My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt (BYR)
Published: July 30th, 2019
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? – synopsis from Goodreads
“It wasn’t that she wanted to burn the world down, no. She just wanted the world to know that she could.”
You have no idea how excited I was for this book., from the moment I’ve heard the author pitch it on a Twitter I knew I needed it. It sounded right up my alley all gritty and gory with a kickass female lead. Plus, wait for it… it has a bag of human teeth! How does that not make you want to read it? Need more convincing? There’s a cat named Barf, come on! Needless to say, I was so happy to be chosen for this blog tour.
Fie is a Crow. The lowest caste in Sabor. But Crows are Merciful. When beacons are lit because of the plague, the Crows will come to give mercy to the sinners. This is the way it has always been. When the beacons at the palace are lit, the crows come to take the plague ridden bodies of the prince and his bodyguard. But what if those sinners weren’t dead? What if they came to the crows to ask for help?
Our main character, Fie, is one of my favourite character this year. She is just so forking amazing. She’s this petite thing of a girl that just wants to burn the world down. My kind of gal! I love how you get a sense that she is not conventionally pretty and that she’s not this quirky character either which every YA female lead is nowadays. But she’s cross with the world for how her people are treated.
This is one of the coolest magic systems I have ever come across. Though all the other 11 castes have birthrights magic, crows don’t. But they can take the other castes magic through their teeth. By touching teeth, they see images from the person’s life and can draw up their magic. The fact that it revolves around teeth is just so badass to me and in a way, it makes so much sense.
If I had one little thing to say, and I’m nitpicking really. I would have liked a little more information regarding the Crows’ situation. Why are they such outcasts? I needed a little more history on it and the rest of the castes. Maybe we will see more of this in the upcoming sequel. But, that being said, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book or understanding the context.
The story moved at a normal pace and kept me engaged throughout the book. I never felt like it was lagging in any way. One of my favourite parts in all the book (no it wasn’t just the cat) was the style in which Margaret wrote it. I loved the prose of it all. I’m a sucker for anyone that uses the word reckon. She also preferred words like betwixt instead of between. It just made it more authentic to me and gave the story character.
I adored this book so much. It had everything I love in a great book: brilliant characters, amazing plot, original magic system plus a cat. If you are not following Margaret on Twitter you definitely should. She is hilarious and super engaged with her followers. Go grab The Merciful Crow today.