After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra―the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter―has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself.
Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince―if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning.
On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra’s family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.
Author: T. Kingfisher
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 26/04/2022
My Chosen Format: Hardcover
My Rating For ‘Nettle & Bone’: 4 out of 5
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I had an absolute blast with this. T. Kingfisher has been one of my favourite authors since reading her two horror novels ‘The Twisted One’ and ‘The Hollow Places’, so I was very curious to see her tackle a bit of a fantasy/fairy tale style story-telling.
She did not disappoint.
I do have one negative about the book, so will get that out of the way to begin with. It took me a little while to get in to Nettle & Bone and to actually figure out what and why things were happening or to feel anything for the main character. This was most likely due to the simplistic scene setting that works incredibly well for the fairy tale setting, but is simply something I’m not massively used to.
That being said, the rest of the book felt like it had so much meat on the bone to get stuck into because of/in spite of the simplistic build. The main cast of characters were an absolute delight and there is genuinely something for everyone in that little core group. I loved the Dust-Wife and the Fairy Godmother most of all, and the lure of a demonically possessed chicken was too much to say no to where picking up this book was concerned.
After the initial ‘will I like this’ feeling, I was completely addicted and got incredibly absorbed into the story that Kingfisher was telling. Even when little more than travelling was happening, the way she wove the interactions between characters and the little nods to aspects of the world that was unfolding kept me well and truly hooked and always wanting more.
I have never been one to get excited at the idea of a fairy tale re-telling, so I think the fact that this was a mash up of a few different things with that delightfully T. Kingfisher slant on it, made it something that just went down an absolute treat. It was also incredibly easy reading and with enough character quirks that you never truly felt like you knew everything about any of the main characters.
At the end of Nettle & Bone I was left feeling pretty fulfilled, not something I often get at the end of a book, especially a stand alone. So an enjoyable time was certainly had.
Kingfisher is the pen name of Ursula Vernon (a children’s writer) who has branched out and done some wonderfully entertaining things in horror and now fairy-tales/fantasy aimed for an adult market. I look forward to seeing what she puts her mind to next and will certainly be reading it, whatever it is. Dark science fiction horror would be cool … I can live in hope.