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The Mercies - Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Mercies - Kiran Millwood Hargrave

These books are from an independent bookshop limited and numbered edition of 2,000 copies.

Title: The Mercies

Author:  Kiran Millwood Hargrave

ISBN:  9781529005103

Weight:  849 g

Independent Bookshop limited, numbered and stamped, signed first edition, first printing



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The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm of 1617, The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and a love that may prove as dangerous as it is powerful.

On Christmas Eve, 1617, the sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm.  As Maren Magnusdatter watches, forty fishermen, including her father and brother, are lost to the waves, the menfolk of Vardø wiped out in an instant.

Now the women must fend for themselves.

Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives.  Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of Vardø to heel.  With him travels his young wife, Ursa.

In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women.  But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God and flooded with a mighty and terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs.

Peer & Press Reviews

The first adult novel from the award-winning children’s writer begins with one of the most dramatic openings I have read in a long time: it is Christmas eve, 1617, when a shattering storm takes the lives of all the fishermen off the coast of the remote Norwegian island of Vardø…  Based on the real-life witch trials of 1621, this is an immersive and beautifully written tale. Highly recommended.

Alice O'Keeffe, Editor’s Choice, The Bookseller

The Mercies took my breath away.  A beautifully rendered portrait of a community, a landscape, a relationship, I read it with equal parts hope and dread.  Kiran Millwood Hargrave has masterfully built up an incredible claustrophobic atmosphere, shot through with delicate intimacy.  On finishing it I pressed the book to me, hoping to absorb some of her skill.

Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring

A gripping novel inspired by a real-life witch hunt. Hargrave’s prose is visceral and immersive; the muddy, cold life and politics of a fishing village leap to vivid life.  But her most vital insights are about the human heart: how terrifyingly quickly prejudices can turn into murder, and how desperately we need love and courage to oppose it.  Beautiful and chilling.

Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title The Mercies
Book Features
Edition / printing First edition, first printing
Edition background

The Picador imprint of Pan Macmillan issued this signed and numbered limited edition of 2,000 copies.

Each book has an authentication page, tipped-in before the title page, that confirms the book’s printed number.  This page is also hand-stamped with a rune symbol (see below) and has the title and the phrase ‘Independent Bookshop Limited Edition’ printed on it.

In addition, the book has endpapers exclusive to this edition and a ribbon marker.

Available numbers Choice of 763 or 769 [of 2000, subject to availability]
Overall condition Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed On the number authentication page
Stamped In blue ink on the number authentication page with the symbol that stands for either X or Z in the Rune alphabet.  This is also known by the name Algiz, which signifies protection (divine protection or sanctuary).
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes

SoA Awards (Betty Trask Prize) 2021 – shortlist

Jhalak Prize 2021 – longlist (book of the year)

Book Club listings

A Richard & Judy’s Summer Book Club pick

Jo Whiley Radio 2 Book Club (Mon 27/01/2020)

Book Stats
Publisher Pan Macmillan
Imprint Picador
Publication date
Printed by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon
ISBN 13 9781529005103
ISBN 10 1529005108
Format Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages 336
Size (h x w x d) 224 x 144 x 34mm
Image and Design Credits
Author photograph Tom de Freston
Jacket design Katie Tooke, Picador Art Department
Jacket illustration Maya Hanisch, incorporating wave details from Norwegian Rosemaling: Edwin Remsberg / Alamy
Interior artwork Tom de Freston
Map artwork Global Blended Learning

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