Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am glad I took my time reading this. I think there are so many levels to this novel that I could miss if I breezed through. I like how simple Briggs writes. Not a lot of nonsense, extraneous prose that bogs down the story. Despite her concise narrative, she conveys so much, filling the novel with an emotional power. Her characters have a distinct feel to them from other writers. I like that she puts their flaws out there unashamedly, and it makes you love the characters even more.
I will freely admit I like the scary hero that everyone fears, but the one woman who looked into his heart and feels safe with him, and is not afraid to love him. I think that Anna and Charles have that sort of bond that is symbiotic. It doesn't really apply to call it yin and yang, but there are elements of softness and strength coming together. Truly though, their strengths complement each other. And they aren't trying to modify each other to make a more comfortable fit for the other. It's more a matter of growing in their knowledge of each other, and growing together. I find their relationship very fascinating and fulfilling, and that's another reason why I read this book slowly.
The storyline was very good as well. A lot of intrigue here, to see who was trying to destroy the Marrok's plan for an alliance when the werewolves reveal themselves to the world. The suspense was done cleverly, because you look at the key players, think someone looks likely, but look away to focus on someone else, and then you realize that things aren't the way they seem. I liked how she kept me guessing.
The werewolf parts are fantastic as usual. Just utterly fascinating. Another thing to appreciate from all angles as I read. And throw some faerie and King Arthur stuff in there, and I start thinking this story is tailor made for me. This is my kind of urban fantasy. Naturalistic characters with identifiable motivations, enough grit to keep my heart beating fast, a heroine whose strength comes from within, and who grows right in front of my eyes, for Anna is a phoenix who rose from the ashes. A to-die-for hero who makes me sigh even as he makes others shudder with fear. But then you see his soft spot is his Anna. How can I resist that? Just the right dose of romance that fits into the story so well, it neither distracts or detracts from the fantasy elements. Everything my heart desires, except the book was over, and I still wanted more.
I love you, Patricia Briggs.
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