Tuesday, August 30, 2022


Rating: 4/5 stars

I’ve heard this novel described as Howl’s Moving Castle but for adults, and while I don’t totally agree with that statement, I still thought the story was whimsical and cute, and I really enjoyed it. 

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a hate-to-love romance with some fantasy elements. Mercy is an undertaker and Hart is a demigod marshal who brings her dead bodies to take care of. They hate each other but are forced to work together. One day, Hart writes a letter to no one about how lonely he is. He doesn’t expect it to get delivered to anyone, but it shows up at Mercy’s door, labeled as being from “a friend.” Mercy corresponds with this mysterious friend, confiding in him, neither of them knowing who is on the other end of the pen. I loved this idea because they fall in love with each other via handwritten letters while still hating each other in person. I’ve never seen that done before in a novel, but it was so much fun and had me giggling while I read because I knew more than the characters did about how they actually felt about each other. 

Although this novel is marketed as a fantasy, I think it would appeal more to romance readers who also enjoy fantastical components because the focus of the book is on the relationship between Hart and Mercy with a secondary focus on Mercy’s family and undertaking adventures. The fantasy elements are visibly present but also primarily in the background of the story, so readers expecting an epic fantasy will be disappointed here. I love romantic fantasy novels, so I had a great time with this story. 

I love that The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a standalone novel. As much as I love a long series, a good standalone that wraps up nicely at the end is so satisfying, and that’s how this book is. It has a nice conclusion and doesn’t leave any questions hanging open at the end. 

I had a great time reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a cute and swoon-worthy fantasy romance novel. 

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