Hot Best Seller

Nettle & Bone

Availability: Ready to download

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 tale 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.


Compare

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 tale 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.

30 review for Nettle & Bone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Candise

    Me, reading the synopsis: Yes, yes, check, okay. Gets to the fourth paragraph: "a chicken possessed by a demon" Me: ... Me: Okay. Give it to me. Me, reading the synopsis: Yes, yes, check, okay. Gets to the fourth paragraph: "a chicken possessed by a demon" Me: ... Me: Okay. Give it to me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I have to admit: I’m a devoted fan of the author! She never disappoints me with her extraordinary creative mind, taking me trips to meticulously built fantasy worlds with adorable characters. I like her sarcastic, sharp, direct tone! This book has two different parts: At the first part: we’re introduced to Marra, shy, resilient, youngest of three princesses from little kingdom, sent to convent as one of her sisters is dead and other one is getting abused by the same vicious prince she’s married. I have to admit: I’m a devoted fan of the author! She never disappoints me with her extraordinary creative mind, taking me trips to meticulously built fantasy worlds with adorable characters. I like her sarcastic, sharp, direct tone! This book has two different parts: At the first part: we’re introduced to Marra, shy, resilient, youngest of three princesses from little kingdom, sent to convent as one of her sisters is dead and other one is getting abused by the same vicious prince she’s married. She decides to take the matters on her own hands to get revenge. Only way to save her middle sister to kill the prince. She seeks help to accomplish this suicide mission by demanding the help of dust-wife. Smart dust-wife offers the tools she needs, but only if she can complete three seemingly impossible tasks:
—build a dog of bones
—sew a cloak of nettles
—capture moonlight in a jar And surprisingly Marra completes those tasks. At the opening of the book we witness how she digs the ground to find the proper bones left from cannibals to build a bone dog. She finds a creative way to sew a cloak of nettles in expanse damaging her left hand. Dust-wife cannot believe in her eyes but deal is a deal! They have an impossible mission to accomplish and a cruel prince to destroy. But two of them are not powerful enough to achieve their task. They need more accomplices. At the second part: new team members join their road trip: including a chicken: possessed by demon, a reluctant fairy god mother, a disgraced knight named Fenris ( sweet romance alert) Let’s not forget the dust-wife is very powerful graveyard witch who can make meaningful chats with ghosts. That road trip part of the book was more entertaining, sarcastic with witty dialogues help us take a break after the dark, eccentric, mysterious opening of the story. The conclusion is also satisfying and promising enough as the other impressive works of the author! Overall: I cannot give less than five stars to any work of this brilliant author! This was original, mind blowing, intelligent, creative and surprisingly entertaining! Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/ Forge for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    karen

