Nettle and Bone
- Author: T. Kingfisher
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publication Date: April 26, 2022
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for providing me with an ALC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: miscarriage, domestic violence, death of a child, murder
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 have to admit that I’ve been meaning to read a book by T. Kingfisher for a while, but just haven’t really come across any. And when I saw this audiobook available through NetGalley, I figured I’d give it a try. Boy, did I not know what I was in for!
Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and I’m actually kind of sad that there isn’t more humor incorporated into these books. Especially now that I’ve seen one that successfully does so, in this book. It made for an even more intriguing and fun read than usual, and I’m now going to have to actively seek out more books by Kingfisher.
It starts out rather straightforwardly—Marra is a princess, but as the youngest of 3, she has the freedom to escape the fate her sisters are forced into. She heads straight into a convent, where she is left alone and completely happy about this. But, after her oldest sister dies, and her other sister is forced into a marriage with her sister’s widower, Marra starts to have questions. What really happened to her oldest sister? Why does her other sister keep getting pregnant so close together? And how can she save her sister from a husband that she knows is abusive?
To rescue her sister, Marra must obtain help from the unlikeliest sources. First, she seeks out a gravewitch who gives her three impossible tasks that she manages to complete, and then they head out on their way and collect some of the strangest allies. We initially meet Marra as she’s working on the first of these tasks, creating a dog out of bones. Bone Dog, as he is called, is quickly absorbed into the cast of characters, and for a … sort of … animal, he has a whole lot of personality!
Each of the side characters have so much personality and a great place in the story. I was quickly hooked and got super invested in both the characters and the story right away. We get to see some flashbacks of Marra’s life, and it explains a bit of who she is and what led her to this mission. Now, normally an audiobook can get tricky to follow when there are flashbacks, but this was never the case with this one. And with the motley crew of heroes involved, one of which is a chicken possessed by a demon, it couldn’t help but be funny at times. Which is fortunate, because the story touches on some serious topics, including domestic violence, miscarriage, and the death of a child.
I can say with confidence that this is an amazing book, and I highly recommend the audiobook version. It never dragged or felt like it wasn’t advancing the plot, and the humor was inserted at the perfect times. In addition, there’s a touch of romance that doesn’t overwhelm the story, and the focus on the bond of both blood family and found family made this an amazing book that offers an adult fairy tale feel.
Categories: Book Review