Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

The Boneless Mercies trade in death. But Frey and her three companions are tired of the killing. They're tired of being alone. They want more from life than this. 

When they hear of a beast killing relentlessly nearby - a creature even the finest warriors haven't been able to defeat - they set off in search of adventure and glory. For who better to battle a monster than someone who specializes in death? 

But their travels aren't easy and they are faced with challenges and tasks along the way that will test them in body and spirit.

Talk about a book hangover! April Genevieve Tucholke's latest is a gender flipped Beowulf that kept me turning pages during the wee hours (yes, thank you, insomnia) and left me wanting more after I'd turned the final page!

The interesting thing about Boneless Mercies is that it's not exactly a plot-driven story. Aspects of it are almost like The Canterbury Tales in a way: the four characters tell their own tales as they travel from where they begin to where they end up. So in that sense it's many stories within an overarching narrative.

The girls begin with a death and a decision: this kill is to be their last. They're young, amongst the youngest of the Boneless Mercies since the job hasn't drawn many others their age. Those that it has enticed have also been leaving of late to join another group our heroines come into contact with along the way. But they're trained and this is how they earn money. The alternative holds no appeal, which is why the Blue Vee Beast catches their attention. If they succeed, the reward is guaranteed to be enough to allow them to live free of mercy killing and other industries that draw those desperate for coin.

The world is steeped in Norse mythology with the classic sagas and, as mentioned, Beowulf, as its bones, but Tucholke definitely twisted those and made something new and unique in her tale beyond even our four female warriors. I adored it and absolutely everything about it and I hope beyond all hope that we're able to return to this world somewhere down the line!

No comments: