The Merciful Crow

The Merciful Crow

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 th/>A...

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Title:The Merciful Crow
Author:Margaret Owen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Merciful Crow Reviews

  • Margaret Owen

    Wait, I seriously get to rate and review my own book? Rad. So my completely unbiased review is that it made me laugh, cry, and single-handedly put Ben & Jerry's grandchildren through med school. And that was just from writing the dang thing.

    Anyway, I hope y'all like it! I made it myself!

  • Sara

    this is an amazing story full of action and an unique magic system with dark atmosphere , an amazing female lead who is complex , rude and stands up for what she believe for , she is trown in this adventure with an spoiled prince who I hated in the beginning and loved in the end , tavin who is snarky , brave and fun , this is an amazing world and the magic is so intresting , just pick this up if you love quests, high stakes, adventure with a lot of danger and loves crow's , gave this book of cou

    this is an amazing story full of action and an unique magic system with dark atmosphere , an amazing female lead who is complex , rude and stands up for what she believe for , she is trown in this adventure with an spoiled prince who I hated in the beginning and loved in the end , tavin who is snarky , brave and fun , this is an amazing world and the magic is so intresting , just pick this up if you love quests, high stakes, adventure with a lot of danger and loves crow's , gave this book of coure 5 stars and recommend this for sure to the fantasy lovers out there !

  • Hollis

    I’m super glad I’ve just bemoaned all the disappointing YA fantasy so far this year because the universe sat up, said, ‘oh yeah?’, and tugged the rug right out from under me.

    Bookies, I present to you : THE MERCIFUL CROW. I knew nothing about this before beginning (#TeamNoBlurbs) and was delighted at every turn the story took.

    This world is made up of Castes centered around various birds : Crows at the bottom, Pheonixes at the top. We see the world through the Crows’ eyes; they are mercy killers

    I’m super glad I’ve just bemoaned all the disappointing YA fantasy so far this year because the universe sat up, said, ‘oh yeah?’, and tugged the rug right out from under me.

    Bookies, I present to you : THE MERCIFUL CROW. I knew nothing about this before beginning (#TeamNoBlurbs) and was delighted at every turn the story took.

    This world is made up of Castes centered around various birds : Crows at the bottom, Pheonixes at the top. We see the world through the Crows’ eyes; they are mercy killers, resistant to the plague that sweeps the nation, able to draw power from teeth (it sounds weird but it’s so cool), and overwhelmingly reviled by everyone else. They are spit upon, treated abominably, and yet every dying soul calls to them for mercy. They keep the realm safe because without them plague would run rampant, everyone would die. And yet..

    Fie and her father’s band of Crows are called to the kingdom to dispose of two bodies. This is a rare event because royals, for whatever reason, haven’t been struck down by the plague in centuries. And when they are moments away from burning the corpses.. it turns out they are far less dead than everyone thought. And that one of them is the prince.

    THE MERCIFUL CROW then goes on to weave a breakneck tale of disaster, betrayal, acceptance, more disasters, more betrayals, and on and on. This world was so rich and fascinating and holy forking hell was it diverse and delicious. Skin colour, sexuality, talk of periods.. Owens tackled them all without ever feeling like she was checking off a box for including one element of another. I loved that so so much. It felt effortless. Infact her writing in general was smooth and fierce and fraught with emotion. Just like her characters.

    My one complaint is that, and it might be my fault for missing it though I’m not sure I did, I’m not entirely clear why there is a plague in this world. It was never explained. But I thought every other bit was. Jasimir, the prince, was mostly a naive, spoiled, shit — as one expects — but through him we get a closer look at the prejudice and discrimination and ignorance of this world and the thoughtlessness (which is the kindest form of treatment they ever receive) towards the Crows. How the whole world is built on hating these people.. and yet relying on them. How no one has thought to question why or wonder about them. Or treat them as something more than trash. It was insidious, underlying every interaction or belief, and the author did a fabulous job at making this treatment abhorrent without ever making the story depressing. Just tense and brutal.

