book review · books · Review · YA · Young adult fiction

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

A dark and gorgeously drawn 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.

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. 


I got this book in the October Wildest Dreams Book Box, it’s not the kind of book I would pick up for myself, fantasy is my least favourite genre. But I decided to give it a go, and was pleasantly surprised by this one.

The Boneless Mercies are a group of young woman and in this groups case a young man, they perform ‘mercy kills’ for people who pay them, ending the life of the elderly, sick or just people who no longer want to live. 

The story is told from the POV of Frey, who has somewhere along the way become the leader of the group since the original leader, Siggy who took Frey with her after finding her, passed away,

Frey is feisty, but fed up with the life of mercy killing and wants more, the other mercies are like her family, her parents died when she was young and this group has been all she has had since the banded together.  I found the family dynamics and ethics of the mercies very touching. 

Eventually everyone gets tired of the death trade and voice their opinions, they want a new path, a new life to lead so they discuss their options, around this time a beast is on the rampage in another part of the land, and they heard of a very generous reward for the slaying of the beast, it seems like a daunting and impossible task, but after much discussion and a visit to some sea witches they decide that this is the path they will take, to try to slay the Blue Vee Beast.

It’s an interesting read, filled with magic, courage, strength and incredible female characters who are strong, mighty and fair on one another. 

I am surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did, I honestly thought it might be a DNF, I’m glad I gave it a chance and broadened my reading genre for this one.

I really liked the characters, the differences and back stories within them as a group, but how they fit together and had one another’s backs. You could tell that the author put a lot of thought into the setting and building the world within this book, it was one of those books that really played out in my head. 

I do recommend this book, especially if like me you don’t dabble into the fantasy genre so much, or of you do love fantasy I think you will enjoy this! 

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