ARC Review: The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

themercifulcrowThe Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

Published by Henry Holt (BYR) on July 30, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 384 Format: ARC Source: Library

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

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?


I first heard about The Merciful Crow from the author herself and I’m so thrilled that this book was everything I wanted and more. With plague and princes, power and pain, Margaret Owen crafts a thrilling tale following three unlikely companions. There’s betrayal and battles, deals and danger. Everything a reader could possibly want in a fantasy. Plus who knew teeth could be so essential to a story.

Fie, future chieftan and firecracker, was a riveting MC. She was super stubborn but also cared deeply about the people in her life. Tavin was certainly charming and good at getting things accomplished while looking out for others. Jasimir, the prince, was a bit of an entitled jerk but he grows to understand more of the world around him and eventually opens up. These three at times make for an awkward/angry team but I absolutely loved their dynamic. 

This world stands out among many fantasy books which can be attributed to excellent writing and a creative magic system. There are twelve castes; each with the name of a bird from the highest level of Phoenix to the lowly Crows. These castes have their own birthright/power associated with it and the magic is truly fascinating. These differences lead to disparity and that’s where the politics and prejudice come into play.

Overall The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen was an outstanding debut that sucked me in and kept me enthralled with an epic plot, dynamic characters, and an intriguing world. Fie, Tavin, and Jasimir made quite the team and their journey was an intense rollercoaster. If you’re into unique fantasy and exceptional storytelling, this book is definitely for you!

Are you excited for The Merciful Crow? Intrigued by the magic of bones/teeth?

Let me know in the comments below!

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