RELEASE DATE: July 30th 2019
AUTHOR: Margaret Owen
GENRE: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic.
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
One way or another, we always feed the crows.
A future chieftain
Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.
A fugitive prince
When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.
A too-cunning bodyguard
Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?
The Merciful Crow is Margaret Owen’s debut YA fantasy novel. I’ve been looking forward to this book since I’ve first heard about it. And look at that cover, isn’t it stunning? Well, Coming to the book, it was quite an engaging read. I really enjoyed the characters, the diversity, and the magical elements but the plot seemed a bit too generic for me. The caste system in this book was very intriguing. It was derived by the bird species like hawk, peacock, crows etc. I wish the author focused a bit more on the other castes besides Crow because I really wanted to know how the entire system worked together. Anyways, despite all these issues, I still immensely enjoyed this book and its characters.
The story follows three characters Fie, Tavin, and Jasimir. Fie is the Chieftain’s daughter of the Crow Caste, the lowest caste in the system. She’s going to be the future chieftain who’s going to lead her people. They’re called mercy killers because they give mercy death to the people who’re infected by the plague. Their whole caste is immune to the plague so whenever they get a smoke signal they immediately take care of the bodies in exchange for a coin. One day, when all of them are summoned to the palace they don’t know they’re going to be doing a mercy killing on the beloved prince of the kingdom. When it’s time to take care of the bodies, Fie realizes that both the prince and his annoying bodyguard had faked their deaths, and soon they all get tangled in a political game which could send them all to their demise. While being chased by the queen’s soldiers and assassins, Fie needs to protect the prince and his bodyguard until they reach their safe destination.
Fie is a fierce heroine who’s very loyal to her people and she has the ability to draw power from a person’s teeth which might sound a bit creepy but I liked it. She’s a pretty tough character and I absolutely loved her. Prince Jasimir is sweet and also a bit naive when it comes to his kingdom. He’s not sure about being a good king but he’s their kingdom’s only hope. Tavin is Jasimir’s witty and cunning bodyguard who’s quite protective of his prince. He doesn’t let anyone touch him and he wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice his life before any harm comes to the future king. And he also doesn’t trust anyone easily. I enjoyed Fie, Tavin and Jasimir together as a team. I liked the friendship between Fie and Jasimir, and the clashes between Tavin and Fie. The romance was a slow burn. It’s not the central focus but I really liked it. For your information there’s no triangle in this book.
The plot was engaging but I honestly expected more besides being chased by the enemies. I wish we had villain’s perspective in this book. I loved the entire concept in the book. It was very unique and refreshing. The diversity representation was pretty good. Fie is black, and both Tavin and Jasimir are POC. There’s also a Pan and Gay character in this book. The author’s writing was easy to understand. The whole book was written in third person pov. The story moved in a fast pace and there’s no dull moments. Because the plot was a bit generic some of the twists were easy to predict. Nonetheless, it was a still an enjoyable read. The world building, the caste system, and the magical system was great. I hope we get to explore more of them in the next book. Be warned there’s a bit of gore, death, and blood in this book. It’s not too heavy, but if you’re not comfortable with them then skip those scenes.
Overall, it was a great debut and a good start to a new fantasy series! I loved the characters, the concept, and the magic in this book. Can’t wait to know what the author has in store for us next.
It might’ve not ended up in my favorites list, but I still highly recommend you guys to give it a shot.
So, What do you think of this book? Have you read it yet? Do you Plan to read it?
Please feel free to comment below!
See You In The Next Post and Have a Great Day! 🙂