    Nothing is fair, except that we try to make it so. That's the point of humans, maybe, to fix things the gods haven't managed. t kingfisher delivers another absolute stunner, smashing up a bunch of fairytales and reassembling them into a glittering mosaic made up of fragments of familiar images, filling in the gaps with gems mined from her dark-slanting imagination, creating a whole new, wondrous thing and crackling it into wild, pulsating life. here, you will find a goblin market, labyrinthine ro Nothing is fair, except that we try to make it so. That's the point of humans, maybe, to fix things the gods haven't managed. t kingfisher delivers another absolute stunner, smashing up a bunch of fairytales and reassembling them into a glittering mosaic made up of fragments of familiar images, filling in the gaps with gems mined from her dark-slanting imagination, creating a whole new, wondrous thing and crackling it into wild, pulsating life. here, you will find a goblin market, labyrinthine royal burial chambers, a demon-possessed chicken, the blessings and curses of godmothers, a tooth-merchant, a heroine faced with three impossible tasks, angry ghosts, cannibals, a puppet-plagued innkeeper, a thief-wheel, a dog made of bones, and murrrrder. under the spell of kingfisher's quietly confident storytelling, these mind-bogglingly disparate elements coalesce gracefully into a wholly original story, refracting all the expectations of fairytales and quest narratives into something more stirring, heartbreaking, funny, and satisfying than should be possible. it's just another story of a girl trying to kill a prince to protect her sister AND THE FRIENDS SHE MAKES ALONG THE WAY. marra is the youngest of three princesses, and an unlikely heroine: Marra had grown up sullen, the sort of child who is always standing in exactly the wrong place so that adults tell her to get out of the way. She was not slow, exactly, but she seemed younger than her age, and little interested her for long. her eldest, and favorite, sister damia is married off to prince vorling, forging an alliance between his kingdom and their family's smaller and more vulnerable city-state. however, five months after their wedding, damia dies under suspicious circumstances. mutually-disliking middle-sister kania becomes vorling's replacement-bride, and fifteen-year-old marra is shuttled off to a convent to prevent her from marrying and potentially birthing an inconvenient rival to the throne before kania gives vorling an heir. marra adjusts to the simplicity of a novice's life, and when her sister finally becomes pregnant five years later, she attends the christening of kania's daughter, where she meets vorling for the first time and begins to suspect he was responsible for damia's untimely death, and fears that kania is also in danger, until/unless/after she produces a son. ten years later, she decides to actually do something about it. what follows is a heroic, reckless, impossible plan, and i'm not sure i can do better than alix harrow's blurb: Nettle & Bone is what happens when all the overlooked bit players of classic fantasy somehow wind up on the main quest. It's funny, frightening, and full of heart; I loved it. as much as i cringe at using a cliché to describe something as unique as this story, they are, in fact, a ragtag bunch: a dust-wife and her demon-containing hen, agnes; a flustery godmother, fenris; a disgraced knight, marra; our almost-nun heroine, and bonedog; her lovable bonedog. which is exactly what it sounds like. "Five of us," said Fenris, looking over at the others approvingly. Marra leaned down and scratched Bonedog's spine until his jaws clattered with pleasure. "Five is a fist. Five is a hand on the enemy's throat." "I suppose that makes us each fingers," said Marra. She curled her own around Bonedog's spine, taking comfort from the hard ridges. "You're the thumb," she told the dog. Bonedog wagged his tail. kingfisher is SO GOOD at writing animal characters, and even though i have never seen her kill one of 'em off, in this one bonedog starts out dead, so you don't need to worry about him coming to any much harm. it's a perfect story, perfectly told. i am so in love with kingfisher's fertile imagination and nuanced character-work, the quiet lines she just tosses out that mean so much more than they seem to at first glance, how nothing is ever black-and-white and the care she takes in managing the gray, even her dang author's notes are fun. t kingfisher is my fairytale godmother and all her gifts are blessings. and look at these beautiful endpapers or whatever they're called: and bonedog's hiding under the hood! come to my blog!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    A hearty hello to one of my new favorite books. Seriously, Nettle & Bone was the EASIEST FIVE STAR RATING I'VE GIVEN ALL YEAR!!! I absolutely adored this story from the very first moments. T. Kingfisher positively swept me up into the humorous, enchanting fantasy quest of my dreams. Nettle & Bone follows Princess Marra of the Harbor Kingdom on a quest to save her sister. Marra is the third-born daughter in her family. The first born was married to a particular Prince. It didn't end well. Now the se A hearty hello to one of my new favorite books. Seriously, Nettle & Bone was the EASIEST FIVE STAR RATING I'VE GIVEN ALL YEAR!!! I absolutely adored this story from the very first moments. T. Kingfisher positively swept me up into the humorous, enchanting fantasy quest of my dreams. Nettle & Bone follows Princess Marra of the Harbor Kingdom on a quest to save her sister. Marra is the third-born daughter in her family. The first born was married to a particular Prince. It didn't end well. Now the second-born daughter, Kania, is married to that very same Prince and Marra suspects that he is hurting her. Vorling, the Prince in question, has his sights set on a male heir. If this second sister can't produce one for him, guess who is next in line? Marra! This isn't her main concern though. I mean, yes, that would be absolutely terrible. This guy is basically Joffrey Baratheon reborn. Regardless, Marra's only concern is getting Kania out of danger. She is literally willing to do anything in order to free her, including commit murder. Unsure how to even begin, Marra enlists the help of a Dust Wife. I won't go into what exactly a Dust Wife is, just trust, this one is one of the coolest characters ever written! The Dust Wife asks Marra to complete three impossible tasks and then she will help her. Before long, the two set off on the road to the Northern Kingdom, along with the Dust Wife's hen, who happens to be possessed by a demon. Thus it begins, the most perfect quest. They gather traveling companions along the way, such as a former, and arguably sexy, knight, as well as a Fairy Godmother. It's safe to say that I love this story with the same passion, and frankly, for the same reasons, that I love The Princess Bride. Kingfisher is delivering all the classic Fantasy Quest tropes I adore, while glazing the entire tale with a healthy layer of humor. Additionally, I enjoyed how she was able to mix real-life themes into this story. For example, partner abuse, which we all know is very real, the way that was explored in this fantastical setting was quite interesting. As I mentioned earlier, from the very start I was hooked on this story. Previously, I have only picked up Horror stories from Kingfisher, but this proves her talents know no bounds. She crushes any genre she writes in. I am so happy to have found a new book to add to my all-time Favorites list. I will definitely be picking up a hard copy of this and rereading it at some point in the near future. As an aside, I did listen to the audiobook and highly recommend that format. The narration was fantastic and kept me dialed in the entire way through. Thank you so very much to the publisher, Tor and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copies to read and review. It was such an enjoyable reading experience and the good news is, this isn't it from Kingfisher in 2022. I'm so excited to check out What Moves the Dead very soon!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    THIS WAS SO FUN!! if you like quest fanatsy books then do yourself a favor and pick this up now!!! it really reminded me of my favorite childhood movie Quest for Camelot, but darker. we are following the youngest princess to a small kingdom who is set out on a quest to free her sister from her abusive husband. in order to kill him she must break a curse that is protecting him. to do this she gathers a crew consisting of a gravewitch, a fairy godmother, a disgraced knight, a bone dog, and a chick THIS WAS SO FUN!! if you like quest fanatsy books then do yourself a favor and pick this up now!!! it really reminded me of my favorite childhood movie Quest for Camelot, but darker. we are following the youngest princess to a small kingdom who is set out on a quest to free her sister from her abusive husband. in order to kill him she must break a curse that is protecting him. to do this she gathers a crew consisting of a gravewitch, a fairy godmother, a disgraced knight, a bone dog, and a chicken possessed by a demon.

  6. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Classic T Kingfisher - a fairy tale that delves deep into the darkness and horror that underlies those stories, both in sinister magic and in human cruelty. But there is also kindness, and friendship, and love, and hope. A magical tale with high stakes and a lot of humour: I read it in a sitting and loved it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    "Fight for your Fairy Tale. It does exist." (Unknown) T. Kingfisher never disappoints. She takes us on an enchanted journey to faraway kingdoms. Much turmoil is about. Kingfisher sees to it that the tale is justly complicated at exacting points and brightly glowing with color and intrigue in all the right places. Eyes wide open..... Marra is the youngest of the three princesses of the Harbor Kingdom. Her mother, the queen, has arranged marriages for the older two sisters to the Prince of the North "Fight for your Fairy Tale. It does exist." (Unknown) T. Kingfisher never disappoints. She takes us on an enchanted journey to faraway kingdoms. Much turmoil is about. Kingfisher sees to it that the tale is justly complicated at exacting points and brightly glowing with color and intrigue in all the right places. Eyes wide open..... Marra is the youngest of the three princesses of the Harbor Kingdom. Her mother, the queen, has arranged marriages for the older two sisters to the Prince of the Northern Kingdom. Vorling is a cruel ruler who seems to have taken hostages instead of wives. His sight is set on an heir to the throne. It doesn't quite seem to be happening to his deep dismay. In order to avoid the wrath of Vorling, the queen sends Marra to the convent of Our Lady of the Grackles for safe keeping. But Marra knows that she must do something to save her surviving sister, Kania. In a nun's attire, she takes to the road to find a dust-wife who will require three tasks from her in order to help. Kingfisher pulls out all the stops from here on out. We'll travel through a goblin market that abides by fastidious rules. Marra will be accompanied by Bonedog which she erected from fall-away bones. There's also the dust-wife who balances her darkly feathered, demon-possessed chicken on her staff. An out-of-work godmother and an imprisoned knight will round out this crowd. Onward to save Kania from the vicious Vorling. Kingfisher has a mind lined with the most creative and imaginative mirrors. She tells a tale like no other. There are always fine bits of humor and multi-faceted characters chasing well thought out actions and challenges. It's always the Land of Make Believe in adult size. Charming, inventive, and engaging, Nettle & Bone is a pure delight for all of us. I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Tor/Forge Books and to the talented T. Kingfisher for the opportunity.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    GIVE ME ALL THE FEMINIST FAIRYTALES

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    A darker, more sinister fairytale than what we’re used to, Nettle & Bone offers some familiar ideas but twisted and gnarled into something else entirely. We first meet Marra digging in a pile of bones left by local cannibals so she can find enough pieces to build a bone dog. It’s the second of three impossible tasks she’s been given by the dust-wife, a kind of sorceress that inhabits cemeteries and communicates with the dead. But Marra will complete them all, because it’s the only way she will ge A darker, more sinister fairytale than what we’re used to, Nettle & Bone offers some familiar ideas but twisted and gnarled into something else entirely. We first meet Marra digging in a pile of bones left by local cannibals so she can find enough pieces to build a bone dog. It’s the second of three impossible tasks she’s been given by the dust-wife, a kind of sorceress that inhabits cemeteries and communicates with the dead. But Marra will complete them all, because it’s the only way she will get the dust-wife to help her complete an even more impossible task: killing a prince. Because before Marra was a woman seeking vengeance, before she was a novice currently AWOL from her convent—she was a the youngest of three princesses of a small kingdom. Now with one sister gone and another at the mercy of an evil prince, Marra will do whatever she must to seize the chance to kill him. Luckily, along the way Marra is joined by the dust-wife, a banished knight, a sketchy fairy godmother, the bone dog and a chicken possessed by a demon 🐓, all willing and happy to help her commit regicide. At the very start of Nettle & Bone, when we’re first discovering who Marra is and what she wants, the story is filled with this fantastical feminist fury. She questions and then eventually challenges the inevitability of men, especially when it comes to a sense of entitlement to women’s bodies. The expectation that women will simply churn out kids without complaint is skewered by Kingfisher, in a refreshingly honest portrayal for a character like Marra, who doesn’t appear to have any interest in bearing children. That said, I could see some who are sensitive to discussions of pregnancy to not appreciate this part as much, though I don’t think it’s something that should cause offense. And despite beginning by bearing its teeth, the tale softens as it goes on. Once we start meeting each supporting character, the book becomes almost a road trip comedy, where a gaggle of sort-of friends get to know each other along the way. The writing is sharp, with smart and funny dialogue. There isn’t a weak link in the bunch; each character contributes something both entertaining and endearing to the dynamic. I also appreciate that the youngest character is a 30 year-old woman, with the majority of the other female characters being 50+. Not an angsty teenager in sight!! While the story takes plenty of detours on its way to the epic climax, it never feels like a waste of time. Plus, at 256 pages it’s not going to be a huge time commitment either way. All I can say is I had a great time reading this one, cackling throughout, and hope that people will try this bizarre little book for themselves. *Thanks to Tor Books for an advance review copy! **For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars This was a highly creative, original, and well thought out book. I am not the biggest fan of fantasy, and it took me some time to get into this book. I did enjoy the imagery with a princess, a bone dog, a dust wife, demon possessed chicken and more. Mara is the youngest and is aghast when she sees the treatment her sister receives from her husband. Naturally, she decides to take matters into her own hands with the help of the dust wife, who just happens to have a chicken possessed by a d 3.5 stars This was a highly creative, original, and well thought out book. I am not the biggest fan of fantasy, and it took me some time to get into this book. I did enjoy the imagery with a princess, a bone dog, a dust wife, demon possessed chicken and more. Mara is the youngest and is aghast when she sees the treatment her sister receives from her husband. Naturally, she decides to take matters into her own hands with the help of the dust wife, who just happens to have a chicken possessed by a demon. Along the way they meet some interesting characters including Fenis, I went back and forth on how I felt about this book. I thought the beginning was 3 star read and the later part of the book was 5 star read. So, I am going with 3.5 stars. Many are enjoyed this book than I did, so please read their reviews as well. I enjoyed the creativity and originality of this book. It is highly imaginative and well thought out. This is one that I enjoyed but can't say that I loved all the way through. I had a copy of the book and the audiobook, and I went back and forth between the two. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Books and Macmillan audio and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  11. 4 out of 5

