Um a feminist re-imagination of Beuwolf featuring a band of girl mercenaries? SIGN ME UP! You read my guest post from Tucholke, now read my review!
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.
I will never get enough of ambitious girls. Give them all to me. I adored our leader, Frey, and how the band was formed. We are able to get to know these girls together, but soon they go on an epic journey. While we don’t spend a ton of time on the mercy killing aspect, it is a constant thread woven throughout the whole story.
There were so many passages and quotes that I had to highlight. One of the major themes of the book is what is honorable and who is worthy. Who is worthy of a honorable death? And who decides this?
We are asked to look at these different types of death. And we have to ask ourselves, who can grant mercy?
The World & Themes
Besides the mercy killing, The Boneless Mercies takes place on a broader, almost mythical, level. There’s more afoot at every turn and Tucholke builds us such a rich world. We are immersed in folklore, myths, religion and more. But there’s more at stake.
Not only is the future of the societies at stake, but each girls’ own future. We have to watch as these various forces play out, as the hands of destiny shape what happens.
We all have, to some degree, this desire to be remembered. To carve a name for ourselves in this great abyss. To make the minutes of our life matter.
This is a story of sacrifices, veiled actions, and fierce women. The Boneless Mercies is epic. While the main tag line of this may be a re-imagination of Beowulf it transcends the story. It adds layers of depth, characters, and myths.