by Margaret Owen
Series: The Merciful Crow #2
Published by Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: August 18th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Format Read: ARC, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in the thrilling sequel to Margaret Owen’s The Merciful Crow.
As the new chieftain of the Crows, Fie knows better than to expect a royal to keep his word. Still she’s hopeful that Prince Jasimir will fulfill his oath to protect her fellow Crows. But then black smoke fills the sky, signaling the death of King Surimir and the beginning of Queen Rhusana’s merciless bid for the throne.
With the witch queen using the deadly plague to unite the nation of Sabor against Crows—and add numbers to her monstrous army—Fie and her band are forced to go into hiding, leaving the country to be ravaged by the plague. However, they’re all running out of time before the Crows starve in exile and Sabor is lost forever.
A desperate Fie calls on old allies to help take Rhusana down from within her own walls. But inside the royal palace, the only difference between a conqueror and a thief is an army. To survive, Fie must unravel not only Rhusana’s plot, but ancient secrets of the Crows—secrets that could save her people, or set the world ablaze.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have A LOT of feelings about The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen. About 72 of them are just me senselessly screaming “AHHHHH” but let me try to organize some of my more coherent ones for you.
I LOVED the Merciful Crow when I read it last year and was desperately waiting for the sequel, so when it landed in my mailbox I started it right away. As a recap for where we last left our heroes: Newly minted Crow Chief Fie is traveling around Sabor with a company of Hawks to protect her band while they deliver justice to plague victims, Crown Prince Jasimir is marching with Draga, Master-General of the Hawks (aka his aunt), to reclaim his stolen crown, and Tavin, Jasimir’s half-brother and fire of Fie’s lady loins, is working to unseat the evil Queen Rhusana before she kills all the Crows and dooms the people of Sabor to die of the plague. And Barf the cat is still out there living her best life, tricking people into rubbing her belly and then biting them.
So ya know, a typical day in Sabor.
While I’m on the subject of Barf can I just say the cat content in this series is A+. If you like cats there is a whole plot line that involves a group of cats in little vests.
One thing I loved about the Faithless Hawk is all the traveling we do in less than 400 pages. We visit far-flung coasts, military encampments in sweeping fields, serene magnolia groves, farm towns and palaces all seen through the lens of Fie’s signature snark.
Fie’s snark is is full force in this sequel because girlfriend has had it up to HERE with prejudiced jerks and unfaithful friends. She has the full weight of responsibility for her band and her people on her shoulders in this book and all her safety nets are slowly but surely being stripped away. If you thought (like I did) that she was fierce, ferocious and inspiring in the Merciful Crow then wait until you see her now. To see reluctant Fie open up and begin to rely on others, to be seen and known by those around her is a beautiful thing, which makes it all the worse for us as readers when we see her pay for it.
The magic system continues to amaze, each new power coming as slowly to Fie as pulling teeth (get it?). Her discovery of what she can do and smashing through the limitations she has been putting on herself because other people say it can’t be done is astounding.
I also loved how apathy became a central evil in this sequel. We see such evil deeds done by the villains but the biggest problem over and over is the people who see evil deeds being done and say and do nothing about it. It’s such a great lesson to be learned not only for the people of Sabor but for all of us as well.
The Faithless Hawk is chock full of betrayal, love, loyalty, allegiance, family, power and so much more. The end left me crying with a mix of sadness and joy and was a great culmination of all the threads Owen wove throughout this whole duology. I would recommend this series to everyone, especially as it is a great analogy for our current social and political climate. I would be remiss not to take this opportunity to absolutely drag Queen Rhusana. She’s a stone-cold gaslighter who continues to whine about how hard her life has been while simultaneously dripping in jewels and getting everything she wants. Does she have motivations that another one of our fave characters shares? Absolutely. Does that other character go around murdering people and organizing a genocidal coup? NOPE.
I keep wanting to gush but don’t want to spoil anything BUT I’ll just say that while I think The Merciful Crow was about the journies, The Faithless Hawk is about the relationships. Fie’s relationships with her band, her world, her friends/lovers and herself. Just go buy/borrow the book okay? It’s well worth your time and money.
And remember: one way or another, we always feed the Crows.
“Only a fool waits for lighting to tell them to find shelter”
“Fie was taking too long to cut the girl’s throat.” (We love a reference back to book one).
“Never before had a sinner watched Fie so, like she was a wolf strolling too near a pasture.”
View the rest of the tour schedule on the TBR and Beyond Tours website.
Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen first encountered an author in the wild in fourth grade. Roughly twenty seconds later, she decided she too would be an author, the first of many well-thought-out life decisions.
The career plan shifted frequently as Margaret spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.
Fortunately, it turned out that fourth-grade Margaret was onto something. She now spends her days wrestling disgruntled characters onto the page, and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. (There is surprisingly little difference between the two.) In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations, and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations.
Where to Buy:
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Faithless-Hawk/9781250191946
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-faithless-hawk-margaret-owen/1131993174?ean=9781250191946
Hi y’all, i’m Rachel! When i’m not reading or talking about books I can be found rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 72nd time, working on my own novel, cheering on JMU football (Go Dukes!) and taking advantage of all the great museums and breweries Richmond has to offer.
Check out my instagram highlights and Goodreads page for more reviews of all the books i’ve read this year!