    jenny✨

    i just finished this story, and three things are true: 1) i already want to reread this; 2) this was everything i never knew i wanted; and 3) t. kingfisher never disappoints. in fact, she has singlehandedly delivered two of my favourite 2022 advance-releases thus far (what moves the dead and now nettle & bone). once in a blue moon i will pick up a novel and, from the first sentence on the first page, feel it in my bones that i'm in for a good ride. nettle & bone was that blue moon. i wasn't sure wh i just finished this story, and three things are true: 1) i already want to reread this; 2) this was everything i never knew i wanted; and 3) t. kingfisher never disappoints. in fact, she has singlehandedly delivered two of my favourite 2022 advance-releases thus far (what moves the dead and now nettle & bone). once in a blue moon i will pick up a novel and, from the first sentence on the first page, feel it in my bones that i'm in for a good ride. nettle & bone was that blue moon. i wasn't sure what to expect based on the blurb alone, but i was excited to delve into my first-ever fantasy novel by t. kingfisher - and the minute i laid eyes on the opening lines, i was a goner: The trees were full of crows and the woods were full of madmen. The pit was full of bones and her hands were full of wires. marra, our protagonist, the youngest princess of the harbor kingdom, grew up in a convent and has two self-described skills: embroidery and weeding. when she realizes that she is the only one who will do something - anything - to avenge her dead sister and save her living one, she takes matters into her own hands: she is going to murder the cruel prince. (this prince is nothing like holly black's, mind you.) to do this, marra undergoes a quest with impossible tasks. she seeks a powerful gravewitch - the dust-wife; she weaves a cloak of burning, magicked nettle; she builds a dog of bones; she frees a man from ensorcelled servitude; she enlists the help of a godmother; and she survives a goblin market, a haunted necropolis, a blistered land cursed with cannibals. which brings me to two things that i absolutely adored about this story. first: t. kingfisher writes both nostalgically and unconventionally. the bones of this book will resonate with many of us - band of adventurers must face trials and tribulations, cleverly overcoming enchanted obstacles, to save the kingdom - and yet it is so distinctly t. kingfisher: ghastly and grim, funny and feminist, altogether wholly delightful. i was swept into the macabre world-building of this novel, ensnared by kingfisher's signature deadpan and knack for writing quick-paced banter between offbeat characters. which brings me to the second thing i loved: the cast and camaraderie at the heart of nettle & bone. marra is an unpretentious and endearing narrator that i was instantly rooting for - and she's joined by the sharp-tongued dust-wife (so many belly laughs evoked just from the dust-wife and her demon chicken alone); fenris the fallen knight; a loyal bone dog named bonedog; and agnes, a godmother who is somehow both the gentlest and scariest of the bunch. i would read a spin-off to do with *any* of these individual characters! i'm also immensely grateful to have listened to the audiobook for nettle & bone along with reading the e-book. it made for a thoroughly immersive experience, and amara jasper, the audiobook narrator, really brought each character to life with different voices, intonations, and emotions all coming across in her expressive voice. this novel reminded me of the wondrous escapism i first felt at the fantastical hands of gail carson levine, shannon hale, and garth nix - and, at the same time, kingfisher has carved a niche all her own, calling to mind the progressive sensibilities and sharp wit of contemporaries mira grant/seanan mcguire, holly black, and naomi novik. i cannot underscore enough how delicious and immersive and gratifying i find t. kingfisher’s storytelling. nettle & bone was one of my favourite reads of 2022 so far - a tale that i know i will return to time and again. many thanks to netgalley, macmillan audio, and macmillan-tor/forge for advance copies of the audiobook + e-book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    2.5 stars rounded up Nettle & Bone feels like a dark fairytale, blending elements from different stories and creating something new. It follows the youngest princess in a royal family of a small nation. After her older sister goes through a political marriage and dies without bearing an heir, the next sister in line must take her place as wife to a dangerous prince and our heroine is sent off to a nunnery. When she discovers her sister is being abused, she is determined to stop this prince using 2.5 stars rounded up Nettle & Bone feels like a dark fairytale, blending elements from different stories and creating something new. It follows the youngest princess in a royal family of a small nation. After her older sister goes through a political marriage and dies without bearing an heir, the next sister in line must take her place as wife to a dangerous prince and our heroine is sent off to a nunnery. When she discovers her sister is being abused, she is determined to stop this prince using whatever magic she can scrounge up. Take my review with a grain of salt because most reviewers seem to be loving this while I had more mixed feelings. I like how it's trying to tackle the issue of domestic violence through a fairytale, but while it started very strong, for me it dragged through the middle and I didn't really care about the romantic subplot. At times the writing is evocative and the world is dark and interesting. But to me it felt like it was trying to be macabre and violent while ALSO being sweet and lighthearted some of the time. And that didn't work for me, especially given the subject matter. I really wanted it to lean into more of the horror elements (which I know this author can do) and not try to shoehorn a romance into a story about DV and agency. That said, I could see this being a hit for readers who don't like horror and want this kind of a lighter blend. For me it was not enough of either thing, and had a lot of questing and journeying through the middle which I found less compelling. The audio narration is excellent though. I received an audio review copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    Kingfisher hath done it again. RTC and stuff.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    I wasn't sure this one was going to work for me: I'm allergic to horror, and the first chapter is, well, pretty grim. I set it aside for a few days, but by GR friend Jennifer Mo assured me that I should press on. In fact, here is her review, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . Which you may as well read first. I'll wait. Back already? Wow, it never occurred to me that Marra, her MC, mostly a nun at the books start, was 3o! I was guessing high teens. Huh. Fenris, her eventual BF, is defini I wasn't sure this one was going to work for me: I'm allergic to horror, and the first chapter is, well, pretty grim. I set it aside for a few days, but by GR friend Jennifer Mo assured me that I should press on. In fact, here is her review, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . Which you may as well read first. I'll wait. Back already? Wow, it never occurred to me that Marra, her MC, mostly a nun at the books start, was 3o! I was guessing high teens. Huh. Fenris, her eventual BF, is definitely older, more experienced, and more, well, knocked about by life. As you might expect from a soldier-mercenary, who ended up in the Goblin Market after a nice snooze in a Faery Circle.... Most of the T Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon I've previously read has been shorts, and many of those are stellar. I'll dig out a few for you before I finish, as many of her best are free online. And I have no clue why, on the jacket for this book, she is coy about her alter ego: "under a pen name, she writes children's books." Ursula Vernon appears to be her real name, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_... And here is the link I promised for her free short fiction online: https://www.freesfonline.net/authors/... Start with "The Tomato Thief" and "Jackalope Wives", is my advice. 6-star stories! But if you prefer long-form: well. I don't give out many full 5-star ratings. This book is one. And it's blessedly short! All sorts of fractured bits of fairy-tales get recycled here. Fairy Godmothers! Prince Charming! (NOT.) A Hen with an inner demons, I must have missed. And an Enchanted (baby) Chick! Cute 🐤 There's definitely lots of the smiles and goofy stuff that make Kingfisher/Vernon irresistible for me. Don't miss this one!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ed McDonald

    I managed to acquire an advanced reader copy. I'm very glad that I did! NETTLE AND BONE is a refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable fairy tale for modern readers. Combining elements of classical storytelling with wry gallows humour and moments of touching sincerity and heart, Kingfisher artfully draws the reader into the far-off land of familiar childhood tales whilst subtly subverting common expectations without trivialising or mocking the stories it draws from. The characters are depicted with an I managed to acquire an advanced reader copy. I'm very glad that I did! NETTLE AND BONE is a refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable fairy tale for modern readers. Combining elements of classical storytelling with wry gallows humour and moments of touching sincerity and heart, Kingfisher artfully draws the reader into the far-off land of familiar childhood tales whilst subtly subverting common expectations without trivialising or mocking the stories it draws from. The characters are depicted with an artful flourish, painted clearly in shades both light and dark. It is rare that a book where murder is the central goal is led by quite such sweet and dependable characters. A favoured element for me was that magic is left as magic, functioning by its own internal logic whilst leaving the reader well aware that they are traversing a place in which dust-wives and fairy godmothers will never truly be within their understanding.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/05/03/... If T. Kingfisher (AKA Ursula Vernon) wasn’t already becoming one of my favorite authors, Nettle & Bone just sealed the deal. Every time I pick up her books, I look forward to being whisked away to another one of her exquisitely imagined fantasy worlds and meeting the charming characters. Needless to say, this one did not disappoint. In Nettle & Bone, we follow protagonist Marra who is the youngest daughter of the Queen of H 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2022/05/03/... If T. Kingfisher (AKA Ursula Vernon) wasn’t already becoming one of my favorite authors, Nettle & Bone just sealed the deal. Every time I pick up her books, I look forward to being whisked away to another one of her exquisitely imagined fantasy worlds and meeting the charming characters. Needless to say, this one did not disappoint. In Nettle & Bone, we follow protagonist Marra who is the youngest daughter of the Queen of Harbor Kingdom. Her older sister Kania was married off to Prince Vorling of the Northern Kingdom in a political alliance, and by all accounts it is not going well. Marra knows that the prince is abusing her sister, and that Kania is treated as little more than a brood mare to give him the male heir he needs. Every time she miscarries or gives birth to a daughter, he becomes even more violently cruel and unstable. Horrified, Marra can only take steps to avoid the same fate, agreeing to join a convent so she will be safe from Vorling in case his eyes turn towards her, and also so she can bide her time. For you see, Marra is carefully hatching a plan to rescue Kania, but that path will not be easy. First, Marra will need to gather some resources and allies, and she’ll also require further training in the magical arts. As soon as she is able to, Marra makes the journey to seek out the aid of a dust=wife, someone who can instruct her on how to acquire rare enchanted materials and to craft powerful items. Still, even that is only the beginning. In order to save Kania, Marra must also figure out a way to get Vorling out the picture—for good. The author has so many talents, it’s hard to know where to begin with this review! But since her protagonists are always a highlight, I suppose it only makes sense to start with Marra. When Nettle & Bone begins, we are already in the middle of her quest, but through the brilliant and creative use of flashbacks, readers are quickly caught up with her backstory. So much about her personality, from her precociousness to her immense courage, could be gleaned from her experiences in the past, and I do so love character development like this that feels natural and authentic. Marra’s aversion to anything to do with marriage and childbirth is also understandable, given her early exposure to Kania’s abuse at the hands of her husband and the deep-rooted fear that all relationships inevitably lead to this, but getting glimpses of our protagonist as a young girl also helped solidify what we know of her as a caring person with a heart of gold who is also fiercely loyal to her family. That said, this kind-hearted young woman also has a ruthless, vengeful side. She’s patient, calculating, and will go to great lengths to do what’s right, especially where her older sister is concerned. This duality is also reflected in the tone of the story, which at once possesses the darkness of a more mature epic fantasy (featuring abuse, murder, etc.) juxtaposed with the whimsy of a fairy tale, with dialogue and themes that occasionally skew more towards Young Adult. The effect was not unpleasant, and made Nettle & Bone a quick read—not too heavy, not too light. Or course, the fast-moving, entertaining plot had a lot to do with this, and Kingfisher also flexes her creativity, wowing me with some of the best, most imaginative ideas I’ve ever seen from any of her novels. Particularly memorable to me was Bonedog, who was delightful and endearing despite his lack of flesh. The last scene of the book had me practically in tears, which is really saying something—only the most emotionally well-written and multilayered stories have ever managed that, and there was no doubt I cared deeply about Marra, the outcome of her quest, as well as what happened to those around her. In the end, there was even a sweet slow-burn romance to soften our protagonist’s long-held views on relationships, and though she may not have been looking for a lover, the chemistry between Marra and Fenris was undeniably there, and you can bet I was rooting for them all the way. Bottom line, Nettle & Bone was most certainly a book that made me feel invested in it with all my heart. I loved everything about it, from the magical, riveting plot to the astoundingly imaginative world that practically leapt off the page. And most of all, I adored Marra, who was genuine, multi-dimensional, and inspiring—a T. Kingfisher protagonist through and through. As the author continues to make waves in the SFF world and gain recognition for her incredible work, I can only cheer because all the praise is well-deserved.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is classic Kingfisher with some of the rough edges sanded off. Suicide mission with band of misfit heroes? Check. Cute animal sidekicks? Check. Quixotic mix of literary and natural history references and snappy dialogue? Yep. Anguished longing between unattached 30-year-olds on a suicide mission who want to hook up? Siiiiiigh. Also yes, but toned down considerably from the teeth-grinding idiocy of Clocktaur War. Marra, cloistered youngest princess of a small kingdom, has a very simple plan: This is classic Kingfisher with some of the rough edges sanded off. Suicide mission with band of misfit heroes? Check. Cute animal sidekicks? Check. Quixotic mix of literary and natural history references and snappy dialogue? Yep. Anguished longing between unattached 30-year-olds on a suicide mission who want to hook up? Siiiiiigh. Also yes, but toned down considerably from the teeth-grinding idiocy of Clocktaur War. Marra, cloistered youngest princess of a small kingdom, has a very simple plan: kill her sister's monstrous husband, the king of the neighboring realm. At 30 years old, Marra has spent half her life in an abbey, doing embroidery, learning midwifery, and lying low as the plainest and least clever of three princesses. After seeing the untimely death of one sister and the suffering of another, she's forced to realize that no one is going to come to their rescue - if she doesn't. Cue quest / suicide mission plus quirky traveling companions. Nettle & Bone is not a fairy tale retelling so much as it is a commentary on fairy tales and their twisted logic: the irony of being blessed with health by a fairy godmother only to be married to a cruel prince and forced to bear child after child (more frequently and certainly for longer than someone who didn't have magically good health); the difficulty of being born into a role that doesn't fit; the nagging uncertainty of how to pull off a likely doomed regicide without a manual: It is too much, she thought bleakly. We have grand plans, but in reality? Most likely we'll get into the city, and look up at the palace, and talk and plan and talk some more, and eventually realize there's nothing we can actually do, and leave again. That's the way it happens outside of the stories. Lest that sound too bleak, though, Nettle & Bone has quite a lot of humor and deliciously creepy scenes going for it. One of them involves teeth. Another involves a demon chicken, who is not so much ill-tempered as actually possessed by a demon (still lays tasty eggs, though). Cannibals. Crypts. Saints. Kingfisher is one of few authors who successfully mixes humor and horror, I think - I shuddered at least once and laughed out loud several times. On the difficulties of being a fairy godmother: "And then once I said a kitten would have many fine sons. [...] I'd just been reading a book, you see, and it had a king and a queen and she bore him...I was twelve! I didn't think." "What happened?" asked Marra. In her head, her mother's words echoed around and around, like a coin in a begging bowl. We shall hope the next child is a son. Kania is riding a dragon, and all of us in the kingdom are riding along with her...hope the next child is a son, hope the next child is a son... "It was awful," said Agnes. "She had six litters and every kitten was a ton. The barn was overrun. Nothing but fighting and pissing everywhere, and yowling when they weren't pissing." "Just like the barracks," said Fenris nostalgically. I do have to say that Kingfisher's 30-year-old heroines come across as extremely young for their age, weirdly lacking in confidence and knowledge of who they are and what they want, and that bothers me a bit, especially when it comes to her romances. For a writer who does so many things well, Kingfisher writes romances that are as sexy as a root canal, and she makes yet again the same mistake of having available 30 year olds on a suicide mission sharing a room, even invent reasons not to get together, and I am so, so over it. Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this outing with Kingfisher and think it would be a very good introduction to her work (but really, go read Summer in Orcus after that - Kingfisher's much better at writing child protagonists). A strong 4 stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    NETTLE & BONE, by author T. Kingfisher, was a very unique kind of "Adult Fairytale" that blends Dark Fantasy and Horror genres. There's a lot of Kingfisher's dark sarcasm and banter here, that make the story really stand out, while giving a "break" from more serious topics brought up. Marra is the third Princess of a small kingdom. Her first sister is married off to the Prince of a larger, threatening Kingdom for political reasons (as expected). Following this, her second sister is sent off--only NETTLE & BONE, by author T. Kingfisher, was a very unique kind of "Adult Fairytale" that blends Dark Fantasy and Horror genres. There's a lot of Kingfisher's dark sarcasm and banter here, that make the story really stand out, while giving a "break" from more serious topics brought up. Marra is the third Princess of a small kingdom. Her first sister is married off to the Prince of a larger, threatening Kingdom for political reasons (as expected). Following this, her second sister is sent off--only for Marra to witness the brutality and abuse of from the all-powerful prince. The question becomes, is it possible to save her sister and avoid a war? Her companions on this journey make for the BEST possible banter: a grave-witch with a demon-possessed hen, a fairy godmother, a former knight, and a dog made of various bones. ". . . My dog trusts me . . . My dog is witless and also dead . . ." With the crossover into Fantasy/Supernatural, the things encountered really make for a fast moving tale. It was at times quite emotional, but balanced so well that you could be laughing aloud the next minute. Each of the characters had unique personalities, and together just worked in this fantastic tale. "The chicken seller did not look like a man who routinely let customers borrow chickens." The overall story was great, as a whole, but it was the characters and conversations that made this one stand out so much for me. I can't wait for the next book from this author. Recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    . . . what kind of life do you lead where you find yourself building a dog out of bones? Once upon a time there were three girls, all princesses, of course. The eldest married a handsome prince, but instead of living happily ever after, she came home in a casket. The middle princess also fared poorly in her marital experience. The youngest princess decided to do something about it. This is her story, her quest to exact revenge, to right a wrong . . . all with a little help from her friends. Hey . . . what kind of life do you lead where you find yourself building a dog out of bones? Once upon a time there were three girls, all princesses, of course. The eldest married a handsome prince, but instead of living happily ever after, she came home in a casket. The middle princess also fared poorly in her marital experience. The youngest princess decided to do something about it. This is her story, her quest to exact revenge, to right a wrong . . . all with a little help from her friends. Hey, it's another wonderful fable by Kingfisher, a tale as mesmerizing and fanciful as anything dreamed up by those Grimm boys.

