April 10, 2013 by Heidi
Salute Your Shorts is a regular feature here at Bunbury in the Stacks highlighting and reviewing short stories and novellas.
Title: The Star of David in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe [Amazon|Goodreads]
Author: Patricia Briggs (anthology ed. by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Mercy Thompson 1.5, can be read with no prior knowledge of the series.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Published: October 7th, 2008 by Ace
Format: Hardcover; 340 pages. The Star of David is 28 pages.
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Spoilers!: There really aren’t any!
Patricia Briggs’ The Star of David is one of those wonderful shorts that while related to a series can be just as enjoyable to those who have not yet dipped their toes into the world of Mercy Thompson; in addition, because it features one of the minor characters from Moon Called, it’s not necessary to the overall plot arch of the series.
The Star of David is a nice little seasonal story (that has pretty much nothing to do with Christmas other than that’s when it just happens to take place for anthology’s sake) featuring David, the lone-wolf mercenary who crews with his sons and other good men that have some morels that extend beyond whoever’s willing to pay them the most money for the job. When David’s estranged daughter, Stella, reaches out to him for help after years of silence, David knows that she’s in some sort of trouble that only a werewolf could handle.
Patricia Briggs manages to pack a lot of punch into a few short pages with a fast paced story that just won’t quit, and some very touching reflections on family and forgiveness. After David was turned some decades previously he lost control of his inner wolf when he walked in on his wife with her lover, an unfortunate incident that resulted in David violently killing both. The only thing that stood between his uncontrolled rage and his young sons was his fierce daughter who stood her ground and stared him down. His daughter now fully grown has had nothing to do with him since that night. Stella is a social worker who obviously cares fearcely for the children under her protection. When one of her cases, Devonte, ends up in the hospital beaten by his foster father who claimed he was a threat to his wife, Stella knows something is very wrong and that it involves a preternatural world she can only access one way–her father.
The Star of David gives us an impressive amount of back story and understanding for this family and who they have become through their actions and life choices. Like many Urban Fantasy tales, Briggs uses this story to highlight the protection of the innocent and children in particular, a theme that is most predominantly stretched across all of the Urban Fantasy titles I’ve truly enjoyed. She gives us a varying viewpoint from this world we’ve already encountered, one where we can begin to understand the werewolf experience through the eyes of one who lives it, as well as expose ourselves to further threats or potential allies in the creatures that populate this world.
As stated, The Star of David isn’t a must read even for Mercy Thompson fans, but I do recommend it if you can access the anthology–it was well worth the experience.
Roundup: Keertana reviews Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews over at Ivy Book Bindings. Obvs I approve of the Andrea goodness.