    As for Fie, our lead and sole POV, she was.. wow. Brave and angry, fierce and uncompromising, full of doubt as she remained strong. She burned herself out, sacrificing not only for her people but for two individuals who hadn’t known her name, hadn’t cared about her Caste until they needed her; time and time again she pushed herself. For a promise, for the hope of a better future, even if it meant she wouldn’t see it herself.

    We also had a love interest and I won’t say I saw it coming but.. I did. And that was okay because I was totally onboard, totally shipping it, and the fact that we had some excellent exchanges around consent as well as discussion around sex itself..? Hello hi here for more of this in YA please.

    When it comes to the ending, I’m also a huge fan of it. This is apparently a series (duology? trilogy? don’t know) and yet the ending was perfect. I am so satisfied and yet curious and excited and maybe a bit worried. Nothing has really resolved and yet it doesn’t really feel like anything is left hanging, either. It’s a great balance. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be clamouring for book two.

    I’m totally shocked this is the author’s debut and highly anticipate this’ll be something of a surprise hit for many readers. You definitely need to keep this one on your radar. I totally recommend.

    ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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    This review can also be found at

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  • jessica

    you know that moment when youre reading and you lose focus, but your eyes still keep ‘reading,’ so you end up having to backtrack and reread everything you just missed when you zoned out? yeah, that happened to me soooo many times whilst reading this that i lost count. at the halfway point, i started skimming because i just did not have the attention span to fully commit to this.

    i mean, i really wanted to love this, but other than a slightly unique magic system, theres not much going for this b

    you know that moment when youre reading and you lose focus, but your eyes still keep ‘reading,’ so you end up having to backtrack and reread everything you just missed when you zoned out? yeah, that happened to me soooo many times whilst reading this that i lost count. at the halfway point, i started skimming because i just did not have the attention span to fully commit to this.

    i mean, i really wanted to love this, but other than a slightly unique magic system, theres not much going for this book that would have otherwise kept me engaged. and i think its the dense writing and repetitive nature of the narrative that is so off-putting. also, i think anyone who isnt a native english speaker will have a difficult time with this, just because the writing is just so forced and crowded.

    sure, its a nice effort for a debut, but this really isnt anything i havent read before. definitely an unpopular opinion, i know. but hey, what can you do? guess i could round up my rating, at least.

  • Angelica

    That said, I wasn’t too invested in the story or the characters and especially not in the romance.

    It wasn’t at all memorable. It’s now August and I promise you that by the time the year ends I won’t remember a single thing. I probably won’t even remember the main character’s names.

    This book starts interestingly enough. Fie’s group of Crows are sent to bu

    That said, I wasn’t too invested in the story or the characters and especially not in the romance.

    It wasn’t at all memorable. It’s now August and I promise you that by the time the year ends I won’t remember a single thing. I probably won’t even remember the main character’s names.

    This book starts interestingly enough. Fie’s group of Crows are sent to burn the plague-infected corpses of the crown prince and his bodyguard. Things take a turn when it turns out that the prince and his guard aren’t dead at all, and that they faked their deaths to keep the prince from dying at the hands of his evil stepmother as she plots to sit on the throne.

    With a premise like that you’d think that the story would be full of adventure and fun and fights and being on the run?

    Well, yes and no.

    The book does have adventure, I guess. It’s just so gosh darn repetitive! It isn’t fun or creative. Its actually all pretty gosh darn boring and I wanted to skip through some parts.

    I also wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style or the world-building. I had so many questions, but I also didn’t really care to know the answers.

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    Fie, the MC, was interesting enough but she kind of annoyed me after a while. I could only handle so much of her. Jasimir was the single most annoying character in this book. Every time he opened his mouth I wanted to reach my hand into the book and slap him. He was such a brat. He was spoiled and childish and just plain ugh! If you’re going to make a character like this, at least make him interesting. Sadly, Jasimir wasn’t.

