(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: Wink Poppy Midnight
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on July 10th 2018
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, General, Young Adult Fiction
A dark and gorgeously drawn standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory. Won in a major six-house auction!
Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.
As soon as I opened up The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke, I loved it. This story is about family and friendship and follows a group of girls (and one boy) who have made their way in a world that isn’t always a great place.
This Boneless Mercies consists of Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa and their work consists of dealing death. They are hired to kill quickly and quietly but they are all tired of surviving by killing others. When Frey hears about a monster destroying a town, she convinces everyone that this is their chance to make a name for themselves and get out of the death trade. Of course, they face a number of challenges along the way to their destination and things don’t always work out as planned, but I thought each and every one of the risks they encountered helped me to see how strong they were together.
The characters are really what made this story a good one for me. Frey is the unofficial leader of this group, but she doesn’t make the decisions. Each one of the girls are very different but they are still a cohesive group. That’s not to say that they got along all the time, but they worked together and respected each other’s thoughts and opinions. Learning each one of these character’s stories and about what led them to the group of mercies was important. It helped me understand who they were as a person and I loved how Tucholke did this for each character at different parts of the story.
The world that Tucholke developed to push these characters through their journey is harsh and dark but they still somehow seem to survive and their love for each other never wavers despite the things they all go through. The mercies live on the periphery of the rest of the world and don’t really belong. Everywhere they go, they are viewed as outsiders and they really only have each other. This is also a world where bravery and epic journeys become a part of the world’s histories and Frey wants to be remembered for something.
I don’t want to say too much about the actual story here other than the fact that it has a strong cast of characters who all play a part in getting the mercies to through their journey. There is danger around every bend for this group and by working together and trusting in each other, they make it to where they want to be. This is my first book by Tucholke but will definitely not be my last. I couldn’t put this book down but also didn’t want the book to end because now I want to know what happens next for everyone. Consider adding this book to your “to read” shelf if you haven’t done so already and pick it up when you can.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.