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Review: The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

Hey all, Dani here.

Surprise! It’s another bonus post day, and not just because of NetGalley’s #Reviewathon. No, today’s bonus post is because I didn’t want to reschedule my already written review and I wanted to get the review for this book out by it’s release day…which is today. So happy book birthday to Margaret Owen.

Okay, I can’t spend any more time on this intro. I want to talk about this book, so let’s dive into the review.

The Merciful Crow

Summary

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?

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I was drawn into this book so quickly. The narrative tone was just so interesting to me. It sort of has that feel of a country western setting, but there are no cowboys or outlaws or anything like that. I don’t know how to really describe it, but I liked that it had a bit of a traveling people setup. It really helps to introduce the reader to a lot of the world.

Speaking of the world, there is an intriguing setup with the class/caste system, and the gods, and the birthrights given to each group of people. The birthrights are pretty much the magic system, and there were people who could control fire, people who had a compelling magnetism due to their beauty, people who can sort of manipulate luck, people who can create a refuge or safe haven, etc. At the very bottom of the class system are the Crows, who have no birthright, but they are also the only ones who are immune to this Sinner’s plague that has somewhat swept across the land.

Oh, and I will also say that I believe that the romance in this one definitely qualifies as a slow burn, and I was so excited about it. I can also definitely say that there was no chance for a love triangle, which was also nice.

Fie was such a great protagonist. She was determined to do what she needs to in order to take care of her people, and to prove herself as a good chief-in-training. She is fierce and powerful and it was her journey that really compelled me to keep reading.

Tavin was my second favorite character. He was actually pretty complex, and I loved seeing his strength and his weaknesses. I especially loved that he was able to see situations from differing perspectives and that the journey really seemed to change his perspectives on issues like class privilege.

I wish I could say the same about Jasimir. Part of me wants to believe that he does want to be a good ruler and that he could change his perspective and all of that. But there were so many times when he would make offhand comments that honestly showed that he doesn’t understand the problems of the Crows at all.

That was probably one of the strongest parts of this book for me. There is such a great conversation to be had about privilege in this story, especially when discussing the topic of wealth/class disparity. There were a number of times when I had to set my phone down and try and process my thoughts after reading a passage that struck me as particularly profound.

I am definitely getting a copy of this book, because it was absolutely outstanding. I think the sequel/conclusion next year is going to be quite the wild ride.

Where to Get a Copy

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

You can also borrow a copy from your local library.

7 thoughts on “Review: The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen”

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