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The Merciful Crow

(The Merciful Crow #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  10,370 ratings  ·  2,267 reviews
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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Henry Holt (BYR)
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Margaret Owen I'd prefer not to get into spoiler territory, so all I'll say on that front is that 1) Jasimir is gay, so he has no romantic interest in Fie and vice …moreI'd prefer not to get into spoiler territory, so all I'll say on that front is that 1) Jasimir is gay, so he has no romantic interest in Fie and vice versa, 2) I can confirm there is no love triangle, and 3) the romantic subplot has been described as a slow burn, so take from that what you will!(less)
Eve I agree with the previous commenter! Though I think many are comparing them just because they both have the word "crow" in the title, they do have ver…moreI agree with the previous commenter! Though I think many are comparing them just because they both have the word "crow" in the title, they do have very similar vibes. Both are dark, gritty fantasies that hold no punches. If you enjoyed Six of Crows, I think there's a good chance you'll like this one as well. (less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  10,370 ratings  ·  2,267 reviews

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Feb 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
ever since i read six of crows, everything with crows intrigues me
Margaret Owen
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-did-that
Wait, I seriously get to rate and review my own book? Rad. So my completely unbiased review is that it made me laugh, cry, and single-handedly put Ben & Jerry's grandchildren through med school. And that was just from writing the dang thing.

Anyway, I hope y'all like it! I made it myself!
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
you know that moment when youre reading and you lose focus, but your eyes still keep ‘reading,’ so you end up having to backtrack and reread everything you just missed when you zoned out? yeah, that happened to me soooo many times whilst reading this that i lost count. at the halfway point, i started skimming because i just did not have the attention span to fully commit to this.

i mean, i really wanted to love this, but other than a slightly unique magic system, theres not much going for this b
I came for the crows. I stayed because I had already given up a couple of hours of my life and I might as well finish.

That said, I wasn’t too invested in the story or the characters and especially not in the romance.

It wasn’t at all memorable. It’s now August and I promise you that by the time the year ends I won’t remember a single thing. I probably won’t even remember the main character’s names.

This book starts interestingly enough. Fie’s group of Crows is sent to burn the plague-infected cor
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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DNF @ 66%

So, I guess the new YA trend isn't just to write books that are derivative, but also to title them in derivative ways, as well? If so, good plan, because THE MERCIFUL CROW is a book that feels like dozens of books I've read before. Caste-based fantasy with an assassination plot gone wrong, and a plot to overthrow an evil ruler with a band of crude-talking underdogs. Yep.

I'm extra salty because my luck with books has been amazi
Lucy Langford
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it

While this book was a bit slow in places, the details of the caste system and the tooth magic interested me enough to keep reading.

Fie was a great character. She is a member of the Crow Caste- the lowest caste there is- tasked with travelling the roads to mercifully kill those who are infected with the plague. Interestingly, this plague never effects the Crows and rarely effects the highest class- the Phoenix’s.

One day, her and her group- with her Pa as chief- are summoned to the palace and
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this is an amazing story full of action and an unique magic system with dark atmosphere , an amazing female lead who is complex , rude and stands up for what she believe for , she is trown in this adventure with an spoiled prince who I hated in the beginning and loved in the end , tavin who is snarky , brave and fun , this is an amazing world and the magic is so intresting , just pick this up if you love quests, high stakes, adventure with a lot of danger and loves crow's , gave this book of cou ...more
h o l l i s
I’m super glad I’ve just bemoaned all the disappointing YA fantasy so far this year because the universe sat up, said, ‘oh yeah?’, and tugged the rug right out from under me.

Bookies, I present to you : THE MERCIFUL CROW. I knew nothing about this before beginning (#TeamNoBlurbs) and was delighted at every turn the story took.

This world is made up of Castes centered around various birds : Crows at the bottom, Pheonixes at the top. We see the world through the Crows’ eyes; they are mercy killers
lily ☁️
DNF. I give up. I’m not one to light-heartedly leave a book unfinished, but about sixty pages into this, all I am is a) annoyed by the writing, and b) wondering why in the world I should care about a single thing that is happening.

(Ironic, how only a few hours ago I was tweeting about not having it in me to dnf books.)

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Tricia Levenseller
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-fantasy
This is—hands down—the best book I’ve read this year! Fie is an amazing protagonist—the kind you don’t want to mess with. The love interest is extra swoony. The magic is deliciously unique, making me wish I’d come up with it myself.
Re-read 26.09.20

Honestly enjoyed it just as much the second time around ALSOOO very glad I re-read because I forgot something that is MAJOUR and is of kicked myself! Can’t wait to pick up the Faithless Hawk now :)


I’ve been going backwards and forwards with what rating to give this and I’ve decided it’s a 5 Stars for me!

Just to put this out there it took me a while to get into it because the magic system was very unique and there were lots of different Castes with different abilities but I ho
Dec 27, 2018 added it
This book felt so different - the way it read, the characters, the world. It was so unique and whilst there was so much to the world building I loved how more and more was revealed as I went along. Fie is a firecracker, I love her.
Amy Imogene Reads
So this is apparently an odd opinion...but this really, really worked for me. (I think mostly because of the teeth.)