  20. 4 out of 5

    myo (myonna reads)

    i love the writing, it’s perfect and beautiful. i even like the world as a whole, how magic exists but no one even cares about much, how it reads like a fairytale. but unfortunately i don’t like quests or traveling in books so i found the middle portion of the book really boring. cant wait to check out the authors other books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Kingfisher has become one of my favorite authors. Her sense of humor is one I really enjoy, I have so much fun when I read her books. Nettle and Bone was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Kingfisher’s bools. Nettle and Bone is a standalone tale with interesting characters, on a journey they will most likely not survive, with some strange happenings along the way. “How did you get a demon in your chicken?' 'The usual way. Couldn't p This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Kingfisher has become one of my favorite authors. Her sense of humor is one I really enjoy, I have so much fun when I read her books. Nettle and Bone was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Kingfisher’s bools. Nettle and Bone is a standalone tale with interesting characters, on a journey they will most likely not survive, with some strange happenings along the way. “How did you get a demon in your chicken?' 'The usual way. Couldn't put it in the rooster. That's how you get basilisks.” Marra is a princess, and almost nun, on a mission.  One sister was married off to a prince and died, the next sister married to the same prince is living a horrible abused life.  Marra has taken it on herself to find a way to save her sister and if she has to do three impossible tasks to get the dust-wife’s help to do it, so be it. Marra is so easy to like.  When we first meet her, she is trying to accomplish one of the impossible tasks, building a dog out of bones.  It should be impossible, but Marra has found the right bones so why not do improbable things?  We learn she is on a mission to save her living sister and avenge the sister that died mysteriously.  Hard not to get on board with that.  Marra has lived as a nun, the sister in reserve just in case there is another tragedy and then she will be sent to live with the same awful prince who was the destruction of her sisters.  No thank you! “Lots of people deserve to die,” said the dust-wife finally. “Not everybody deserves to be a killer.” On the journey to the Northlands, she picks up a little help for her quest.  An old Dust-wife with a demon possessed chicken, a Knight fallen from favor and an interesting yet reluctant fairy godmother.  All will play an important role.  I will say I didn’t expect the chicken in this merry band.  They are off to break a curse and save the only sister Marra has left. I love the worlds the T. Kingfisher builds.  The magic is never overdone and there is always something unexpected in it, like the puppet.  Her romances are pretty subtle as well and Fenrin, the disgraced Knight they found in a goblin market, because yes there was a trip to the goblin market, was a perfect love interest for our almost-a-nun princess.  The Dust-wife is always there with a fun observation or crazy statement and Marra’s fairy godmother, well let's just say she was a surprise, who says all fairy godmothers have nice magic? Overall, this is a fun story with a satisfying conclusion, fun moments and not quite enough kissing. But I loved it all the same.  As always T. Kingfisher has delivered a book I loved and will recommend and read again. Narration: Amara Jasper was a great find for this narration.  She performed the story well adding to the humor and sometimes the creepiness that was happening.  I really enjoyed what she brought to the story and her portrayal of all the voices.  This was first interaction with her and I had a great time with it.  I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed. Listen to a clip:  HERE

  22. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    I don’t even know how to talk about how much I liked this. I’m going to go out and read this author’s back catalog. I thought about buying the hardcover of this in the store despite already having read it. I loved this. An absolutely wonderfully whimsical fairy tale story with everything I could ever want. Because what I wanted was apparently a demon chicken and a bone dog. Nettle and Bone follows our heroine (though don’t let her hear you call her that it will just make her nervous) Marra who go I don’t even know how to talk about how much I liked this. I’m going to go out and read this author’s back catalog. I thought about buying the hardcover of this in the store despite already having read it. I loved this. An absolutely wonderfully whimsical fairy tale story with everything I could ever want. Because what I wanted was apparently a demon chicken and a bone dog. Nettle and Bone follows our heroine (though don’t let her hear you call her that it will just make her nervous) Marra who goes on a journey to kill the Prince married to her sister who turns out to be evil. Marra on her way picks up a cranky witch with a demonic chicken, a dog made of bones, a hot guy from a goblin market, and a fairy godmother with evil powers who is too nice to do anything with them. This is a very short tale but absolutely beautifully told. I could have read this for DAYS instead of hours. I found myself laughing out loud while hosing up bird poop and that’s impressive. The characters felt so rounded and wonderful. I love a good found family and this one was absolutely great. The world isn’t intricately built since the story is so short but we get a clear idea of any places we are in and how the magics that are important work. Every new set up in the journey was somehow the perfect mixture of outlandish, funny, magical and emotional. The romance had me invested almost immediately. If Kingfisher’s other books charm me half as much, they will still be worthwhile. Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for a copy of this audiobook. This was narrated by Amara Jasper who did a great job and probably helped me fall in love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    Happy Publication Day!! Nettle and Bone is a dark fairytale with the classic T. Kingfisher twist. Marra lost her first sister to an abusive prince. She watchers her second sister suffer with the same prince and is constantly worried about her safety. Marra takes measures into her own hands and goes on a quest to kill the prince. From there, we meet fairy godmothers, a chicken possessed by a demon, and take a trip down to the Goblin Market. While reading this, I had no idea where it was going but Happy Publication Day!! Nettle and Bone is a dark fairytale with the classic T. Kingfisher twist. Marra lost her first sister to an abusive prince. She watchers her second sister suffer with the same prince and is constantly worried about her safety. Marra takes measures into her own hands and goes on a quest to kill the prince. From there, we meet fairy godmothers, a chicken possessed by a demon, and take a trip down to the Goblin Market. While reading this, I had no idea where it was going but I think it’s best that way. I had a really great time with this one, I was laughing and entertained throughout it. Even when it gets slower, it’s still so much fun. I’m not going to lie, if this was written by anyone else - I probably would not have read this but T. Kingfisher never disappoints me! I already can’t wait for her new releases next year. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Macmillan audio for an advanced copy of this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. This is my first book, with this author, and over all I thought it was a fun read. I do think there were some parts that seemed to slow the pace down a bit but not enough that it left me disinterested or that I didn't want to finish the book, the characters are really what sold me on it more than the plot itself. I would actually love to see these characters come up again in a series or to continue this book into its own series. I would definite I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. This is my first book, with this author, and over all I thought it was a fun read. I do think there were some parts that seemed to slow the pace down a bit but not enough that it left me disinterested or that I didn't want to finish the book, the characters are really what sold me on it more than the plot itself. I would actually love to see these characters come up again in a series or to continue this book into its own series. I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Monster? And then she looked down and realized that her assailant had been talking about the skeleton of the dog. Oh. Right. I suppose... yes. She scowled. He was a good dog. He had excellent bones and even if she had used too much wire and gotten it a bit muddled around the toes and one of the bones of the tail, she'd think that a decent person would stop and admire the craftsmanship before they screamed and ran away. T. Kingfisher twists fairytales like no-one else - Nettle & Bone is a story of v Monster? And then she looked down and realized that her assailant had been talking about the skeleton of the dog. Oh. Right. I suppose... yes. She scowled. He was a good dog. He had excellent bones and even if she had used too much wire and gotten it a bit muddled around the toes and one of the bones of the tail, she'd think that a decent person would stop and admire the craftsmanship before they screamed and ran away. T. Kingfisher twists fairytales like no-one else - Nettle & Bone is a story of vengeance, necromancy, and found family. Like all the best fairytales, there's a quest; like all too few of them, this is a quest where being a decent human being with be a solid help. And you can be an evil decent human being. This author is morally inclusive. You can even be a chicken with a demon inside, a murderer with a pretty solid reason, a godmother - like I said, inclusive. She also said something that has been rolling around in my brain since I read it - she talks of the protagonists interest in sewing (embroidery, tapestry, overall stitchcraft) and labels her interest in different techniques as intellectual curiosity. Which - it is, now that I think about it, but it's not how I've thought about it before, and for some reason it really stuck. It's something T. Kingfisher excels at, taking something, putting a new lens on it, and making a connection that otherwise I wouldn't have seen myself. She centers people I want to read about, and champions small kindnesses even in the midst of heroic events. There's real stakes, regardless of their scale - as long as it matters to the characters, she makes it important to her readers. Loved this, looking forward to her next one, but also looking forward to exploring more fantasy from this author.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ This was phenomenal! This is easily my favorite book so far this year. It really is just that good. I went into this book without a lot of expectations. I was intrigued by the book’s description, especially the part about the chicken possessed by a demon, so I was hopeful that it would be a good read. I did not think I would be blown away by this book. If this book is not yet on your radar, do yourself a favor and try to get your han This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ This was phenomenal! This is easily my favorite book so far this year. It really is just that good. I went into this book without a lot of expectations. I was intrigued by the book’s description, especially the part about the chicken possessed by a demon, so I was hopeful that it would be a good read. I did not think I would be blown away by this book. If this book is not yet on your radar, do yourself a favor and try to get your hands on a copy just as soon as possible. This book was filled with wonderful and unusual characters. Marra is the youngest of 3 princesses and wants to save her sister who is married to a cruel prince. She enlists the help of a gravewitch by completing several impossible tasks, including creating a dog out of bones. Marra, the gravewitch, her demon-possessed chicken, and Bonedog stop at a goblin market shortly after starting where they find a former knight who joins them on their journey. They soon add one last member to their group, a fairy godmother with limited powers. Their quest is to save Marra’s sister by killing the prince. This is a book where you should expect the unexpected. I loved the characters and the situations that they faced on their journey together were ones I could have never imagined. I thought that they made a wonderful team and seemed to be able to accomplish almost anything when working together. There were some scenes that were very intense and I wasn’t sure how things would work out. I was glued to the pages and found this book to be next to impossible to put down. I would highly recommend this fairy tale of a story to others. I cannot believe that I have not read more of this author’s work. Seriously, what is even wrong with me?! I quickly fell in love with his group of characters and found the story to be incredibly imaginative. This is a book that I know I will want to revisit in the future and I also plan on checking out more of this author’s work. I received an advanced review copy of this book from Tor Books. Initial Thoughts Damn, this was phenomenal! Why haven't I read more of this author's work?! Seriously, what is even wrong with me. If this book is not yet on your radar, do yourself a favor and try to get your hands on a copy just as soon as possible. I loved this fairy tale of a story and fell in love with this group of characters. It was everything I didn't expect in the best possible way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received an eArc of this fantasy novel through NetGalley in exchange for me honest musings . . . I love T. Kingfisher's writing and this was no exception.  This is the story of princess Marra whose life is no fairytale.  The third of three sisters, her kingdom lies between two other more powerful nations that are always looking to gobble it up.  Marra is not considered a great princess.  She be shy and awkward.  She wants to be unnoticed and live a simple life devoid of p Ahoy there me mateys!  I received an eArc of this fantasy novel through NetGalley in exchange for me honest musings . . . I love T. Kingfisher's writing and this was no exception.  This is the story of princess Marra whose life is no fairytale.  The third of three sisters, her kingdom lies between two other more powerful nations that are always looking to gobble it up.  Marra is not considered a great princess.  She be shy and awkward.  She wants to be unnoticed and live a simple life devoid of politics. She believes she has succeeded.  But when a Northern prince brings suffering to her sisters, Marra wants revenge. Much like others of Kingfisher's work, there is a lovely, twisted blend of horror and humor.  The situation of Marra's sisters is reprehensible and individuals live awful lives for the greater good.  And yet there are lovely elements like a bone dog, a demon inhabiting a chicken, and a reluctant fairy godmother.  The writing is wonderful. The book can distinctly be broken into two parts.  The first is a description of Marra's life and how she eventually landed on the path to revenge.  The second half deals with how Marra gets that revenge and how she changes in the process.  I happened to love both aspects equally and enjoyed how they were woven together.  I also enjoyed that all of the main characters in the revenge portion were over 30 and some very much so.  I also loved how all of the characters had to work together to accomplish the goals.  Without one, they all would have failed. There is a light romance and some excellent friendships.  I will certainly reread this treasure.  Arrrr!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    "Horrible puppet," she said, "demon chicken, fairy godmother." "And it's a fool's errand and we're all going to die?" If books had souls, this book would be my soul-mate. It has everything that I love in a story: fairy tale vibes, evil princes, awkward princesses who are almost a nun trying to save their sister, eccentric old women with demon-possessed hens, bubbly aunts who have magic powers, goblin markets, road quests, found family trope, uncommon pets and a whole lot of weird charm. This remin "Horrible puppet," she said, "demon chicken, fairy godmother." "And it's a fool's errand and we're all going to die?" If books had souls, this book would be my soul-mate. It has everything that I love in a story: fairy tale vibes, evil princes, awkward princesses who are almost a nun trying to save their sister, eccentric old women with demon-possessed hens, bubbly aunts who have magic powers, goblin markets, road quests, found family trope, uncommon pets and a whole lot of weird charm. This reminds me at times of the book The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo that I read a while ago. The venture into the ghost land in that book and the goblin market in this one provokes a sense of eerieness and wonder at the same time. I absolutely loved T. Kingfisher's writing. One finds a warm, almost home-like feeling in her characters. They are not the usual bunch of 'main characters' at all but instead they feel real, especially, Marra with her social anxiety and her thought process that tends to focus on things that most people would not. ‘Don’t tell me that courage is going forward when you’re scared because it’s not like that. I was scared of carriages and the people at the inns.’ Marra also often wondered how people accomplish simple tasks such as buying a chicken because these things do not come easy to her. I think the author is hinting she's on the spectrum. and the fact that the 30 year old neurodivergent character is the heroine and not some quirky sidekick is what makes this story a hundred times more interesting. This is actually my first T. Kingfisher and if she's always as good a master of the gradually heartwarming and the weird as she is here, I am gonna end up reading her entire bibliography.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Waworga

