Book Reviews

Review: Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

Nettle & Bone presents elements I love like bone magic, sisters bent on revenge, and a group dynamic in a fresh new way. It’s a fascinating twist on fairy tales or adventure stories. While I wish I ended up connecting more with the MC, I enjoyed the action so much. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: physical abuse (SC), emotional abuse (SC)

Nettle & Bone knew how to hook me. It begins with bone magic which will always perk up my ears. While I really enjoyed Marra’s character especially her dedication, the action in Nettle & Bone has to be my favorite element. I love this twist on an adventure story. Full of elements you might expect: a group quest, fairy godmothers, and curses, there’s always a twist. There’s people hiding secrets and running from their past. And there’s a demon stuck in a chicken.

If you’re a fan of classic fantasy books – you know the ones I grew up with – then you would enjoy Nettle & Bone. This idea of a sister out to save another? Instantly charmed my heart. While there wasn’t a ton of character internal introspection, I liked Marra’s character. She doesn’t want to be limited to the purposes of women in her world – just used to secure heirs. How they’re used as pawns and not people. Throughout Nettle & Bone there’s a subtle exploration of sacrifice and purpose. Of wondering what we are destined to do and how we may fight it.

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Nettle & Bone transported me to a world which is full of hardship, but also a sense of loyalty and camraderie. The group dynamic is tender and made me laugh in a few places. Overall if you like the idea of a fairy tale mash up of elements you are familiar with, but with a twist, Nettle & Bone is for you. Find Nettle & Bone on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite classic fantasy novel?

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