The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen | Book ReviewThe Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
Also by this author: The Faithless Hawk
Series: The Merciful Crow #1
Also in this series: The Faithless Hawk
Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on July 30, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781250191939
Goodreads
five-stars

A Tor.com Best of 2019 Pick A 2020 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults PickDebut author Margaret Owen crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, survival, and sacrifice—perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake—in The Merciful Crow.
"Packed to the teeth with fresh worldbuilding and righteous fury...It's a ride that is wildly fun."—Emily A. Duncan, New York Times-bestselling author of Wicked Saints
"Rich, harrowing, and unafraid to tackle discrimination—perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi."—Kirkus, Starred Review 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 by Margaret Owen was so much better than I expected. I’ll admit I went in with not a lot of expectations. This book has mixed reviews on my goodreads. Still, I wanted to pick it up because I just absolutely love the design of the cover. Also, I’ve been on a roll of reading contemporary YA and just wanted to switch it up with some fantasy. Lucky me, because it turns out that I LOVED this book. So much that I immediately started reading the sequel, The Faithless Hawk.

Margaret Owen’s debut The Merciful Crow is set in a world of castes. There are twelve castes, each named for a different type of bird. Each caste has a birthright — well, except for the Crows which are the lowest caste with no birthright. Within each caste, there are witches who have a certain power. Fie is a member of the Crow caste and she’s training to become a chief. When her band is called to collect the dead from the royals, they anticipate getting paid pretty big. As it turns out, the dead they’re collecting aren’t so dead. Crown Prince Jasimir, a Phoenix caste, and his body double, Tavin, a Hawk caste warrior have faked their deaths to thwart the nefarious plans of an evil queen.

And so, Fie, Jasimir, and Tavin travel the roads in hopes of getting Jasimir to his allies. If Fie and her band are able to deliver Jasimir safely, he will have to fulfill a deal he made with the Crows – to offer them his royal protection. You see, in this world, Crows are hunted and attacked by a group called the Oleanders which kind of read similar to the KKK. Along the way, the Crows will have to answer the plague beacons. They are the only ones who can grant mercy to those dying of the plague, but also prevent the plague from killing a whole town by disposing of the dead victim of the plague.

The world that Margaret Owen built absolutely had me entranced. I realize that again, not everyone feels this way. However, I was just so into the different castes, the magic, and the society of Sabor. Every bit we got about the teeth intrigued me. I was firmly a fan of Fie who is gruff and has her walls up but for good reason. I was rooting for her to come into her own as a future teeth.

Plus, I loved the decisions she made and how she learns to trust those decisions. And plus there’s a bit of romance too. Also, I never got bored with the pacing, there was action balanced with character development. For me, The Merciful Crow was exactly what I needed and wanted from a fantasy read and I am so glad I have the sequel on hand to read right this very second.


five-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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