Page Count 256
Publication date April 2022
-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.
‘Chicken possessed by a demon’!?!? I’m in!
The first thing to strike me about this novel was how quickly Kingfisher constructs a clear image of a fictional world. Seemingly effortless, there’s no over indulgent description to slow the action and yet I got a vivid idea of Marra’s surroundings almost immediately.
Kingfisher has an incredible imagination; Nettle & Bone is packed with bizarre magic, strange creatures and utter nonsense- it’s just pure fun! Demon chickens, goblin markets, magical staircases and bone dogs, anything is possible and so completely unpredictable.
Kingfisher’s writing flows easily, focusing on a single timeline in third person perspective with excellent pacing.
A band of merry(ish) adventurers on a quest to save the future of the Princesses, I really enjoyed Nettle & Bone and highly recommend this ray of sunshine to all fantasy lovers.
Be warned there is some darkness; child loss and abuse lurk beneath the surface, neither of these are at all graphic but exist as a necessary plot point.
The dust-wife gave me a few good belly chuckles, I do like cantankerous old witches. Coupled with Princess Marra’s candor and Godmother Agnes naivety I found them so amusing it was easy to forget their murderous intentions.
Every one of the characters (aside from the big bad Prince) was loveable, all of them loyal and righteous- I invested heavily and could read about them all endlessly.
If you are looking for a little more horror in your life though, allow me to redirect you to Kingfisher’s previous novel The Hollow Places- another (albeit darker) excellent example of wondrous imagination, endearing characters and skilled world building.
T Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon) is now sitting pretty on my autobuy author list. Give. Me. More!