Release Date: April 26th 2022
Publisher: Titan Books
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars
A dark and compelling fantasy about sisterhood, impossible tasks and the price of power, from award-winning author T. Kingfisher
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.
Nettle and Bone is a dark and addictive fairytale from T. Kingfisher, author of The Hollow Places. I have always wanted to try Kingfisher’s work but haven’t gotten around to trying it. When I got the opportunity to read Nettle and Bone I jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did because Nettle and Bone is probably one of my favourite books of the year.
The story follows Marra – she is the youngest of three princesses from a small kingdom. Their political situation is balanced on a knife edge and they are constantly threatened with invasion from the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Marra’s sisters are married off to protect the kingdom, but Marra soon learns of the abuse her sister is suffering at the hands of Prince Vorling of the Northern Kingdom. Determined to save her sister she embarks on a quest to kill him and free her family.
Do you ever pick up a book and it is just exactly the right book at the right time? That was Nettle and Bone for me. I was immediately captivated by this story. I loved the fairytale feel of the story and how Kingfisher twisted this into something darker and more gruesome. I really enjoyed Kingfisher’s writing style and the story felt really well paced. This story is so vivid and clever, I honestly could not put it down.
Marra is an interesting protagonist, but the cast of characters that she brings along on her journey are what made me fall in love with this story. I loved the dust-wife, who can talk to the dead and has a chicken that may or may not have a demon in him. I also liked Agnes, the godmother who is much more than she seems. Kingfisher has a knack for creating these really fascinating characters and I am so looking forward to reading more of their work. There’s also plenty of clever, witty dialogue that had me laughing on more than a few occasions.
Nettle and Bone is a fun and fascinating read. If you love fairytales but you’d like something that’s a bit of a twist on the stories you know and love, this is definitely a must-read.