Nettle & Bone

Cover of NETTLE & BONE by T. Kingfisher
T. Kingfisher
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Apr 26, 2022

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a quick look at a new title that hits the shelves of the publishing world.

A long time ago in a land far away, three princesses lived in a small kingdom. The oldest princess married the handsome prince of a neighboring kingdom. However, the princess soon died under mysterious circumstances. So the handsome prince married the second princess, to further cement the alliance. The third princess was sent off to live the rest of her live in a convent, forbidden to marry and possibly produce an heir. This third princess, however, started to think that maybe this handsome prince wasn't such a good guy after all and that maybe she should do something to save her second sister. Maybe she needed to kill him.

So begins the not-quite fairy tale of NETTLE & BONE by T. Kingfisher. This is more of a fantasy novel, but with an adult fairy-tale sensibility, where the prince is a villan rather than the hero and the princess is not a passive character who is in need of rescuing but instead assembles a group of adventurers to help her with her quest. Marra, the name of a shy yet determined princess, begins with getting the help of a dust-wife (similar to a witch,) and then meets a disgraced knight, a fairy godmother, a dog made out of bones, and a chicken possessed by a demon. (Yes, you read that right.) The story flows and the banter between the group is absolutely enjoyable and Kingfisher is at her best when she finds a way to present a cliche that we've seen in most fairy tales and turns it into something new and delightful.

Kingfisher, a pen name of writer Ursula Vernon, is known for novels with a darker tone, edging on horror, but NETTLE & BONE is a more welcoming, mainstream novel with a delightfully subversive storyline that will invite comparisons to Neil Gaiman or Seanan Maguire.

We hope you enjoy, and we'll se you next week!


Reviewed by Gregg W.
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