Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke



My Rating ~ Four stars

4-gold-stars copy

RELEASED: 2 October 2018

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Format: Hardback

Pages: 384


A dark standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory.

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.

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.



The Boneless Mercies is a retelling of the old Norse tale, Beowulf, but with a female cast leading the story.  The Mercies job is to perform ‘mercy killings’, ending the lives of those who are sick or tired of their long life.  They are starting to grow tired of the killing though and decide to set out on a different path.

The fierce females were wonderful – all fierce in their own way, from the warrior like Runa to the sweet Sea Witch Juniper.  I absolutely loved the friendships between the group of Boneless Mercies and, although they travelled with one boy in their group, there was no romance or love triangles or anything, just fabulous friendships.

I think the one thing I found a little hard to reconcile in my mind was the fact that every ‘leader’ the group came across – from the queen of the marshes to the ruler of the land they were headed towards were all really young.  I just can’t picture a 12 year old as any type of ruler.

I thought for a long time while reading this book that I was going to find it difficult to rate.  I was enjoying the story, but something was just a bit off for me, but by the end I felt like it all came together and I loved it by the end.  The last line seemed to hint this might not be a standalone and I really hope that is the case!



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Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl



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