Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Boneless Mercies” as Want to Read:
The Boneless Mercies
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Boneless Mercies

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  4,921 ratings  ·  1,237 reviews
They called us the Mercies, or sometimes the Boneless Mercies. They said we were shadows, ghosts, and if you touched our skin we dissolved into smoke ...

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are Boneless Mercies – death-traders, hired to kill quickly, quietly and mercifully. It is a job for women, and women only. Men will not do this sad, dark work.

Frey has no family, no home
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Children's UK
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Boneless Mercies, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Nina Levine There is some romance in the story but it is not the main event by any means. As to the comparison with Six of Crows, I didn't find it particularly si…moreThere is some romance in the story but it is not the main event by any means. As to the comparison with Six of Crows, I didn't find it particularly similar. Both are adventure/survival stories, each with an ensemble cast but beyond that... not so much.(less)
Chardelyn there is no sequel to this book but there is, I guess like a spin off to this book that came out this year. Idk if you have heard of it by now, but it…morethere is no sequel to this book but there is, I guess like a spin off to this book that came out this year. Idk if you have heard of it by now, but its called the Seven Endless forest and its kinda like the story of king Arthur. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,921 ratings  ·  1,237 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Boneless Mercies
chai ♡
a dark standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory”? EXCUSE ME IT IS MY GOD GIVEN BISEXUAL RIGHT TO HAVE THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS SECOND
Ahem. I have an announcement to make.

This book and I are enemies.

Boneless Mercies went out of its way to ruin my life and hurt my feelings and I will not forgive it. I refuse.

I was personally attacked by the synopsis of this book, a retelling of Beowulf in which a group of reformed girl-assassins go off on a jaunt through a high fantasy world to kill a beastie and earn their glory. The more details I consider, the more I feel I should’ve liked it: the mermaid creatures, the magic, the fighting,
C.G. Drews
This is so entirely atmospheric! It's the kind of book that you soak in, really, because it's here to absolutely enthral you with this gorgeously wrought world and deliciously described food...all centred around 4 badass girls who do "mercy" killings for the sick and dying. And, oh, for vengeance sometimes too because men suck. And OH yeah also some witches and some monsters. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Basically they are badass assassins who are also actually kind of sweet.

(Also I've only read Wink Poppy Midnigh
Hannah Greendale
Four fierce young women work a dark trade. They are death for hire, mercy kills on call. Highly recommend this book to fans of Norse myth, The Hobbit, or winding sagas steeped in lore.
Four Boneless Mercies stood at a crossroads near a hangman's tree.

It was like something from a Vorse saga.

In their hands they held four weapons, freshly ripped from the grave.

I smiled.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
It was okay enough!

Mel 🖤🐺🐾
Once upon a time, in the final days before Salt and Marsh Witch War, four Boneless Mercies turned their backs on the death trade, and went west, seeking immortality.


This freaking book broke my heart in so many ways I don't even know where to start talking about it.

Badass assassin girls are my weakness and The Boneless Mercies doesn't only have the bestest cast of characters I've ever read about, it's also gifted with an impressively tormented, impactful and visual writing.
When I first
4.5 stars

The Boneless Mercies is a genderbent Beowulf retelling and the third book I've read by April Genevieve Tucholke. I liked Wink Poppy Midnight for its weirdness and had mixed feelings on Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and this one might be my favorite one of the three.

The Boneless Mercies is, at its heart, a story about friendships. Mostly about friendships between women, but there are some relevant m/f ones too - the only thing that this book lacks is a romance, and I really di
Kayla Dawn
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh Idk. This was boring, felt rushed and pointless.
I had absolutely no connection to any of the characters nor to the story. The writing style was fine most of the time, fighting scenes were pretty shallow though. Overall rather disappointing.
Cindy ✩☽♔
Four female mercenaries kicking butt and slaying monsters? I am in!
 photo anigif_enhanced-18656-1410394672-2_zpsgighf62u.gif
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE BONELESS MERCIES is a wonder, infused with the spare and melancholy magic of a heraldic ballad. It's the story of an all-women pack of paid mercy killers winding through a Norse-influenced fantasy world on their way to slaying the marauding Blue Vee Beast, thus earning fame, glory, and enough money to leave their old lives behind.

