Book Lovers for the Prevention of Supporting Character Neglect: The Mercy-verse

Filed in Book Lover for the Prevention of Supporting Character Neglect , Draconismoi , featured , Patricia Briggs Posted on July 18, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 15 comments

Mercy-verseWelcome back to the Book Lovers for the Prevention of Supporting Character Neglect! Where Book Lovers from across the world stand in solidarity for the supporting cast. Those individuals that make the story and keep us coming back even when the protagonist needs a good smack (*cough Buffy Summers cough*). Hear our anthem! Because everyone deserves top billing now and then.

Secondary Characters by Original Cast Recording on Grooveshark

This week we are tossing life-rafts out into Patricia Briggs’ Mercyverse. Patricia has already taken great strides to save one of the original supporting cast, with the Alpha & Omega spin off series. Tragically the spin-off (vastly superior to the Mercy books in case anyone was wondering) has only served to highlight just how fascinating all the people not-Mercy (or Adam. or Sam) truly are. This whole series is ripe for a Red Wedding style purge – so we must act quickly!

Caro: When I think of characters who need love, the only one I always go back to is Stefan.  Come on the dude is a vampire with a Scooby-doo van!!! We’ve learned a lot about him but not nearly enough.  That guy is broken…I want to see him fixed!

Mystery Machine

Stefan’s bus was painted to match the Mystery Machine, which said a lot about the vampire it belonged to. Stefan told me that he’d briefly considered painting it black a few years ago when he started watching Buffy, but, in the end, he’d decided the vampire slayer was no match for Scooby Doo.

Cass: To be honest, I pretty much forgot about Stefan after the first book. His van was super-awesome, but then he was just an occasional blip on the love-triangle radar. A randomly employed obstacle to Mercy’s inevitable HEA with Mr. You-Want-To-Be-Dominated or Mr. Brainwash-a-Child-Into-Loving-Me-So-I-Can-Breed-Her.

Leah, however, has always been very interesting to me. She seems to be universally hated by everyone, even Bran, and yet hasn’t really done anything worth that level of disgust. What about her makes her not care?


“You”—Leah had turned her attention to Anna—”go sit on the couch. I’ll deal with you in a minute.”

A prudent woman would have done it, Anna thought regretfully. The woman she had been a week ago would have cringed, sat, and waited for whatever hell would have followed. The Anna who was Charles’s mate, who was Omega and outside of the pack order, lifted her chin, and said,

“No, thank you. I think you’d better leave and come back when my”—three years a werewolf but calling Charles her mate sounded wrong, and he wasn’t her husband— “when Charles is here.” The hesitation robbed her statement of much of its strength.

Sage smiled, her whole face lighting with delight. “Yes, Leah, why don’t you come back when Charles is here? I’d like to see that.”

But Leah wasn’t paying attention to her. Her eyebrows lowered in puzzlement as she stared at Anna. “Sit down,” she said, her voice low and rich with a power that once more slid over Anna and did not touch her.

Anna frowned back. “No. Thank you.” She thought of something, and before she could stop herself, she said, “I saw Sage at the funeral, but the Marrok was alone. Why weren’t you beside him?”

“He had no business there,” Leah said passionately. “He killed Carter. And now he pretends to mourn him? I couldn’t keep him from going. He never listens to me anyway, does he? His sons are his advisors, all I am is a replacement for his lost love, the incomparably beautiful, self-sacrificing, Indian bitch. I can’t stop him, but I won’t support him, either.” By the time she was finished, a tear slid down her face. She wiped it off and looked at it and then at Anna with an expression of horror. “Oh, God. Oh, my God. You’re one of those. I should have known, should have known that Charles would bring something like you into my territory.”

Caro: Okay, I’m with you about Leah. She’s an awful bitch but I’d love to see some side story. I mean she’s mated to the most powerful guy out there. I’d like to see how it got that way.

 “Brother Wolf chose you as my mate the moment he laid eyes on you, and I can only applaud his good sense.”

“What would have happened if you had hated me?” He sighed against her hair. “Then we’d not be here. I wouldn’t want to end up like my father and Leah.”

“He hates her?”

