When the Sinner’s Plague strikes a village in Sabor, the villagers know what to do. A lit beacon will summon the Crows, who will deal a quick mercy to the victims, then burn the bodies to contain the spread of disease. In return, the wandering Crows—the most reviled and least blessed of all social castes—expect payment, sometimes in the form of travel supplies and sometimes in the form of the teeth of the dead.
Fie has grown up knowing that she’ll someday be chief of her Crow band. That day comes sooner than she expects when her father swears a Covenant Oath with an escaped prince. Her father promises Prince Jasimir that the band will see him and his body double, the Hawk Tavin, safely to his political allies, while Jasimir in turn promises the Crows protection from the armed vigilantes of the Oleander Gentry. Before either end of the oath can be kept, though, Fie and her band must navigate a range of obstacles, ranging from geographic to supernatural to romantic. As Jasimir’s enemies begin to attack, will the magic of ancient witches’ teeth be enough to keep Fie, her band and their traveling companions safe? What terrors hide in the darkness? And what if Fie decides that she doesn’t want to be a Crow chief after all?
Margaret Owen weaves a multilayered fantasy world of masks, mercy and magic into The Merciful Crow, a dark fantasy that’s perfect for “Game of Thrones” fans.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Margaret Owen about The Merciful Crow.