Briggs, Patricia 1965-
Briggs, Patricia 1965-
Born 1965; married; husband's name Mike.
Office—P.O. Box 105, Butte, MT 59703. Agent—Linn Prentis Agency, 155 E. 116th St., Ste. 2F, New York, NY 10029; Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc., P.O. Box 278, 538 E. Hartford St., Milford, PA 18337. E-mail—[email protected]
Giant Book of the Dog (nonfiction), Book Sales, 1998.
The Hob's Bargain (novel), Ace Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Masques, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Steal the Dragon, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1995.
When Demons Walk, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Dragon Bones, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Dragon Blood, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2003.
"RAVEN DUOLOGY" SERIES
Raven's Shadow, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Raven's Strike, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2005.
"MERCEDES THOMPSON" SERIES
Moon Called, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Blood Bound, Berkley (New York, NY), 2007.
Iron Kissed, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2008.
"ANNA AND CHARLES" SERIES
Cry Wolf, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Patricia Briggs is a fiction writer who writes duologies as well as trilogies. Briggs published her first novel, Masques, in 1993, marking the beginning of the "Sianim" series. Mercenary spy Aralorn escapes her encounter with the evil ae'Mage by using her shapeshifting abilities. Aralorn then goes on to prevent ae'Mage from learning the secrets of immortality and conquering the world, a feat he can only do through the help of his estranged son, Wolf.
A contributor to Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy found that the story "also has an enjoyable romance." A contributor to Yet Another Book Review remarked that "Briggs pens an interesting, if albeit, slow moving character study." The contributor added that "there are also a couple of awkward/convenient plot devices too." Ultimately the contributor concluded that Masques "still manages to come together into a pleasant read."
The sequel, Steal the Dragon, was published in 1995. Horse-trainer and empath Rialla tries to distance herself from her slave past. She is recruited, though, to be a spy in the land of her former captor. Her mission is not revenge, however. She is trying to figure out who may be trying to kill her former master as he seeks to make a loose alliance with his former enemy to jointly stand up against the eastern empire that is conquering the surrounding lands.
T.M. Wagner, writing in SF Reviews.net, summarized: What we have in Steal the Dragon is an author's early novel with more than its share of early-novel mistakes. If you must try Briggs, perhaps her later efforts would be more satisfying." Wagner, appended: "There is a lot about this novel to like, don't get me wrong; as with so many female fantasists, Briggs shows a deft hand in creating her heroine, imbuing her with the right combination of strengths and weaknesses to guarantee maximum sympathy earned from readers."
Briggs concluded the series with When Demons Walk in 1998. Thief and sorceress Sham summons all her powers to defend Southwood from an immortal killer. A contributor to Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy said that the "compelling" story contained "likeable, memorable characters." Melinda Helfer, writing on the Romantic Times Online, described the book as "topnotch reading."
In 2001, Briggs published a stand-alone novel called The Hob's Bargain. Two titan kingdoms clash at war, releasing a magic that sets a path of devastation across the land. Aren, who did not join the battle or commit suicide after the evil magic spread across her lands, deals with the loss of family members and failing crops. There are also bursts of wild magic that cause periodical mischief throughout the town. Aren takes it upon herself to help the survivors to cope with their new reality. Rebekah Jensen, writing in Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy, noted that "it is easy to like Patricia Briggs's novels. Her books are perfect for a Friday evening or a late Sunday afternoon when you don't want to have to work to enjoy your reading. Her books are clever, engaging, fast-moving and with plots that manage to be thought-provoking without being heavy-handed."
Briggs began the "Hurog" series in 2002 with Dragon Bones. Wardwick Hurog is denied lordship of Hurog Keep after his father dies, as the king believes he lacks leadership experience. Ward sets out with his horse, a family ghost, and a dwarven prince to become a war hero to earn the respect of the king. Kelly Rae Cooper, writing in the Romantic Times, noted that the book was "a heartwarming tale" that "delivers a thrilling coming-of-age story." Book Loons contributor Hilary Williamson remarked that "there are quite a few surprises," adding that "Briggs tells an exciting tale, well plotted with interesting characters."
Briggs followed the series opener with Dragon Blood in 2003. Four years later, Ward is lord of his family's keep and is trying to strengthen his powers to defend his land from the high king. When warrior princess Tisala escapes the king's prison and seeks sanctuary at Hurgo Keep, Ward knows he must prepare for a showdown with the brutal king.
Cindy Lynn Speer, writing on SF Site, summarized that "it goes without saying, I suppose, that I'm looking forward to seeing what else Patricia Briggs does. If Dragon Blood is any indication, then she is an inventive, engaging writer, whose talent for combining magic of all kinds—from spells to love—with fantastic characters should certainly win her a huge following, and a place on many book shelves." Cooper, writing in the Romantic Times, described the novel as "an intense read strengthened by endearing characters and a sense of humor."
Raven's Shadow marked the beginning of the "Raven Duology" series in 2004. Seraph is one of the last remaining mages after her clan was massacred. She vows to stop using magic and starts a family with Tier, the soldier who saved her. When he goes missing and she learns that the infamous Stalker—which her clan was sworn to keep imprisoned—is nearly free, Seraph returns to her mage ways with her gifted children.
