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The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

I was sent this book through NetGalley to review – Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for sending me a copy!



Title: The Boneless Mercies

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & Y/A

Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK

Publication Date: 4th October 2018

Plot Overview:

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, no fortune, and yet her blood sings a song of glory. So when she hears of a monster slaughtering men, women, and children in a northern jarldom, she decides this the Mercies’ one chance to change their fate.

But glory comes at a price…


My Thoughts:

  • I really enjoyed the rich and vast world Tucholke has created in this book. Drawing on Norse legends and folk tales there was so much lore here that I found super interesting. I liked all the references to the different beings and cultures which inhabit the realm from the old Gods to the legendary warriors long dead, it makes for such a good story.
  • I found the whole concept of the ‘Mercies’ so intriguing and such a unique one. The Mercies, are either groups or lone women who answer the calls of people seeking death – which they then deliver. However they have a code of honour, whereby they only deliver mercy kills, not for vengeance or personal gain. While this is definitely a dark and quite sad job, the characters in the story –  Frey, Ovie, Juniper and Runa – bond together and become a family.
  • Each of the main characters; Frey, Ovie, Juniper, Runa and Trigve were sort of simplistic in my opinion. They’re not complex enough for my liking and kind of surface level so I was mostly disinterested in them. I didn’t find myself really rooting for them, you know??
  • I liked that the novel centres primarily around the importance of friendships and specifically female friendships, so many books seem to focus purely on romantic relationships and ignore any others. This was my favourite aspect of the book for sure.
  • The ending is tied up but in a way where there’s definitely room for a sequel – but the book also works as a standalone novel.

Overall, while I appreciated the folk tales and lore in the novel and the focus on female friendships, hence my 3 star rating – there was just something missing for me in The Boneless Mercies. Unfortunately I probably wouldn’t pick this up again.

★★★ – 3 Star Rating

Does The Boneless Mercies sound like a book you’d be interested in? Would love to chat in the comments!

Until next time,

Rumaanah x





8 thoughts on “The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

  1. The concept of this book really sold me — female assassins exacting a form of justice and protecting their world. I’m glad to hear the world truly was interesting and well-built but ahhh so frustrating that the characters didn’t click for you! Worldbuilding can’t support a whole book. (YAS for female friendship though!) Great review!

  2. Ooh that’s a shame that there was something missing because the synopsis sounds great fun and it’s hard to find a book that just focuses on the female friendships without romance being involved. Great review!

  3. Glad you enjoyed reading The Boneless Merceries. It’s nice when you learn a lot of references being made in the storyline. Big plus when the character description isn’t overwhelming either. Even though it wasn’t a five stars, glad you enjoyed the book overall.

    Nancy ♥

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