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Authors: Patricia Briggs

Wolfsbane

BOOK: Wolfsbane
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Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the Mercy Thompson novels
BONE CROSSED
 
“[The] rousing fourth adventure for kick-ass werecoyote auto mechanic Mercedes Thompson.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“Mercy is not just another cookie-cutter tough-chick urban fantasy heroine; she’s got a lot of style and substance and an intriguing backstory. Series fans will appreciate the resolution of some ongoing plotlines, and the romantic tension is strong.”

Library Journal
 
“[Mercy is] one of the best of the kick-ass heroine crop.”

Locus
 
IRON KISSED
 
“An increasingly excellent series . . .
Iron Kissed
has all the elements I’ve come to expect in a Patricia Briggs novel: sharp, perceptive characterization, nonstop action, and a levelheaded attention to detail and location. I love these books.”
—Charlaine Harris, #1
New York Times
bestselling author
 
BLOOD BOUND
 
“Once again, Briggs has written a full-bore action adventure with heart . . . Be prepared to read [it] in one sitting, because once you get going, there is no good place to stop until tomorrow.”

SFRevu
 
“Plenty of action and intriguing characters keep this fun. In the increasingly crowded field of kick-ass supernatural heroines, Mercy stands out as one of the best.”

Locus
 
MOON CALLED
 
“An excellent read with plenty of twists and turns. Her strong and complex characters kept me entertained from its deceptively innocent beginning to its can’t-put-it-down end. Thoroughly satisfying, it left me wanting more.”
—Kim Harrison,
New York Times
bestselling author
 
“Patricia Briggs always enchants her readers. With
Moon Called
she weaves her magic on every page to take us into a new and dazzling world of werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, and vampires. Expect to be spellbound.”
—Lynn Viehl,
New York Times
bestselling author
 
 
Praise for the other novels of Patricia Briggs
DRAGON BLOOD
 
“It goes without saying, I suppose, that I’m looking forward to seeing what else Patricia Briggs does. If
Dragon Blood
is any indication, then she is an inventive, engaging writer whose talent for combining magic of all kinds—from spells to love—with fantastic characters should certainly win her a huge following and a place on many bookshelves.”

SF Site
 
DRAGON BONES
 
“I enjoyed
Dragon Bones
. . . This is an enjoyable, well-written book, with enough plot twists and turns to keep the reader’s attention. This book is sure to appeal to lovers of fantasy.”

The Green Man Review
 
“[Briggs] possesses the all-too-rare ability to make you fall hopelessly in love with her characters . . . It’s good stuff all the way . . . You find yourself carried away by the charm of the story and the way Briggs tells it.”

Crescent Blues
 
THE HOB’S BARGAIN
 
“This is a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ story but unlike any I’ve ever read. Ms. Briggs blends adventure, romance, and innovative fantasy with a deft hand. [I] highly recommend this one to all my readers.”
—S. L. Viehl, national bestselling author
 
“[A] fun fantasy romance . . . There’s plenty of action, with battles against raiders and magical creatures, a bard who isn’t what he appears, and an evil mage—but there’s also plenty of humor and some sweet moments of mischief and romance.”

Locus
 
“Briggs has a good ear for dialogue and pace, and a marked talent for drawing complex characterizations . . . If you’re looking to while away some time with a good story full of magic and wonder, you might find it worthwhile to accept
The Hob’s Bargain
.”
 
“It is easy to like Patricia Briggs’s novels. Her books are perfect for a Friday evening or a late Saturday afternoon when you don’t want to have to work to enjoy your reading. Her books are clever, engaging, fast-moving, and with plots that manage to be thought-provoking without being heavy-handed. A warning, however—make sure you don’t start the dinner cooking or the lawn watering before you curl up with one of her books, because you’ll end up with a burnt dinner and a soggy lawn and an enjoyable few hours lost in another world.”

Romantic Science Fiction & Fantasy
 
WHEN DEMONS WALK
 
“An interesting cross between a murder mystery, romance, and fantasy . . . There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep most readers’ interest.”

VOYA
 
“Patricia Briggs proves herself a rare talent as she devises a clever mystery with appealing characters in a fantasy setting . . . top-notch reading fare.”

Romantic Times
Titles by Patricia Briggs
The Mercy Thompson Novels
 
MOON CALLED
BLOOD BOUND
IRON KISSED
BONE CROSSED
SILVER BORNE
 
 
The Alpha and Omega Novels
 
ON THE PROWL
(with Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, and Sunny)
CRY WOLF
HUNTING GROUND
 
MASQUES
WOLFSBANE
STEAL THE DRAGON
WHEN DEMONS WALK
 
THE HOB’S BARGAIN
 
DRAGON BONES
DRAGON BLOOD
 
RAVEN’S SHADOW
RAVEN’S STRIKE
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
WOLFSBANE
 
An Ace Book / published by arrangement with Hurog, Inc.
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Ace mass-market edition / November 2010
 
Copyright © 2010 by Hurog, Inc.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-44522-8
 
ACE
Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

AUTHOR’S NOTE
Which, not being a part of the story, may be skipped
I wrote
Wolfsbane
in between
When Demons Walk
and
The Hob’s Bargain
.
Careerwise, it was a dumb thing to do, and I knew it.
Masques
had been out of print for a couple of years by that point, and I was aware that its sales figures were abysmal and no one in his right mind would reprint it. My editor, Laura Anne Gilman, had left Ace for Roc (which at the time was owned by a different publishing company). After she left, Ace politely declined publishing
When Demons Walk
, for several very good reasons. First, the editor who had liked my work was gone. Second, my sales record was not good.
Masques
had failed.
Steal the Dragon
had done all right, but it’d had a terrific cover by Royo. I was pretty sure that, at least for the time being, my career as a writer was over. So I wrote the book I wanted to write.
I had lived with Wolf in my head since I was in fifth or sixth grade . . . maybe since I first read
The Black Stallion
by Walter Farley and recognized the pull of the powerful, dangerous creature who loves only one person. By the time I’d written three books, I knew that I had a lot to learn—and that I had learned a lot about writing since I wrote
Masques
. I still consider
The Hob’s Bargain
my first professional work. It was the first book I wrote that turned out exactly as I’d envisioned it, the first one that I wrote from craft rather than instinct. I wanted to take those new skills and turn my hand to giving Wolf and Aralorn a story more worthy of them.
Wolfsbane
was the result. Eventually, somewhat to our mutual surprise, Ace bought
When Demons Walk
,
The Hob’s Bargain
, and the first book that really sold well for us,
Dragon Bones
.
Wolfsbane
stayed on my shelves, and every once in a while I thought a little wistfully about it. I admit, believing that this day of publication would never come, I borrowed things from
Wolfsbane
for other stories—you might see them. You might even pick up on a few that I haven’t noticed.
So here, for your enjoyment, is a book from early in my career that has never seen the light of day—and without you, dear readers, would still be moldering on a floppy disk somewhere. I hope you have as much fun with it as I have.
 
BEST WISHES,
PATRICIA BRIGGS
SOMEWHERE IN THE DESERT OF EASTERN WASHINGTON
BOOK: Wolfsbane
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