The fourth book in the Retrievers series.
Publication year: 2007
Page count: 384
Wren Valere is a witch and a lonejack, who by definition don’t want to get involved and don’t want to be part of any organization. However, things are now so bad that she is involved with organizing the other lonejacks together. Someone is killing the non-human fatae and Wren can’t just stand by.
Wren and her friend P. B. (who’s a demon, a non-human race apparently created by human magic users) come across a brutally murdered fatae, an angeli. They are notoriously hard to kill but it seems that a group of humans have managed to do just that. The fatae are outraged and scared. They don’t know who to trust anymore.
In response, the local lonejacks and fatae have formed a loose council which is suppose to organize patrols to keep any more fatae from being hurt. However, it’s very hard to keep the independent people working together.
Wren is a Retriever; she returns objects which have been misplaces. She’s also an excellent cat burglar and her main power keeps her from being noticed by anyone else. Sergei is her partner; he deals with the clients and makes the deals. He also presents potential deals to Wren so that she can choose which ones to take. Sergei also owns an art gallery. Their partnership has worked well because they both can do what they most want. As a Talent, a magic user, Wren’s power is to control the Current which is basically electricity. She’s a loner by nature, has a quick temper, but she’s also very loyal to her friends. Sergei is more of a diplomat but he’s also a former spy for a secret organization called the Silence.
The book focuses on political dealings: Wren and a few others are trying keep together the fragile peace between various magic using (loose) organizations, the leader of the powerful Mage Council is plotting her own thing, and the Silence is full of various plotters. Unfortunately, some of the political dealings are fruitless but require a lot of page time, so it feels that nothing much is happening. I find the Silence fascinating; it’s a secret organization which tries to do good in the world. Unfortunately, some have decided that doing good means getting rid of all magic users. Silence is powerful with lots of operatives and information at its fingertips, and so its agents are capable of doing either lots of good or evil. Meanwhile, the members of the Cosa are so distrustful of each other that it’s pretty frustrating to the reader.
The book also focuses on Wren and Sergei’s relationship. Wren and Sergei had been business partners for ten years before they started a romantic relationship, so they know each other well. I really enjoyed that. However, Sergei is keeping important information a secret from Wren. Specifically, he’s become addicted to Current. Sometimes during sex Wren loses her control over the electricity and gives Sergei small jolts. Unfortunately, even though Sergei downplays that, his body is starting to break down because of it. Keeping secrets also hurts their relationship which is based on trust.
Many of the secondary characters we’ve seen in previous books return. P. B. gives hints about what demons actually do and that they live a very long time.
Burning Bridges felt to me like a bridging book, introducing plot points which will play in the two books to come, but not terribly exciting by itself.