*A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year*
*A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year*
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.
Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller. Perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, V.E. Schwab, and Heidi Heilig.
In this evocative fantasy loosely inspired by Beowulf, four young women who have devoted their lives to ritual mercy killing as "Mercies" or "Boneless Mercies" decide to give up that sad, dark work in favor of more satisfying pursuits: honor, glory, and a chance at appearing in legend. In order to earn enough money to do as they will, 17-year-old Frey and her companions swear a blood oath to slay the fabled Blue Vee Beast, which cyclically terrorizes a local jarldom. As the Mercies journey across Vorseland, threats and temptations test them repeatedly, and they must choose between quiet safety and death-defying heroism. Frey's fittingly lyrical voice narrates her band's exploits ("The marsh was death, and this was life. Apple liquor on the tongue, drying herbs scenting the air"). Tucholke (Wink Poppy Midnight) injects close intimacy into her lush saga, interweaving love and murder, mercy and glory into her portrayal of life and death. It is a beautiful, haunting modern-day epic that stars a bold and resourceful sisterhood of heroines unafraid to claim agency. Ages 12 up.