence.

“Hap-py birthday.” He sang the minor notes of the opening of the “Volga Boatmen” in a gloriously deep bass that needed no mike to carry over the crowd, then hit the bodhran once with a small double-headed mallet. THUMP.

“It’s your birthday.” THUMP.

“Gloom and doom and dark despair,

“People dying everywhere.

“Happy birthday.” THUMP.

“It’s your birthday.”

The time for keeping their secrets strictly to myself was over.

If there was one thing I’d learned over the past few interesting (in the sense of the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”) months, it was that when things started to get dangerous, it was important to have people who knew as much as you did. That way, when I stupidly got myself killed— someone would have a starting place to look for my murderer.

This story is not for everyone. Terrible things happen to Mercy, and they are hard to read, as is the time following the terrible things. (That part is probably harder to read, to be honest.)
Rating: 8/10

Published by Ace

 

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