Feature & Giveaway: The Merciful Crow Readalong – Part 3: Bastards and Gods
Today is the day for my recap of The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – I am sharing Part Three: Bastards and Gods. I am so into the dark and gritty fantasy books so I was over joyed to be asked to help host the #MercifulCrowReadalong! Don’t forget to preorder The Faithless Hawk coming August 18th!
In today’s post there will be a recap of the final part of The Merciful Crow, a behind the scenes look from Margaret Owen, and an exclusive giveaway!
In case you missed the previous posts you can find them here:
Week 3 – July 20
Part Three: Bastards and Gods
Chapters 17-The End: @BookCrushin
The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow, #1)by Margaret Owen
Published by: Henry Holt (BYR)
on July 30, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
A future chieftain.
Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.
A fugitive prince.
When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.
A too-cunning bodyguard.
Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?
Part Three: Bastards And Gods
This is a recap — and there are definitely going to be SPOILERS! So if you want to page down and head to the giveaway be my guest!
We start right up after a very intense scene where Tavin cut the ropes to the bridge he was on (and being chased across by the Vultures) and shouting for Fie to “keep the oath” all in order to protect Jasimir and Fie.
Fie is battling the turmoil over leaving Tavin behind, whilst trying to keep Jas quiet, especially after having already left everyone else in behind in Cheparok, just for this oath. She now loses the one person she truly cares about. She deserves an old nickname Little Witness, because she feels she did nothing but watch.
Dear Readers … I cried with Fie.
The oath has cost her everything. Now she must convince Jas to keep the oath.
Now the two are continuing their trek to Trikovoi and the tensions are high. But they have to pay attention to their surroundings – they are never safe – and of course trouble comes calling.
The Oleanders and the skinwitch, again, that’s the trouble calling. Luckily, these Crows had steel. The prince used their pursuers knowledge of who they thought he was to his advantage and got the drop on the Oleander.
Then you just try and doubt a Crow. Fie lights a Phoenix tooth and a wall of fire scatters the rest of the Oleander’s and allows Jas and her to run.
Also damn, Margaret, that skinwitch is scary stuff.
Jas and Fie fall into a routine of hiding at night from the Oleander’s and walking towards his Aunt in Trikovoi in the day. They went back to their routines, like Jas continued to teach Fie letters & numbers, Jas reciting his prayers, all the while the two are finally learning more about one another, and understanding what it means to not only be a Crow, but what is going on in Sabor these days.
The travels are uniting the two under the oath, with one purpose, until they finally see a plague beacon burning.
Is it a trap?
Of course, just when they were almost to Trikovoi, the damn scary skinwitches…this time with flashburn! Fie’s legs are on fire, and they keep running for cover into the dead woods, Fie lights Phoenix teeth to fight the fires, and it’s working, the flashburn arrows are being consumed by the magical fire as they run towards the fortress … until a real steel arrow pierces Fie and takes her down.
Then to save the day — Aunt, aka Master-General Draga with her war mammoths! Get out you nasty skinwitches and damn it feels good to see Tatterhelm flee!
Now as any general would, Draga has to teach Fie and Jasimir a terrible lesson, is the loss of a few worth the lives of thousands…unfortunately Fie wasn’t ready for this lesson and snuck the prince out of the castle and plans to make a trade with Tatterhelm for her kin and Tavin.
Well if you didn’t see the plan coming … Jas and Fie planned to storm the Vultures and Tatterhelm with Phoenix fire and hope they made it all out alive. And damn do not underestimate a crow with a Phoenix Queen’s teeth!
“Some of us … are more merciful than others.”
Also, some bloodlines have been revealed, and some lovers reunited, albeit short-lived, vows have been made, and there are oaths to keep. Fie will be the chief and she will have a guard of volunteer Hawks protecting her kin…the Crows will go where they’re called.
Seriously, I loved the ending… I was kind of mad that Fie has to leave Tavin, but at least they got some time together…wink wink. I also loved how much Jasimir grew as not only a person, but as a ruler too. He understands that his people include the Crows and how horrible as a caste they’ve been treated even though they are so necessary to the survival of the plague.
Now the wait until August 18th for the final book in the duology, The Faithless Hawk!
Behind the Scenes from Margaret Owen
My favorite part of drafting is writing the third act, there’s no doubt. You’ve been layering in hints and foreshadowing, and the third act is where you finally get to cash in all those chips! I also personally tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the big epic and complex scenes, partially to make sure I’ve set up all the moving pieces correctly, and partially because I am a big nerd who loves planning out ludicrous action sequences.
The Merciful Crow was written over the course of a couple years, and one of the biggest influences was seeing Mad Max: Fury Road in theaters. (Or really: seeing it in theaters five times. Listen, sometimes self care is watching Charlize Theron drive into a fire tornado.) You might see some of that influence in the final chase scene, where Vultures are hounding Fie and Jasimir through a dusty tinderbox of a dead forest as it bursts into flame around them.
There were a lot of really enjoyable moments to write in the third act, and I hope you’ve had fun reading them!
Pre-Order The Faithless Hawk!
You could win all that is pictured (The Faithless Hawk ARC shown -final copy will be part of prize) … enter the rafflecopter below and be sure to leave a comment on this blog post about your readalong experience!
- The Faithless Hawk hardcover
- The Merciful Crow hardcover
- A character poster
- A Merciful Crow pencil pouch
- A Merciful Crow postcard
Giveaway closes 7/30/2020 and is open to US/PR/Canada residents only. Prize will be fulfilled by the publisher Macmillan.