Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 448 pages
Author: Megan Bannen
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: August 23rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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?

Set in a world full of magic and demigods, donuts and small-town drama, this enchantingly quirky, utterly unique fantasy is perfect for readers of The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Invisible Library.

Thank you to Orbit for a finished copy!


I have found myself on the side of LOVING this read. I think taking my time and really diving into the depth of the background of Hart and Mercy brought out the feels as this book wrapped up.

Letter writing books are some of my favorite. I love notes back and forth. As both parties released some of the tension and longing and trying to find more connection in life. The lonely nature of these souls spoke to something deep within me.

With nods to enemies to lovers and hidden identities the secrets poured out as Hart and Mercy got closer. But with some critical information left on the side the conflict was imminent. I thought it was handled well though and fit the theme of the story.

It’s a very quirky fantasy. The world building is a bit out there and I’m not sure it worked all the time, yet…it still did? It’s hard to explain, but I recommend leaning into the weirdness of this with talking animals delivering letters and zombies galore.

I was all in the emotions at the ending. I am completely smitten with Hart and love him so dang much. This does have a HEA, even if it was touch and go for a bit. I loved the reveals at the end and that Hart got everything he was after to feel fulfilled and ultimately, loved.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple open door (on the brief side)
  • Violence: med/high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved one, physical and weaponry altercations, zombie attacks

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