The Merciful Crow
The Merciful Crow
$16.14

Series: Merciful Crow   

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Annotation: Fie, a sixteen-year-old chieftain from a lowly cast of mercy-killers, must rely on her wits and bone magic to smuggle the crown prince of Sabor to safety.
Catalog Number: #193466
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 373 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-250-19192-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-19192-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018038716
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When Fie and her father (the Crow Chief) answer a plague beacon at the Dumosan palace, Fie hopes it will be routine, but nothing about that day is normal. By the end, the crown prince and his body double have been smuggled out of the palace and a deal struck tying the Crows and the two royals together until they get the prince to his allies. Unfortunately, being presumed dead in a traitorous country means allies are rare, and the Crows have their own battles along the way. A familiar plot from this first-time author girl from the wrong family falls for a boy from the most powerful family elevated by a fresh dialect-tinged voice and creative world-building that calls to mind issues of today. The talent-based caste system, based on, for example, being able to see lies (Crane Caste), be lucky (Pigeon), or control fire (Phoenix), contrasts with the caste-less Crows who are pursued by hooded Crown-endorsed enemies despite their essential role in society. Though the end here is predictable, the journey is more than worthwhile.
Kirkus Reviews
A low-caste girl takes on a high-risk quest in this series opener.Only the Crows can dispatch and dispose of Sinner's Plague victims, but they are shunned, abused, and murdered by Sabor's other castes. A witch with "bone" (tooth) magic, 16-year-old Fie will one day succeed her Pa as chief of a band of itinerant Crows. But that day comes too soon when a rare retrieval from the royal palace delivers two corpses…who ain't dead yet. Often furious Fie instantly dislikes Phoenix Prince Jasimir and his Hawk bodyguard, Tavin, but soon finds herself head of the trio as they outrun and outwit ambitious Queen Rhusana and her night-riding Oleander Gentry—white-clad and masked (recalling the KKK)—relentless skinwitch trackers, and monstrous ghasts. Facing death and deprivation, Fie's companions also encounter Sabor's insidious violence toward Crows. Debut author Owen offers well-balanced worldbuilding and a propulsive plot and excels at tender, intimate moments and complicated, realistic romantic and familial relationships. Lacking an overt historical or geographic parallel, the tale instead features a cast spectacularly diverse in class, gender, sexual orientation, and race—Fie's skin is "terra-cotta," Jas' and Tavin's are "dark gold," while a villainous northerner is described as "pork-pink."Rich, harrowing, and unafraid to tackle discrimination—perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi. (caste legend) (Fantasy. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
In this visceral fantasy, a young woman from the land-s lowest caste must protect Phoenix Prince Jasimir and his Hawk bodyguard Tavin from the murderous machinations of a queen in order to secure survival for her people. Fie is chief-in-training of a band of Crows, who are as reviled as they are necessary; they alone can safely dispose of plague victims and grant mercy killings to them when appropriate. But when a pair of corpses turns out to be nobility on the run, Fie and her crew are drawn into a desperate scheme that pits them against a host of enemies. Pursued throughout hostile territory and gradually stripped of allies and resources, Fie must learn to trust her newfound companions while mastering her Crow-given ability to channel magic through the bones and teeth of the deceased. Owen-s debut is a passionate blend of adventure and intrigue wrapped around strong worldbuilding and a unique magic system. Fie is prickly, adaptive, and fierce, the perfect foil for both privileged prince and increasingly sympathetic guard Tavin, for whom she develops feelings. Memorable and filled with diverse characters with fluid sexualities and identities, this tale is both a satisfying standalone and the first half of a planned duology. Ages 14-up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (July)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A low-caste girl takes on a high-risk quest in this series opener.Only the Crows can dispatch and dispose of Sinner's Plague victims, but they are shunned, abused, and murdered by Sabor's other castes. A witch with "bone" (tooth) magic, 16-year-old Fie will one day succeed her Pa as chief of a band of itinerant Crows. But that day comes too soon when a rare retrieval from the royal palace delivers two corpses…who ain't dead yet. Often furious Fie instantly dislikes Phoenix Prince Jasimir and his Hawk bodyguard, Tavin, but soon finds herself head of the trio as they outrun and outwit ambitious Queen Rhusana and her night-riding Oleander Gentry—white-clad and masked (recalling the KKK)—relentless skinwitch trackers, and monstrous ghasts. Facing death and deprivation, Fie's companions also encounter Sabor's insidious violence toward Crows. Debut author Owen offers well-balanced worldbuilding and a propulsive plot and excels at tender, intimate moments and complicated, realistic romantic and familial relationships. Lacking an overt historical or geographic parallel, the tale instead features a cast spectacularly diverse in class, gender, sexual orientation, and race—Fie's skin is "terra-cotta," Jas' and Tavin's are "dark gold," while a villainous northerner is described as "pork-pink."Rich, harrowing, and unafraid to tackle discrimination—perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi. (caste legend) (Fantasy. 12-18)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: HL750L

Debut author Margaret Owen crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, survival, and sacrifice--perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake--in The Merciful Crow . "Packed to the teeth with fresh worldbuilding and righteous fury...It's a ride that is wildly fun."--Emily A. Duncan, New York Times -bestselling author of Wicked Saints "Rich, harrowing, and unafraid to tackle discrimination--perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi."-- Kirkus , Starred Review One way or another, we always feed the crows. 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?


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