    NETTLE AND BONE is a fairytale story for adult, the story is magical but also eerie and sometimes surprisingly funny too… I really enjoyed my time reading this book because the plot is really unique and the characters are loveable Marra is a princess in a small kingdom, she has 2 older sisters that sent to married a Prince in Nothern Kingdom to protect their kingdom… one of her sister death and so the second one need to replace her only to discovered that the Prince is heartless and abused her si NETTLE AND BONE is a fairytale story for adult, the story is magical but also eerie and sometimes surprisingly funny too… I really enjoyed my time reading this book because the plot is really unique and the characters are loveable Marra is a princess in a small kingdom, she has 2 older sisters that sent to married a Prince in Nothern Kingdom to protect their kingdom… one of her sister death and so the second one need to replace her only to discovered that the Prince is heartless and abused her sister. Marra sent to the covent and decided to help her sister and kill the prince. The only way to do that is demanding the help of a powerful witch name “Dust-Wife” but before that she needs to accomplish 3 impossible tasks: build a dog with bones, sew a cloak with nettles and capture moonlight in a jar. The story is really unique and deal with so many heavy issues and felt relateable with the struggle women need to endure, there is a bit romance and humor and I really love it, the characters are all mature and in their 30’s which is something I rarely read. The writing style is also absolutely enjoyable and easy to read and make me want to keep turning on the page. The plot get a bit slow in the middle tho but the characters arc totally safe it. This is my 1st book of Kingfisher and definetly not the last

  30. 4 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    Practically perfect in every way. This is how I like my not-a-fairy-tales told. Now I need to read her backlist (there are so many!). I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review My full review will post to my blog, The Suspected Bibliophile, on April 4th Practically perfect in every way. This is how I like my not-a-fairy-tales told. Now I need to read her backlist (there are so many!). I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review My full review will post to my blog, The Suspected Bibliophile, on April 4th

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.