When a princess is tired of seeing her sisters mistreated, it seems the only way to fix it is to kill the one responsible – which might be (a lot) easier said than done. 

Nettle and Bone is out now! / Picture Credit: Titan Books

Nettle and Bone is out now! / Picture Credit: Titan Books

T. Kingfisher, author of this fantasy tale, mainly writes for the genre alongside horror, and other odd stories. She also, under a pen name, writes bestselling children’s books. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, dogs and chickens. 

The Synopsis 

Marra, a princess-turned-nun, has spent much of her life watching her older sisters being abused by a prince named Vorling, and it seems no one will do anything about it. Except her. 

Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince, but only if she can complete three impossible tasks. 

While the tasks may seem like the hardest part of her journey, Marra has no idea how difficult things are about to be. 

On her mission to save her family, Marra keeps the company of the gravewitch, a fairy godmother, a kind and gentle former knight, a chicken possessed by a demon (no joke here), and a creature she crafted herself out of bones. 

Together, the group of unlikely friends wish to see the end of the prince by their own hands, and rectify everything he has done wrong, including the abuse he has inflicted upon Marra’s sisters. 

So, what did I think? 

The plot of Nettle and Bone got me rather excited, as I love when stories we know well, such as a princess marrying a prince, are turned on their head, and become a mission of vengeance instead. However, it seems this tale fell a little short. 

That being said, Nettle and Bone was a wonderful read, and was not bad in any sense, there were just a few things that struck me about this title that made it not stand too tall. 

While I enjoyed the plot, characters and other aspects, I couldn’t help but think that the whole story was made up. I know, of course, that it is a work of fiction, but it simply didn’t feel grounded, or like it could be a real story, which was a shame. 

This didn’t ruin the book for me by any means, but I was rather aware that the story wasn’t real, rather than being pulled into it all. In spite of this, the 50 or so pages at the end did have me raise an eyebrow and worry for the fate of one or two of the characters. 

Having said that, Nettle and Bone was still a great read, and worth a look if you love fantasy, as I do. 

Despite it taking me a short while to warm up to the characters, once I did, I found myself caring a great deal about them, especially Marra and Bonedog, a beast she had to craft as part of her impossible tasks. 

Kingfisher did a brilliant job at creating likeable characters, and since they all fit so well together, it made me rather happy that Marra wasn’t a lone character, that she had others helping her; this made the book stand out in the way that many tales see a lone ranger take on everything by themselves. 

Each character had a part to play, rather than simply following the main character like a pack of roaming dogs. They had purpose and personality, which created a great atmosphere within the story. 

Another thing I loved about this book was the writing. The conversations between Marra and her friends all felt very natural, which helped the narrative move along and flow really well. 

It was also very impressive to me that the writing style and tone of the novel matched perfectly with the narrative, creating a slight sense of immersion, but sadly not a perfect one. 

Towards the end of the book, I found myself wondering how on Earth the story’s final act would play out, given that the group are still to kill the prince with around 50 pages or so left. 

While the ending sequence was rather short and a little anti-climactic, it was still a tense, action-filled segment that had me worried about Marra, Bonedog, and every one of her other companions. 

Overall, Nettle and Bone is an interesting read, with great characters who had wonderful personalities, a straightforward, driven narrative, and a brilliant main character; however, it unfortunately fell a little short when it came to being immersive. I would still say it is worth a read if you really enjoy fantasy titles. 

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

MORE: T Kingfisher, author of Nettle and Bone shares seven things she'd like her readers to know about her

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