Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in The Faithless Hawk, 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.
The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)Featured
There is betrayal, magic, romance, and destiny all combined so beautifully within. Fie is a Crow Chieftain in a world where people are separated by their birth into castes, where they have Birthrights, a type of magic for people in their caste. Crows have no birthrights and are considered the lowest of the low. They scrape out the barest living providing mercy (death) to people who have the Sinner's plague. Without them doing so, the plague would spread with devastating consequences. They have no home except the road, as they follow plague beacons to deal with the ill. Fie has never been satisfied with their lot, and she wants more for her people. She struck a bargain with the prince that should have led to more.
However, the evil queen, Rhusana, a witch who can control people through a strand of their hair, is determined to wipe Crows from the face of the earth, and it seems as though her plots and schemes will lead to the Crows demise. Fie cannot allow this to happen, even when forces seem to be working against her at every turn.
What I loved: Owen broke my heart and stitched it back together constantly in this book. I felt just about every emotion in this book, and it seriously gave me chills in places. I will also admit that I cried twice. Any book that can give the reader so much emotion and so strongly is one worth reading. I think this sequel was even better than the first (and I really loved the first), for its ability to take us on so many important journeys with underlying themes about politics, perspectives, and prejudices. There are so many characters here who will always own my heart, and they speak to the soul with their motives and emotions. It is hard to even describe how well-written this book is.
The plot is perfectly paced with plenty of unexpected twists and turns that I totally did not see coming. I love to be surprised, and this book managed to do it in a way that made sense. The romance that made us fall in love is here, but changed and with an undeniable pull. The characters are so compelling, and the plot delivers in a big way.
Final verdict: I cannot recommend THE FAITHLESS HAWK enough. Be prepared for a massive book hangover and absolutely no regrets after reading this book. Owen speaks to the reader's soul with this highly compelling and beautifully composed YA fantasy series.