Concept: ★★★★
Twist on YA tropes: ★★★★★
Surprise factor: ★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★★

A mini rant: It's times like these where I really, really wish Six of Crows wasn't such a YA titan that is universally—and sometimes violently—loved. I don't mean ANY disrespect for fans of the duology as I am a fan myself, but I think that The Merciful Crow was prematurely dismissed by some in the YA commun
Emily Duncan
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
myo (myonna reads)
pretty mediocre, nothing that really sets it apart from any other fantasy, not there needs to be anything that does but i’ve just read this many times before. romance was meh
Vicky Again
Apr 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
I was told by the author that I would probably enjoy this book after I showed her a jar of human teeth*.

Interpret that as you will. I, however, am excited 😈

*they're my baby teeth okay!!! i'm not a creeper!!!
Umairah | Sereadipity
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Merciful Crow was an intriguing read about a world plagued by prejudice and hierarchy and the people fighting for justice.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 5/5

Review originally published on Sereadipity

The world building was excellent because it was very original and I was gradually fed more information as I read as opposed to a boring info dump at the start of the book. I also loved the magic system and the way it functioned in the novel.

The people were split into twelve castes and each one
Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader)
4.5 S T A R S

2020 UPDATE: I loved this just as much, if not more, the second time around.

It wasn't that she wanted to burn the world down, no. She just wanted the world to know that she could.

Well, well, well, well...

That's the only way I can think of starting this review because my brain cannot get over how good this was. I went into this pretty high expectations and somehow I am still shookth about how good it was?

Where to start, where to start.

First and foremost the world. OMG the worl
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Merciful Crow Bookstagram Photo
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

For some reason I didn't really expect this book to be that good, but I wound up absolutely loving this dark fantasy tale. I picked this up on a whim because I thought the cover was pretty and I am so glad that I did. The Merciful Crow was filled with fascinating characters that I loved so much, really great world building and an interesting plot. This book caught my attention from the very first sentence and pulled me int
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Full Review

I was drawn to this book by it's cover but I'm glad it was an enjoyable book too!

What i liked

- The plot/magic system: I found some aspects of the storyline to be unique. For instance, the MC belongs to a group of people called 'Crows'. When someone dies of a plague, they are the only ones that can get rid of the body, but the people in the town that the person dies in has to pay the Crows to prevent the plague from spreading and killing everyone. Also, the MC doesn't have powers o
Laura ☾
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars - rounded up

The ‘Merciful crows’ are the only ones untouched by a plague sweeping their land of Sabor . Fie, is a crow, trained by her father to deal with those who are infected and are to die and be disposed of. They are summoned to the palace for first time in 500 years to dispose of some infected lordlings ( one of which turns out to be crown prince), and end up aiding his escape from the queen (who is his stepmother and now has her own heir).

Owen has created a unique magic syste
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

Ladies and gentleman- I present to you- one of (if not my most) anticipated reads of 2019! All it took was a quick read through of the synopsis for me to know that I needed to get my hands on this book as soon as possible! A future cheiftain, a fugitive prince, and a too-cunning bodyguard? Yes please! SOLD! Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake? Abso-freaking-lutely! This book DID NOT disappoint!

I pic
Rebecca Roanhorse
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounding up. This is a YA dark fantasy, and dark it is, from the first line (a great line, btw). A world of castes and brutality (including a certain white-robed vigilante group that reigns down terror on our protagonist, the first time I've seen the KKK allegorized in fantasy is such an effective way) that is thoughtfully written and frankly, wonderfully vivid, particularly in the minutiae. I loved the details that went into the worldbuilding, including names, language, cultural prac ...more
Gaby (lookingatbooks)
DNF @ 59%

boy was this insufferable to read 🙈

Full review to come...
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

There have been a couple of books with crow in the title this year and I was excited for both of them different though they may be. The first didn't turn out the way I thought it would but I am so pleased to be able to say that I was blown away by The Merciful Crow!

And The Merciful Crow has such a gorgeous cover that I will admit that at first I wanted to read it just because of its beauty. Feasting my eyes on such great design is happi
Madison Mary
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
** ARC provided by "Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers", all quotes are subject to change in the final copy **

"They'll come up with a fancy name for you... Tell stories for centuries. Fie Oath-cutter. Fie the Cunning. Fie, the Crow Who Feared No Crown."

Absolutely phenomenal.
I couldn't have asked for a better book myself. As soon as I started this story, I couldn't put it down. I was drawn in before I even read the first page because there is a description of all the castes and th
⭐️4 stars⭐️

"Are you done?" the arbiter demanded.

"Aye cousin, this'll do." Pa whistled the marching order. "We'll be back when you call."

When, not if.

I actually really enjoyed this. Maybe I was in the right mood for it because most of my friends either dnf or didn't really like it and I went in with low expectations. I also get how the writing might be annoying for some but, thankfully, I wasn't bothered by it at all.

One star is gone because of some issues with the characters at times but ove
The Nerd Daily
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

This immersive story is definitely one you’ll want to add to your TBR pile! Cunningly invasive, it’s a story that doesn’t get out of your head even after you’ve turned the last page. There’s death, family bonds, and lots of soul shattering rage to be found throughout this story, along with a smattering of romance that rounds out this amazing story. I honestly cannot say enough about it!

Fie lives in a world that is broken down into
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Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.

She now spends her days wrestling di

Other books in the series

The Merciful Crow (2 books)
  • The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Move over tribute volunteers and chosen ones. There's a new wave of heroes in town. This year, the young adult category is...
56 likes · 15 comments
“To everyone whose mercy is demanded, and who dreams instead of teeth.” 5 likes
“Fie remembered the first time she’d held Phoenix fire. She hadn’t wanted to burn the world down; she’d wanted the world to know she could.” 3 likes
More quotes…