    Then there was Tavin. He was likable enough. He might have been my favorite here…if only he weren’t so generic. I’ve read his exact character too many times before.

    And the romance between Tavin and Fie? Laughable. Cliched. Rushed. Entirely unbelievable. Mostly, it was utterly predictable.

    All the other characters, from Fie’s group of Crows, to the people hunting them, to the evil queen were all so generic and so forgettable. I can’t possibly tell you anything about any of their personalities.

    I also wasn’t a fan of the caste system. I’ve seen so many caste systems in YA fantasy lately that they honestly have started to bore me, and this one wasn’t even remotely interesting or new, other than the fact that the castes are named after birds. The power system was also confusing and at points made no sense.

    You’d think the kings and queens would be the ones who have the power to manipulate people’s minds? Or the ones who are immune to the plague that’s killing everyone? Or literally anyone else? But I guess fire is cool.

    Also, also, this just made no sense to me personally and it’s the fact that everyone wants to kill the Crows. The Crows are the only people keeping everyone alive. If there are no Crows, everyone in the country would die of the plague. It really makes no sense to me that everyone would want to hunt them down.

    But again, maybe I’m just hating now.

    All that said, I didn’t hate the book. It wasn’t the worst I’ve read this year. I just probably won’t remember a single thing about it come December. I also have absolutely no interest in the sequel.

  • Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

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    So, I guess the new YA trend isn't just to write books that are derivative, but also to title them in derivative ways, as well? If so, good plan, because THE MERCIFUL CROW is a book that feels like dozens of books I've read before. Caste-based fantasy with an assassination plot gone wrong, and a plot to overthrow an evil ruler with a band of crude-talking underdogs. Yep.

    I'm extra salty because my luck with books has been

    lately, and I've absolutely loved some of the YA

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    So, I guess the new YA trend isn't just to write books that are derivative, but also to title them in derivative ways, as well? If so, good plan, because THE MERCIFUL CROW is a book that feels like dozens of books I've read before. Caste-based fantasy with an assassination plot gone wrong, and a plot to overthrow an evil ruler with a band of crude-talking underdogs. Yep.

    I'm extra salty because my luck with books has been

    lately, and I've absolutely loved some of the YA offerings that 2019 has brought me, but THE MERCIFUL CROW just didn't cut it. The heroine, Fie, was

    annoying. I just couldn't stand her attitude or her smugness or her personality. She was the worst. I thought naming all the castes after birds was super lame, and didn't really understand what the point of the caste system was or what they even did (and no, the index didn't help).

    The writing was great, but nice writing doesn't do anything for me if the world-building is a disorganized mess and I hate the main character. I probably could have forced myself to finish this if I'd really tried, but I didn't want to try. Who names their cat Barf? Oh, and guess what, the Crows have a stupid dance called "Money Dance" when they want to be paid. They actually stomp around and everyone acts like it's sooooo scary. LOL, no. Goodbye, book.

    1 star

  • Chaima ✨ شيماء

    Crows have long suffered under the reputation of being *bad* but I’m so glad they’re finally getting the representation they deserve. Somewhere, in Ketterdam, Kaz Brekker is nodding approvingly

  • Anissa

    This book felt so different - the way it read, the characters, the world. It was so unique and whilst there was so much to the world building I loved how more and more was revealed as I went along. Fie is a firecracker, I love her.

  • Tucker

    hey, guess what? last night I dreamed that I was walking through my neighborhood and out of nowhere a murder of crows PICKED UP A CAT AND FLEW AWAY WITH ITTTTT!!!!!! EVEN MY SUBCONSCIOUS RECOGNIZES THE EVILNESS OF CROWs

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    They're still evil. I mean why do you think a group of them is called "A Murder" A MURDER!!!!!

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    CROWS AREN'T MERCIFUL!!! THEY ARE

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  • Nick

    ever since i read six of crows, everything with crows intrigues me

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