But more than that it's about the world Tucholke creates, which sings with glimpses of mythology and history and plant lore and dead kings and lost goddesses and lo
☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness
3 Stars with some extra lil gold stars

Hmmm honestly I thought this could have been better. Some parts I loved but somehow it wasn't enough at all. I wanted 4 POVs. I wanted more charactarization. I wanted more action. I wanted to get spooked.
I wanted more info. Just more of everything!

Things I really loved
- 4 girl killers
- strong friendships and sisterhood 🖤
- no amnoying drama
- almost no romance
- no ridiculous girl-boy drama, there was actual friendship between boys and girls and such easy com
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 3 to 2.5 stars
Plot 3 stars
What I loved:
the atmosphere and the world the author built.

The bond between the girls and Trigve.

The Sea Witches home

The mythology she creates, blending with some known ones.


I was interested enough to keep reading but at times I could feel my eyes glazing over and there were times I would look at the book and think Do I really want to pick this up .

I did get bored and push myself through some of this... skim read some of it *shru
Susan Kennedy
I would give this one 4 solid stars. It was well written and I enjoyed the story. I also enjoyed the character development.

I wasn't sure going in what this one would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the characters. It was different and a bit dark, which I found pleasurable. This was a story full of adventure and with girls as the main characters. They were brave and strong and together they were a family even though they were as different as night and day.

I enjoyed gett
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
It makes me kind of sad that I didn’t love this book — it features strong, independent women, and the cover is gorgeous. (What. That’s important)

But despite how I may have liked the characters, the story is just... blah. The pacing is off, with scenes just blending into one another without any sort of definition; there is a fair amount of fast-forwarding in key scenes, and a little too much telling without showing.

The world-building isn’t bad, but with the narration being so incredibly humdrum,
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So Soooo good!! Full review soon!
A.G. Howard
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will read ANYTHING by April. Her world building and characterization are always spot on. And her prose is always lovely, thought-provoking, and sensorial without being purple.
"They called us the Mercies, or sometimes the Boneless Mercies. They said we were shadows, ghosts, and if you touched our skin, we dissolved into smoke."

TW: gore, death

Unpopular Opinion Time I guess 🐸☕️

This, to put it simply, did not work for me.

There was no suspense whatsoever and everything got boring pretty quickly.
The Boneless Mercies dragged and nothing exciting happened, tbh. The plot was just bland, which is really bizarre. This book is filled with death and gore and blood and murder, a
I wish I could say I wrote this book! Something about this novel felt like home; it felt familar like an over-sized sweater in front of my fireplace in the middle of winter.

The Boneless Mercies follows a troupe of four young women and one young man who travel a Nordic-based region and take payment to perform "mercy killings." They interact with Sea Witches, Marsh Witches, and an ancient monster attacking a jarl's lands.

I loved the Nordic back-drop. It will forever be my jam. I loved that it wa
Vicky Again
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

I really enjoyed this, and it's not just because of the two gorgeous covers this book has.

This is definitely one of the better fantasies I've read, and it incorporates a lot of different aspects that makes this book really really cool. Like, if I wanted street cred, I'd say I read this book.

The premise is just so awesome. A genderbent Beowulf? Like hello there please come and let me read you. It's about a group of female assassins who do the work that men aren't willing to do (truth) and
Dec 10, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Why are people rating a book that's not out for another year?? Add it to your To Read list if you wanna read it, don't go skewing the ratings. ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, lgbtq, ampersand, ya
The thing that really struck me about this book was how effortlessly the author portrayed non-sexual relationships and closeness. Characters were bonded and demonstrated their affection with physicality but it never read as sexual and I really enjoyed that! When characters did pair off romantically, it was clearly a different kind of affection, but it didn't diminish the power of their friendships.

