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!
Side note: The author’s note mentions the short story that inspired this novel. Called “Godmother” it can be found on the author’s website here.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
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.
To visit the author’s website go to:
T. Kingfisher – Author
To buy the novel please visit:
nettle & bone – Book
To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List
Previous Log Entries for This Author
minor mage (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)
the hollow places (On the Horizon – Fantasy Horror eARC)
castle hangnail (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)
a wizard’s guide to defensive baking (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)
the twisted ones (Captain’s Log – Fantasy Horror)
harriet the invincible (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)