the book cover for Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
  • STAR RATING:  5 stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 245 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: April 26th 2022 
  • PUBLISHER: Tor Books
    CONTENT WARNINGS: Domestic abuse, pregnancy, miscarriage, child death,

  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Swordheart by T. Kingfisher, Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid (but this one is much darker)


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. 

If you’ve been following me for a little while, then you’ll know just how much I absolutely adore T. Kingfisher’s fantasy works. There is something about her work that just makes me incredibly happy. (Not to mention she is a delight on Twitter.) Kingfisher’s work frequently features older heroines, sarcasm & humor, and honestly, some rather dark themes. All of these ring true in Nettle & Bone. Marra, is thirty years old, trying to save her sister from her wife-beating husband of a King. On her journey, Marra does two impossible things, and makes friends with a sarcastic, powerful dustwife, an evil (but not really) godmother, and an honorable, former knight. They work together to kill the king.

I loved this. I tend to love retellings of classic fairy tales, and while this isn’t really a retelling that I can see, it fits right in with the OG fairy tales. The story itself feels classic, while the writing is certainly modern. (You’ll see what I mean if you read it.) I adored how unsure Marra was the entire story, but despite that, she was determined to do whatever she could to save her sister. Her sister who Marra was sure didn’t like her. I loved all the characters in this — the dustwife, who never gets a name, but has such a hugely impressive personality, Agnes the evil-but-not-really godmother who had a huge heart, Fenris the knight, who was so sure he was going to die, but helped anyway. And Bonedog, the cutest dead sidekick I’ve ever heard of.

My favorite part of Nettle & Bone was the dust palace — when they travel into the old catacombs/tombs under the palace to find the first king. I loved the haunting sense of urgency, the horrible sense that they were taking way too long to do what they needed to do. Kingfisher has such a way with creepiness, too. The thief wheel. Ugh. [Shudders] She is a horror author as well, and that frequently comes out in her fantasy works. Not to mention, the last scene with the old godmother…what delightful awfulness.

I will continue to read just about anything that T. Kingfisher puts out, because I have yet to be even remotely disappointed in her work.

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  1. I love this review!! It has made me want to pick up the book straight away.
    I really need to check out Kingfisher’s works! The aspects in this one sound great and as much as I love fantasy, it occasionally can feel a bit samesy if that makes sense. This feels fresher in some ways but full of elements I love. Plus, an older mc is always a joy! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. None of Kingfisher’s work feels like a ‘typical’ fantasy in that it follows what’s expected of a fantasy book. The characters are always a little different, the plot and relationships a little different, etc. I think you will love her work. She’s never let me down!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHHH I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR REVIEW SO MUCHHHH!!!! and omgggg the book sounds SO SO GOOD?!!! Like, chicken possessed by a demon??? an evil godmother WHO ISNT REALLY EVIL??? The entire book just sounds SO MAGICAL IGDWJVDQVUW I NEED THIS THANK YOU!!


  3. AHHHHH I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR REVIEW SO MUCHHHH!!!! and omgggg the book sounds SO SO GOOD?!!! Like, chicken possessed by a demon??? an evil godmother WHO ISNT REALLY EVIL??? The entire book just sounds SO MAGICAL IGDWJVDQVUW I NEED THIS THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

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