[A quick note: This is the sequel to The Merciful Crow, which was a fantastic read. You can read my review to the first book HERE. A friend recommended this duology, and I always trust his recs. Also, this author recently released a new book, Little Thieves, which has a sequel coming out this year. Needless to say, I’ll be racing to read that one very soon!]
“𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐲.” —Margaret Owen
When Queen Rhusana steals the crown, Fie is the only thing that stands between her, and the ruin of her people. Fie must infiltrate the palace and fight for the lives of everyone she loves. Crows look after their own, even of all her crows have gone into hiding. She’s not alone, even in light of a heart wrenching betrayal. Her allies are with her, and together they will fight for a better world.
OH MY IASELIJSALFDKHAGHILSADFKLJHASDF!!!!! Hold on to your teeth, people! New favorite duology??? Uhm. Yes!! Because…wow. This one is intense. The title had me. I was nervous going in, afraid I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as the first. Instead? I enjoyed it even more! The world building in this duology is fantastic. Fie’s character?! I love her so much. The magic? Too cool! The plot? OMG the plot. Everything about this book was perfection. Especially the way it uses fantasy to shed light on what systemic oppression looks like.
Let me just say, this book had me in a VICE. My emotions were literally all over the place. I moved from devastation, to elation, to anger, to hatred, to every freaking emotion under the sun. Every time I picked it up, I could not put it down, practically hyperventilating. There was definitely a lot more suspense than in the first.
While the first book is more of an adventure, a race across the kingdom to protect the phoenix prince and his hawk bodyguard, this one mostly takes place within the palace. The level of court intrigue is amped up, and the stakes are higher than ever. It almost felt like a heist book. Fie bands together with a couple of people to overthrow the queen. She does it right under the queen’s nose, in her very own palace.
Queen Rhusana made the PERFECT villain. She’s powerful, awful, terrible, cunning, and manipulative, did I mention, evil??? But she’s amassed a popular following. That makes it difficult to overthrow her.
Okay, I have to talk about Fie and Tavin’s relationship. Holy FUUUUUU-rick. I was not expecting ANY of what happened between them. I felt like I had whiplash. I honestly had NO IDEA what direction the plot would go. There was about 0% predictability. Okay, maybe like 10% predictability since YA. But, hey, I had no idea it would turn out. Sometimes I adored Tavin, other times? I wanted to FREAKING KILL HIM AND RIP OUT HIS EYEBALLS FOR THE CROWS. But in the end?? (spoiler free emoji??)
I could gush about this duology forever. My favorite aspects are the plot, the magic system, and the characters. I loved that in this one, the plot was unpredictable, and that Fie gets to know the prince better. I loved seeing their friendship deepen.
Oh, and the cats? There were more cats! I already LOVE Barf. Like, love, love. But there were more cats in this one! And they wore vests. OMG. I die. Kitties in vests!
Anyway, I don’t want to give away spoilers for the first book, so I’ll just say: READ THIS DUOLOGY. It’s fantastic. I think it’s my favorite. I’m going to miss it and it is definitely one I’ll read again.
𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟓/𝟓⭐️