He shrugged. “No. Not really. I don’t know.” How had they ended up on this subject? “He’d never say anything one way or another, but matters are not right between them. He told me once, a long time ago, that his wolf decided that he needed a mate to replace my mother.”

“So what went wrong?” she asked, as her body softened into his.

He shook his head. “I have no desire to ask the Marrok that question and suggest you don’t either.”

Bran is kind of a dick

Bran is kind of a dick

Amanda: Definitely Leah and Bran. Their wolves bonded by their people didn’t! That has grounds for a really good romance.  But I also want to know why she’s so crazy.

Bran smiled as he hung up the phone. Then he got out of bed and dressed for a drive. He paused outside of Leah’s closed door, but what was wrong between them could not be changed. He didn’t even want it to change, only regretted that she was so often hurt. In the end he let her be. He didn’t leave a note.

Cass: Clearly she’s crazy because Bran is a narcissistic asshole who drove her insane. Ruining her entire life? Totally acceptable. She never deserves a chance to be loved, respected, or happy. At least not so long as it suits him. I just can’t fathom why she puts up with it. Do werewolves have divorce?

He entered his house quietly and eased up the stairs.

Leah wasn’t in her room. He knew, before he got to his door, that she was sleeping in his bed. Silently, he let himself in and shut the door behind him.

Curled up on his side of the bed, she hugged a pillow. Tenderness welled up in him; asleep she looked soft and vulnerable.

He pushed the tenderness away in that there was too much danger. He knew his sons had never understood his marriage, his mating. It had taken him a few years after Blue Jay Woman’s death to find Leah, a woman so selfish and stupid he was certain he could never really love her. But love wasn’t necessary for the mating bond. […] He could not afford to lose anyone else he loved the way he had loved Blue Jay Woman. So he’d found an acceptable compromise in Leah.

Bran? Just in case you were wondering, loving your children does not negate deliberately and systematically ruining a woman’s life for your convenience.


What do you think? The interest in Leah seems to be pretty universal, though for vastly different reasons. Are you, like me, interested in finding out what she is getting out of the hell Bran made her life? Or are you on the Caro/Amanda bandwagon and seeing this as an Epic Tragic Romance? Did we forget anyone else who needs their own story?

About Draconismoi

Draconismoi is a Legal Aid Attorney out on the frozen tundra. After two weeks of -30F, she started telling people she moved to Alaska because she loves the indoors. Right now you'll find her curled up under all the blankets she owns, surrounded by a pile of books. Every so often she emerges from her cave (when there is food) and wonders how she'll justify prolonging this behavior once the temperature rises and the sun returns.

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  • Patti L. July 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I’d like to see more of both characters, but Leah is the one I most feel needs the attention, we’ll get more about Stefan anyway, because he’s right there with Mercy, who is narrating her story. Leah is clear over in Montana.
    I don’t, however, feel as sorry for her as you seem to. She made the choice too. She was already a self-centered woman when Bran married her, and she very much enjoys his wealth & Alpha power.
    She has also rather explicitly attempted to murder Mercy, as well as turning pretty much the entire female population (barring Mercy’s foster mother, who died when she was FOURTEEN, people!) against Mercy, beyond the relatively few (10%?) female werewolves who at least have the excuse of “lesser predator in OUR territory instincts” to offer.
    You can see from the snippet of “Cry Wolf that you quoted that Leah expected & wanted to smash Anna flat, with no regard for whether she could actually have been, oh, a FRIEND maybe? And calling her a “thing”? Not cool.
    No, I have very little sympathy for Leah. She could break the mate bond & leave if she wanted to do so. Bran would give her a good divorce settlement. But she’d be powerless in the werewolf world, and she won’t lose that.

    • Draconismoi July 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      I can’t figure out how LEAH could possibly have so much emotional hold over all the women in the pack that they would follow her hating-Mercy lead. It’s pretty clear in the Alpha/Omega bit that Leah is pretty much hated by all. They call her the “Queen Bitch.”

      She may have ordered them to be cruel to Mercy….but that goes back to Bran. Why did he allow that? He’s the supreme ruler of his world and he wasn’t capable of protecting a child? Doubtful. I’ve always found Mercy to be an unreliable narrator. I am suspicious of her memories.

