The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
A dark 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.
It took me a little to get into this book. Mostly because it starts with a death and that is an interesting way of starting (it reminded me a little of palliative care). However, once I got more familiar with the world and what being a Mercy meant, then it became easier to follow.
It is like a lyrical epic quest story and there was beauty about that, as it was also intriguing to learn about all the ways of seeing the world that each “group” had. A witches war, the quicks, and so many others that made me want to know more about each of them.
Another interesting thing was the way relationships exist here and how things just flow and happen. There’s a lack of judgement that was strange and magical to read, and it was interesting to see that woven intot he tale. You never know for sure what is going on.
I also loved the actual monster fight, but not a lot to say since I do not want to spoil it, but it had a thing I liked and didn’t like and it was refreshing to see.
Reading The Boneless Mercies. I haven’t read such a lyrical feminist adventure in a while (combined, I have read one or the other) and it was good to read. I am not entirely sure what kind of book fits with it so hard to suggest something else. Maybe Fallible Justice, even if it is a little different in style (it is urban fantasy rather than just fantasy).