“Once upon a time, in the final days before Salt and Marsh Witch War, four Boneless Mercies turned their backs on the death trade, and went west, seeking immortality.”
The Mercy trade is a life of death, and it is a trade only for woman. This book follows four Mercies who travel town to town performing mercy killings, never revenge or vengeance. It's a hard and sad life, one that makes them outcasts from everyone they come across, they have themselves and no one else. But one day they decide to change their path, to seek a life that could change it all. A chance at a warriors glory like something from the old Vorse tales.
This book is very atmospheric and the author does a wonderful job at building this world and painting the forest they travel through. The story follows the single POV of Frey, which is a shame as I would have liked to read from the other girls as they're all so different and come to the trade for different reasons. Frey's blood sings for glory and wants more than the sad work of Mercy killing.
As they travel closer to their destiny you see such a change in her fellow Mercies, which is why it would have been nice to have different POVs, the people they meet and they stories they share and tell has an impact on them. They are a family and they decide their fates together.
Truly I loved how this was written, every moment felt right and written with depth and care, but it was defiantly lacking something. There didn't feel like a sense of urgency, or any real wow moments, when I think back to any fights they did have on the road or going into the Marsh to face the Cut Queen it wasn't quite punchy enough. But on the flip side I loved the entire section with the Cut Queen, it felt weird and creepy and unpredictable but it lacked that something, that drama.
There's a lot to love about this book and there's a lot that needs some va va voom, there is a standalone companion book set in the same world I will be giving a read.
“I wanted to change my fate, to force it down another road. I wanted to stand in the river of time and make it flow a different direction, if just for a little while.”