I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace on August 25, 2009
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Night Broken, Dead Heat, Bone Crossed, River Marked, Iron Kissed, Cry Wolf, Fire Touched, Moon Called, Silence Fallen, Burn Bright
Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either...
Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything...
Second in the Alpha & Omega series and third in the Mercyverse. It revolves around Anna and Charles Cornick. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Alpha & Omega books on my website.
It’s been a couple of weeks since On the Prowl: “Alpha & Omega”, 0.5 (Mercyverse, 1.1).
I love how Hunting Ground starts out with the stern Charles getting ambushed by his very playful mate. He’s so very careful with her, remembering her history and her introduction into a werewolf’s life. It makes my heart weep at how careful he is and how much he and Brother Wolf both love her. How terrified he is that she’ll leave him.
“She kissed him — a rare enough occurrence that he held perfectly still and savored it for the gift of trust it was.”
What makes it even more fun is how incredibly intimidating other wolves, other humans, find Charles. And his father is even scarier. Yet Anna doesn’t back down from either of them. It makes me laugh and feel so very proud of her. Charles loves it too and tells Anna that his Salish grandfather would have called her “She Moves Trees Out of His Path” (his grandfather’s name for Charles was “He Who Must Run into Trees”).
“…there are things that you need to do — and interfering with that is not protecting, not in my book. The best way for me to protect you is to encourage you to be able to protect yourself.”
Poor baby. Anna has no idea how her being an Omega will and does affect all those wolves. Because of her early life as a werewolf, she’s terrified of all these wolves looking at her, and the more frightened she is, the more they stare.
This is Anna’s opportunity to find her wolf, to take on her courage for her own, and I love how she takes on Chastel. Sunny is another character I adore. She’s practical and reflects her nickname so well. Seems she would be an Omega if she were turned.
Many of the wolves are shocked at Anna. It’s a slight point in the story, and it makes me eager to read more. To read more about Anna and Charles and how they relate to others. How Anna takes them by…calm, lol.
It’s a tricky mystery Briggs has set up and a challenge to figure out. What makes it even more poignant is the centuries-old history that Briggs includes. Wow. I knew Bran was old, but…
It’s almost a fait accompli in the States, and Charles is simply informing the European wolves of their decision and what aid the Marrok will provide them. Only, Chastel is against it and may have the necessary ammunition to prevent it, even to prevent the American wolves from coming out.
It’s an opportunity someone seizes to achieve their own plans, and there are murders and betrayals galore.
Charles Cornick is the Marrok’s Enforcer, financial investment manager, and youngest son — half-Salish of an Indian shaman’s daughter, half-Welsh of a witch-born father. A born werewolf, he and Brother Wolf are two separate beings inhabiting the same body. Anna Lathan Cornick is an Omega wolf whom Charles rescued and mated in On the Prowl: “Alpha & Omega”. A former music major, Anna still loves to play the cello. Samuel Cornick is the older brother. Much older.
The Montana Pack is…
…in Aspen Creek and led by the Marrok, the Welsh Bran Cornick, and it’s a haven for problem wolves. Robert is a new wolf with a control problem. Asil the Moor is a very old wolf who is going mad, but his dead mate had been an Omega like Anna, and he is helping Anna understand what it means.
…the territory of the Emerald City Pack, and it’s where the werewolf conference is taking place. Bran intends to explain how and why the American werewolves are going public to the European packs. Dana Shea, a Gray Lord, a.k.a., La Belle Dame Sans Merci, is the daoine sidhe fairy who will moderate. She lives on a houseboat and paints. Not very well. She is fae after all. Jerry is a troll who wants his toll paid.
The Emerald City Pack includes…
…Ian Garner; Angus Hooper, the pack Alpha; and, Alan Choo is their healer. Tom Franklin is one of the top wolves and is mated to a white witch, Moira (see their story in Shifting Shadows: “Seeing Eye”, 0.8).
The British contingent consists…
…only of their Alpha, Arthur Madden, the Master of the Isles, and his wife, Sunny (her legal name is Eleanor, but that smile of hers…well…), the human wife he adores. Arthur believes he’s the Arthur, and he carries Excalibur, the sword he discovered, everywhere.
The French werewolves are…
…led by Jean Chastel, the Beast of Gévaudan, a vicious, man-eating wolf who loves the freedom to kill as he pleased. Most of his wolves hate him including Michel Girard.
The Spanish include…Sergio del Fino who wants to fight Chastel, Hussan Ibn Hussan who is Asil’s son, and Pedro Herrera. The Italians include…Heinrich “Ric” Postinger, their Omega and a psychologist by day, and Isaac is their Alpha. The Germans include…Valentin who stole one of the treasure bags out from under Anna, Rick, and Isaac; and, the Finns…are another pack mentioned.
The vampires are…
…led by Ivan. The playful yet vicious Krissy is Ivan’s latest playmate; Hannah was the previous one. Jody is an unfortunate drummer.
“The traffic will drown out the screams.”
The Gray Lords are the most powerful of the fae and rule them. Carnwennan was King Arthur’s dagger. Omega wolves are valued because they don’t care about pack position, they care about the pack. They don’t feel the need to drop their eyes or bow their head and will take on an Alpha, carefully. I love how Anna explains it: “An Omega wolf is an Alpha wolf who is extremely zen.”
The Cover and Title
The cover is deep lilacs in the twilight of the dawn as the sun begins its rise behind the pier in the background. It’s that same lilac haze that highlights Charles in his wolf form whom Anna is hugging, a thoughtful look on her face, scratches on her bare arm, and bracelets slipping down her forearm…the scene on the beach after the hunt…
The title reflects what Seattle becomes, the Hunting Ground.