Cover Image: The Faithless Hawk

The Faithless Hawk

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Member Reviews

I was interested to see where the story was going after the first book but the second book was not nearly as captivating.

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Disclaimer: I received this book at no cost from the publisher/author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I am leaving a voluntary review and all opinions are my own.

This book really impressed me. I really enjoyed the first book in this series but I think that Margaret Owen really kicked things up a notch in the sequel.

One of the things that I love most about this series is the excellent and unique world-building. The world that Owen has created is exceptionally crafted and detailed. The entire premise for this series is so original and intriguing. The plot really thickens in the second book of this duology. I really appreciated the depth of the plot. The plot really tied into the world-building in this one and it was a brilliant evolution. I did find it hard to follow at times but everything comes together in the end. Owen's writing voice is one that I struggled with in the first book but I didn't find it as detrimental to my reading experience this time around. I definitely think that her writing style is uniquely her own and while I don't mesh with it fully I can still appreciate her crafting prowess.

There is a lot of character development in this book. The characters are hard to talk about without getting spoilery, but a lot happens to make these characters grow. Jasimir is a character that really blossomed in this book. I honestly didn't like him much in the first book but he really shines in this one. I've always admired Fie's character. She is strong and capable and we learn so much about her in this book. Tavin's character may surprise you in this book but, in the end, he ends up right where he belongs. I really like how the main characters in this series have clear-cut personalities, but I always had trouble differentiating between Fie's band of crows and some of the other secondary characters.

The romance in the book was satisfying. Again, I can't say much because it would be too spoilery but generally speaking, you can expect the unexpected in this book. The feelings that Fie and Tavin have for each other are not hard to pin down. They both act in the name of these feelings in different ways throughout the book. In the end, I was very happy with the conclusion.

And this is totally random thought, but the covers of the books in this series are absolutely gorgeous!

Overall, this is a creative story full of rich world-building, a twisty plot that will make you want more, and characters that will keep surprising you. This book series is an adventure that you don't want to miss out on!

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I couldn’t get into this one but others have enjoyed it and it just might not have fit me but others might enjoy it.

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A bit better than the first book, but still incredibly slow paced by my taste. I personally don't prefer it but if you're into that you may enjoy it!

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Hello hi I am converted and obsessed with Margaret Owen’s books. I picked up The Faithless Hawk immediately after finishing The Merciful Crow and have zero regrets. In fact, this is my favorite kind of reading to do. BINGE READING, where you just gobble up one book after another by the same author. I don’t often give myself permission to do this, but am going to aim to do it more. You see, reading The Faithless Hawk in quick succession with The Merciful Crow completely enhanced my experience with this duology.

As you know, The Faithless Hawk concludes The Merciful Crow duology. This book picks up pretty immediately after the events of the first book. Fie is now the leader of her group of Crows. She’s hoping Prince Jasimir will keep his pledge to protect the Crows. However, tensions are increasing. People aren’t paying the Crows what they should be. Meanwhile, Rhusana, the Swan Queen, has got something sinister up her sleeve for the crows. This comes to light as the plague beacons are lit and it turns out that the king has died. This leaves Rhusana a path to the throne. But also, it seems, Rhusana has an unlikely ally. It will take extraordinary planning and effort from Fie, her band of Crows, and others to save Sabor from Rhusana’s clutches and ensure the right person is on the throne (Jasimir).

You’ve probably already gathered this, but I LOVED The Faithless Hawk. The character development of Fie was chef’s kiss PERFECT. She is now in her role as chieftain and making some pretty big decisions that will impact all of the Crows. We see a huge reveal about Fie’s character as well as about the whole Caste system, the Plague, and the Crows. I loved how that played out, but I can see how it could go either way in reader opinion.

Also, with a certain other character, Tavin, I was so on edge. But, of course, Margaret Owen is a wonderful puppet master and the way the characters were maneuvered was ideal in the end. How everything came together was so well done and I just ended up extremely satisfied. Personally, this was a wonderful fantasy YA read for me and honestly I am going to pursue buying a copy of this duology for my book shelf.

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I listened to The Faithless Crow on audiobook like I did with The Merciful Crow. I found the story to be a bit confusing and hard to follow. I wished I read these books in print format. Still a good book though.

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I thought this was a great follow up to the first book and it took a completely different direction that I was expecting! I really hope that there might be more written in this world!

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I had a really hard time getting into this book at no fault of the author. Reading a book about a plague in 2020 just... it's hard. That said, the world building is great but almost does the book a disservice. It takes so long to get going that by the time it does you have more questions than answers about what's going on and why.

