The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
A dark and gorgeously drawn standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory. Won in a major six-house auction!
Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.
When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.
Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller. Perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, V.E. Schwab, and Heidi Heilig.
Review: 4 Stars
I stalked the release of this novel because I wanted a copy so bad. I love April Genevieve Tucholke’s writing and wanted her latest novel more than anything. Once again she created a dark fantasy tale with some really interesting characters. I will always read anything that she writes, her skill for storytelling is amazing. Her tales have dark sides to them and always include a great plot as well.
The Boneless Mercies was refreshing to read because for once a young adult novel focuses on friendships rather than romance. The deep non romantic relationships are the backbone of this novel. The main characters are a group of very close friends that are practically family, They are fierce, badass women who make a living dealing death. Each of these characters are unique and together they form an amazing group to read about.
The plot was pretty awesome. The girls, or Boneless Mercies, travel to go fight a beast that is ravaging a nearby town. The novel is a gender flipped Beowulf retelling and it was done really well. All of the different people that they meet and the places that they stop on their journey really made the whole novel quite the adventure. Some of the places they stopped were so interesting I would have read a whole novel based on just one of the settings they came across. They met witches, a cult of young girls and even pig people. I found myself fully immersed in the adventure and also the Mercies brutal way of life very quickly. April Genevieve Tucholke knows how to make brutality beautiful which is part of the reason I loved her previous series, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
Overall I really enjoyed this one. I did have higher expectations though, it doesn’t measure up to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, but it was still pretty great. The writing didn’t feel as gothic and poetic, but it was still brutal and dark, with characters fleshed out so well you feel as if you could touch them. I enjoyed the fact that it was focused on deep friendships rather than another unnecessary love interest, like so many YA titles lately. I would definitely suggest reading this retelling filled with hardcore women that kick ass.
Have you read this book? Are you anxious for it to be released? Have you read other books by April Genevieve Tucholke? Did you write a review for this title as well? Share your opinions or a link to your review of the title in the comments below, I’m dying to know what other people think of this one.