In this gorgeous standalone companion to the critically acclaimed fantasy, The Boneless Mercies, April Tucholke spins a bold and blood-hungry retelling of the King Arthur legend that is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Garth Nix, and Laini Taylor.
On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister, Morgunn is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword.
On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death.
Torvi set out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.
Publisher Weekly's best of 2018
The B&N Teen Blog’s Favorite YA Books of 2018
Tor.com Best Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2018
Earphones Award Winner for best audiobook.
Green Mountain Book Award list
15 Books Like Skyrim
"The Boneless Mercies feels like a cathartic war cry advocating for the power of girls and women. [...] A dynamic critique of the hero's journey: Who is granted honor and glory, and at what cost does it come? ...a deeply feminist update to its source material."
--The New York Times
"These fierce, honorable adolescent female warriors hold their own and break all the rules. Wow."
--Kirkus, Starred Review
"Tucholke injects close intimacy into her lush saga, interweaving love and murder, mercy and glory into her portrayal of life and death. It is a beautiful, haunting modern-day epic that stars a bold and resourceful sisterhood of heroines unafraid to claim agency."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Frey embodies the pursuit of glory through a quest to become a hero remembered in story and myth. Fans of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings will find similar themes and elements. This is a must-have for avid fantasy readers who enjoy action-packed plots. VERDICT An excellent choice for any YA fantasy collection."
--School Library Journal, Starred Review
"Frey’s earnest narrative voice creates a strong sense of the center of this fantasy: female solidarity. Bodily closeness, a shared quest for justice, and sheer joy in physical capacity are only part of it: collaboration and attentive respect are the true underpinning of Tucholke’s creation. This is the quiet force behind a plot of conquest and adventure, and of the diverse religions, cultures, terrains, and tales that make up Tucholke’s invented world. A dark and vivid story, with what-happens-next? momentum."
--The Horn Book
"Fierce and glorious, this story of outcast girls defying fate utterly bewitched me. Tucholke is a gorgeous writer."
--Laini Taylor, New York Times-bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer
"The Boneless Mercies maintains the mystical, haunting flavor of an ancient ballad across the length of a novel. Its every page hints at a deeper magic at work; it contains a whole world and all its myths and histories within its skin."
--Melissa Albert, New York Times-bestselling author of The Hazel Wood
"Ruthless and lyrical, heart-warming and blood-chilling, and beautifully redolent of ancient tales and history. It will sing to a new generation of heroes."
--Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Season
Trained warriors kill loudly. We kill silently. And that is how you hunt a beast.
Frey yearns for a life worthy of saga and song. But she is a Boneless Mercy, a member of an ancient female sect that has survived the rising and falling of kingdoms.
Mercies are death-traders, doomed to roam Vorseland killing the old or the sick for meager pay. Their methods are quiet, even merciful, yet wherever the seasons lead them, their daggers inspire unease. Frey and her band of Mercies--Ovie, Runa, and Juniper--are weary of the death trade and dream of a bigger life. So when Frey hears that a beast is slaughtering people in a northern jarldom, she decides that killing it is the Mercies’ chance at fame and fortune, even if it means they must align with the reclusive Sea Witches and face the ruthless Cut-Queen of the Red Willow Marsh. Their success—or failure—might change the fate of women everywhere.
Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible and tremendous.
What really happened?
Someone is lying.
Spanish world rights sold to V&R
Brazilian rights sold to Galera/Record
Dutch rights sold to Blossom Books
Swedish rights sold to Carlsen/Bonniers
German rights sold to Thienemann
Turkish rights sold to Parodi
Hungarian rights sold to Menő Könyvek
Persian rights sold to Behdad Publishing
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
YALSA Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Spring 2016 Kids’ Indie Next List
Amazon Editors' Best Books of the month, March 2016
“Tucholke walks a fine, spine-chilling line. . . An eerie, tangled story with plenty of questions: Who can be trusted? Who—or what—pulls the strings? . . . The book keeps readers wondering. Nicely constructed and planned, with unexpected twists to intrigue and entertain.”
—Kirkus starred review
“A dark, unpredictable mystery that . . . shimmer[s] with sumptuous descriptions and complicated psychologies. . . . Occult accoutrements, descriptions of the wild landscape, and a twisting-turning plot create an uncertain atmosphere that constantly shift readers’ perceptions of who is trustworthy.”
“The most captivating part of the narration is the shift in the characters’ voices as the story progresses. As we learn more about the true nature of the characters, the narrators slightly change the way they speak. This change is so subtle and well executed that the listener doesn’t realize it has happened until all of the story’s secrets are revealed—making for a captivating story in which nothing is exactly what it seems.”
—Booklist, starred review (refers to the audiobook edition)
"There’s so much to love in April Genevieve Tucholke’s mysterious young adult novel, which deals with teenage infatuation in all its destructive and creative glory. With elements of fairy tales and ghost stories woven throughout, Wink Poppy Midnight is named for the three young protagonists locked in a spooky love triangle. It’s a fast read sprinkled with fairy dust and haunting insight into the confusion, melancholy, and unshakable magic of the high school years."
---iBooks 25 Best Books of March
A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by April Genevieve Tucholke.
Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.
A 2018 nomination for the Sakura Medal
A 2017 YALSA Popular Paperback
A 2016 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
A 2016 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
Selected for the 2016 Texas Tayshas Reading List
A 2017 YALSA Popular Paperback
A 2013 YALSA Teens Top Ten nominee
“Tucholke’s gothic tone, plot, and setting, complete with a deteriorating estate full of dark family secrets, is reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier or YA fare such as Kami Garcia’s and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures.”
–-SLJ starred review
“Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a stunning debut with complex characters, an atmospheric setting, and a distinct voice. Tucholke’s command of imagery and language is especially striking…Tucholke has real talent and, hopefully, will be writing for years to come.”
-–VOYA starred review
“People die; children stalk the cemetery with stakes; and strange, alluring River delights and frightens Violet in equal measure…the faded elegance that permeates almost every page, elevates this above more generic offerings of its type. Violet, too, has a quirky uniqueness that will draw readers, just as it draws River—for better or worse.”
-–Booklist starred review
“Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea will slip under your skin and capture the darkest corners of your imagination. A hypnotic, terrifying debut.”
—Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls, 17 & Gone, and The Walls Around Us.
“Tucholke’s story of devils, innocence, and family secrets is lush, and rhythmic as a song. Seductive with a capital ‘S’.”
—Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns
“Violet is both intuitive and naïve, capable of profound revelation . . . The faded opulence of the setting is an ideal backdrop for this lushly atmospheric gothic thriller, which, happily, comes with a satisfying conclusion. Darkly romantic and evocative.”
“The lush and polished prose, eerie locales, and pervading sense of dark unease are as engrossing as they were in the first installment.”
“Horror and romance blend seamlessly in Tucholke’s distinctive prose. . . Those already captured by Tucholke’s previous installment will not want to put this one down.”
A New York Times bestseller
Leave it to the heroes to save the world--villains just want to rule the world.
In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view. These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on.
No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again.