The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve TucholkeThe Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

The Boneless Mercies

byApril Genevieve Tucholke

Hardcover | October 2, 2018

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*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.

April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Between the Spark and the Burn, and Wink Poppy Midnight. She currently lives in Oregon with her husband.
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Title:The Boneless MerciesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.18 × 6.35 × 1.18 inPublished:October 2, 2018Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374307067

ISBN - 13:9780374307066

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witches, Monsters and Myths I totally chose this one for its cover so, I went into this knowing very little. It’s a Beowulf retelling, a story I’m unfamiliar with anyway. It’s all about a group of girls who perform mercy kills, taking the lives of the old and the sick upon request. They live a somber, nomadic life and have thought more than once about a change of career. So, when they hear of a beast terrorizing and taking people into the night, they decide to hunt it down. It had a very Norse-like setting and lore (which I LOVED) and so it makes sense that the girls aspire to glory in combat. The story felt like it was shrouded in fog, damp and a little mysterious but also sad. The plot wasn’t incredibly strong, it wandered like the characters did. Don’t expect a lot of action or a fast-paced read although, there are a couple of epic action scenes. I might not be painting it in the best light but despite its quietness, these girls captured my heart. I instantly felt like I could be one of them and became very attached to their story. I smiled wide when they found moments of happiness and sobbed at their loss. It felt like we only saw a little glimpse of the world and it’s history by the time it was over so I sincerely hope there are sequels or companion novels. If you enjoy a book about fearless women taking charge, witches, monsters, mythology, and an incredible atmosphere that lingers well beyond the last page – this is for you.
Date published: 2019-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Woman, Wanderer, Warrior I went back and forth about the rating of this one, but I decided to give it all the stars because of the ending. These girls are just too fierce and too amazing to give anything less than the highest rating. The more I think about it, the more I realize I love this book. It clearly draws inspiration from Norse mythology, and it actually seems to be written like one. Tucholke wastes no time in getting to the moments that matter, something common in many myths. Her words are beautifully written and to the point, sometimes even giving you chills. There are dozens of stories and lore woven into the world, and each character has a backstory that makes you sympathize with them. The story is decently paced, though there were a few events that didn't seem to be explored enough, or plot threads that seemed to remain open and are making me truly wish this was a longer series rather than just one book. At least, I felt that until I read the last paragraph. Now I'm glad this will *likely* be the only book about these girls. And that for me is what I'll miss most! I was expecting a team of tough ladies who didn't let their actions be ruled by men, were treated as equals, and each had their own personalities and strengths. I got all of that and more. I honestly can't pick a favourite! Each girl is completely her own, devoted to their sisterhood, and at no point is there any hint of real sexism or scoffing because "they're girls." Most of the characters are women, and the men that are featured prominently fully support the choices these girls make. But make no mistake––this book is brutal. Given the nature of a Mercy and what she has to do, it's not an easy read at times, and I found part of the ending to be very sad, even though I had my suspicions. Yet that final paragraph... I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it. How important it is, in this day and age. I was eager to read this book, and it contained everything I wanted. It's a book I recommend to everyone, lovers of adventure, friendship, and mythology and the like, but mostly, this is a book for girls and women. It's a reminder that we're fierce, powerful, and can do anything we want to. The message of empowerment is clear, and will leave you feeling like you can conquer the world.
Date published: 2018-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO GOOD Are you a fan of fantasy books where the main characters go on a quest? Are you a fan of bloody scenes and action? Are you a fan of kick ass women? If you said yes to any of the above then Boneless Mercies is for you! I was flipping these pages so fast it didn’t even feel like I was reading. It flowed so well before I knew it, it was over. I loved the concept – a gender bent re-telling of Beowulf! Such a great idea and it was executed wonderfully. The main character was so strong and I loved her choices. The side characters had so much depth and their background stories were so interesting. Really excited to read more by Tolchke!
Date published: 2018-09-19

Editorial Reviews

*A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year**A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year* "The Boneless Mercies feels like a cathartic war cry advocating for the power of girls and women. [...] A dynamic critique of the hero's journey: Who is granted honor and glory, and at what cost does it come?" -The New York Times Book Review"Tucholke 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." -Publishers Weekly, starred review"Frey embodies the pursuit of glory through quest to become a hero remembered in story and myth. Fans of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings will find similar themes and elements. This is a must-have for avid fantasy readers who enjoy action-packed plots. VERDICT An excellent choice for any YA fantasy collections." -School Library Journal, starred review"Narrator and protagonist Frey is quite unusual among female heroes: hungry for glory - bloodthirsty, even . . . These fierce, honorable adolescent female warriors hold their own and break all the rules. Marked by flawless worldbuilding. Wow." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review "It's easy to call this a gender-swapped retelling of the epic Beowulf, but that fails to convey its true charm . . . There is room in this world for more than one epic, and we can hope that Tucholke will return to it to tell us more about this ongoing feud." -NPR.org"[T]his story heroically contemplates female strength and agency, compassionversus vengeance, and the value of glory." -Booklist"Frey's earnest narrative voice creates a strong sense of the center of this fantasy: female solidarity. Bodily closeness, a shared quest for justice, and sheer joy in physical capacity are only part of it: collaboration and attentive respect are the true underpinning of Tucholke's creation. This is the quiet force behind a plot of conquest and adventure, and of the diverse religions, cultures, terrains, and tales that make up Tucholke's invented world. A dark and vivid story, with what-happens-next? momentum." -The Horn Book"April Genevieve Tucholke's genderbent Beowulf is as dark and quietly mysterious as the fantastical winter in which it takes place. Her alternate Scandinavia is a land of powerful magics and eerie landscapes, bloodlust and genuine, deep friendships, that is full of foreboding, menace and eventual (though not unfettered) glory."-Shelf Awareness"Fierce and glorious, this story of outcast girls defying fate utterly bewitched me. Tucholke is a gorgeous writer." -Laini Taylor, New York Times-bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer"The Boneless Mercies maintains the mystical, haunting flavor of an ancient ballad across the length of a novel. Its every page hints at a deeper magic at work; it contains a whole world and all its myths and histories within its skin." -Melissa Albert, New York Times-bestselling author of The Hazel Wood"Ruthless and lyrical, heart-warming and blood-chilling, and beautifully redolent of ancient tales and history. It will sing to a new generation of heroes." -Samantha Shannon, New York Times-bestselling author of The Bone Season