49382This feels like it should be the end of the series, though I know it’s not.

Third in the Band of Four quintet, the big epic battle between the Sleeping King and the Serpent finally plays out, just not as expected.  The Band of Four loses one member and gains another before being set on a new task ere a new king is chosen and the Sleeping King departs.

As for the rest of the story, it’s all scheming barons, plotting serpent men, brash warriors looking to make themselves king and high and mighty mages throwing spells around like so many leaves in the wind.

The Band of Four can scarce get a moment to breathe and heal throughout the book.  They’re set upon time after time and every skirmish ends with either lady sorcerer or healer mage knocked out or badly wounded.  I’m surprised either of them have any faculties left after all the knocks to the head they received.

And the funny thing is, 90% of this book didn’t even deal with the main characters.  Instead focusing mostly on the plots and schemes of minor or inconsequential characters and pretty much wasting our time.

So a bit anticlimactic again since the big battle occurs completely opposite what was expected and doesn’t happen at the end of the series, rather three quarters of the way through.  Only time will tell with the last book if this series was worth it in the end.  Right now it’s not looking very well…

But enough about that!  Let’s go on to something we know is tried and true.  Next in the Mercy Thompson series: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs.

3128411By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.