The gender bent retelling of Beowulf, The Boneless Mercies is a story by April Genevieve Tucholke that follows Frey, Ovie, Juniper, Runa, and Trigve, five young people looking for glory. Boneless Mercies are bands of women forced to kill people by their wish in order to make a living, and unfortunately, the former four girls do just that. Trigve is a man they found, dying, in a village completely destroyed by “The Winter Sickness”. Together they travel, tirelessly doing what they were born to do, or so they were told. The main character, Frey, is an insecure girl, who silently wishes for glory. When she hears of an undefeatable beast that is ruining the lands of Blue Vee on the other side of her country, Vorseland, she considers it an opportunity to gain fame. When she presents the idea to her companions, she is pleasantly surprised, and they set out to kill the beast. Their journey brings them many surprises, but they are all determined to escape the death trade and make a life for themselves. It is a story of self-empowerment and the power of womanhood, and is extremely difficult to put down.
This book was on par with some of the greatest bestsellers in the world, such as the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling. I did not pick up the story with high expectations, but I was shocked on so many levels. Deeper into the plot, I found myself actively laughing, crying, and living with the characters. They were so relatable, and each one was very special to the actual story. Since the plot was not completely original, it may be seen as not good enough, but I personally thought is was absolutely perfect. There were very few coincidences driving the story and the plot was relatively realistic, especially the ending. Finally, the writing style was passionate and emotional, obviously showing the love the author had for the characters and setting. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the story was, and no matter how many words I use to describe it, they will always fall short of expressing my feelings for this book.On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate this book a solid 4.75, which means I think it’s a really fantastic book! I seriously suggest that people who love fantasy or dystopian books, like Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, read this book. It is a bit apart from the norm, but that is what makes it special. Even going into this novel with high hopes, you can’t be disappointed. The story is almost life-changing, and reminded me that, in my mind, “I am woman, wanderer, warrior.”