The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

*Spoiler free*

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?

Another crow book! They are popping up all over the place these days, but I can’t complain since they are such interesting creatures. I haven’t heard too much about this one, but the cover really drew me in. Plus, the synopsis sounded really fierce and blood thirsty, so I wanted to give it a try!

I honestly don’t know what I think about this book. I loved it. I truly did, but my feelings toward it are tangled up. I loved the overall plot and the book as a whole, but there were aspects that weren’t my favorite and I can’t seem to figure out if they hurt my overall enjoyment or not.

The writing style is very, very different than what I am used to. It reads like an adult book (which I will talk about more later) and the dialect that the characters use takes a lot of getting used too. But, once I settled into the writing style, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was unique and something different. It fit the world really well and once I got a handle on it, it was really cool to read.

The hierarchy in this book is so confusing. Honestly, I’ve finished the book and I still don’t fully understand it. There are different castes of people, all named after birds. I thought that was really clever and I really liked that part. They all have different magical talents. Which caste has which talent, I couldn’t tell you. I couldn’t even tell you which one caste was higher than another, besides a few. The book sort of throws you into this world and expects you’ll keep up with everything that’s going on. I got a general handle on everything around the middle of the book, but it’s definitely confusing. It’s so complicated, that I just couldn’t figure out some details. I didn’t know if certain scenes made sense because I didn’t have a handle on the magic system.

I wish this would have been an adult book. I really wish it could have been a NA book, but that’s wishful thinking since that is in the very beginning stages of blooming. It’s dark and very mature. It does have some YA vibes toward it, but I do wish the characters could have been aged up to make it adult or it was just marketed as adult.

Despite my problems with it, I loved it a whole lot. Once I got used to the world and met characters, it got really awesome. I thought Fie, Jas, and Tavin would have POVs because of the synopsis, but it’s just Fie telling the story. I’m not sure if I would have liked for Jas and Tavin to have POVs, but Fie was awesome and I didn’t mind not having other narrators! Fie is tough. She wants to do right by herself and by her people. She also wants other things, but she knows those probably aren’t in the cards for her. She clawed her way through her journey and made herself someone to admire. She’s going to make, and is, a great leader.

This world is brutal. It’s bloody and plague ridden and a disaster. I liked seeing it all come together and I loved how Fie and everybody traveled through a whole lot of it throughout the book. You’re able to get a good look at a lot of aspects and put together a good picture of what this world is really like.

The romance was also really good. It was definitely a slow burn and a enemies-to-lovers! It should be interesting to see how it plays out in the next book!

This book had so much in it, and it seems like the second book is going to have so much more. It sounds like it’s going to flesh everything out even more and turn everything upside down. I can’t wait to see these characters again with their humor, their flaws, and their strengths. I can’t wait to see them grow even more and how this world changes.

The Merciful Crow comes out July 30, 2019! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!

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