The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – ARC Review

The Merciful Crow Bookstagram PhotoSummary:

Publication Date: 7/30/19

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?

Review: 5 Stars

For some reason I didn’t really expect this book to be that good, but I wound up absolutely loving this dark fantasy tale. I picked this up on a whim because I thought the cover was pretty and I am so glad that I did. The Merciful Crow was filled with fascinating characters that I loved so much, really great world building and an interesting plot. This book caught my attention from the very first sentence and pulled me into a story that I wound up loving so much.

This was the dance. This was the game. The one she wasn’t meant to win.

I loved the characters in this story. Fie was a great protagonist to read about and I found myself relating to her a lot. She was outspoken, fiercely loyal to her own and tremendously brave. I loved the band of Crows and the dark aspect to their caste as they gave plague victims mercy deaths. I also found myself rather attached to minor characters like Wretch, and of course the prince Jas and his bodyguard Tavin. I loved the slow-burn romance between Tavin and Fie and how they grew closer over time and going through hard times together. I loved how loyal Fie was to those she cared about, but I also understood her when she pushed people away when she felt like they were getting too close. The character development was done so well, which makes me SO grateful that this is a series.

Look after your own. Crows had one rule. And she had to be a Crow chief.

I was reminded a bit of The Boneless Mercies, as in both books they gave out mercy deaths, but this book was quite different and so much better in my opinion. (Check out my review of The Boneless Mercies here.) I also found the politics of the caste system and birthright powers given to different castes to be really interesting. Fie’s bone witch powers and the ability to use someone’s teeth to use their birthright power was so cool. The entire world built in this novel was so fascinating and a bit dark. It was intricate, yet easily understandable and a light read.

“You make me believe I can do something better with my life than die.”

Margaret Owen came out of the gate with an absolute stunning debut fantasy. The pacing could be a bit slow at times, but honestly it didn’t matter because I loved every bit of the story. I loved how dark this fantasy was and the characters had me hooked. The plot was full of quite a lot of action, but the ending could have used a bit more build up. It didn’t feel like the tension rose high enough at the end and it felt a bit rushed. Despite my issue with the ending I am really impressed with the book and I have found myself thinking about it a lot since I finished it. For a book that I didn’t think would be a good read I was absolutely blown away. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to come out because I can’t wait to revisit this world and its characters. If you like dark fantasy do yourself a favor and don’t pass this book by.

Pre-Order Campaign!

The Merciful Crow Preorder Campaign.jpg

US Pre-orders will get:

  • 3 character cards!
  • 4 stickers!
  • A signed bookplate!
  • A double-sided bookmark!
US Pre-orders at an indie bookstore & you’ll ALSO get the digital swag!

International Pre-Orders and School/Library Requests get:

  • A lock screen for each of the character cards!
  • An exclusive wallpaper!

3 thoughts on “The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – ARC Review

Add yours

  1. Ok… now that I’ve got my review out… I like what you focused on. I think the characters are very important, as is the caste system you mentioned. It is integral to the story. I think what I was struggling with was that I was focusing on the wrong pieces until the light bulb went off wand then I had to go back through and find the underlying pieces that I found to make the puzzle come together. Sometimes we box books into genres or they get compared to other books to their detriment and then we expect something to the point that we miss what is most important to THAT piece of art. To my folly, I almost did that with MC. Thankfully, I checked myself before that happened.

    Two pieces you focused on are the foundation of what I wrote about… and the underpinnings of what makes the book kick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, I have to go see your review to see more of your thoughts. I really loved the caste system and personally found Fie really relatable because I felt like she was like me in so many ways. I am going to find your review now.

      Liked by 1 person

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