That said, once the novel gets going it GOES hard. I want to reread this once the pandemic is over because I think this might be a REALLY good story when the world is not on fire. Fie and Tavin's relationship remains a focal point and one of my favorite parts of the book. I will definitely be looking to see what Owen does next - if this is her first series I can't wait to see what she does.

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A great follow up novel. Deeply compelling, fantastic writing, engaging characters, and epic world building.

I recommend this series to anyone!

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This book answered all my questions and then some! The plot twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat and the ending had me screaming. I didn’t love the first book, but this one has definitely made me a fan.

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This duology has been amazing and this book utterly satisfying. Very cool concepts of societal classes involving bird species and old gods I really dig. If you like fantasy, YA, and strong female leads, you'll enjoy this series.

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The Faithless Hawk is the conclusion to one of the best duologies I've ever read. The writing continues to be exceptionally, and a true experience to read as the stylization enhances the reading experience. The characters, the world, all of its is so well realized that it's hard to believe this story fits into two relatively thin books. While reading, its easy to become absolutely engrossed in what is happening, the book is quite hard to put down. I recommend for readers looking for a shorter fantasy series, this one 100 times! You really won't regret it.

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An absolute roller coaster of emotions. I was a big fan of The Merciful Crow and this second half of the duology was a perfect match.
I had moments of anger and fear but also a few where I swooned or swore out loud.
An epic read from start to finish. 5/5

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I am utterly and completely in love with this duology. The Merciful Crow has quickly become a go-to fantasy book recommendation to give to my friends and family. I usually try to keep my expectations low when delving into a sequel, particularly in duologies because I’ve been burned so many times. Yet, when I started the Faithless Hawk, high on the magnificent journey of the Merciful Crow, I didn’t even try to check my expectations. Thankfully, the Faithless Hawk wildly exceeded them and was just as masterful and compelling as the first. Deeply satisfying, well-crafted, and emotional, I am obsessed with these books.
I’d been so fascinated by Owen’s worldbuilding in Crow and was delighted at how she further expanded on what we knew to give us this rich tapestry of detail and history. Fie is an absolute firecracker and I love her so much. I love her righteous fury and strength but I also love how doggedly and fiercely she looks after her own and how her actions come from a place of love in the face of such exceptional cruelty and hardships.
There is such a wonderful cast of characters here, both good and bad that really bring so much life to this series. It feels properly inhabited with both the best and the basest of humanity. I also have to say that while I really loved the romantic relationships in these books, they were not the star here. There are so many fantasy books that I’ve read where they rise or fall based upon the romance to where it can feel like that is the main course while the plot and other stakes are just side dishes. This is one of the rare cases that while the romance is compelling and gripping and moving and all that great stuff, it was a side dish for me with Fie’s journey and fight taking center stage in such a delicious way.
I also appreciated the humor and lightness that Owen rendered here. Despite the tension and drama, I laughed so many times. It was all so wonderfully threaded together. There is just so much to love about these books. I really appreciated that though she hardly shied away from horror and viciousness, she didn’t just kill characters willy-nilly. I’ve gotten so tired but used to characters just being killed off for shock value and it was so refreshing that she didn’t put us through that kind of senselessness. Everything was thought out and measured with precision. While I will certainly read anything Margaret Owen will give me, I actually feel quite satisfied with the conclusion of this story. It felt both deserved and well-paced which is also rare for duologies. She is definitely an insta-buy author for me now.
All in all, this was a wonderful and thoughtful conclusion to a truly magnificent duology. I can’t recommend The Merciful Crow and the Faithless Hawk enough.

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Margaret Own makes me think of Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse or Emily Duncan's Wicked Saints. This series has such wonderful dark, twisty feelings that leaves you a little sick to your stomach, but in an oh so good way. I love that it was a duology and I'm not left with wanting more. But, oh am I left with wanting more!! This world is developed so wonderful and the characters are so real, that I want to keep traveling in their caravan of crows ridding the world of plague forever. Even though this story is over, please give me more!

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The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow series) by Margaret Owen; Henry Holt, 387 pages ($18.99) Ages 14 to 18.

In the breathtaking conclusion to her marvelous fantasy duology, Margaret Owen offers a thrilling blend of heart-pounding suspense, diabolical scheming and pyrotechnics, set against a well-crafted political backdrop of kingdom and caste.

Fie, our fierce, sharp-tongued heroine, is not yet 17 but has taken her father's place as chief of the Crows, the despised lowest caste of the Kingdom of Sabor, immune to the plague and thus tasked with mercy-killing plague victims, cutting their throats and burning their bodies. (The opening sentence: "Fie was taking too long to cut the girl's throat.")

Fie saved Prince Jasimir's life (and fell in love with his bodyguard Tavin) in the first book, in return for the prince's Covenant oath to protect the Crows once he ascends the throne. But black smoke signals the death of the king, and ruthless Queen Rhusana will stop at nothing to seize power herself and bring death to the Crows.

