Book Title: Nettle and Bone
Author: T Kingfisher
Series: Standalone (I think)
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Page Count: 300
Trigger warnings: starvation, murder, rotten teeth scene, gore, death of dogs, demonically possessed chickens, dark magic, child abuse, off screen rape, abusive husband, light language (?)
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.
I flew through this book in one sitting! It was sooo good! I really hope that this spins into a series though it doesn’t need to. It’s fun, fast, and just the right sort of dark that I love in fantasy stories. This is my first T Kingfisher and it won’t be my last!
Marra is a fascinating character. I think she’s one of the first covenant raised children in a book that I actually liked. She wasn’t overbearingly religious and there was barely a hint of religion in here. I liked her attitude and her humor. She was easily identifiable with.
The story begins with her sisters. Damia is married off to a king, and she winds up dead. It’s suspected murder but nothing can be proven. Her other sister, Kania, goes to marry the same thing while Marra hides in a covenant. The family is pulled apart and Marra realizes that no one is going to rescue them. She has to do the rescuing and to do that she may need to kill a king.
She makes a few friends here and there. A witch that has a demonically possessed chicken. A forty year old sell sword. A bonedog whose name is Bonedog.
The quest is good, and fun for the reader, but for the characters they encounter all sorts of trouble along the way. And at the end there’s a brief feeling of loss and grief though we leave off with a happy ending.
I adore books like these. I love the dark atmospheric setting, the slow build up and the characters were all handled perfectly. I’m happy to rate this 5 stars. If I could, I’d give it ten stars in that I had such a good time! If you’re looking for a pick me up, I definitely recommend this one!
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book