The Merciful Crow Readalong: Day 1


Gorgeous photo by @cheshirereads

Hello everyone!

Its day 1 of our “The Merciful Crow” readalong! It’s really nice to see so many people who have participated before and to any of you who are joining for the first time, welcome! I really hope you enjoy this readalong!

I’ve heard this is a fast paced read with really intriguing and endearing characters so I’m really excited to dive straight in!

We’re starting the readalong with chapters 1-5 inclusive so get cosy and lets get some reading done!

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Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for chapters 1-5 of The Merciful Crow by Margaret Own. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


We learn straight away that a plague has broken out and that Fie, Pa and Hangdog are there to dispose of the bodies of the latest victims.

Fie thinks that something has gone wrong as Pa is taking longer than usual but soon enough he emerges and Fie and Hangdog enter to remove their bodies.

Their every move is being watched by people from higher castes and so they must be careful not to aggravate them.

Eventually it is time to take the bodies from the palace but as they reach the gates, Fie notices that it is the queen who awaits them to give them their payment and she is alone and it is then that Fie realises that the crown Prince is under the sheets!

Wow this is already off to an interesting start!

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The Queen, standing with her steward, only holds one thing to offer them for their services. A tabby cat. But this is not the worth of royalty and so Fie and her fellow Crows do the Money Dance in order to scare them into giving them more. Once they have finished, Pa gestures for Fie to approach the Queen and demand a more worthy payment. Fie demands the teeth.

After a bit of negotiating, she gets the teeth and just before leaving she grabs the cat as well!

I love her gusto but she’s lucky the queen didn’t retaliate at that!

They begin their journey to a location where they can burn the bodies, still on the lookout in case anyone is coming after them. Eventually they reach a clearing where they can burn the bodies.

Omg what the Prince is still alive!! If you had read the blurb you would already know this but I like going into books blind so I had no idea! Why would they pretend he was dead?? That would be why Pa covered the bodies himself but what is going on? The way he just sat up though!

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I love that Fie’s immediate reaction was to punch him but luckily she punched his guard and not the Prince!

Rhusana wants the Prince dead and has attempted to kill him multiple times and so he had to escape the palace. I don’t know where he plans to go though!

The Prince and Tavin need their assistance in getting to Prince Jasimir’s allies where he will be protected and they will be able to enact their plan to overthrow Rhusana. But once again, Fie believes they should get more for what they are giving and does the second Money Dance of the day!

If they succeed in getting Jasimir to his allies, the Crows will be protected forever but I’m guessing there will be some difficulties in them getting there and I’m curious to see how their deal will be affected!

They set about preparing a fire to pretend to burn the bodies but they don’t need any flint to set the fire as Fie can use the teeth she has gained to set it alight! I love the fact that she can steal any of the Birthrights from bones of the higher castes!

There’s already a spanner in their plan as they’re not going to get there as fast as they thought! They need to make a detour to answer a plague beacon!

It must be quite risky to do a job with the lordlings in tow as that definitely runs the risk of someone catching them!

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Fie is to inherit the deal if it is to go bad and I have a feeling that it might…Pa definitely thinks that something is going to happen to him and prepares Fie to cut people’s throats and give them a merciful death if she has to.

Oh nooo the Oleander Gentry are coming for them! Could this be what injures or kills Pa and what will make Fie become the Chief??

And that’s us for day 1! So much has happened already! I already feel so invested in these characters and I’m really curious as to how this is going to go!

I’ll see you tomorrow for day 2!





  • bib.liophilist

    I loved these first few chapters! The magic system for the Crows is so unique with the use of teeth, and I loved how Fie punched Tavin. ? The caste system was easy to learn after a few chapters and I can’t wait to see how they all deal with the Oleanders!

    • Darcy Nelson

      It’s been a long time since I read a book with a caste system and so far love it.

    • Amy

      I am loving the magic system in this! I’m so excited to see what’s going to happen next!

  • lucylang

    I’d love to see how the money dance works as it sounds so interesting on paper. Also, I love how you learn more about teeth magic- Fie is able to see into someone’s past and basically conjure their gift – I think it’s super fascinating. Not looking forward to the Orleanders coming and a detour just spells trouble!

    • Amy

      The money dance sounds so interesting and I would love to see what it’s really like! Not sure what I’m imagining is correct but it definitely amuses me!

  • Chronically_bookish

    Am I the only one who really dislikes the prince so far?

    • Jelke

      Nope. I really like Tavin

    • Amy

      I’m not sure how I feel about the Prince yet…its definitely a stressful time for him but yeah unsure right now!

      • Sandy

        I agree, i think we haven’t seen all of him. I’m liking Tavin so far….

  • reecedominique799

    Liked the first few chapters would love to see the money dance and loving that a tabby cat is in this.

    • Amy

      The money dance is definitely an interesting concept and I would love to see what it looks like!

  • Elizabeth

    Such an intriguing first 5 chapters! I’ve been so excited to read this book for sometime now so I’m hoping it continues to be just as amazing as the first few chapters have been!

    • Amy

      I feel like this book is definitely going to keep us on our toes! Looking forward to the rest!

  • Anna

    Oh wow, what a beginning! I love Fie and the tabby cat and I’m extremely interested in how this is going on. I worry that Pa will die too soon and I’m not ready for this! Hopefully, they can escape from the Orleanders.

    • Amy

      I am so worried for Pa! Trying to be hopeful that he’ll be okay but I’m not sure!

  • Ariana

    So far I’m really loving the magic system and the whole plague aspect! I’ve never read anything featuring a plague like this and I love that it features the masks ? I do find the prince very annoying so fingers crossed that he stops that ?

    • Amy

      Its such a unique idea and I’m really enjoying the magic system! Hopefully the prince will figure out soon that they need to work together in order to survive!

  • bookish.dragons

    I loved these first few chapters! The magic system is so new and interesting compared to many books I’ve read recently. I’m loving Fie and Tavin so far! So excited to see where this goes!

    • Amy

      Its such a different idea and I’m really loving it! Can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen!

  • Connie

    I love that there is a map and caste legend at the beginning of the book! I’m really liking Fie’s “take no less than we deserve” attitude. I can’t wait to see how this story plays out.

    • Amy

      Fie is a really interesting character and I am loving her attitude so far!

  • Kelly

    Anyone else secretly wishing that Tavin is actually the prince?! And the stuck up prince is actually a very strict Hawk?!
    This is my first ever read along and so glad it’s with the fairlyloot community! Eeeek! ?

    • Amy

      Oooo that would be so interesting if he was! I’m so happy you’re joining us for this one and I really hope you enjoy it!

  • Sarah Louise

    I am suspicious that Tavin is actually the Prince and Jasimir is the “body guard”. Tavin just seems very outwardly spoken for a body guard of this time and Jasimir seems very…quiet…too quiet….. haha!

    • Amy

      Oooo that is an interesting theory! Would definitely shake things up a bit if its true! Can’t wait to find out what happens!

    • Sandy

      That crossed my mind as well. We’ll find out!

  • stephdmyles

    I loved the way this book has begun! It grips you right from the start and keeps your interest well. I had a hard time putting the book down at the end of Chapter 5. :’D

    The world is such a unique one, and I cannot wait to delve deeper into it.

  • Sandy

    I really enjoyed these chapters. I’m gonna try catching up end read some more tonight. Love the cat, i’m curious if he stays and perhaps plays a bigger role than so far… ?

  • Leslecturesajigoku78

    I enjoy this book already.
    It’s only the beginning but there is a lot happening still. And I think the world-building is done well.
    I’m interested in what will happens in the next chapters!
    Ps : please, don’t kill Pa, I love the father-daughter relationship!

  • Bookish_princess

    Haha although I may be a bit (or a lot late) lets have a go at the read-along the last day! ? Wow the beginning of this hook had me on the edge of my seat already! I love all the bartering that happens and Tav and Fie’s witty banter its the best. So much action can’t wait for the next section! The prince Jas has a lot to learn excited to see how his character grows 🙂 also I would have punched a corpse too if he came alive!

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