Interesting new characters include the spy Khoda and the Hawk bodyguard Corporal Lakima. Barf the cat makes a return appearance.

Rhusana makes a fearsome villain, wearing a gown embroidered with hair, walking about with a white tiger with diamond collar which might just chomp on a rude guest during a palace gathering. The grotesque opulence of the palace is wondrously described, "hedges trimmed into tigers, phoenixes, gods"... "grand lapis lazuli-encrusted fountains." An elaborate well serves as execution device. The fantasy elements are ingenious: the witches, the hidden shrines, the powers called from teeth and bone, the terrifying zombie-like skin ghasts.

The Merciful Crow series will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo, Kristin Cashore, Sabaa Tahir and Christelle Dabos (the Mirror Visitor Quartet).

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I received a complimentary copy of The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen from Henry Holt and Co. through Netgalley. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The Faithless Hawk came out in August 2020!
Since The Faithless Hawk is a sequel and I don't want to spoil The Merciful Crow for anyone, I won't be discussing the plot of The Faithless Hawk in this review. This will just be my thoughts and feelings about the sequel! I personally loved The Merciful Crow and had high expectations for The Faithless Hawk. Luckily, Margaret Owen definitely delivered! I purposely didn't read a synopsis before starting this sequel, so I had no clue where the plot would take me. I loved every second. I was mad, I was laughing, and I was enjoying the journey. I will say Jas really gets a chance to shine in this one, which is fantastic! I'm so glad I read The Merciful Crow and The Faithless Hawk! I'd highly recommend them to YA fantasy fans!

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This book is everything I expected it to be, and more. I was blown away by the compelling plot, phenomenal character development, and exquisite world building. I didn’t think the plot could thicken any more than it did in The Merciful Crow, but I was so wrong. The Faithless Hawk outshines its predecessor, but in the best possible way. Margaret Owen has truly outdone herself.

What I loved about The Faithless Hawk is how Margaret Owen seamlessly blends the plot with the world and the magic system. It’s so well put and just wonderfully whole. I loved learning more about Fie and who she was in her past lives. I loved seeing her grow as a character and a Chief. And her relationship with Tavin continuously made me swoon. There was never a time while reading this book that I felt lost or bored – The Faithless Hawk is a book that kept me on my toes and my eyes glued to the page.

This duology is one I could read over again and again. It’s so beautifully structured and well written. Margaret Owen truly knows how to weave a great and compelling story. Her writing is lush and flows right off the page. And I thought Owen tied up the ending to this duology wonderfully. She gave readers a series that will be talked about for years to come, and I will be one of those readers constantly recommending it. It’s such a powerful story, one I feel fiercely about.

All in all, I loved everything about The Faithless Hawk. It has anger, love, constant twists and turns, and so much more. If you’re looking for a fantastic series with a wonderfully addictive storyline and exquisite characters, I definitely recommend this duology!

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A brilliant sequel! I think I actually liked it more than the first book. The worldbuilding, the characters, the magic system, the writing were all beautifully executed. I would have liked a bit more romance, but that's just me, I always crave more romance. And Fie is definitely one of my favourite heroines, she's such a strong-minded girl. Overall it's a great book and I'm looking forward to reading more from the author!

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Lasting Impressions

From the very first page of this book, I was completely entranced. I read The Merciful Crow a week ago, and I really enjoyed it. The Faithless Hawk went above and beyond all of my expectations. Not only that, but it ended with a spectacularly satisfying end and it left me wanting more.

I'm a sucker for political intrigue, and The Faithless Hawk has it in droves. While The Merciful Crow focuses more on a journey, much of The Faithless Hawk is set in one place, and it is so exciting. The stakes felt higher, the themes more gut-punching, and Fie seemed to thrive in the circumstances. I seriously wish I could be less vague, but I don't want to spoil anything.

This book further explores the relationships between Fie, Tavin, and Jasimir in new and surprising ways. They felt even more real to me in this book than in the last. Their needs and desires felt even more urgent. I thought I loved them in the last book, but boy did this book hold no punches. The growth of each character was SO GOOD. I got chills when they finally broke through or let go of what was holding them back.

Margaret Owen goes deeper into the world building and magic system in The Faithless Hawk. There's more lore, new environments to explore, and so much amazing magic. It was all just so intriguing.

Quick Thoughts
-I wish to be pronounced "Cat-Master" some day.

Overall Feelings

This series is so incredible! It's complex themes, characters, and world building drew me in and didn't let me go until the very last page—and honestly, I still want more! I can't wait to see what else Margaret Owens writes next!

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