Let me start with the end.
I finished this book with a big ol' sappy grin on my face. It ended just the way I needed it to. It was sentimental, satisfying, triumphant and just...well...sigh. I can't help but compare it to how wrung out and fraught I felt at the end of Iron Kissed. At the end of that book Mercy felt brutalized and scared and a little lost. But strangely it was that book that made me fall really hard for this series. OTOH, this book ends with Mercy having found a great sense of self and peace and she and Adam have cohered into a real unit. This book made me want to have this series' babies.
On the whole this felt like a good transitional book. In fact, if Briggs wanted to end the series here she could but I hope that isn't the case by any means because I really want to hang out with Mercy and Adam some more.
The pacing of the book was a lot more relaxed than in the previous books. It doesn't feel like Mercy is in imminent danger all the time or that she's gonna have to fight her way tooth and nail out of something -- even though that turns out to be the case. No, the book is all about Mercy and Adam at first. And then Mercy learning some surprising facts about her past and meeting some really cool people.
Well, ok, then she has to fight to the death.
But that part of it seems almost incidental, even though it does become a major plot point in the end. The biggest thing I took away from this story was Mercy and Adam's relationship strengthening and Mercy getting in touch with her roots a bit. I really enjoyed reading about all the Native American lore.
A must read for Mercy fans.