Book Review

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy – Megan Bannen

Book Title: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy

Series:  I WISH!

Author:  Megan Bannen

Goodreads Link:

Release Date:  08/23/22

Star Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Everything you could want in a cozy, funny, irreverent fantasy book.

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other? – Goodreads

I have to say I feel so LUCKY this year. It seems like I’ve gotten to read so many five star books this year and this book is definitely one of my favorites so far!

This book has everything I could have possibly wanted in a fantasy romance novel.

  • Enemies to lovers trope
  • Mature protagonists (I’m kind of over YA)
  • Hilarious anthropomorphic sarcastic mail carriers
  • Adorable lazy dog
  • Tasty food

The plot itself reminds me a LOT of the old movie A Shop Around the Corner. Pen-pal’s who actually hate each other in real life but find connection through their letters. Only the characters are so much more likable in this book than in that movie (Jimmy Stewart notwithstanding). I admit that it is not one of my favorite movies, but the idea is great.

I particularly loved Hart himself. What a great character! I wasn’t tricked by his gruff exterior … I think he’s a bit of a cinnamon roll and his journey of personal growth was very heartwarming. The book is also deeply philosophical about family, how we value our contributions in life, and how/whether we come to an acceptance of our own mortality. It reminded me of the last few episodes of The Good Place, a show that I found to be incredibly life affirming and positive. I really value what that show and this book has to say about coming to a place of acceptance and peace surrounding the eventuality we all have to face. Don’t worry though, there are enough fun times in the book to ameliorate the tough subject matter. I know that I will be rereading this book again in the future and I have a feeling it will become a true comfort read.

I hope you will give this one a chance, it’s well worth your time.


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