I'm a sucker for fantastical quests, magical companions, and princesses who refuse to be the victim. This book delivered all that and more, with a darker spin on these tropes that I absolutely devoured. For some of us the perfect beach read takes place in a dappled wood where the vines get twisty and something magical or malicious (or both?) lingers beneath the leaves. If that sounds like a good time, Nettle & Bone is perfect for you.— Jax
“I don’t know how I lived this long without T. Kingfisher. Nettle & Bone has everything: a princess on a quest, a goblin market, a fairy godmother, a demon chicken (wait, what!). It’s fresh, funny, touching, and wonderfully well written.”
— Kathy Magruder, Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola, IA
Instant USA Today & Indie bestseller
From Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes an original and subversive fantasy adventure.
*A very special hardcover edition, featuring gold foil stamp on the casing and custom endpapers illustrated by the author.*
This isn't the kind of fairytale where the princess marries a prince.
It's the one where she kills him.
Marra never wanted to be a hero.
As the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter, she escaped the traditional fate of princesses, to be married away for the sake of an uncaring throne. But her sister wasn’t so fortunate—and after years of silence, Marra is done watching her suffer at the hands of a powerful and abusive prince.
Seeking help for her rescue mission, Marra is offered the tools she needs, but only if she can complete three seemingly impossible tasks:
—build a dog of bones
—sew a cloak of nettles
—capture moonlight in a jar
But, as is the way in tales of princes and witches, doing the impossible is only the beginning.
Hero or not—now joined by a disgraced ex-knight, a reluctant fairy godmother, an enigmatic gravewitch and her fowl familiar—Marra might finally have the courage to save her sister, and topple a throne.
“Nettle & Bone is the kind of book that immediately feels like an old friend. Fairytale mythic resonance meets homey pragmatism in this utterly delightful story. It's creepy, funny, heartfelt, and full of fantastic characters I absolutely loved!” —Melissa Caruso, author of The Tethered Mage
“Deeply satisfying and darkly funny feminist fairytale.... 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 fairytale lovers alike.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Blending fairy-tale familiarity and common-sense characters, Kingfisher’s prose balances grim circumstances with humor and heart. Readers of Alix E. Harrow’s A Spindle Splintered and Melissa Albert’s ‘The Hazel Wood’ series should pick this up immediately.” —Library Journal, starred review
"Kingfisher is an inventive fantasy powerhouse, and Nettle & Bone represents the burgeoning “hopepunk” ethos at its finest, with its winsome characters and focus on their fight to make the world a better place."—Bookpage, starred review
"Clever and bold-hearted . . . this rollicking feminist fairy tale is filled with redemption, community and courage, its dark passages the road to a satisfyingly uplifting endgame."—Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Nettle & Bone leans into the macabre and evokes the Grimm-est of stories... Highly recommended for fans of fractured fables like Naomi Novik’s Uprooted (2015) and Helen Oyeyemi’s Gingerbread (2019)." —Booklist, starred review
“Nettle & Bone is full of delights and surprises—and proves that [Kingfisher] has more than a few tricks left up her sleeve.”—Locus
“With NETTLE & BONE, T. Kingfisher solidifies her place as natural and inevitable heir to the greats of her genre, while remaining clearly and unquestionably a unique voice in fantasy. This book is a modern classic and belongs alongside The Last Unicorn and Spinning Silver on your shelf.”—Seanan McGuire
“This book is so exciting, deeply wise, sad, brutal and compassionate all at once. And beautifully written, with a plot as cunning as fine embroidery. . . . When I finished I could hardly bear to tear myself away from this eerie, vivid world, with its struggling, flawed, wonderful characters.”—Catriona Ward, author of Last House on Needless Street
“Nettle & Bone brings Kingfisher's signature honesty and authenticity to a fairy tale setting—the result is refreshing, earnest but not naive, and deeply satisfying. I devoured it. This is one that's going to stay with me for a long time.”—Sarah Gailey, author of Magic for Liars
"Kingfisher’s combination of comedy with feminist rage in a complex fairytale setting makes for a wholly entertaining read." -- Buzzfeed
“Witty, sparkling tale of a heroine’s quest, full of matter-of-fact magic, impossible tasks, and a group of fantastic and charming companions. A delight throughout.”—Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches
“Nettle & Bone is pure delight. T. Kingfisher uses the bones of fairy tale to create something entirely her own, written in gloriously clear and transparent prose. I devoured this story of a princess-nun rescuing her sister from an abusive marriage, and every fresh turn delighted me.”—Emily Tesh, Hugo finalist, Silver in the Wood
“Nettle & Bone is what happens when all the overlooked bit players of classic fantasy somehow wind up on the main quest. It's funny, frightening, and full of heart; I loved it.”—Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
“Charming and macabre—often both at the same time—Nettle & Bone has bite, proper jokes, effortlessly good storytelling and a really wonderful tomb labyrinth.”—A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name
"Kingfisher is a master. Nettle & Bone is a wonderful entwining of darkness & whimsy - witty and brutal and hilarious and true in all the ways that matter. Also, I must immediately have my very own Bonedog."—Travis Baldree, author of Legends & Lattes
“Somehow, Kingfisher writes stories that put you at your ease and make you want to crawl out of your skin at the same time. I loved the way this horrified me—and, in the end, gave me hope.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles