Nettle & Bone

By T. Kingfisher,

Book cover of Nettle & Bone

Book description

An Instant USA Today & Indie Bestseller
An Oprah Daily Top 25 Fantasy Book of 2022
An NPR Best Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction Book of 2022
A Goodreads Best Fantasy Choice Award Nominee

From Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes an original and subversive fantasy…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Nettle & Bone as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love fantasies flavored by fairy tales, and Nettle & Bone is certainly that, with a strong feminist backbone.

Speaking of bones, it starts out dark, in a mysteriously ravaged landscape where a dog is being constructed of bones, which made me nervous. Dark is one thing, but I have my limits, and they end well before quite dark and never go anywhere near relentlessly dark.

But Bonedog turned out to be a very good boy, and the story quickly developed into a quest featuring three seemingly impossible tasks for the stalwart heroine, and I settled right down. Enter the…

I only picked up this book because I was trying to read all of the Hugo Award nominees. I didn’t expect much since it’s such a short read. I was pleasantly surprised once I started reading.

It reads like a dark fairy tale, reminiscent of the original Brothers Grimm. Our heroine is given three impossible tasks and, through stubborn determination, begins to make her way through them.

What I liked about this fairy tale is that the princess didn’t wait to be saved by anyone. She didn’t even want to marry a prince. Instead, she does her best to kill…

I am relatively new to the writing of T Kingfisher and my introduction was the fantastic Nettle & Bone. Her prose is wonderful. Her story is whimsical. Strange magic runs throughout the book as an almost-nun determines she needs to kill a prince with the help of a dust-wife, a disgraced warrior, and a godmother who isn’t very good at her job. I am a complete sucker for faerie markets, in this case the Goblin Market. Her writing style is refreshing, and I have already bought a bunch more of her books.

T. Kingfisher has a real skill for writing books about reluctant and unlikely heroes (in this case, a thirty-something-year-old not-very-good nun, an elderly necromancer, a devil-possessed chicken, a failed fairy godmother, an animated dog skeleton, and a very pleasant man) and throwing them into unexpected adventures (rescuing said nun’s sister from her abusive husband, who just so happens to a very important king). 

Nettle & Bone combines everything I love about all my other recommendations in one neat, short, standalone package. A perfect book to enjoy with a cup of hot, spiced tea on a brisk morning. 

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