Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11)- Patricia Briggs


To the next generation:

Genevieve, Dylan, and Wren.

With faith and trust and fairy dust—

I wish you all your own happy thoughts that you might fly.


No book is written in a vacuum, and this one is no exception. All the faults, mistakes, and annoying things are my fault, but the following people have done their best to make this a good book: (in alphabetical order) Linda Campbell, Michelle Kasper, Ann Peters (aka Sparky), Kaye Roberson, Amy J. Schneider, and Anne Sowards.

Part of the fun of writing is going out and making new friends. This book owes much to Sheriff Jim Raymond and the rest of the good people at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office who kindly allowed Sparky and me to tour their office. In particular, Commander Rick Rochleau, who patiently answered lots and lots of questions and gave me insight into how the sheriff’s office might interact with a pack of werewolves. He got himself permanently on my people-I-call-when-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing list.

And, of course, Susann and Michael Bock have once again given Zee his magic (and his German). I am so glad that Michael decided to e-mail me about my bad German all those years ago.

Thank you, my friends.


Titles by Patricia Briggs

Title Page




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Author’s Note

About the Author

One by one,

Two by two,

The Hardesty witches

Are traveling through.

With a storm of curses,

They call from their tomes;

They will drink your blood

And dine on your bones.



“So what did you do, Mary Jo?” called Ben in his crisp British accent.

Mary Jo shut her car door and started toward us and toward the mountainous metal barn that Ben and I waited beside. She gave Ben a quelling frown, and waited to speak until she had come up to us.

She asked, “What do you mean, what did I do?”

It was a little chilly, made more so by a brisk wind that blew a bit of hair I’d failed to secure in my braid into my eyes. The Tri-Cities don’t cool off at night with quite the thoroughness that the Montana mountains I’d grown up with did, but night usually still kills the heat of day.

Ben bounced a little on his toes—a sign that he was ready and eager for violence. I could sense that his attention, like mine, was mostly on the barn, even though his eyes were on Mary Jo. “I killed Mercy three times in a single session of Pirate’s Booty the night before last. I think that’s why she woke me up to come out hunting tonight.” He glanced at me and raised an eyebrow in an open invitation to address the situation.

Okay, that’s not exactly what he said. As usual he spiced his language with profanity, but unless he spouted something truly amazing I mostly edited it out.

“You passed up the opportunity to gain a hundred Spanish doubloons in order to kill me that last time,” I told him, unable, even days later, to keep the indignation out of my voice. In the fierce high-seas computer-generated battles the werewolf pack delighted in, a hundred Spanish doubloons was a treasure trove of opportunity for more or better weapons, supplies, and ship repairs. Only a homicidal maniac would give up a hundred doubloons to kill someone.

Ben gave me a wicked grin, an expression mostly empty of the bitter edge all of his expressions had once contained. “I was merely staying in character. Sodding Bart enjoys killing more than money, love. That’s why his kill score is third on the board, just behind Captain Wolf and Lady Mockingbird.”

Captain Wolf Larsen, stolen from the titular character of Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf, is the nom de guerre of my mate and the pack Alpha. Lady Mockingbird, who was up by fifteen kills on everybody, teaches high school chemistry in her alter ego as Auriele Zao. She is a scary, scary woman. I’ve been told her high school students think so, too.

Ben’s gaze, swinging back to Mary Jo, paused on the dark maw that gaped in the front of the huge metal barn, the only building within a mile of where we stood.

It was either very late at night or very early in the morning, depending on which side of sleep you were on. Dawn wasn’t yet a possibility, but the waxing