They called this book a gender-switched Beowulf, but I think that sells the story a little short. S
Aaminah Ackermann
This book is based on such explicit Viking mythology, I'm surprised that it's labelled as fantasy and not historical fiction. And, I don't know, I found the twisting of Viking names a bit silly. Valkree instead of Valkyrie (omg, that Oneus song 😍); Obin instead of Odin, etc., etc.. And the Blue Vee Beast, which was an interesting concept, but a lot like the saga of Beowulf — except all-female! Speaking of which, the characters were interesting but pretty mundane. They stood out for a moment and ...more
I've been reading much less YA over the last year than I used to. Thankfully though, there's some amazing YA novels coming out, and when I do read it I've been lucky enough to find absolute gems. That held true with The Boneless Mercies, a retelling of Beowulf set in a Vorse (Viking + Norse) setting of snow and blood and the absolute bond of those who had to find their family.

Frey and her band of Mercies are a travelling group, dispensing mercy killings to those able to pay for the release. It'
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book about strong women and their friendships and ambitions and yes yes yes that’s what we need


I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

This review (when it comes lol) will also available on my blog
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
This was a great book! The author did a spectacular job of reeling you into their world. I was disappointed when it ended because I wasn't ready to leave the Boneless Mercies just yet. I really hope a second book is forthcoming. I'd love to see what role they'll play in the upcoming witch wars.

*I won this ARC from Goodreads FirstReads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

*Read this for 2018 AMMP Trim A Tree
*Read this for 2018 AMMP Gifts for the Wild
DNF @ 58%

I just didn't care about anything :(
Jun 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was sadly so bland that it made Beowulf look like a fun read.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
My feelings towards this book are a bit conflicting so I’m going to go with 3.5 stars. The start hooked me because the story is so unique and I haven’t read anything like it before. And then I started to get bored because it is slow paced and I was getting impatient. I also wanted it to be a bit more darker but oh well🌚 I am glad that shit eventually went down in the second half and I was hooked again and it even managed to rip my heart out in a couple of places so here we are! The female empowe ...more
While I was gnashing my teeth in irritation at Sawkill Girls, this was a balm to my blackened little quarter-soul.

Here is an epic Nordic fantasy, loosely Beowulfian, about a group of young women and one young man traveling together as Mercies or euthanasianists, if you will. They roam from town to town offering a quick, merciful death to the ailing and infirm or to those who just cannot abide life any longer. They're a sort of necessary evil; scary because their job is death but also important b
The Nerd Daily
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Holly Angus

"I am a woman, wanderer, warrior. This is not the end of my story."

The Boneless Mercies trade in the art of death. Killing the old, sick, and wounded, their mercy kills are hired from all over Vorseland. Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Mercy Killers. They each have their own troublesome tale of how they joined a trade that included killing the innocent and suffering. However, our protagonist Frey wishes for more, a bigger, more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Peril (Peril, #1)
  • Hasta los huesos
  • Cambria
  • Déjalo fluir
  • El crescendo del dragón
  • Kaziměsti
  • The Tiger at Midnight (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #1)
  • Pride
  • Other Words for Smoke
  • Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)
  • Stepsister
  • Versos Rotos
  • Viper (Isles of Storm and Sorrow #1)
  • Reescribir mi destino
  • The Waking Forest
  • Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch, #2)
  • Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)
  • LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Between the Spark and the Burn, Wink Poppy Midnight, The Boneless Mercies, and Seven Endless Forests. She also curated the horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, and have received ten starred reviews. They have been selected for the Junior Library Guild, Ki ...more

Related Articles

Audiobooks are an incredible way to experience stories—a great narrator can use their voice bring the narrative to life in a way that the...
40 likes · 14 comments
“I wanted to change my fate, to force it down another road. I wanted to stand in the river of time and make it flow a different direction, if just for a little while.” 10 likes
“They called us the Mercies, or sometimes the Boneless Mercies. They said we were shadows, ghosts, and if you touched our skin, we dissolved into smoke.” 3 likes
More quotes…