I completely adore every book in the Mercy Thompson series. This one is (obviously) no exception. Briggs has whipped up this gutsy, unique heroine and splattered all these diverse characters around her. It seems like Briggs goes out of her way to include the characters typically excluded from fantasy novels: POC, gay characters (maybe even expanding to LGBTQ in a future installment?), tough women and vulnerable men. It does seem the publishers aren’t quite as committed to inclusivity as Briggs is; Mercy is supposed to be half native, and in the stories it mentions that her skin is pretty dark, but on all the cover pictures she’s flat out white. Baby steps, I guess. Plus really great plots! Detailed enough to be engrossing, but still qualifying as light reading. She’s even started carrying new characters and side plots through successive novels, instead of just mentioning previous events. This series does have some violence, there are lots of battles, but not an egregious amount. Except for one very heavy sexual assault sequence in, if memory serves me correctly, the third book. Fortunately it seems Briggs got that out of her system because it hasn’t happened since. I like this fantasy series so much I’m going to track down some of her other books, because she writes a few separate series. If you’re a fantasy buff, I highly recommend adding this to your reading pile.