First, it makes me sad that this is not actually the cover of the book I own, but it's the same book. Gotta love re-prints, right?
Patricia Briggs is a master. Just a fucking brilliant master of the craft. When you think epic fantasy, you don't typically think of a 300 page book that's capable of standing on it's own. (Fortunately Dragon Bones doesn't. I'm going to start diving into Dragon Blood tonight, and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.) Briggs pulls it off, though.
For being so short, for fantasy that is, Briggs does an excellent job of creating a rich vivid world with characters that make you truly care what happens to them. Even the villain of the piece is sympathetic and almost likable, except for the whole being a greedy, crazy son-of-a-bitch. Ward is one of the great heroes I've read, and has such a wonderful personality. It's his ability to play lumbering oaf that makes him so lovable, though. Not many heroes will pretend to be stupid to save themselves.
Dragon Bones is two thumbs up, five stars, and a book I'm going to be rereading.
I also highly recommend Patricia Briggs's Moon Called and all the other Mercy Thompson books. If you're looking for a flexible, fabulous story teller, Briggs is it.