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Nettle and Bone

by T. Kingfisher

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1,6468310,682 (4.2)89
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.… (more)
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» See also 89 mentions

English (80)  Spanish (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
This book came highly recommended by many people, so I gave it a chance expecting to love it. Ultimately, I found the book was just okay. I like the concept, and there were some really cool ideas (bonedog and demon chicken being standouts), but it felt underdeveloped. The book itself is only 250 pages, so we don't get into worldbuilding (who is the lady of grackles? Who is Agnes' mother?), and the relationship between Marra and her love interest doesn't get the room to develop. The fact that we have two kingdoms simply named "the Northern Kingdom" and "the Southern Kingdom" only adds to my issue with the worldbuilding. Though I liked it, it felt like the kind of book that could be great if it was developed further. ( )
  AmericanAlexandria | Apr 17, 2024 |
Mara is the last sister in a royal family. Both of her older sisters have had to marry a prince in a neighboring kingdom for protection of their kingdom. Mara is sent to a nunnery, not to become a nun but to be protected. To make sure she has no children, takes no husband , and is there in case the prince needs a third wife. Mara spends 15 years in the nunnery living her life, waiting for something. Her first sister died within a few months of marrying the prince. Her second sister has been married to the prince for a very long time. They’ve had one child, who unfortunately dies at approximately the age of 10 from the plague. It’s at this funeral that Mara discovers her sister is being abused by the prince and determines she’s going to get even. She is going to kill the prince. However, this is not an easy task as in this world fairy godmothers exist, and the princes fairy godmother has blessed him that no magic or other harm can come to him. Mara sets out on her to complete three impossible tasks: one to make a cape of nettles and wear it, two bring bones back to life, and three to capture moonlight in a jar. And it’s only once she’s done that the bone wife can help her break the blessing to kill the prince. This review is in sequential order, however the book is not. The book starts as Mara is creating her bone dog. Of her weaving the bones together with wire, hoping against hope that she can get this pile of marrow to create life. Throughout the book you’re going backwards and forward in time both with what happened tomorrow and what happened to her family. This book is phenomenal. The storytelling, the writing, the overall what’s going on. The reader is glued from the first sentence until the very end of the book. This will not be my first T Kingfisher and I see why she has a devoted following. It’s only recently that I have learned that Kingfisher is a pseudonym for Ursula Vernon. Ursula Vernon writes fabulous children’s books. She’s known for the Dragonbreath, series, and other fully illustrated kids’ books. I have read and loved those books in the past so it makes sense that since that I would love her other works. This book was so good. The author is now on my auto buy list. ( )
  LibrarianRyan | Apr 15, 2024 |
[2.75] Adult fantasy has never been my genre, but a glowing review on NPR nudged me to give “Nettle & Bone” a try. Even though I was impressed by the author’s originality in retooling some popular fairytale themes (fairy godmothers, goblins, etc.), I found the pacing incredibly slow and some of the characters a bit tedious. That being said, the twisty storyline, although a bit jarring at the start given the non-linear narrative, kept my interest. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Apr 8, 2024 |
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher is a 2022 fantasy novel. This is a dark fairy tale about Marra, the third princess of a small kingdom, who has seen her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince of the northern lands. When his first wife, Marra’s elder sister dies, he marries the next sister, Kania, and at the same time, has Marra sent to a convent to keep her on hold in case he needs a third wife in the future. Marra spends years at the convent waiting for someone to come to their rescue but just as she is about to turn 30 she comes to the realization that she will have to do the job herself.

Meanwhile her sister Kania is going through one pregnancy after another in the hopes of delivering a male heir. Her babies either die or are still born. She also suffers injuries from her husband. Marra is afraid that time is going to run out for Kania. She gathers a small group together and these characters - a witch, a godmother, a disgraced warrior and Bonedog, an animal pieced together from resurrected bones of deceased dogs form a strong, close group who set off on a quest to save Marra’s sister.

Nettle & Bone was a fun read that was high in both humor and excitement. The author mixes some horror elements, some fairy tale elements and a generous helping of righteous feminist anger. This quirky adventure story was made all the more interesting by alternating dark and grim sections with warm and cozy ones. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 7, 2024 |
Admito que las primeras 20-50 paginas me costaron un poco, quizá porque venia más acostumbrado al estilo más ligero y medieval clásico de sus novelas de paladines.

Pero enseguida conecté de nuevo gracias a los personajes que crea Kingfisher, uno de sus mayores fuertes. Y el humor rodeado de cosas creepies.

T.Kingfisher ya se esta ganando un sitio en mi corazón escriba lo que escriba (pero yo quiero más paladines). ( )
  Cabask | Mar 27, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kingfisher, T.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jasper, AmaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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dedicated to Strong Independent Chicken, a bird in a million
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The trees were full of crows and the woods were full of madmen.
Quotations
“It’s a fool’s errand and we’ll probably all die,” said the dust-wife.
“Oh, well then,” said Fenris. “I always enjoy those.”
The dust-wife took out a cloak made of bottles and pockets and tabs; like a walking cupboard; and spun it around her shoulders.
(The Godmother speaking) “Agnes, will you pass me my teacup?  It seems that I am about to die; and I would like a little more tea.”
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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