Silver Borne, Book # 5 in Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series, finds Mercy where she often is: embroiled in a mystery involving the fae while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in her own life. This time Mercy's borrowed a book from her friend Phin but someone (or something) wants it so badly that they are willing to kidnap Phin and kill Mercy in order to get it. At the same time, our favorite skinwalker/mechanic also is dealing with pack issues, the serious depression of her friend Samuel, and problems with the family of her teen garage helper, Gabriel. This being Mercy, she doesn't just sit back and let things happen; she marches full force into her problems and takes charge. Mercy is nothing if not determined and loyal.
There are lots of stories going on in Silver Borne, and at times the mystical item being sought by the fae isn't the main problem. A good deal of time is spent on Adam and the pack, and Mercy's determination to buy Samuel time to fight back from his suicidal tendencies. Though Mercy and Adam's relationship has never been stronger, the bonds are tested between the two as Mercy realizes that it is going to be up to her to assure herself a place in the pack. Silver Borne is indeed a mystery, but first and foremost, it's about character and relationship development, and the pack issues highlight what is important.
Silver Borne showcases many of the characters we've grown to know over the course of the series, including Zee, Jesse, and various pack members (but no Stefan, sadly). While at times it almost feels like two separate books, Ms. Briggs does a great job of bringing all the elements together near the end (if indeed it does feel a bit rushed). Mercy's my kind of character and this series is showing depth that makes me wish other writers would take note of how to tell a story. I would really rate this one 4.5 stars if possible. Recommended...but a bit disappointed in having to wait so long for the next one!