      Leah could break the mate bond? Really? See I wonder about that. Bran IS the most powerful wolf out there. Does she even have the spine to truly stand up to him? Would he let go when he “needs” her? I don’t think he would. She strikes me as someone who is trapped until her death, and lashing out at everyone because there is no one who can (or would) help her.

      • Patti L. July 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        Bran & Adam … probably Samuel as well, know how to break mate bonds, Mercy gets that info after Marsilia gets the bones put on her door in Bone Crossed.
        And it doesn’t have to be an ’emotional’ hold, it’s the Alpha power hold.
        As to Bran allowing it, in spite of Mercy’s perception of him as all knowing, well, no, he’s not.
        Also, have you read any of the stuff going around the net lately about emotional & physical abuse, and how much of it gets brushed off as “that’s just the way X is” and “you’re imagining it” and “you must have asked for it”?
        Plus Mercy felt the whole “not welcome” vibe pretty much from the get-go, so she probably didn’t see a lot of point in whining to Bran about it.
        An “unreliable narrator”, huh? Oh, her emotional take (this all happened by the time she was sixteen, remember) would be skewed to the child/per-adolescent, but the facts of her memories are still there. Besides, when she meets Leah in the snow in “Moon Called”, there is no question that Leah’s intent was murder. And that was ‘here’ and ‘now.’

        • Draconismoi July 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm

          Ah-HAH! Bran knows! We’re back to needing his permission.

          I am a domestic violence attorney. I read all the research (medical, legal, psychological, social) and work with victims every day. So I am very sensitive to issues of abuse in my reading. Bran hits all my perp buttons. What can I say? I’m biased. Which is also why I hate Sam.

          Mercy comes across as a traumatized child (abandoned by mother, death of foster parents, growing up in what amounts to a warzone filled with berserk monsters). Thus, her ability to properly interpret motivations and intent? Suspect. Her general disdain for women? Suspect.

          If Leah had her own story, then all my questions would be answered!

  • blodeuedd July 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Grrr I hate Leah, I want Bran to be happy

    • Draconismoi July 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Bran deliberately sought out eternal unhappiness. Dude has some issues that a couple centuries in psychotherapy couldn’t fix.

  • Dee July 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Leah is a power hungry bitch, her association with Bran is based on how much power she achieved from their mate bond. She is more obsessed with Bran because she can not control him. Having her as a mate, may be more effective than letting her exist in the pack with all the trouble that she would have initiated. Bran’s treatment of Mercy, well you are dealing with monsters, is his philosophy based on the old, “what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger? Leah naturally hates Mercy, and I think Bran has a part in this as well, Mercy is a threat to Leah, because Bran cares for her. Can’t stand Sam myself!

    • Draconismoi July 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Don’t worry, Leah. I’ll still love you! (You know, until Patricia Briggs does a short story from your POV that confirms what everyone here is accusing you of.)

  • Danielle July 18, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Ummmm … I still love Mercy & Adam, and I can’t wait for next year’s book when Adam’s ex-wife comes home to try and win him back. I still think there’s a lot to explore between them, especially since Mercy has only just taken on the role of Alpha’s mate. And there were big hints in ‘Fair Game’ about Anna biding her time for a baby (despite knowing what Charles’s mother went through to have him). I think Briggs is doing pretty well in keeping fan interest on the main-players.

    As for Bran and Leah taking main-stage … I dunno. Bran is withholding in almost all aspects of his life, so I don’t know how he’d be as a protagonist to go on a journey with. In the background, as a secondary character (whose love-lost history is well known by all) he’s mysterious and broken and very appealing. As a protagonist? I think we’d just be delving into how unhappy he is as one of the oldest immortals who lost his one-true-love early on in his immortality.

    And Leah as an anti-hero protagonist (with possibility of redemption? Maybe? Probably not, since she has a thing about wanting to kill any female she doesn’t like) I don’t think the two of them together would make for a compelling read. Right now, fans know that toiling away in the background is all this pent-up anger and sadness because of what Bran lost and Leah can never give him – they’re definitely in a spiral. But put that main-stage and it would be a real slog of a read.

