The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen ★★★★★
“We all know the storm is coming; only a fool waits for the lightning to tell them to find shelter.”
The Faithless Hawk is a great ending to this fun duology and definitely a must-read
What. An. Ending. This book was so good, way better than the first. I was already a fan of the story of Fie and the Crows and I really liked The Merciful Crow. In The Faithless Hawk, Margaret Owen goes one step further and gives the story an exciting twist. The worldbuilding and magic were just like the characters, great. Highly recommended.
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.
I am a fan of this cover. It fits perfectly with the vibe of the story and it matches the first book as well.
Before starting this review, I recommend that you first read the review on The Merciful Crow, which is the first book in this series. You can find the review here: Review The Merciful Crow. I also want to say that the story of The Faithless Hawk builds on that of The Merciful Crow. That is why I often refer to the first book; to compare them.
The Faithless Hawk was full of betrayal, thrilling missions and plot twists. The plot builds on that of the first book, but gets even more interesting. A point of criticism I had with The Merciful Crow (the first book in this duology) was that there were a lot of unnecessary scenes in the book. Those scenes made the story very slow-paced, which I didn’t like. I didn’t have that feeling at all in this book. The Faithless Hawk reads very smoothly and I finished it in a few hours.
Just like in the first book, the characters were fun to follow. You don’t necessarily get to know the characters better, because Owen introduces them enough in the first book. The author adds some new characters to the story, which I liked. I was interested in the OG characters as well as the new ones. Fie is such a badass and I loved that we got to see her emotional and fragile side in The Faithless Hawk. She’s really learning how to be a good Boss and it’s not easy. Also, the amount of cats in this novel is just amazing.
“Wounds become scars, pain tempered to bitter wisdom, and from the embers of her grief always, always rose rage.”
I found the worldbuilding in this book even better than in the previous one. I could visualize many places such as forests and rooms. The magic was also fun to read about. In The Faithless Hawk we get to see the full potential of Fie and the teeth. Fie is getting better at how to be a Boss and how to use several teeth at the same time.
You can clearly see how all of these characters grow and become better people. This is very nice to see and I’m definitely going to miss these wonderful characters.
There were some scenes that didn’t *have* to be in the story, but that the author put in any way. Those scenes really add depth to the story and it definitely shows what a good writer Owen is.
*possible spoiler *
There is a certain scene that is about menstruation and pregnancy. Fie has to take a certain seed (laceroot seed) in order not to become pregnant or to have your period. Owen didn’t have to put this in the book, but the fact that she did that makes the book even better for me personally. Menstruation-talk isn’t often included very in fantasy books. This is the first time I read about periods in a young adult series (I think she put this is the first book as well but I can’t remember). I think we should put this in books more often.
I don’t have much to say about The Faithless Hawk just because I really liked it. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I can’t say much about the content as this is the second and last part in this series. All I can say is that it was a great ending to this series.
Would I recommend it?
If it wasn’t clear yet: YES! I would definitely recommend The Faithless Hawk, even if you weren’t a fan of the first book. This book was fantastic.
Death, teeth, blood, betrayal
Gay character, bisexual character
Young adult, fantasy
August 18, 2020
Henry Holt and Co.
About the author
Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen first encountered an author in the wild in fourth grade. Roughly twenty seconds later, she decided she too would be an author, the first of many well-thought-out life decisions.
The career plan shifted frequently as Margaret spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.
Fortunately, it turned out that fourth-grade Margaret was onto something. She now spends her days wrestling disgruntled characters onto the page, and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. (There is surprisingly little difference between the two.) In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations, and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations.