Genres: Dark Fantasy, Gothic Fantasy, YA Fantasy | Release Date: 26 April 2022 | Standalone | Pages: 292 | Publisher: Titan Books | Review
Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher is a fantastic dark fantasy, a cautionary fairytale of magic and consequences. I actually read this beauty in December, but *need* to tell you all about it! It is such a wonderful tale, and deserves as wide an audience as possible.
Princess Marra is relieved to be living in a convent, away from the machinations of royal life. But with her two elder sisters in turn suffering at the hands of abusive Prince Vorling, Marra decides it’s time to put a stop to it. As an almost-nun, she doesn’t have a clue where to begin… Until she finds a powerful dust-wife. Given three impossible tasks, Marra will be well on her way to killing the prince if she succeeds. Joined by the dust-wife and her demon hen, as well as a former knight and Marra’s own godmother, soon the northern kingdom won’t know what hit it. Can Marra rescue her sister? And is it possible to bring about the downfall of the prince and his powerful godmother? The dead don’t always rest easy, and the answers lie in unexpected places…
I absolutely love how the dust-wife (Lady Fox) and Marra’s godmother (Agnes) interact throughout Nettle and Bone. They are two little old ladies, with varying power, and somehow bond over chickens! Lady Fox might contradict me, but she’s clearly attached to her demon hen, and Agnes’ chick Finder is adorable. If any of you have read Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, think Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel Lynde. It’s that kind of wholesome charm.
Goblins, fairy forts, bonedogs… This gothic fantasy really does tick all the boxes for fairytale goodness. Kingfisher’s story has layers of chaos, tragedy and enchantments. And it is completely beautiful how *human* Marra is amongst all of it. She isn’t super powerful, she isn’t exceptionally talented at anything. But Marra is determined to save her sister, and anything is possible when love is the driving factor.
Special mention to Agnes! As a godmother, it turns out that the only gift she can give is good health. Her true power lies in curses, but she’s determined to be ‘decent’ and refuses to use it. It’s actually a little heart breaking, seeing how earnest she is. And I really love that Marra’s given an insight into how powers manifest differently. Not every godmother is created equal, and Marra needed that reminder.
None! This was as enchanting and enticing as any dark fairytale you’ll ever find. I loved it!
Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher is a wonderfully dark and gothic fantasy. Drawing the reader in, this fairytale lures us down a forgotten path towards the dead and their magic. This is a tale you’ll want for your next read, because it is unputdownable. And I am so glad that there’s more where that came from – I’ll be going through Kingfisher’s back catalogue asap! If you love the sound of this beautiful book from my review? You can click any of the links below and get your own copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can order Nettle and Bone via these links: