Paperback Perils: The Boneless Mercies

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Title: The Boneless Mercies
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publication Date: 2018
Publishing House: Farrar Straus Giroux

This book was described to me as a gender-flipped version of Beowulf. I happen to love that epic. That description of this book though is not sufficient because this story is so much more. If you do go into this story looking for Beowulf look at the first half of the epic poem with great halls and the Grendel-Kin.

Mercies are mercenaries of a sort. They accept payment in return for dealing death but their kills are out or mercy for the old, the sick, and the dying. Frey and her band of Mercies are tired of the killing and decided to get out of the death trade and go for the glory and hope to make it into a song like the heroes of old.

At its heart this book is about women and girls standing up for themselves and what they believe in. Death is its own character in a way, a good death is sought after. Frey for all she seeks glory understands that her enemies deserve to be understood and she listens to them.

Tucholke makes here characters human, they want to be larger than life but along the way they have to make difficult choices and are susceptible to influences. Her characters are slightly fantastic but still relatable and there love of stories is something that we can all relate to.

I would suggest this book to all that love epic poems and who do not mind death in the stories. Strong but human characters that want to live as they see fit and not as the world has deemed. What are you currently reading?


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