Nettle and Bone
by T. Kingfisher
When Marra realizes she may soon lose another sister to an abusive prince, she goes to a gravewitch who will only help her if she can complete three impossible tasks. With a strong will, a fairy godmother, and a knight, Marra will do whatever it takes to save her family.
The timeline of the beginning had me a little confused at first. We start out in the midst of one impossible task, then jump to the beginning of everything and work our way back to what Marra is actually doing. However without the time jump the beginning wouldn’t have been as engaging. And once we had some context the story was definitely engaging.
Marra as a character is both strong-willed and passive. She’s lived an incredibly sheltered life before we meet her and she grows as the story progresses. I appreciate a main character who makes things happen but isn’t an unstoppable force on their own – Marra gets things done, but she receives a lot of help from her companions along the way.
With a witch in the woods that actually wants her visitor to succeed, a fairy godmother whose magic is not quite what it seems, a helpful knight, and of course a demonic chicken, this eclectic group of companions have a common goal. A lot of elements of this story felt familiar without reminding me of anything. With the feel of a fairytale but a truly unique twist on everything to keep it intriguing. It was a comfortable mix of nonsense and spooky bits and I enjoyed reading it.
Looking forward to reading more T. Kingfisher soon.