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.
Nettle and Bone is an unusual but brilliant story, which starts off rather oddly with a woman in a cursed and eerie graveyard crafting a dog out of wire and bones. The story begins more horror than fantasy in this dark and grim scene with crows in the trees and madmen in the woods and you can’t help but wonder what on earth is going on. Surprisingly, after an intense beginning, the story mellows as it progresses and as the supporting characters are introduced it becomes more of a dark fantasy fairytale taking us on a journey of vengeance to a faraway kingdom. The writing is extremely good with some amusing dialogue and the descriptions of the setting and world are detailed and imaginative. I loved the creepy goblin market and all the strange and wonderful creatures there, including the terrifying Tooth Dancer.
The characters are superb and each one introduces something amazing to the storyline. We have Marra the main character who is a princess and an ‘almost nun’, Fenris a disgraced Knight, the gravewitch, Agnes the fairy godmother and not forgetting the Bonedog and the Finder – a chicken possessed by a demon, all of whom brought something unique and often comical to the story. I became deeply attached to each and every one of this wonderful motley crew of people.
I had a fabulous time reading this book, the setting, characters and world building are amazing. I really enjoyed following Marra and her gang on their journey and adventures to the Northern Kingdom. This is such a mesmerising read culminating in some exciting scenes, but also not too heavy on the horror elements. I do hope the author writes more fantasy novels, I will be first in the queue.
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date (UK): 26 April 2022
Page Count: 320
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