Thank you to the publisher and FFBC Tours for including me in this tour. It was a pleasure and I hope to take part in the next one, if of course, there is one! If you’re interested in reading other reviews, please feel free to click that link for the schedule. 🙂
- Author: Margaret Owen
- Publisher: Henry Holt
- Publication Date: July 30, 2019
- Book Length: 384 pages
- Genre: YA Fantasy
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?
I tell my friends all the time, those of a similar age, that the YA stories of our youths, are not the same as what the YA novels were when we were growing up. Most give me a look, some roll their eyes, others don’t care and some, mercifully, agree with me. I grew up in an era where the Babysitters Club, The Boxcar Children, and Sweet Valley High were all the rage. Harry Potter was the series that changed it all, opening the doors for new series to come and break down barriers, to push our minds beyond belief. The Merciful Crow is one of those books I wish I’d had when I was younger. But I’m glad I’ve read it now and I will read it again.
I love a book where world building occurs and this is one of them; starting from the bottom and working its way up to the top. There is a caste system, not dissimilar to ones in other foreign countries or in the book Girls of Paper and Fire. The Crows are at the very top, Phoenixes are the very bottom. There’s a total of twelve ranks. There’s a system of magic, which is enthralling and captures your mind straight away. Ms. Owen’s prose is something of legend, I must say. I was drawn in by her gift with words.
Each of the main characters is three-dimensional, popping off the page and presenting themselves as more than a piece of fiction; they are like long-time friends coming to tell you their story. If this is meant to be a series, I’m definitely in. Beam me up, Mr. Scott, I want in. I know you’re probably thinking that the trope of underdogs overthrowing an evil leader is probably overdone, but I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Owen’s version. It didn’t feel ‘tired’ or overdone in any way. I’m looking forward to what comes next, and I have to say–this isn’t a spoiler, as the author said it herself on Goodreads–YAY to no love triangle. That is a trope that makes me curse so much I could make a sailor blush.
Definitely looking forward to Book Two!!
Here are some of my favorite quotes!
“Mercy was a chief’s gift; inflicting it was their duty.”
(That just stood out in my mind as my absolute favorite quote.)
“Pa was taking too long to cut the boys’ throats.”
(That’s the opening line!)
“She’s got a point, Jas. Several, in fact. Enough points that I’m starting to think she’s mostly thorns.”
(That one stuck out to me because it sounds like something my friends would say about me, to be honest.)
“Crows had one rule. Look after your own.”
Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.
She now spends her days wrestling disgruntled characters onto the page and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. (There is surprisingly little difference between the two.)