cover image Nettle & Bone

Nettle & Bone

T. Kingfisher. Tor, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-24404-8

This deeply satisfying and darkly funny feminist fairy tale from Hugo Award winner Kingfisher (What Moves the Dead) finds its unlikely heroine in Marra, youngest princess of the Harbor Kingdom. Marra is better at knitting than politicking, and is relieved to be sent to a convent while her older sisters make political marriages to nobles from the Northern Kingdom. However, when Marra learns that the wicked Prince Vorling has murdered her older sister and seems likely to murder his abused second wife, Marra’s middle sister, as well, Marra takes action. She assembles a rag-tag team bent on overthrowing Vorling—including Bonedog, a resurrected dog skeleton; a dust-wife (a kind of necromancer) with a demonically possessed chicken for a familiar; a suicidally honorable and surprisingly diplomatic knight rescued from a Christina Rosetti-esque goblin market; and a frazzled fairy godmother who can only grant gifts of good health. The plot snaps along as quickly as a good joke, and beneath the whimsy, there’s an underlying sympathy and sincerity that enables Kingfisher to handle tricky issues like domestic violence with great compassion and care. At its heart a story of good people doing their best to make the unjust world a fairer place, this marvelous romp will delight Kingfisher’s fans and fairy tale lovers alike. (Apr.)