Salute Your Shorts: The Star of David by Patricia Briggs

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April 10, 2013 by Heidi

Salute Your Shorts

Salute Your Shorts is a regular feature here at Bunbury in the Stacks highlighting and reviewing short stories and novellas.

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe ed by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. KelnerTitle: 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.

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8 comments »

  1. I had no idea this even existed! Aahhh! Thanks for featuring it, Heidi, because even though Mercy and Adam aren’t in this, I’d love to read anything set in this world and this seems fantastic. I’m restraining myself from starting Book 6 soon (I’ve been FLYING through these since Book 2 – you’ll see why soon since Book 2 is where it all really picks up and becomes un-put-downable!), so I might have to squeeze this in-between if I can find it. Also, read the spin-off series after Book 4 because it’s really good as well. :) I can’t wait to see what you think of Blood Bound now! 😀 And wonderful review, as always!(:

    • Heidi says:

      Yay! Glad I could point you to more Mercy goodness. Though she’s not in this, it’s about David who you’d remember from Book 1 as the merc who has a change of heart about what he’s been hired to do. I think I might actually start Alpha and Omega after book 3, at least the novella. I loved Blood Bound (just finished this past weekend), and actually just started Iron Kissed today!

  2. Heidi, I love that the two books you’re reading right now are Quintana and Mercy. Basically, you can’t go wrong.

    “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.” –> What other UF do you think I should read?? I finished all the Kate Daniels books and novellas and extras and I’m BEREFT.

    • Heidi says:

      Well, Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson are probably THE BEST! The other series that I’ve really enjoyed (which shares a lot of the same themes) is October Daye by Seanan McGuire. These three are the only UF series so far that I’ve stuck with, but I’ve only been reading it for about a year, so I’m by no means an expert!

      And YES, Quintana by print, Mercy via audio–my reading life is so happy right now.

  3. […] YAck!, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe ed. by Charlaine Harris  which I picked up to read The Star of David by Patricia Briggs, and finally the last (*cry*) released of Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series, The […]

  4. Google says:

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  5. Aimee says:

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

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While the source for each book I review is posted within its review, please assume unless otherwise stated that books reviewed on Bunbury in the Stacks were received free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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