Wagner, writing on SF Reviews.net, opened by saying that "Patricia Briggs is turning into one of fantasy's top fan-favorite authors. But her seventh book still shows that she has yet to iron out many of the problems that plagued her writing way back in Steal the Dragon. While her characters are developed with great care and sensitivity (though they can be pretty uninteresting despite this), they are not always given convincing motivations for the things they do. And Briggs' plotting is sloppy, riddled with logic flaws, and implausibilities." Wagner noted that "there are some well-done sections of the book where Briggs shows her quality," adding that certain "scenes prove Patricia Briggs could be a really good fantasy writer if she just took more care and learned to plot her stories more convincingly." Jen Talley Exum, writing in the Romantic Times, commented that "though it lacks a bit of the urgency and drama of Brigg's Dragon books, Raven's Shadow is an exciting and touching tale."
Briggs started the "Mercedes Thompson" series in 2006 with Moon Called. Volkswagen mechanic Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson hires Mac to work at Adam's repair shop. Mercy, who assumes her coyote form, kills a werewolf who tries to attack Mac. He is made aware of Adam and Mercy's powers that night but they are attacked, leaving Mac dead and Adam wounded. Mercy then attempts to uncover who could be leading such attacks.
Natalie A. Luhrs, writing in the Romantic Times, said that Moon Called "hums along like a well-tuned engine, keeping the reader engaged through the tumultuous climax." Sandy Amazeen, writing in Monsters & Critics, mentioned that "the characters are well developed and a nice sense of history is created without being burdensome or slowing the pace." Amazeen described the novel as a "fast paced, creature feature packed suspense story."
In 2007, Briggs published Blood Bound. Mercy accompanies vampire friend Stefan on a standard message delivery. When he is abducted, Mercy finds she must trust the less-than-trustworthy Andre to help her against a demonically possessed vampire. Luhrs, writing in the Romantic Times, said that the "superb book" was also a "tightly plotted and fast-paced tale." BookLoons contributor Williamson stated: "I found Blood Bound an engaging, gripping read, and particularly liked the series premise of interactions and conflict between powerful Old World predators and a coyote in human form."
Briggs published the third book in the series, Iron Kissed, in 2008. Mercy attempts to pay off her debt to the vampiric Fae by scenting out suspects killing members in their community. Her snooping inadvertently gets her former boss, Zee, arrested for murder. Mercy must then work to clear his name.
Jill M. Smith, writing in the Romantic Times, observed that Briggs "ensures her books fall under the category of extremely addictive" as she is "consistently creating a multitude of vivid characters." Amazeen, writing in Monsters & Critics, remarked that "this action packed contemporary fantasy series just gets better and better as Briggs fleshes out and expands the many characters that populate Mercy's world."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of Dragon Blood, p. 860; January 1, 2007, Frieda Murray, review of Blood Bound, p. 69; February 1, 2008, Frieda Murray, review of Iron Kissed, p. 36.
Kliatt, May, 2002, Liz LaValley, review of Dragon Bones, p. 23; March, 2003, Liz LaValley, review of Dragon Blood, p. 30.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July, 2006, Charles De Lint, review of Moon Called, p. 30.
Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2007, review of Iron Kissed, p. 49.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1998, review of When Demons Walk, p. 282; October, 2002, review of Dragon Bones, p. 292; June, 2003, review of Dragon Blood, p. 146.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (December 5, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of Dragon Blood; (July 7, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of Raven's Shadow; (January 16, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Moon Called; (January 23, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Blood Bound.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (March 11, 2008), Hilary Williamson, review of Dragon Bones; Hilary Williamson, review of Blood Bound.
Crescent Blues,http://www.crescentblues.com/ (March 11, 2008), author interview.
Insomnomania,http://insomnomania.blogspot.com/ (November 6, 2006), author interview.
Monsters & Critics,http://books.monstersandcritics.com/ (January 8, 2006), Sandy Amazeen, review of Moon Called; (January 7, 2008), Sandy Amazeen, review of Iron Kissed.
Patricia Briggs Home Page,http://www.patriciabriggs.com (March 11, 2008), author profile.
Penguin Group Web site,http://us.penguingroup.com/ (March 11, 2008), author interview.
Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy,http://romanticsf.com/ (March 10, 2001), Rebekah Jensen, author interview; (March 13, 2001), Rebekah Jensen, review of The Hob's Bargain; (March 11, 2008), review of Masques and When Demons Walk.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 11, 2008), Melinda Helfer, review of When Demons Walk; Kelly Rae Cooper, review of Dragon Bones; Kelly Rae Cooper, review of Dragon Blood; Jen Talley Exum, review of Raven's Shadow; Natalie A. Luhrs, review of Moon Called; Natalie A. Luhrs, review of Blood Bound; Jill M. Smith, review of Iron Kissed.
SF Reviews.net,http://www.sfreviews.net/ (March 11, 2008), T.M. Wagner, review of Steal the Dragon and Raven's Shadow.
SF Site,http://www.sfsite.com/ (March 11, 2008), Cindy Lynn Speer, review of Dragon Blood.
Yet Another Book Review,http://www.yetanotherbookreview.com/ (March 11, 2008), review of Masques.