    We’ve been given Charles & Anna, Mercy & Adam because they’re four people who were all ready for change in their lives and as readers, we’ve been let into their story at that point of change. With Bran; I don’t think he’s ready for a change like admitting there might be another ‘one’ true love out there for him. And with Leah, I don’t think she’d sacrifice power for love. They’re both fairly stagnant right now, and it’s their secondary-status that cleverly masks that. Otherwise, I’m sure Briggs would have pulled them into the spotlight sooner.

  • Susan July 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I’m interested in Stefan and would love to get more back story on him, but not necessarily a book. Maybe a short story or novella. Definitely one of the more complex characters in the Mercyverse.

    Not really interested in Leah, but agree that Bran isn’t being fair–to anyone. That relationship is hurting him, Leah, and the pack in general. The minuses vastly outweigh the pluses. Something eventually is going to happen there–in a big way.

    I really like the secondary characters in the Mercy books, and enjoy the pack dynamics. Looking forward to seeing what happens when Adam’s ex blows back into town. I’m sure Mercy can handle whatever she dishes out, but she can always call on her mother for backup if she needs it. I think that woman is up to just about anything. (Maybe *she* needs some secondary character love.)

    • Draconismoi July 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

      If the mother who foisted me off on someone else to raise and constantly nagged me regarding my career choices rolled into town after I had been raped to bitch at me for not calling to tell her personally….t

      Well hat would be the last time she’d ever set foot on my property. I’d be reporting her ass for trespassing, blocking her number on my phone. You name it. Bye-bye crazy stalker woman. (Which is how I’d describe it to the police.) I am unforgiving and relentless.

      • Susan July 20, 2013 at 1:09 am


        • Draconismoi July 20, 2013 at 3:46 am

          My mom is actually pretty awesome when she isn’t driving me nuts. So it’s easy for me to harshly judge the shitty parents.

  • Patti L. July 19, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Bran may hit your buttons – and I agree, as old as he is, a lot of the modern sensibilities about abuse aren’t going to come easily to him – Leah is still guilty with less reason of much the same. She could be as much as 200 years old, we don’t know. I seem to recall something in one of the A&O books that made me think she came into Bran’s life when Charles was maybe in his mid to late teens.

    Bran did seek out someone he couldn’t love the way he had BlueJay Woman, but eternal unhappiness? I don’t think so. If he met more people, he might find someone he could live with better than Leah, but how would his wolf feel about it?

    Yes, Leah came into it for the power & money. Self-centered, remember? That’s part of what Bran chose her for.

    Also, yes, a couple of centuries of therapy wouldn’t make Bran ‘normal’ – how could it? He’s NOT normal. He’s a werewolf, and a (if not the most) highly dominant one with anywhere from a thousand to fifteen hundred years of history to him. That’s like… how long does it take to fix one screwed up year? I mean, his own mother turned him into a werewolf & tried to make him kill his son. Go figure, he’s screwed up.

    Leah hates everyone Bran cares for, & since (Mr. Top Werewolf in the whole of the AmericaS – that is North AND South America) he cares for all the werewolves in his territory… He really should see & fix the situation with Leah, one way or another.

    You want to – with no idea how to cope with a Walker baby – keep one as a seventeen year old minimum wage worker, you go right ahead, & see how much more screwed up both your lives get. Since NONE of the preternaturals were out at that time, can you imagine if someone else had seen Mercy change shape as a baby? She (Margi) came to visit when she could & stayed involved in Mercy’s life as much as finances, Bran, & Mercy would allow.

    She hardly blew into town exclusively to bitch Mercy out for not calling her, she came to see if she could help, how her oldest baby was doing. She did help; Mercy talked to her instead of a therapist. Margi already knows about werewolves & fae, so the stuff that happened in Bone Crossed would not – did not – freak her out the way they would have done with a lot of other people. Please note, Margi also came equipped with a handgun she wasn’t afraid to pull, & Hotep, a heck of a scary dog.

    Which doesn’t have a lot to do with Leah, except that Leah undoubtedly made Margi unwelcome in Aspen Creek as surely as she did Mercy.

  • Draconismoi July 20, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Gasp! No one loves Leah, but me…..

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